Poor 1616. When I saw her this morning, I thought she must just have some lingering frost on her nose. But closer inspection showed that she in fact had a dozen porcupine quills stuck in her nose!
My working theory is that the porcupine came to dine on the salt I put out for the ewes. If you ate grass all day, wouldn’t it be better with a bit of seasoning? The ewes think so. Anyhow, 1616 is one of my bolder Border Leicesters, so if anyone were likely to attempt a porcupine inspection, it would be her. I felt bad leaving her, but two attempts to catch her had her wary of me. I can’t outrun a sheep, so I have to outsmart them.
Cue Matt, some pliers and the grain-bucket. We shook the grain and got a whole group of ewes to converge. Then, it was just a matter of grabbing 1616 by a leg and sitting her on her bum for extraction. She didn’t even wince as I plucked the spines out. We are lucky that they weren’t lodged deeply and I am reasonably sure that she will be just fine.
Meanwhile, the rams are on-duty and we will expect our first lambs on or around March 1st. With the Bluefaced Leicesters in the barn and the Border Leicesters on pasture, we will have purebred registered stock from both breeds available next year. I have a lot of interest in Bluefaced Leicester lambs, but I know that for many Vermont shepherds, especially ones with larger commercial ambitions, the Border Leicesters would be an excellent choice.
Bob has been pretty low-key with his Border girls, but Fred has been sniffing and chasing a bunch. On the 20th, we will take Fred and Bob out and put Hooligan or Oliver in with the Blues(depending on whether or not Hooligan is sold) and Samson in with the Borders. We won’t have any early lambs this year, and we will also avoid late ones. Rams will be out by December 15th this time.
Preparations for Rhinebeck are well underway as we also admire the beauty of peak foliage. There’s nothing more wonderful than a perfect, glorious fall.