Pretty Woman

Saturday I drove out into the cold on a beautiful sunny day. The fields rolled away in damp furrows, the woods sparkled, and I avoided the highway by cutting across farmlands and rivers on the secondary roads. An hour or so later I pulled up in the yard at Bide-a-wee Farm out of Newberg to collect the newest addition to our flock. Jenna is a yearling Jacob ewe with, we presume, her first breeding of lambs inside. Notice I said lambs, plural. Well, we can be hopeful, eh?

Bideawee Jenna

See Jenna housed in the back of the little car. In the car! There were several reasons to just put her in the car. The trailer is out in the muddy field right now, and the pick-up requires tire chains to get to it, and was all full of old things going to the recycling place anyway, and dealing with all that seemed a big deal for one little sheep. So I put down a tarp and some cardboard over it, and drove away.

Once she was loaded up, Jenna seemed just fine about it all. Doug put some hay in the back for her, and Karen wished us well as we pulled away. Jenna stood up all the way home. She looked out the windows and talked to me about the matter. Her unmistakable sheepy aroma filled the car. I heard the dropping of little pellets back there, and the aroma became emphatic. I was glad for the tarp and the cardboard. We arrived home, and Jenna was not about to come out of that nice little place.

I wish I’d had my camera in my pocket when I was at Bide-a-wee. It was beautiful, the sea of Jacob sheep and Navajo Churro faces gathered in their barn. All those fleecy bodies bumping together, spots and horns, bleats and farts. I should have walked back to get the camera, and made everyone wait around while I made photos.

Jenna is still a little on the outs in the ewe pen. There is always an Alpha and an Omega in a flock, and the new kid is usually the Omega. This will be a relief to the previous Omega.

Published in: Uncategorized on December 10, 2007 at 11:08 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m surprised to learn that sheep usually have only one lamb at a time. Not sure what number would not have surprised me, of course!

    Congratulations and good luck!

    — ge

  2. Hi, George —

    Sheep most often have singles. Twins are pretty common, though. And triplets not unheard of. Jenna herself was a triplet. The Ma has only 2 faucets (usually), so more than 2 lambs makes someone hungry a lot of the time.


  3. Hi, Susan,

    She’s a beauty! Most of my yearlings have singles for their first breeding, and then twin. However, last year Turtle (named by my turtle-obsessed grandson) had her first babies: twins, who weighed in at 3 and 3-1/4. They were the cutest things. She went to the Woolleys, he went for meat.

    I have often put sheep in the back of my car, first times with tarp and wood, but lately, in a giant dog cage, which fits in the back and restricts the sheep a little, but for a short drive, is fine. Saves having to clean up all those little pellets! Comes in particularly handy when I’m transporting ewe lambs and a ram lamb in the truck: he rides in the dog cage! Protects me from teenaged pregnancies.

    Absolutely miserable here today: frozen rain, or sleet, making everything icy, which is unfortunate, for I have 15 Red Hats coming for lunch, and some are pushing 90. I have my young, strong neighbor coming over to escort them to the porch, and turn their cars around and park them, for easy going home. (We old folks have a harder time, swivelling in our seats and checking behind us; hence, turning around on sloped, icy drive is not high on our list of favorites, especially when said drive has a fairly deep gully on one side, which a car can fall into if one is not careful. Wish it were snow: easier to deal with.

  4. Betty —

    I found it hard to resist the lure of a bred yearling with a nice locky fleece. A two-fer at the least. Sean asked if we “needed another sheep…” Well, I said, did you need another Gameboy? She is still pretty skittish, this newcomer. In time I’m certain she will calm down.

    A big dog kennel would have made me more comfortable with Jenna’s knocking her horns against the windows. She figured it out pretty quickly, that there was something there, but it made me nervous for a while.

    Hope your ladies brave the storm and all stay warm and well-fed. Take care.


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