Agnes died two weeks, now. Flock life must go on, and it does. I was reassured by the overwhelming reassurance that I received from my sheep-raising contacts. Hearing many similar experiences from other flock managers gave me comfort that I made the right call. I’ll take comfort where I can find it.
The flock feels a little different. Since Agnes was one of the boldest sheep, I’m now giving a little more attention to some of the more timid members of the flock. Meadowlark is seeking more attention, and it’s hard to walk without tripping on Chimney Swift as she approaches to demand chin scratches.
I am really, really excited that I have some requests for ewe lambs and even a ram for purchase this year. My hay supplier would like two white ewes. A farm in Maine would like a ram, also white if possible. I also have a request for five additional ewes, which I may or may not be able to fulfill this year. It’s hard to make the choice between who can join the flock and who is going to the freezer each fall, especially when I am presented with an array of high-quality females. The fact that I can keep Cinder for a while and am bringing in Bluefaced Leicesters reduces my pressure to keep all the lambs for myself!
The ewes are looking quite round. Peggy, in particular, is looking rotund and ready to pop. As I look over the flock now, I realize how much I owe to Peggy. Agnes was my only offspring of Janet, and she died without any daughters in the flock. I culled Dot without retaining her wild, high-strung daughter, Kestrel. I culled Bonnie without keeping any of her too-small ewe lambs. So my flock consists of two daughters of Shirley, descendents of Peggy, and old Peggy herself. Her daughter Bobolink, and her granddaughters Timberdoodle and Chimney Swift all carry her small stature, big fleece and big personality. Even though I know that Peggy’s time in the flock is running short, as she is almost certainly over six years old and probably closer to eight years old, I know that I’ll never be without a Peggy in the flock.