Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Favorite Sheep - Rich

Whispering Pines Buttercup S23372
DOB 4/21/06
Sire: Sheltering Pines Mahogany S20984 (Bucky)
Dam: Whispering Pines Fern S19991
Status: Whispering Pines breeding stock for 2008

Buttercup is a very small (about 48 pounds) yearling ewe born in 2006. She is special to us for several reasons: She was our first smirslet socket lamb born at Whispering Pines, she was also the first one out of one of our own ewes (Fern), and she nearly died during birth.

Fern was also a yearling ewe when she gave birth to Buttercup, but she was very small (less than 40 pounds) and shouldn’t have been bred. During our spring shearing, our shearer cut off one of her teats and we were sort of glad that she didn’t appear to be pregnant (she had no bag and wasn’t showing anything).

One day we were in the barn (fortunately I was off that warm spring day) watching one of our ewes give birth, and after we had just applied the iodine, and were turning to go to the house, we saw Fern starting to have contractions on the other side of the barn. I know it sounds bad that we didn’t know she was pregnant, but she didn’t show anything at all. After about 40 minutes of pushing, we saw one socket front foot and a head, but nothing else. We couldn’t get a vet out there for at least an hour, so I went in and discovered that her right knee was caught on the pelvic bone and I couldn’t quite get my finger behind it.

We were able to get a vet on the phone and she gave me some really bad advice about trying to push the head back in. Fortunately, I quickly determined that wouldn’t work.

Finally, we did get a vet to come out, but the head had been flopping around for more than 30 minutes. After many unsuccessful attempts, and muscle relaxing shots, the vet was able to get the leg and the lamb was born with no problems. Fern was fine as well.

Unfortunately, she didn’t appear to have enough milk. We tried to hand milk her but came up virtually dry. So, from that point on, we supplemented with a bottle.
The vet recommended giving milk at the rate of 10-15% per body weight. In this case, that came out to be about 4 ounces per day with her for the first few days.

Anyway, that’s her story and she probably has the nicest conformation of any of our ewes. She is really extremely nice. We will breed with her this year for the first time. We haven’t decided who will be the lucky ram. Buttercup is out of Sheltering Pines Mahogany.

Registered as Lofty Pine Molly S11881
DOB 3/25/01
Sire: Lofty Pine Greycloud S8347
Dam: Lofty Pine Ellie S4096
Status: Whispering Pines breeding stock for 2008

Myrtle is the old woman in our flock (she’s six). She has a very correct conformation and Jen says she has the nicest fleece (next to Cihat’s, but I digress). I have her listed among my favorites even though I don’t personally like her. Myrtle is the enforcer in the barn, no question about it. She keeps the peace. She is AgAa/BBBB/SSSs. This year’s lambs were her first spotted offerings, but then this is the only the second year we have bred her to a spotted ram (last year she had a solid black ram who was spectacular!). Why is she one of my favorites even though I don't like her personality? Because her lambs are always extremely nice! Here are her lambs from this year:

Whispering Pines Robert E. Lee S24246
DOB 4/9/07
Sire: Twin Springs Brome S23419
Dam: Lofty Pine Molly S11881 (Myrtle)

Status: Available for Sale

Whispering Pines Poppy S24244
DOB 4/9/07
Sire: Twin Springs Brome S23419
Dam: Lofty Pine Molly S11881 (Myrtle)
Status: Sold

Sheltering Pines Cihat S17465
DOB: 4/11/03
Sire: Sheltering Pines Darius S13662
Dam: Wind River Jubilee S2552
Status: Whispering Pines breeding stock for 2008

We got Cihat last fall from Stephen Rouse in Michigan. Stephen has said that Cihat is the last of a line. He is out of Wind River Jubilee and Darius. He is a distant relative of the famous spotted ram S0555 (pictured below). Cihat has a very correct conformation, very soft fleece, great horns, clear markings and a very gentle disposition. He is the nicest ram we’ve ever had and we feel quite fortunate to have him. We only had four lambs out of him this spring, but they were all spectacular (one black, one brown, one white, and one black and white yuglet (pictured below). We will use him on more ewes this fall. I can’t wait to see what we get next year!

S0555 (who we don’t own because he is dead)
he's the one on the right.

Whispering Pines Jeb Stuart S24247
DOB: 4/17/07
Sire: Sheltering Pines Cihat S17465
Dam: Sheltering Pines Black-Eyed Susan S24073
Status: Sold

Jeb’s picture doesn’t do him justice. He is my favorite lamb from this year’s crop. I hated to sell him, but we really don’t have a use for him. He’s virtually a clone of his father. Someone is getting something pretty special, in my opinion.

Whispering Pines Lilly S18755
DOB: 4/15/04
Sire: Whispering Pines Cottonwood S15948
Dam: Lofty Pine Shelia S11880
Status: Whispering Pines Breeding Stock for 2008

Lilly is also home grown. She and Fern were the first sheep our kids took to the Niagara County 4h fair. She has a good conformation, but I was thinking about selling her this year until we installed a wireless CCD camera in the barn this spring. I had no idea what a great mother she is. She would often cuddle with her lamb like a child hugging a stuffed bear. None of our other ewes did that (at least not on camera). Now we can’t sell her. Myrtle, on the other hand, is very aloof and business like about the whole thing.

1 comment:

Jen and Rich Johnson said...

ok, I realize its a little odd for me to leave a comment on my own blog, but I want to say something in Myrtle's defense. I was going to write this in your blog entry, but decided to just post it as you wrote it, then get my 2 cents in on the comment section. I agree that Myrtle is not super friendly, in fact, she is really indifferent to any other living thing. But she is such an individual! She takes care of herself, knows what she wants and likes her time to herself. Who can't relate to those qualities!?
love ya!