Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Too Busy Eating

My new White Pine lambs are grazing the lawns up by the house. These areas are not lush (or big) enough to put the large ewe flock through. (I'd have to move their electronet several times a day just to keep them fed.) We usually just mow around the house after the good spring grass starts growing. This means the ground is fairly clean since no one has been on it since April. It's good for quarantine since the flock won't be visiting here anytime soon. And it's good for the lambs because they aren't bombarded with whatever parasites my sheep may carry. This ground can handle one roll of fencing and three little lambs. Even still, I move just a bit of their netting everyday so they have new clover and dandelions to munch.

I've been trying to get to know these little lambies. Everyday I sit out in their pasture for a few minutes. Ever so slowly, I'm making progress. Of course, the only lamb I really want to make friends with is Silvy. She will now eat kelp out of a bowl near me. She also will try to smell me as long as there is a lamb between her and me AND my side or back is turned toward her. I'm hoping that if I just ignore her long enough she will overcome her fears and let me scratch her under the chin.

Parker, on the other hand, is very enthusiastic for love. If Silvy wasn't watching my every move, I would flip Mr. Parker so he wouldn't approach me. Instead, I have decided to always control his movement while he's with me so he doesn't get the wrong idea about whose in charge. I hold his head up, make him stand square, back him up. No matter how strict I am, the little squirt just soaks it up. The minute I release his jaw, he sinks to his knees and lies down beside me, as if all that time I was holding up lamby jelly. I've never wanted a ram for a friend, but I think I've got one. I hope I haven't created a time-delayed monster.

By the way, Parker's little horn bumps have started growing. They are still very small, like the size of the end of my pinkie finger. Obviously he still has enormous potential as a polled sire so I'm not too worried.

I've been following along with the new theories on the polled list and I admit I'm often confused. Hopefully, my own breeding results will teach me something. I'm also eagerly awaiting some sort of photo guide to scurs, aberrant, horned, and polled stock to be released by the pioneers of Polled Shetlands.

Arvada is still a little suspicious. I can tell he wants to be easy around me. But since he is a ram, I'm not making any effort in his direction. It's just as well if he stands back a little. I would love to sink my fingers into his scrumptious fleece, though. When he moves just right and I see it parted, I am amazed at the lustre and crimp.

Clancy thinks Arvada's horns have grown since he arrived here. I'm not sure. As I mentioned above, I'm not even sure whether he has slow growing horns, scurs, aberrant horns, or what. I just hope he carries one good polled gene, and that he passes it on to some good babies. Along with his lovely fleece, wide hind quarters, and tiny tail.


Garrett808 said...

Maybe its the great grass they are eating and growing horns because of it? If Silvy starts growing horns we know its that reason :P

Arvada will probably have larger scurs or aberrant horns. Meleng was definintely a poll carrier. If she wasn't, Arvada would have horns like his daddy Jazz! It should be interesting to see them grow, and how much they grow. I think they HAVE grown slightly. He may have tea cup horns or something even.

Since I lost Meleng to bloat, I may 'need' to purchase a lamb back out of him someday :)

They all look good! I bet Parker's button scurs will break off when/if he and Arvada start to bump heads.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

I think you're right about Parkers little scurs. They are quite wiggly right now. I doubt they will hold up under force.

Concerning Arvada: he's a great little lamb. I think I will just keep documenting his horn growth so that the info can be added to the data everyone else is collecting on scurs and their sizes.

I think Arvada over a Bombarde daughter would be the most amazing cross. I'm looking forward to it!

I'll let you know what I find on Silvy's head the next time she lets me pet her. ;D LOL It may be a while.

Tifany said...

They look like they've grown since I saw them. I love Arvada's little tail. They still look so small compared to Bam. He's growing so fast. Nate had to flip him the other day- but now he's being much more respectful. Let's hope you get some great polled babies next spring!