Early this morning, I moved the electronet to some clean ground by the barn and added my new ram, SheltrgPines Bombarde, to the pen. Anna Belle and Northwind were delighted to meet him.
Northwind didn't even notice that I had just removed her eweling, Rai Min, to a barn stall. Rai Min noticed, though. She has not stopped her frantic crying yet. I have a theory that the trauma of separating a lamb from it's mother is a fixed measure. It doesn't seem to matter whether you wean early or delay the separation until adulthood. The distress the daughter experiences will be the same. Rai Min is crying in her pen, only able to see other sheep through the slats of her stall wall. Sian and Delyth, her older half sisters, are crying from their breeding pen. This is also the first time they have ever been separated from their mothers, and they are behaving like babies.
The maiden ewes around here might not be happy, but the shepherd is thrilled. I have been interested in Bombarde since Becky first brought him to Minnesota. Since then I have had the chance to see his first lamb crop at River Oaks and I was very impressed. A huge Thank You to you Becky, for bringing Bombarde all the way up to Grand Rapids. I am so excited to have him in my flock. He improves tails and hind quarters. He is F2 Roban Dillon. And he is also fully resistant to scrapie-RR/AA.
There are some other reasons that I like him too: Bombarde carries the pattern for Katmoget and Grey. So all of his lambs will be one or the other, unless covered up by a white pattern gene. Since I prefer the heathered look and the ability to dye the lighter fleeces, I'm looking forward to my spring lamb crop from him. He's also moorit based, so one of these days I might get a musket ewe lamb. After three years, I still don't own a moorit based ewe. I really would like that to change without having to buy one.
Bombarde also has the type of fleece I like to spin: soft and crimpy. It is a bit short but I actually like that. His River Oaks lambs were unbelievably soft and I'm hoping he contributes as well here at my farm as he did there. Bombarde is also not a hulk of a ram. He has masculine features, but he is smaller and finer boned than any of the other rams I have owned. Up to now, Clancy has been doing most of the ram handling. Small size was one of the Shetland traits that convinced me to choose this breed. I want my sheep to be small enough for me to handle. In the future I will try to use rams about Bombarde's size. Bombarde may also carry a polled gene. I've paired him up with Anna Belle in hopes of getting a ramling that might answer a few questions about both parents concerning their polled possibilities. So now all of my breeding pens are together...just in time to let me focus on Thanksgiving!