Ewe who?

06/11/2010 at 1:41 pm 6 comments

Last Wednesday I took a little drive down to Unity, NH and rescued 2 shetland ewes, Susie and Anna.  They were in need of a new home, and I couldn’t resist.  My favorite fleece to date was a nice Finn/Shetland cross lamb fleece from Harlequin Farm last year, and I have plans to purchase a couple of Finns from them later this summer, so I thought a couple little shetland ewes couldn’t hurt.

I met my Mom on the way down, so we would have a few extra hands if we needed them,  plus Mom loves sheep.  I laid a tarp out in the back of my Forester, threw some hay on top, and a little grain way up by the seats.  Then Donna and I wrangled the sheep, while Mom made sure they couldn’t escape and handled the door, and we got them loaded up in the Subaru.

View from the driver's seat

Anna, in transit

Susie, passing lane view

 The girls were pretty calm for the hour plus ride home.  I was curious about what the other travelers on rte 89 were thinking of my passengers, I got some strange looks on the way home.  Once we got there, I drove right down into the pasture and parked at the spot where 2 sections of fencing meet.  Turned off the fence, and opened the fence up and brought it up to the sides of the car.  Then I just opened the hatchback.

Curious introductions...

You smell funny.

 After a couple of minutes of sniffing greetings the ewes just jumped out of the car and ran up to check out the barn, get a drink of water and graze.

They like the rocks too.

So far they are settling in nicely.  They follow Vigo around like schoolgirls with crushes, but keep their distance a bit from the goats.  Tallulah likes to make sure they know she’s the boss, but they are learning to stand up to her.  Vigo is turning out to be a great guardian, he ushers everyone up to the barn in the evening, then lays down in the doorway. 

Checking things out

Susie is very friendly and wasted no time coming to get some loves and pets and grain.  Anna is more timid and reserved, she only yesterday allowed me to pet her a bit, but little by little she’s getting more comfortable with me.   I know that they don’t really need grain, but I’ve been giving them some in an attempt to get them to come close to me so I can handle them.  I need to be able to handle them for vaccinations, worming, shearing etc., so until they are no longer afraid of me, they get a little grain in the morning.   Susie is no problem, she comes when you call her, like a dog, but Anna, not so much.  She gets a little better every day though, and I’m convinced it won’t be long before she’ll come too. 

I’m incredibly pleased with the new additions to my little fiber farm.  Everyone is getting along, and they’re doing a wonderful job on my pastures, and overgrown brushy areas.  I love looking down from my big back porch and watching them grazing and napping.  There’s just something so soothing about it.  And I dream about what I’ll do with all that lovely fiber.  Which, by the way, is being processed as I type and sometime soon I should have some yarn and roving available for sale 🙂

Then there’s the less pastoral side of fiber farming….this morning  I got a call at 5:45 am from my neighbor Tom, who was out walking his dog and noticed that Vigo was out in a field about a half mile up the road!  I jumped out of bed and threw on some clothes and headed down to the barn to see what was up.  He had knocked part of the fence down and took off.  The ewes were gone too.  The goats were just lounging in the barn like nothing had happened.  So, I fixed the fence, grabbed a bucket of grain, my crook and Vigo’s lead.  I noticed that the ewes were just outside the fence, hearing the grain got their attention, so I was able to coax them back into the pasture easily.  Then I headed up the road to find Vigo.  I hoped that we had bonded enough for him to come to me, he’s only let me pet his neck a bit while eating grain, and I’d never tried to put his lead on before.  I was skeptical, but had no real choice.  I found him right where Tom said he had seen him, and Tom, bless his heart, had come back and positioned himself between Vigo and the woods, so he wouldn’t get lost in the woods.  As soon as I shook my grain bucket and called his name, Vigo came right up to me and started to eat the grain.  It took me a couple of tries, but I was able to hook his lead to his halter somehow, and we just walked on home.  Tom was very impressed that I could catch him, since he wouldn’t get closer than 10 feet away from him.

So, my hours of hanging out in the pasture, trying to get familiar with my new critters seems to have paid off.  I’m not sure what set him off, but I have been hearing the coyotes the last few nights, though I didn’t hear them last night. 

This weekend will find me doing some more permanent fencing, in between softball tournament games.  Such a life, I could never complain.  I’m a lucky, lucky woman 🙂

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Introducing Vigo…. Free-Range Sheep

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. muppetfeet  |  06/11/2010 at 4:31 pm

    The new ewes are lovely! And Vigo seems to be settling in really well. Clearly a guy who knows what’s up.

    And fiber for sale? Already? Woohooo! I am prepared to blog-stalk you incessantly until it shows up. I tend to miss things like that, but I refuse to miss this!

  • 2. Mary (Grandmatutu)  |  06/12/2010 at 7:39 am

    Well, clearly, I’ve been remiss and slacked off on my blog-following. I love what you’re doing!! I can’t wait to keep reading about your progress with your fiber farm. And can’t wait to try out your fiber!! xoxo

  • 3. Wendy  |  06/12/2010 at 8:17 am

    The ewes are so adorable! I can’t wait to come up for a short visit to meet everyone. There’s something to be said for just spedning some time ‘being’ with the animals and letting them learn to trust you – Vigo knows who you are! As do the goats…the ewes will learn, too. 🙂

  • 4. Sara  |  06/12/2010 at 2:45 pm

    The ewes are lovely…

    BTW, There is a woman who goes to HodgePodge who is looking for a home for her Romneys – 2 I think – anyway, if you are interested let me know and I can hook you up…

    I don’t know if you are interested in Romneys or not…She is moving to Florida for the winters – and is finding homes for her animals.

  • 5. adelaide100  |  06/12/2010 at 6:14 pm

    These truly charming stories make me feel so happy for you. Sigh. . . . .

  • 6. Kathy  |  06/13/2010 at 7:14 pm

    I love your new sheepers. They are so cute! Ewes seem much nicer to have than wethers. I have 2 wethers and one ewe. Ruby the Ewe seems much nicer than the boys. And definitely more friendly. She rushes up to me and stops suddenly as if to say ‘I am ready for some scritches. Now, please’


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