I spent the last two days on a secret mission. See my sister Carrie has been wanting me to start a colored flock of sheep and goats for years. About once a month, she calls me on the phone and says, “So when are we getting colored sheep?” And my answer is always, “Um… I’m a little busy right now. Maybe next year.”
Carrie has been working really, really hard lately. I don’t really understand what she does, but she’s wicked good at it and it requires her to travel all over Europe for weeks at a time. (She butt dialed me from Krakow the other day at 4:30 a.m.!) Carrie has been exhausted and homesick lately and I wanted to do a little something to cheer her up.
So I left the farm yesterday to drive to Pennsylvania to pick up the first three members of our new colored flock, a bottle baby Angora goat doe kid and a set of bottle baby Border Leicester twin, a boy and a girl. The naming convention for the colored flock is going to be Constellations.This is Ursa Minor, the Angora goat doe. She’s a beauty!
This is the ram lamb. His name is Orion.
Coincidentally, Capri, one of our ewes, aborted her lamb yesterday while I was on the road. She has been looking for her lamb ever since, so we are attempting to graft Orion and his sister onto Capri. Then they will have a mama, she will have lambs and I won’t have to spend my retirement fund on milk replacer.
The methods for grafting a lamb to a ewe are simple but they take patience. First, we want the lambs to smell like mama, so we rubbed some of her milk on their heads last night. Capri was still a bit skeptical, so this morning we used the old farmers trick of spraying perfume on the lambs’s head and spraying the same scent on Mama’s nose. This seems to be working better.
Next, we held Mama and let the lambs nurse from her. It went remarkably well, although we did have to hold Capri tight to get her to submit to it. This is the part that takes patience. We’ll probably have to hold her and get them going for a few more days before we know if this going to work. Keep your fingers crossed.
Carrie hasn’t decided what she’s going to do with her colored flock. We may do a small, colored CSA or she may want to have it spun into yarn. She is coming next week for a visit and I can’t wait for her to meet her new flock.