Growing Up

This year is the longest I’ve let extra ram lambs go un-wethered. I keep putting it off either because I want to retain the option of selling them as breeding rams, or because I’m too lazy to get around to having it done. I’m not sure myself which reason is more compelling.

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“That’s OK, ShepherdPerson! You can keep putting it off forever if you want to!”

Funny Apple and charming Cedar, showing off their nice big baby-ram horns. Cedar’s horns remain the largest of his age group, but they both look like they’ll have a nice wide spiral to their horns.

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“I’m not in any hurry, either!”

Chestnut’s horns remain unusually small for his age, but he makes up for it with an impressively large baby-ram mane. I might be imagining things because I know my Soays are graded-up, but I think there might be some lingering Blackbelly genes showing up in Chestnut. Or maybe not, maybe he’s just expressing an an uncommon Soay phenotype. I’ve seen Soays in other flocks that look like him.

Ash must have heard too many horror stories from older boys about the word ‘wether’ and decided to hide behind everyone else. I couldn’t get a clear picture of him today. His horns are about average, he basically looks like Apple without the white spot on his face.

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“We females don’t have to worry about that ‘wethering’ business, neener-neener!”

Holly and Nina are both getting close to being as tall as their mothers, though they’re still proportioned like lambs, taller than they are long.They ought to be assertive young ladies when they grow up, since their mothers are both fairly highly placed ewes.

Lana remains Queen of the Shetlands by default, while Lady is Commander of Soays In Situations Not Involving ShepherdPerson. The minute I walk through the gate, Nova is suddenly in charge. I do not understand this arrangement, but it works for them and keeps things relatively peaceful, so I choose not to question it. I do wish they’d develop some kind of sheepy United Kingdom though; I miss only having to negotiate with one leadersheep.

Speaking of Nova, at this point she, Liam, and Mira all started raising a ruckus by the fence, claiming there was too much photography and too little sheep-feeding going on.

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“Mooooommmy! Stop taking pictures of everybody else! Pay attention to meeee!”

My little girl is looking very grown-up these days, but still throws not-so-mature tantrums when she feels neglected. She feels her special upbringing entitles her to eat all the crunchies.

Nova doesn’t have much growing left to do; she will be pretty much full-grown by next spring. As Commander In Situations Involving ShepherdPerson, she also thinks she’s entitled to all the crunchies. This causes some conflict with Miss Mira, which they resolve by chasing each other around my legs and making it extremely difficult for me to walk.

Liam doesn’t know about entitlement, but he’s big and fluffy and tends to push others out of the way without even meaning to, and he does love crunchies. He’s adorably cute, which doesn’t hurt his cause any. He may be finished growing up, but he’s very keen on the idea of growing sideways.

I usually manage to make sure everyone gets a few crunchies without anyone getting more than a small handful. In spite of what they may think, even the growing lambs don’t need to grow up on a diet of pure Chex cereal.

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4 thoughts on “Growing Up

  1. Oh, those faces šŸ™‚ Just love looking at them and yes that is very different from caring for them!
    Pecking orders are fascinating.

    • Yes, yes it does. The littles probably won’t be as much of a hormonal mess as an adult ram, but I will have to do something with them eventually if I don’t want to overwinter five rams. Which I’d much rather not do.

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