Flock additions

On Wednesday I wrote that two of the ewe lambs in our current flock have befriended me and moved onto the keeper list, and I introduced you to the first, Pierson, the daughter of Kaylen.

The other girl who has caught my eye and won my heart is Sweet Pea, one of January’s triplets and the youngest lamb of the flock. At birth, Sweet Pea weighed a healthy 9.9 pounds, less than her brother but more than her sister. It is usually the smallest of triplets who is slow to grow because the two larger siblings get the bulk of the milk. Yet in this case, it is Sweet Pea who has remained tiny — most likely because she is a shy and timid girl, never pushing or shoving like her siblings. As a result, the three-pound weight spread that began at birth has ballooned: Putty, the ram lamb and largest, now weighs in the neighborhood of 60 pounds while Sweet Pea only tips the scales at 25!

Yet, of the triplets, Sweet Pea is the bravest, coming to greet me every day in the same way that her mother January used to bring the triplets to greet me when they were younger. She is a sweet and gentle soul who nibbles treats from my fingers and cuddles into my arms if I should pick her up. Although she runs away when I am catching other lambs for treatment, as soon as they are caught, she comes forward to sniff and watch, curious about whatever I might be doing.

Since I need another white ewe in my flock, the choice has become obvious. Although small, Sweet Pea comes from big-bodied and sturdy lines. I have no doubt that given a few years, she will blossom into a beautiful, large-bodied ewe. I know that her lack of size is not a genetic issue, but one of birth and temperament — and I’d much prefer to keep a cooperative and gentle girl like Sweet Pea for our flock. I have the time for her to develop into her own; I am nothing if not patient!

So Pierson and Sweet Pea will be joining our flock this year along with Poison, Phoebe, Posey, and Poplar — at least for the next year. The latter girls all carry genetics that I would like to further explore, but Pierson and Sweet Pea will stay because they are beautiful girls who have a lot to offer the flock — and have won my heart! Over the years I have learned that the more ewes in the flock who befriend and trust the shepherdess, the more relaxed the flock. Adding these two may not have been my initial decision, but I know that they not only carry solid genetics for breeding, they also carry a sense of trust and ease that will pass to their lambs and spread a sense of well-being within our ewe flock. Our original plan was to keep five Romeldale lambs, but with the addition of Pierson, it will now be six. Welcome girls!

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