Saturday, November 17, 2007

Where Wishes are Born

Two of three breeding groups are together as of this evening.
Unicorn, a yearling ram that has not been used to my knowledge, met Boston Lake Sian and Delyth for the first time. I hate to say it, but he thought he was pretty hot stuff and those girls were having none of it. He chased them around and around the pen. The two maiden ewes were concerned only with fact that their mothers were not there to protect them from the big white creep. After 10 minutes they were still anxiously baa-ing at the gate to go back to the ewe flock. Unicorn was panting with his tongue hanging out. He couldn't understand why the girls didn't fall in love with him at first sight. He fell in love with them at first sight!
Over in the other breeding pen, the scene was quite different. Old Allister was the quintessential gentleman toward experienced ewes, Rachel and Dolce. The pace was slow and courtly, and infinitely more effective. Neither of the girls were running away. (I'm thinking back to the first time I put Rachel in with a ramling. She was thoroughly disgusted with her situation and with me.)
Anna Belle, Northwind, and eweling Rai Min are still in the electronet by the barn. At the last minute, I decided to jump at the chance to buy a ram I've admired for a while. Hopefully, I'll be able to bring him home on Monday. He'll go in with these two ewes, while Rai Min will get pulled into the largest barn stall to wait out the breeding season.
Not only did the breeding groups get assembled today, but Clancy also trimmed the girls' hooves and gave them BoSe shots. I usually say "Clancy and I", but truthfully, I run the gates and doors and tell Clancy what to do. He does the hard stuff.
It felt good to get so much done. I have to keep my eyes open for breeding dates, and reintroduce the rams after breeding season, but most of the hard work is over. April 12 is the first possible lambing date. I'm hesitant to count my lambs before they hatch, but if things go well, next Spring will be the largest lambing I've ever had.
All winter long I'll be dreaming of the lambs I want: Hopefully Rachel will give me a blue-grey eweling. I hope Anna Belle passes on her incredible silky fine fleece. I would love to get a modified lamb from Dolce and Allister-technically a 50/50 chance. Northwind could give me a katmoget with a tiny tail. Please let Unicorn sire lambs that inherit his fleece.
Wish, wish, wish... That is what makes it so exciting to have more than one ewe lambing next spring-the chances are greater that some of my wishes will come true.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I am looking to the results of the first matings of my own choosing and between my own sheep. If Valentine settles, I know I will get brown lambs from her; the other two will give me surprises. Will Dinah throw another white lamb like she did her first mating to a black ram? Will Rechel throw Ag grey, Ag musket, or a solid? Will any ram lambs have "normal" horns, or scurs? Will I be able to sell any of them???

Becky Utecht said...

I just love the title of this post. That's what keeps us going every year, isn't it? And Michelle, I love your questions, especially the last one. :-)
I like surprises, that's why I put my white BFL ram with the natural colored ewe and the white BFL ewe with the natural colored ram (for a while anyway). Hopefully the BFL lambs won't all be white. :-)