Sunday, August 24, 2008

Introducing Holly (nee Inky)

"There's a new kid in town (everybody's talkin' 'bout), the new kid in town...." At seven, my new ewe is certainly no kid, and she doesn't act like one, either. For all the changes in her life in the last two weeks, she is quite calm, taking in everything around her carefully. Susan Kimball called this ewe Inky, but since Holly is what comes to mind when I think of her (her polled genetics from grandsire Greenholme Holly and sire Spin Web Holly Boy is why I got her), I think I'm going to just go with it. Besides, her registered name IS Kaleidoscope Holly Orchid.

My first glimpse of her in Tammy's trailer revealed a beautiful Shetland head with large, expressive eyes. Wool on the poll, too. Since I like to spend a lot of "face time" with my sheep, I am thrilled. Certainly there are many more important qualities to look for in a breeding animal, but I want to enjoy what I'm looking at, too.
I haltered Holly and put her in the stall where the lambs have been spending the night while Tammy and I loaded her new sheep and Brian did his best to put on a one-boy variety show. After Tammy pulled out, I went in and sat with Holly for awhile, looking her over and getting acquainted. She came up readily to eat grain from my hand, but didn't want to stick around for scritches. I decided to put the halter back on and take her for a little walk-about to stretch her legs and eat a bit of grass. Brian held the lead so I could get a good photo of her "rear view," since that area is a known weakness in some Holly descendants. She is rather narrow, but I don't see what I would call "cow hocks," and she has a wonderful tail (a weakness in my ewe flock but fortunately not in my prepotent ram). She has good body length and nice, strong pasterns, too. Her fleece is still quite black, a different type than my others; I can't wait to see how she crosses with Braveheart.

Tonight she'll meet the wether boys, and hang out with them until quarantine is over. She's got a snotty nose that hasn't proved contagious so far, but I'd like to get it cleared up.

That's it for now at . . .

8 comments:

Pine Pod Farm said...

She's lovely!

kristi said...

Such a nice entry for your new addition! My first lamb born this year was a black ewe, single, out of my polled ram. I feel bad because she just blended into the background as all the others were born & she actually has great features & awesome tail. I think I will go give her a hug tomorrow if she'll let me:)

Kathy said...

You've been busy 'round your place. Sometimes an older ewe is a really Good Thing. I have to ask, has she had udder problems? It just looks a bit lop-sided in the photo.

Carol Bator said...

What a pretty ewe. And hardly any age greying (iset). It is actually rare for a Shetland to stay that dark for 7 years. Good that she will eat grain from your hand. That's the first step toward becoming a pet and having a very secure future :)

Juliann said...

Hooray!

Michelle, she's a GORGEOUS lady! She is very well conformed, and that dark fleece is a real gift at her age!
Congratulations many times over, you've done well in finding this gem, my polled friend!

Tammy said...

She is a nice looking middle aged gal! ;-) She'll be happy at your place, I think. Her and Braveheart should produce some nice pollies for you.
Tammy

A :-) said...

She's pretty! Will her fleece stay black?

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Thank-you for all your kind comments!

Kathy, her udder IS a bit lopsided, but not nearly as much as my white ewe's (and Dinah's functions just fine). Susan has milked this ewe to make cheese WHILE she's raising lambs; obviously she's very milky.

Adrienne, yes, she'll stay black! She does have a few scattered white (iset) fibers, but the amount is minimal, especially for a Shetland her age. I doubt she'll get a lot greyer from her -- hopefully she'll pass that long-lived color on to some lambs!