I should introduce my sheep. At my house I have twelve lambs ranging in age from six months to over a year. There are five black-headed Dorpers, one almost black lamb who likely has Barbado in her named Raisin, there’s one mixed-up colored lamb named Band-aid, three ewe lambs from my original four Katahdin ewes, and two wethers (the term for a male sheep castrated before sexual maturity), one named Joey from one of the four Dorper sheep I bought last year and one from my original four Katahdins. Five of the lambs, the three Katahdin ewe lambs, Joey and the other wether are mine. The others are Wally’s. At Wally’s house I have my four original Katahdin ewes, one St. Croix ewe and the four Dorper ewes. Wally bought two adult black-headed ewes to add to his flock and they are running with my adult ewes. The adult ewes are running with a multi-colored ram named Rambo and one that we call the “botched wether” because we didn’t manage to casterate him correctly last spring. Eventually both Rambo and the botched wether will be butchered for meat for my cats and dogs.
Between the two of us, we have twenty-five sheep. Hopefully all of the adult ewes are bred and will lamb in March. When I bought the four Katahdins in October of 2006, they were all bred and between the four of them, delivered six lambs thus doubling my flock size. I bought the four Dorper ewes because I needed slower, more dog-broke sheep to work young dogs on. The arrangement between Wally and I is he keeps the adult sheep at his place and I keep the lambs at mine. I primarily work the lambs, but frequently go over to Wally’s to work the sheep over there. It’s a pretty nice arrangement because I have two different groups of sheep to work at two different locations. Wally doesn’t have the open pastures that I do, but he has some nice-sized fenced in areas to work.
Prior to meeting me, Wally was the “Goat Man,” but he recently sold all of his goats in order to keep just sheep. He says that sheep are a lot easier to care for and they hold their value better than goats. Funny how relationships start. I met Wally two years ago when I bought seven goat kids from him to train Gel on.