Sunday, April 28, 2013

::lily had a little lamb::

We just got our first two sheep and so far we just adore them.  Lily and I researched many different breeds and settle on Southdowns Baby Doll Sheep as a good fit for us.  They are a very old breed that is fairly uncommon because they are small which means that they didn’t have the bigger meat capacity that most breeds have now.  They are known as being very good mothers that deliver their babies easily.  This was very important to us after all the trouble we have had with Pygmy goats.  They are bred to be very hardy and able to utilize less than ideal pastures.  Plus – they are so cute.  They have these little faces that look like they are smiling at all times.

We bought two because everything I have read says that sheep hate to be without another sheep to love.  They can be kept with goats, but they prefer other sheep.  There is also a cooper issue that makes it so goats and sheep cannot share feed.  We fill   I looked for a breeder and found a wonderful lady in northern Illinois that seemed like a good fit for us.  I highly recommend her – she has been very helpful and honest throughout all my 400 questions.  My research showed me that in our area a market lamb (a wether bought just to sell at auction for meat) usually costs around $200+.  My research on Baby Dolls showed that a wether would cost around $150-200 and a show quality ewe would run around $350-600.  I always ask about 4H discounts whenever I talk to breeders.  I am a sucker for a 4H kid, they get a good deal from me, and I find that most other breeders are the same way.

Our little ewe was a twin, and the breeder decided to bottle raise her since she was hogging all the milk and her brother was not gaining any weight.  Therefore she is the friendliest little lamb in all the land.  She tackles you for her bottle and she loves attention.  She is going to be a piece of cake to teach to lead but she will be a mess to teach to stand.  Her name is Annabelle.  I hope she is the first of many future breeding animals.

Our little wether was a runt, but rises above his size with the name Oz the Great and Powerful.  His mother had an accidental plant poisoning as a baby that caused her to be blind.  She does so well that the breeder didn’t send her to slaughter but intended all her lambs to be slaughter animals.  Oz was her first baby and has been small from delivery, perfect for us because we love small and have no intention of breeding him.  We plan to show him this year and then keep him as a pet after that.  He is very friendly as he was bottle supplemented just to make sure he was getting enough milk.  He is a great little guy.      

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails