Today I'd like to introduce Ginger and Sassafras, our new Shetland lambs!
We first met them three weeks ago at the National Sheep Show at the Eastern States Expo in West Springfield, MA. They were raised by the Ludlam family at Windswept Farms in Michigan who were showing sheep that weekend.
We did not go to the show with a sheep shopping list. We went with a very specific mission: to pick up new sheep handling equipment (super light-weight aluminum panels for pens and a sorting gate). There was no plan to pick up more sheep.
So why did we buy two Shetland lambs? Honestly, I don't know.
While I was in the ladies room minding my own business, Mike wandered over to the sheep pens and became very good friends with the Ludlam's Shetlands. I don't think he had ever seen Shetlands before ("What are these guys? They're so tiny! They're so friendly!").
We hung out with the Shetlands, who wanted lots of pats and neck scratching, then we wandered around the rest of the show sheep pens and eventually came back to the cute little Shetlands. I tracked down the owner and, to make a long story short, we ended up with this pair of ewe lambs the next day.
They are inquisitive, friendly munchkins with gorgeous fleeces. At my local farm store I had trouble finding a sheep halter small enough to fit their pin sized heads. It turned out that the cat aisle offered the right solution. A 14" cat halter (with a few extra holes since it was still too big!) is the best answer for a Shetland lamb.
Mike and I love hanging out with the girls. They are in quarantine until we get health clearance from our vet (OPP testing and clean fecal samples). Then we'll put them in with our ewe lambs. Crackerjack has already noted the new arrivals.
I promise more pics soon, just wanted to share the news about their arrival.
Thank you to everyone for your kind words and condolences on our losses of Daphne and Butch. The cards, comments and emails mean a lot to us. Mike and I truly appreciate your understanding and support.
Unfortunately we had another loss this past week: Buttercup, one of our original Cormo ewes. We had to have the vet come and put her down. She had been doing poorly for a while, losing weight, not eating well.
The vet determined that her molars were missing which explains why she was unable to properly chew grass or hay or pellets to a digestible size. Putting her down was the kindest thing to do. Poor old girl. She was a sweetie and has left us with many daughters and grand-daughters, all as gentle as she was. She was the nicest tempered and most maternal of our original Cormo sheep from Alice Field.
This summer has been a sobering reminder that our farm is home to a fair number of senior flock members. Right now everyone is down near the barns. Once this heat wave breaks, we will keep the "grannies" closer to the barn. The rest of the adults will migrate back to the uphill pastures.