Saturday, May 09, 2009

Gorgeous New Lambs Arrive!

It was a quick road trip down I-45 to Bedias, TX today to fetch the three wethered Gulf Coast Native lambs I had bought from Kim Travis a few months ago. Shareholder Laurie was the only one whose schedule allowed her to get away the day before Mother's Day, so off we went with three large plastic dog crates in the bed of the pickup. We pulled out of Plano, each with a chicken biscuit for breakfast and a large cup of strong coffee to fortify us for the trip.

One of Laurie's many strengths is the ability to pick alpaca and sheep fleeces to get rid of the little bits of grass and chaff so that they are ready to go to the processor. She toted a couple of bags of wool along on the drive to help us get our fiber closer to "shipping condition." We enjoyed great conversation and a beautiful drive.

Once we arrived at the Travis' farm, there wasn't much time to just hang and visit--I was on a deadline to get back to the farm. Kim and Garth had set up an elaborate sheep handling area with small enclosures and chutes and had already caught up the lambs with their moms. It turned out to be a simple task to catch each lamb and load him up in his own dog crate for the ride home.

That ride was blissfully uneventful, and we enjoyed cooler temperatures that had begun to blow through ahead of some potentially stormy air. What a difference from the still, muggy air we had traveled through on our way south!

When we arrived back at the farm, Ted helped us move each crate into the sheep paddock one at a time. Once they were all inside the fence, we turned them out of the crates. I also moved Itzhak and Mary Elizabeth (the bottle babies) into the same pen so that they could be integrated into the flock proper. Pandemonium ensued. At least there was a lot of loud discussion among the sheep regarding, "who are you," and "where's my mother?" and "isn't it dinner time?" and each talking over the others, louder and more insistent.

The two bottle babies have glommed on to poor Lucy, who is the only adult ewe in the flock. She must remind them of their mom because they stick to her like glue. If she tries to move away from them, they chase her. All five of the lambs got reacquainted, and seem to be getting on famously. All the babies are too much for Zacchaeus, who has given up trying to bully anyone, and just focuses on staying out of their way. Besides - most of them are bigger than he.

The three new boys are very different: Mordecai was the first lamb born, and he was a singleton. He is by far the largest lamb, and truly magnificent. Ezra is the next largest, and they tell us he has quite a bit of spunk. Eli is the smallest lamb because his mom's milk dried up early and he just wasn't getting the nutrition he might have. Time will tell if he will catch up with his half brothers over the next year or so (they all have the same father).

The Jacob's Reward Fiber Flock is almost complete. In a few weeks the new suri alpacas will arrive, and we will have an incredible blend of fibers to harvest next year. Can you even stand it?

3 comments:

  1. Awww, I so wish I could have gone along -- the pictures are killing me! Glad everyone is getting along, too. I can't wait to meet the new babies (especially Eli, of course).

    Happy Mother's Day!

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  2. Yeah, Happy Mother's Day!! You are the happy mother of quite a few, now. What a fun day, and you are right---uneventful, thankfully! Except for the sneezing attack you were given...The new boys on the block are gorgeous, and how fun it was watching the welcoming party in the paddock! Congratulations, Mrs. Shepherd!

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  3. Beautiful babies. Can hardly wait to see them in person! We're driving out to the Farmersville area to look at 15 acres + a house this afternoon. It's pretty tempting!

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