Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New Member of the Gang

It’s been a crazy few weeks for me. Upon returning from Detroit, it was spring vacation for Julia. I don’t even try to get any type of professional work done when vacation time rolls around. We took a bunch of day trips to The Carle (did you see the write-up on it in the most recent Home Companion?) and Boston. It was a rather uneventful week but Julia and I had a great time spending time together. The Farmer was very busy doing all his farming things – when the weather finally warms up, there literally aren’t enough hours in the day.

We had ordered a new ram back in January after we had heard about him on the “shearer’s grapevine.” The "SGV" is a great place to find new additions for our flock because sheep shearers know flocks all over New England. We picked him up from a small flock owner in New Hampshire. He’s a Border Leicester which is a new breed for us. He’s very tall and has an open face (no top knot between the ears like the rest of our sheep have). He came with the name Big Boy. I've always thought that Border Leicesters in full fleece were quite handsome

The Farmer subscribes to Farmer’s Weekly from the UK. It’s one of his only indulgences because it is quite pricey to get it stateside. But every week, when it arrives, we lose him to the pages of all things farming across the pond. He really likes it because there is “sheep coverage” every week and it’s real farming sheep information, as opposed to many of the sheep publications in the States which cater to hobby farmers with a flock of twenty sheep. From the pages of Farmer’s Weekly, he has learned that many hill farmers in Scotland commonly use a Border Leicester ram for producing some very nice ewes that do well on hill pastures. So that’s why we ended up with “Big Boy.”

The only glitch with Big Boy is a small one. He was shorn after we decided on the pick-up date. The shearer found he and all of this farm’s sheep had sheep lice. He was treated at his old place but now we have to quarantine him in separate quarters on our place awaiting his second treatment the second week of May. I feel bad for him because he is lonely but it’s better than getting our whole flock infected with sheep lice – something we really don’t want to have to deal with….

In two week, Big Boy gets to meet his new family. In the meantime, he’s living the highlife with hay and corn in his very own little fenced in yard. He’s quite friendly (or just plain lonely). Every time we walk out the door, he baaaaahs and we talk to him.


Anonymous said...

He's a handsome boy. I hope he does well with your flock.
/s/ Gretchen

Jill said...

What a cutie! He looks like he'll be a nice addition to your family.

Willow said...

He is a very cute Big Boy. I hope he makes the ewes very happy and produces lots more cuties for you.

Lynn said...

I call dibs on his fleece next year! Which reminds me - would you ever consider being on the Fiber Twist farm tour? I'd love to see your flock!

Sally W said...

I always love your farm stories. We raise cows for beef. Our lives are similiar in the farming aspect of things. We went to an auction last weekend, but the cows were for breeding and showing. Quite PRICEY!! You are a great story teller

Kate G. said...

Whoa…Big Boy has a very distinctive face, even with the buzz cut. I predict a ewe stampede, especially when they find out he has his own pad.

Sojourner Design said...

Hi Kristen,

You'll enjoy Big boy. I have 21 sheep (guess that makes me just barely more than a hobby shepherd by your rule of thumb!) and the predominant line is Border Leicester. I find these sheep a very personable breed.

practically a neighbor in Northampton MA