It’s been four days since Beechtree’s Outlander (whom we’re calling the 4th Doctor after his long, dark, shaggy locks), Pitchfork 926 (Fred) and Pitchfork 882 (Little Moose) moved into the barn. The grade Cormos are out in the fields, grazing.
The process of bringing home new sheep is like meeting new friends. Right off the bat, it’s clear that The Doctor is a relaxed and confident guy. He boldly approached and sniffed Matt and I as we sat with the flock the second evening after he arrived. I’ve noticed that he likes to quietly walk behind me as I distribute hay, but he has not yet shown even a tidbit of aggression towards humans.
Lambs, on the other hand….he certainly doesn’t like those guys that much (until we led them away for halter-training, that is – then he missed them terribly!). The Doctor butts the lambs away from the hay at almost every opportunity and makes it nearly impossible to feed them grain. I keep finding solutions that work for one day, but then he figures out my trick the second time and gets more than his share.
Fred and Little Moose haven’t relaxed and shown their true colors yet. I am confident, though, that a little grain and some TLC will help them calm down and relax.
I hate to admit it, but the difference in physical quality between these sheep and my Cormo X sheep is really astounding. When Mom and I picked out the ewe, we were impressed with how hard it actually was to tell the ewes in the pen apart. They were almost completely uniform in size and appearance. Uniformity makes flock improvement much easier. In my Cormo cross flock, I have long sheep, short-bodied sheep, tall sheep, stout sheep, lean sheep…it is impossible to choose a ram who can improve a trait in the offspring of one sheep without compromising a trait in the lambs of another. The BFLs won’t have that problem.
I also already adore them. Their gentle, deer-like looks and compliant natures already provide plenty of delight!
The BFLs will get their own website to focus on them and to market the flock. They will be known as the Dorward Flock, after my grandpa, and will have marketing to fit their own, special niche at Sheep and Pickle Farm.