(An aside concerning the title of the blog: Just humor me because, after bringing our three lambs home, I can’t resist all of the baaaad sheep jokes. 😉 The Outdoorsman and I can hardly control ourselves any time we get a new animal on the ranch. Be thankful that you weren’t actually present when the donkeys first arrived! He was horribly inappropriate for days with jokes about what we should name them!! I have to admit he had some pretty funny ideas, though!)
Our newest breed of farm animal has arrived at Green Acres. From the first glimpse of our ranch on Google maps, I started researching animals that I wanted to raise on the ranch. These little cuties topped my list. Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep. A very formal name for a lamb that looks like a living teddy bear. They are miniature in stature and only get to about 24 inches at the shoulders. Their “permanent smiles” are what sold me on the breed. How could you not love that face?!
For about a year and a half, I have been emailing back and forth with a knowledgeable shepherd from Southern Missouri about these little beauties. She has patiently answered all of my questions about her sheep, their care, and the possibility of purchasing some of her registered lambs. We were put on a wait list and, as fortune would have it, she had an inordinate amount of lambs this year so we were able to get the lambs much sooner than expected. While traveling to Missouri for my younger cousin’s wedding a couple of weeks ago, we were able to pick up our registered ewe and two wethers (neutered males) to begin our flock of Babydoll sheep at Green Acres Ranch.
The Outdoorsman and I are thrilled to welcome the head of the flock, Mona Lisa, her twin brother, Leonardo, and the black sheep of the family, Picasso, to our ranch. Babydoll sheep are known for the little smiles on their faces. When the shepherd sent me a picture of our three lambs, a vision of the actual painting of the Mona Lisa popped into my head due to the wry little smile on each face. The other two names fell easily into place after I chose Mona Lisa as the name for the ewe. This is going to be fun. A barnyard full of famous artists and paintings. This will go nicely along with our pig celebrities, Ham Solo and Chewbacon, who already reside on our ranch. (Gotta keep things interesting and entertaining for ourselves and our friends, ya know?!)
Just like all of our other farm animals, I am already understanding the meaning behind words that I have always used, but never fully grasped until I experienced the derivative of the word. The lambs are definitely “sheepish”. So very shy. So inhibited. Completely at the mercy of others due to a lack of ability to defend themselves. It makes me sad to know that they are so vulnerable to predators. Even the way they eat is gentle and harmless. They ate some lamb feed right out of my hand and it felt like whispers in the palm of my hand.
I am now officially a wife, mother, step-mother, daughter, sister, friend, aunt, cousin, niece, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, teacher, blogger, rancher, and shepherd. Most of the titles I have earned have been practiced for years, but I hope I can live up to those last two titles. They are daunting at times. Completely new, time-consuming, and challenging, but definitely worth the effort. The Outdoorsman and I are trying to establish things now so that, when I retire from teaching, I can possibly raise sheep on a part-time basis and we will have the business already up and running. Stay tuned for more adventures with the Olde English Babydoll Southdown Sheep on Green Acres. Ewe’s in for a treat!