Thursday, September 11, 2008

No lack of hormones here

In spite of Jackson's "hoo-ha-ectomy" (as friend Kathy so poetically calls it), there is apparently no lack of hormones at Boulderneigh. Yesterday morning as I was doing chores, I heard a repeated racket from the sheep fold. I looked in and saw Val and Braveheart were going at it! She'd bob her head at him, challenging him, and he'd back up as far as he could in his little space and charge, meeting Val at the chainlink divider. What in the world? Is this common behavior between rams and ewes?

The ladies are sure getting wooly, including fine little topknots on all three of them (since Inky is still in quarantine with the wether boys, I don't include her in "the ladies' group" yet). Awed and inspired by Pam's portraits yet not having the hours to spend with PhotoShop, I decided to try to capture their fine features as best I could. (Click on the link to see; Pam really does create stunning images!)Dinah was the first Shetland I ever fell in love with, and I still think she's a beauty!My little Brava has grown up nicely! This is the best head shot I've gotten of her to date.Val is the tough one to photograph, because she is almost always "in my lap" wanting attention.

Want to see current photos of my three little wether boys? Of course you do! I needed to take current shots of them since I am still trying to sell at least two, so you know I have to share the photos here as well - ha! From the top: Blizz (grey), Browning (dark moorit) and Bryden (probably fawn); excuse the VM and cluttered background.Oh, how this fleece makes me drool!Let me know if you'd like a couple of loving little fiber pets!

That's it for now at . . .


Pamela said...

Michelle, thank you so very much for the compliments on my pictures. I swear, my head is going to get so swollen it's really going to explode.

One thing--I wish you'd stop posting pictures of your shetlands...I can't stand it! I want one so badly every time I see one of your gorgeous animals. And I mean it, they are flat out to die for! I never knew sheep could come in that many colors--and look so beautiful and be so....ARGH! I have to stop myself. I. Want. One. NOW!!!! (I especially want little Blitz...that gray and black..what a combination)

Thank goodness you are all the way over in CO or I would have the crate loaded up and be heading that way. No! I cannot add another lamb until next spring at the earliest. I have enough spoiled little brats to deal with over the winter. No More. That's FINAL!

OK. Now that I've given myself a good talking to, I have a question. You brought up the questions of hormones and my two ewes, Rachael (6-7 mo old Jacob) and Maa-Maat (5-6 mo old Tunis) are behaving strangely this week. They are not only mounting each other, they are also mounting the two wethers, Merlin (7-8 mo old Welsh Black Mountain) and Happy Jack (5-6 mo old Southdown). It's turning into an orgy at times as Maa-Maat will be on Happy Jack and Rachael on Maa-Maat.

The boys seem rather confused by this strange behavior from their "sisters". Is this at all normal or is there something going on I should be concerned about?

The sheep world is very new to me. Horses I know, but not sheep. (Fillies and little stud colts will "explore" like this, but never ganging up!)

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Im sure it has something to do with the time of year; the days are getting shorter and the girls' hormones are gearing up. The ewes have to show the rams that they must prove that they are worth a flirt, or more.
Pam, its worse than you suspect, Michelle lives in Oregon, you're safe :)

Tammy said...

It's 'that time of the year' and it's pretty normal for the ewes to become more aggressive, as breeding season approaches. Much of it is in play, but there are occasionally real fights that break out. My ewes nearly always challenge the ram when first put in breeding groups. If it's a mature, heavily horned fellow, they only show a token aggression, but if it's a younger, lighter horned fellow they can get pretty rough on him at first. Of course a few weeks later that all changes too.

Mim said...

I'd say Blizz is a keeper! And ewe's mounting ewe's they're starting to come into heat. I see that with the goats and the sheep.

Pamela said...

Drat! Michelle, I knew you were in just never sticks in my mind. I see "boulder"neigh and CO pops into my head.

And apologies to Blizz for mangling his name.

Sheesh..some days just don't go right.

Kathleen said...

I'm sitting here in my little 1 bedroom flat with serious FLEECE ENVY. I get mine is little 4 oz packets. :o/

Windyridge said...

Wow what is that first fleece, blue, silver, grey? All three. Very nice! I have to say I've never seen that shade. How did you end up with that color?

Hey I am giving away 5 MP3 players over at my gadget blog. It takes less than a minute to enter and they ship free to your door if you win. Come on over:

Lauren Dorsee Dillon said...

There's no hope for me. Here I am trying to figure out who to sell/how I can keep them all, and I look at your blog and want MORE sheep.

They're all just beautiful. I love Dinah's look; she has a Grace Kelly quality to her.

Oh, it's good to be back in the land of Shetland lovers!

Kathy said...

I think Blizz has the best fleece, too. :) Nice photos, Michelle! It reminds me that I need to take more of our guys instead of cleaning barns. :)