Wednesday, June 27, 2012

take home monday?

Looking out my kitchen window I can see Monday asleep by the garden. He had a bottle of warm (fresh from the udder to the bottle!) goats milk and then chewed on some grass till life got tiring again. Sun is hitting his wooly back, and the vitamin D is soaking in. Before I leave for town I'll put him back into the large, hay-lined, dog crate in the barn. When I am away he is there, and when I am here he is out in the yard. In a few week's he will be large enough to not slip through the fencing at will and then join his flock. I'll miss seeing that fat belly out in the sunshine, though.

I have been thinking about Monday. He's a bottlefed, socialized, and intact purebred Scottish Blackface. He may be worth more to the farm being sold as a breeding animal than turned into Holiday Feasts. Does anyone have any interest in buying this boy for your own farm or flock? I would be asking $175 and he does not have papers. If you are interested in coming up to CAF to pick him up, let me know. He comes from New England Lines, the sheep of Barb Armata (New York) and Denise Leonard (Mass). Both women are active farmers and sheepdog trainers.


Blogger Copper + Cream said...

If I were on your side of the country I would. But, alas, California is too far away. I'm sure you'll find someone. :)

June 27, 2012 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Debi said...

Although I didn't have issues with Monday being holiday dinner, I have to admit it'made me happy to hear that he may have a little more time on this earth. I wish we were close enough, and in a position to take him, but I'm sure you'll have no problem finding him a good home. :)

June 27, 2012 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hmmm, I've had a few bottle lambs, and know how pushy and obnoxious they can get, especially the rams. I'm thinking that a tame breeding ram could be dangerous and need serious retraining to respect a human.

Just wondering, since you have comment moderation, why you still have the 'type the two words, prove you're not a robot' thingy. It's a PITA:)

June 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM  
Anonymous Jackie C said...

I think that is an excellent idea for Monday. Is he of a heritage breed? Don't know much about sheep other than wool sweaters and lamb chops.

June 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger HotFlashHomestead said...

Seems to me he's so healthy and robust, he'd make a great stud lamb to keep. You could barter his services and of course use them for your own ewes as well. Seems like he took to life in a big way right from the start, which means he's got good genes that should be passed on...I'd harvest a less robust, socialized lamb for the holidays, even if you have to buy or barter for it.

June 27, 2012 at 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally would not buy a bottle fed ram to use for breeding. I would be too worried about him becoming a liability once he was older (rams that are more comfortable and familiar around people can be more aggressive). JMHO.

June 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

The SBF ram down at common sense was bottle fed and is handled by many people, daily. A young man is the main shepherd and he's never been any more aggressive than a golden retriever. But maybe he is a special case.

I think rams in general are dangerous, mostly because they are likely to "ram" you, and a bottle fed ram might be more comfy around people, but I don't understand how that makes him more aggressive? Can anyone explain in further detail why a bottle fed ram is more dangerous than one that isn't?

I would be happy to sell him as a ram, or have him castrated if someone wants him as a pet. No castrated or in-tact male at this farm in Jackson has ever butted anyone! The only time a sheep ever "rammed" me was when ol Marvin was about to head-butt a sheepdog named Sarah and I stepped between his head and her! but that was in Vermont. But Atlas was hand fed and handled as a babe his whole life, and was never aggressive at all. Neither is Knox.

June 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'd rather a ram be a bit fearful of me and respect my space. Maybe I've had the bad luck to experience more than the average aggressive rams. Just thinking that an overly tame ram would be less likely to respect you, especially in breeding season. Less respect = more 'ramming'. I learned never to take my eye off the ram, and if needed a spray bottle of water blasted in his face was a fairly effective method making him back off.
Also, I was told it was best to pick a ram that was a twin, as then his offspring would be more likely to have twins.

And no, I'm not a robot:(

June 27, 2012 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

Thanks Karen, all good to know. I will make sure anyone interested in him as a ram knows all of this.

I could possibly keep him as a breeder for this year and not breed him to his mother, that is an option as well.

I don't think you are a robot! Without that typed code though, I get hundreds of spam posts. Literally 20 for every real person who types. So it takes an extra step and I appreciate it and your robotless self!

June 27, 2012 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Tough Love for Rams

I think the problem with bottle feeding comes if the shepherd doing the feeding doesn't show the ram who is alpha. When a ram lamb is bottle fed, there are more opportunities for the lamb to test your place in the hierarchy, and if you don't respond appropriately, he can (will?) learn to challenge humans on a regular basis. And inexperienced shepherds tend to dote on bottle fed lambs (they're so cute!) instead of reinforcing the human's status as alpha.

I don't personally have sheep, it's just what I've heard and been told by shepherds.

June 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have kept a small flock of three to four Shetland sheep as pets for abut 16 years and are looking for a bottle raised lamb to add to the family. Monday has captured our hearts and we are wondering the best way to get in touch with you, either by e-mail or phone?
Thank you so much!

June 27, 2012 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger pawsfurme said...

How is having a bottle fed ram any different than having a bottle fed dairy goat buck? (An honest question, not a snarky rhetorical question). It's preferred (as far as I know) to have bottle fed bucks BECAUSE they respect your space. I wouldn't want to be in a pen with unsocialized bucks, but I can go anywhere in my buck pen and do anything to my boys and the most they ever do to me is blubber a wee bit if they're all feeling particularly amorous all at once (or possessive of momma), or nibble my clothing. One of my boys got a touch too lovey with me and I flipped him. Never did it again. I felt bad because he was only just learning his hormones. I felt it safest to nip it in the bud before he tried a full on mount. If a goat considers you momma, they're MUCH less likely to challenge you because they know you hold a higher position; at least in my experience. Even my dam raised kids don't challenge me. I'm the source of food and attention and I project the roll of alpha.

June 27, 2012 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger rabbit said...

If Monday was allowed to cross the border to the great white north we'd take him! Any idea on how/if that'd work?

June 27, 2012 at 8:44 PM  
Blogger admin said...

@Laura you're on the right track...bottle fed rams/goats/calves can turn out and be safe if the hierarchy thing is instilled. My great aunt learned this the hard way…so I’ve heard. I heard the story over and over about her death via an aggressive bottle fed “pet” ram so that when it came time for taking in a bottle fed lamb and other things when I was a kid there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to teach it boundaries and manners and not make it too familiar and cuddly. Cuddly quickly turns to not so nice a thing as many animals mature and it’s hard to teach those boundaries in an animal once they’re older and have that familiarity.

The same goes for even non-bottle fed animals though…a person I board my horse with bought her first horse as a foal and continually head nuzzled it and allowed it to body bump her…cute when it was small, but by the time it was a year old it accidentally head butted her trying to nuzzle and broke her nose. There’s a huge difference between handled and that cuddle type behavior that invades personal space you wouldn’t want a larger, stronger animal in or one charged with hormones that can’t think straight. Bottle fed animals just have a better chance of receiving that cuddly treatment than others. The horse wasn’t trying to be dangerous, but its size and power accidentally made it that way…I imagine that may be what happened in my great aunt’s situation perhaps. Do know that an animal can be cuddled while very, very young and then that attention be backed off after the first few weeks of life and things will turn out just fine (read personal experience here).

Have no idea if any of this applies to Monday. He may learn boundaries just fine as he grows, and Common Sense seems to be doing things right and great to follow their practices…that’s my take on the whole bottle fed being dangerous thing!

June 27, 2012 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Rams are called rams for a reason! Found that out the hard way. And just sent a bottle fed ram to the butcher not long ago. It was not hard to do. His name was Earl. I have never been afraid of any buck I have ever had. But a ram's a different story. I have 3 ram lambs that were born in March. They are huge boys. They are sweet as can be right now. But ask me again in October. But then they'll be at freezer camp.

June 27, 2012 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Jenny Glen said...

When I was at ag school, they always told us that an animal with no fear of people was the most dangerous - case in point, a dairy bull.
I have no problems with bottle feds because I don't let them get to comfortable with me. I leave them with the flock and bring a dog with me to go feed. If they follow me when their bottle is done, the dog hits them on the nose - my best dog at this right now just hits them hard enough to make them blink and they go back to the flock. Shortly after they are weaned off the bottle, you can't tell which ones are the bottle feds and which ones were mommy fed. If you keep them with the flock they take their cue from the others and run when they do.

June 28, 2012 at 8:14 PM  

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