I have one wooly sheep left in the flock, this is a crossbred Jacob x Katahdin ewe. Her mother was a purebred Jacob, a not-my-favorite-sheep kind of ewe. I butchered that crabby lady last year, had her made into delicious sausage. She was unthrifty and I could never find a cause; plus she had lost a teat to mastitis, and she was nasty with her horns, both to me and the other sheep. This daughter was a bottle lamb (due to the one teat situation); I left her brother on the ewe to grow into a butcher lamb. I thought I’d let this girl get tame and maybe more polite than her mother.

Thankfully, she inherited the Katahdin easygoing temperament, and she’s polled; so now there’s not a horned animal left on the place. Yay! When she was just a wee lamb, she got knocked in the head by Moses (who was guarding his food dish) and had a questionable future for a week or so. But she survived and grew into a gracious and conversational lady who managed to make the keeper statistics, despite being on the small side. She spent some time at my mom’s while she belatedly learned to nurse from a bucket, her confusion likely due to her brain injury incident. My mom thought she was such a beautiful lamb, she called her “Lolita.” SmileBut really, she is number ten-forty-three. I just think of her as “The Jacob.”

It’s curious to see how the crossbreds turn out, given that in three generations, you can “breed the wool off” a line of sheep. Her fleece is not lengthy, but it is still nice quality, and she doesn’t yet have the coarse hairs mixed in that will probably crop up in subsequent generations. She yielded a single pound of wool (her mother yielded three per year).

I blade sheared her, as I still haven’t found justification for purchasing a set of electric clippers. I have a cheap-o set of blades, which makes it a struggle, but I got ‘er done. Ol’ Lolita was polite on the stand, mostly wiggling around licking her chops because she apparently felt itchy during the process.

The sheep stand is a side story. I was contacted a few months ago by a fellow blogger from Oregon who was liquidating her sheep herd and equipment. She remembered that I was looking for a sturdy livestock scale, and she wondered if I might like to buy hers, along with several other things she no longer needed. She was going to be passing through our area, delivering livestock to another taker. So, I had this wonderful doorstep delivery of half-priced things: the scale, the stand, a sheep chair, a milking machine, lambing supplies, and some spare medications she had on hand. Some of these big things were items I’d love to have, but hard to justify purchasing new. But half price is cool- like this awesome blocking stand, which has a winch to rise the sheep up from floor height after they walk onto it.

Little Lolita looks pretty funny on it, it’s designed for very large breeds of sheep, and she is about the size of a Shetland sheep. She’s posing so nicely in the photo though, she looks like a little teeny club lamb all ready for a bath and the show ring! I wondered if she was pregnant as I was shearing her. But when I uncovered that saggy belly, I’d say, yep, she looks like she’s got a bun in the oven there. So nice that she is clean shaven now, all ready for a baby to find that udder with no impedance!

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