So last year we bought five male lambs to be lawnmowers over the summer.
They did a great job! And at the end of the summer, our freezer was stocked with lamb.
After the long, arduous, smelly, task of butchering three of the lambs, we decided to keep one of the sheep over winter to be our stud for next year. So we chose Grumpy, the biggest and also the orneriest one. Then, when it was time to butcher the last sheep, (dubbed Lasty, for that reason), we decided, for several reasons (one of which was that we were tired to butchering sheep), that we would keep two sheep. They could keep each other company.
Grumpy (on the left) and Lasty.
Then about a month later, Grumpy suddenly and unexpectedly died. And so, Lasty really was the last one left. But, you see, sheep are very much herd animals. And poor Lasty was left without any sort of herd so he adapted by trying to hang out with the dogs, sometimes much to the dogs chagrin! He got chased out of the dog house numerous times. But soon he started acting like the dogs too!
Walking up to us, wanting to be petted.
Even playing like the dogs!
It was kind of pitiful really. Lasty trying to keep up with the dogs reminded me of a socially awkward kid trying to hang out with the cool kids at school.
But by spring, Lasty was getting a bit, um...shall we say, amorous. And again, he turned his attention to the only creatures available. Let me tell you, his company was even less welcomed by the pooches then.
Laoch took a rather passive-aggressive strategy to avoid Lasty's unrequited affection. He would just lay down. Tachran, on the other hand would snarl and snap at him till he backed off. Don't let Tachran's sweet face fool you, he can be a high-strung little brat sometimes.
Much to the relief of all concerned, we finally got Lasty some woolly company in May. Over the summer, we had Lasty, two ewes, and three male lambs mowing our field.
That's ol' Lastly there between the two ewes.
And apparently, it did not take Lasty long to get busy with the ladies, if ya know what I mean. The gestation period of sheep is about 5 months and guess what showed up in October....
Oh. My. Gracious....that is one adorable critter and I want to cuddle with it.
Unfortunately for me, mama sheep is pretty protective of it and won't let it get near us. :-( *sigh*
We think the other ewe is pregnant too, because she's huge, but she hasn't given birth yet.
So, we're now back to about the time to butcher the three male lambs. I think this year though, we're going to take them to a butcher instead of doing it ourselves.
Well, that's the sheep story for now. We'll see what this winter holds for the herd....