Sunday, April 25, 2010
Meet The Sheep...
Our first stop was in Walnut Grove to get the trailer. When I pulled up and saw it, I was very concerned that it was too small. Mr. Carl, the 89 year old gentlemen that I bought it from, assured me I could get 10 - 12 sheep or goats in it with no problem. I took him at his word and off we went. The only problem we had with the trailer was the light connection. It didn't match up to out track receiver. We made a quick stop at the Tractor Supply Co. to get an adaptor and it worked fine.
So we headed north from Walnut Grove to Hull, Georgia just north of Athens to pick up our sheep. The good Lord kept us safe and it seemed all of the bad weather was either ahead of us or behind us. When we got to the farm I was very impressed with the large herd of sheep this farmer had. They were absolutely beautiful. The rams had magnificent horns and the ewes were large and very healthy. He had two varieties that he raised and exactly what we wanted - Katahdin and Barbados Blackbelly Sheep.
We picked out two ewes with twins and one ram. In total we had five ewes and two rams. (The ram we picked out was a different blood line and will be able to breed with all of the ewes when they mature.) The process of getting them in the trailer was somewhat crazy. Farmer Zach and his dad corralled all of the sheep into a holding pen and carried them one at a time to the trailer. After the mother ewes were in, their motherly instinct kicked in and both tried to ram Farmer Zach by the trailer door. They both wanted their babies and nearly got out. (I guess Mr. Carl was right, we could have gotten three or four more sheep in that trailer, shockingly.)
Heading back home, the weather was getting worse all around us and we were worried we'd be dodging hail and possible tornadoes. Again, God is great. All we had was heavy rain and wind all the way to the farm. When we arrived it actually stopped raining!
When we got into Sharpsburg, I decided that since they were already in the trailer I would tag their ears so we could tell them apart. So we went back over to the Tractor Supply and bought an ear piercer and ear tags. When we pulled into the paddock, I gently opened the door to the trailer and stepped into the back. These sheep didn't want to have anything to do with me. I got four tagged and decided not to stress them anymore and went ahead and let them out. They were extremely happy to get out and so was I. Tagging the rest will be difficult until I can figure out how to corral them in a holding pen.
About the sheep...
Our ram is a full blooded Barbados Blackbelly Sheep and the ewes are full blooded Katahdin. The ewes bred with another ram in his flock that is big Barbados Blackbelly Sheep with huge horns. So the lamb twins of both sets of ewes are now a mix of both we call Katahbados sheep. This should be a great meat sheep and hopefully be more parasite resistant.