Saturday, November 1, 2008

It's that time of year............

You can always tell when winter is approaching when you live on a farm without a calendar or a thermometer. Just watch the behavior of the sheep. Many breeds of sheep have internal clocks that are regulated by length of daylight and temperature. Most of my ewes are normally freindly and good natured. These two especially. The gray ewe, Chammy, is a real love. She's mostly finn and has given us several sets of quads. She's a great mother and I wouldn't take all the tea in china for her. The white ewe, Daphne, is a shetland-finn cross. She gives us twins every year, usually a ram and a ewe and is a great mom as well. These two "hang out" often and life is usually pretty mellow in the barnyard.


Not so yesterday - I noticed what looked like the two of them sizing each other up. I watched from a distance and recognized that "look".

They obviously have something else on their minds other than being nice!
They weren't playing around -


I thought they were going to crack each other's skulls....you wouldn't believe the sound. They were backing up and getting a running start before they were finished. I didn't stick around to watch. I know this behavior is normal and the other ewes will probably join in before it's over. I love lambs but this isn't one of may favorite times of the year.



Chammy and my Mom - she really is a sweetheart :)

6 comments:

threecollie said...

We only have two sheep, but I find them so delightful. They are very, very old and I am going to miss them terribly when they go. The boss won't let me get any more, because in a way they are pests on a dairy farm. However, they are "tied" to the place and need no fence. They just stay here and entertain me.

Nancy K. said...

I also hate to see my Shetlands fight. In some ways the ewes are even worse than the rams! I've tried breaking up fights or putting food out to distract them and nothing seems to work. You just have to let them work it out. I've learned to go into the house and not watch...

Ouch!

Deb said...

threecollie,
Your post made me sad. I know how attached I am to my animals and how hard it is to lose them.........I'll sneak you a couple of lambs when the bossman isn't looking!
EVERY farm needs a sheep or two, I'm sure you can hide them somewhere. :)

nancy k,
I imagine other shepherds feel the same this time of year - it's just one of those things we would rather didn't happen. Your right - the girls can be worse than the boys!!

Have a great weekend :)

kristi said...

Mine are doing the same and yesterday the oldest ewe lamb thought she would try too with one of the older ewes....that didn't last long. My 2 horned Shetland rams were in quite "the mood" the other day, each is now sporting a gash above their eyes. We are having beautiful weather here for the first weekend of November, hope you are too:)

DayPhoto said...

Goodness! I didn't know they would fight. What causes the fights? The weather? Looking for the Ram?

Sorry I am so dumb, but....I don't know.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

Deb said...

kristi,
Obviously not much we can do about the head bashing but I wish it were different. No gashes here thankfully but it's early yet.

Our weather has been lovely as well. We know our days are limited before the snow stars flying so we are enjoying every good day we get!

linda,
Your not dumb!!! It's an honest question - I had to ask when I first purchased my sheep.

The short answer is hormones :) The colder nights and shorter days cause the ewes to start cylcing. They get as rammy as the rams or worse.