Friday, October 3, 2008

New Friends

It's always hard to be the new kid on the block, and sheep can really be bullies sometimes to the new kid. When I picked up Matisse and Valentine at OFF and Michelle's they had about 5 hours to bond and I guess that was enough.

This is Valentine (Stonehaven Valeria):

And this is Matisse (Shady Oaks Matisse)

When we got home I quarantined them in a separate area. Michelle thought it would be interesting to see if Valentine remember Bella and Rechel as they were her old flock members. I said what about Bevin, her daughter? Michelle felt that seeing as Valentine, Rechel and Bella had spent a lot more time together than the Valentine and Bevin did that she would remember them more.

I'm here to tell you the mother/daughter instinct is pretty darn strong. Bevin was out on the pasture with the rest of the flock and had given out a Baaaaaa! Valentine immediately answered with a frantic BAAAAA! Bevin came galloping in and they stood as close as they could with the wire fence between them.

That said, there is something to say about new friends too. I let them all out together today. On the way down to the lower pasture one of the Jacobs decided they just might butt the "new kid" and she lowered her head and advanced towards Matisse. Valentine decided no one would pick on her new friend and she put herself right between the Jacob and Matisse and gave the Jacob "a look". It was enough because the Jacob turned and headed down to the pasture.

Here's Matisse and Valentine joining a couple of Jacob ewes for dinner....all seems well..

Matisse and Valentine have spent most of the day within eyesight of each other if not right next to each other. It definitely brings a smile to my face.

Speaking of faces, on my way up to the house I snapped this little shot of Ellen enjoying some sheep minerals!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Ellen is so EWEnique! Love that gorgeous crimp!

Matisse is such a lovely ewe, too.
I enjoy reading the stories of how the sheep get along and have such individual personalities.

My Karakul and Churro sheep are joined at the hip. They are so seeet to watch together. :)


Kara said...

Great story Tammy. It so nice when they get along so well. You have yourself a group of very pretty girls there! Congrats!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

It's nice and kinda strange to see Valentine's silvery fawn(?) fleece with all the browns. It was mostly hidden here since I kept a coat on her. Glad to see she has a friend AND remembers Bevin. Give her some scritches from me!

This evening I put Butter and Blizz in with the other sheep (it's raining and we needed all the horse stalls back); except for one wether who thinks he needs to breed Butter, the introductions are going pretty well. Butter isn't a timid girl, so that helps.

Grammy said...

What a wonderful story of the friendship and memory of there past. It is good to know they do remember each other.

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Your lovely animal family just keeps growing and growing and you worry that you might have to move to a bigger place at some point? :-)
I *love* that momma and daughter remembered each other - it gave me goosebumps reading that.

Tammy said...

What a sweet story. I'm always amazed at the mother/lamb bond that many of the sheep have. They do have long memories and definately recognize each others voices. Valentine's color is really awesome. Very unique, she is so dark that she doesn't look fawn, but has so much of the greyish tone to her.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I just trotted back over here to tell you thanks for the wonderfully supportive and kind comments you left for me on my blog, concerning my son's injury.
It is much appreciated :)

Take Care,

Farmgirl_dk: said...

Hey Tammy - just me again.
I found the following in my Hobby Farms magazine this afternoon and immediately thought of you.
"Did you know?...
A 1-year old sheep is called a hogget?
A 2-year-old sheep is called a two-tooth?
One pound of wool will make 10 miles of yarn...
Sheep prefer running water when they drink.
-Public Service of New Hampshire"
Fascinating! Why don't they have tidbits like this about donkeys??! :-)

Wrensong Farm said...

Lisa, Ellen IS pretty special. :)

Michelle....take a good look at Valentine now....pretty soon she'll just look like mostly VM. (sorry!)

Grammy, Kara. thanks for the compliments.

Danni, no it's probably a good thing I only have 5 does give me some boundaries!

Tammy, I love the color of Valentine too! Michelle thinks she may take her back some day....I dunno. :)

Lisa, you ARE an inspirational woman,

and Danni I knew about Hogget, but the rest I didn't....I may have to try and figure out how to have continuous running water for my sheep! :)

Kathy said...

I was so very glad to hear you got Valentine, too! And that Matisse is quite a nice looking Shetland, too. :)
I think it's so true about moms knowing their offspring. They are smarter than most of us give them credit for...I see definite family groups in my flock. Even the wethers chum up to "mom" when they are all in together.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I wouldn't sweat the running water, Tammy. My understanding (which comes directly from the 23rd Psalm, and discourses by shepherds on that passage) is that sheep WON'T drink from running water; that's why it says "He leadeth me beside STILL water."

Your acreage looks much cleaner and grassier than the patch of woods my sheep run in, so I bet your sheep will stay pretty clean. Mine collect twigs and bark and moss, in addition to their hay, when they aren't covered.

Amy - "Twelve Acres" said...

Awww! How sweet! What a nice story.