*Sorry about the lack of photos, WordPress won’t let me insert them right now but I’ll try again later. You can see them on Flickr here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lauralough/sets/72157631147511590/with/7818066110/*
Today I drove out to All One Farm, the shetland farm we rented Lincoln the ram from last fall, to pick up my new little fella. After we ended up not having any lambs this past spring, Luna and Allen took pity on us and offered us one of their lambs. They allow their lambs to stay with their moms as long as possible so we had to wait till he was good and ready to be weaned before bringing him home with us, and that time finally came this weekend!
At All One Farm I got to give treats to the flock and then help corral them into the barn to pick out my fella. All of their lambs from this spring are black and more or less look the same but they had picked out a couple of options ahead of time and made the final decision today. Once we had him separated we were able to load him into the crate in my car. One of the ewes, Ashley I think, just about jumped up in the car with him- she didn’t want to say good bye!
He had a baby name on the farm but he isn’t actually registered because he is a wether and since he’ll never be used for breeding there is no reason to register him. So we decided to give him a new name. We have been using a naming convention for the sheep/goat where each year gets a different letter of the alphabet. Last year was “I”, hence “Ivy” and by counting back you can see that Etta & Elizabeth are five years old and Francine is four. So this year being a “J” year we decided on the name Jedediah or “Jeb” for short.
Through Jeb cried a lot when we first separated him, once we hit the road he settled down and stopped crying so we were able to have a pleasant drive home. Once there, we let him hang out by himself in the barn for a little while to get back on his feet a bit before introducing him to the girls. But of course Ivy wouldn’t stay away and if she is determined to be somewhere there is just no keeping her out so before long we took him out into the pasture to meet everyone. He was initially cautiously interested in the other sheep but Etta was determined to make him take her place at the bottom of the pecking order and set about putting him in his place by chasing him and headbutting him. Ivy also did some chasing but for a different reason– all the running about made her think it was play time and she got very excited about finally having someone to play with (the grumpy old sheep never play with her). This was all a bit overwhelming for little Jeb so he retreated to the other side of the pasture for a while but all afternoon he has been venturing over to the flock to say hello, getting a bit closer and staying a bit longer each time. He is showing a good mix of respect for the older, much larger sheep and curiosity and and interest in being part of the flock. I think in a few days it’ll be like he’s always been a part of the flock!