The tip of Thatcher's horn. The part against my finger is what was pressing against his face.
Hubby had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb... & he named him Holstein.
I love working with my sheep. Lambing ended great with our last ewe giving us two ewe lambs at 3:00am on a Friday morning. So we began the month of April with just 20 ewes and 2 rams and ended the month with an additional 17 ewe lambs & 15 ram lambs. A lot was learned, but I think the biggest lesson was realizing we'd better figure out how to plan a little better in breeding season. It's taken me most of May to recover all my lost sleep and get back to life as usual. Of course May has it's chores too. Don't think just because lambing is done we get to sit back and relax, no sir. There was shearing to be done. Hubby decided to try his hand at it this year, so with three of us, 20 ewes didn't seem so daunting. Mucking the barns & sheep sheds. While I helped, most of this chore fell on hubby. I think he's starting to warm up to this whole sheep farming business. He's even got his own little lamb who follows him around and he picks up to snuggle while working in the fields. He's named him Holstein and decided he would be our new bellwether. These along with other chores like moving the flock to pasture, moving fences, giving vaccinations. & worming were all jobs needing to be done before the hot summer weather arrives. Always something.
Today we cut the end of our ram, Thatcher's, horn. Unfortunately sometimes the horns of rams will grow in a way that can be dangerous to themselves more than those around them. His left horn was growing so that it would eventually grow into the side of his face, which would be horrible. We had been keeping a close eye on it the past few weeks suspecting the worse was to come and this week we noticed it was against his head. So it was time to trim the tip and give the poor guy some much needed relief. I imagine he probably had a pretty bad headache as it was pressing against his head pretty tight. (Imagine wearing a pair of sunglasses that are a bit to snug in the arms.) He was super good for his procedure, which by the way, didn't hurt at all. A ram's horns are made of similar stuff like our fingernails. Like your nails, the end of the horn to a certain point has no nerve and can be trimmed. But also like your nails it gets to a spot that has nerves (or in the case of the nail, is attached to the finger) and can get sore if too much is taken off. Ever clip your fingernails too short or bite a little too much off? Lucky for him and us we just had to take the very end off, so no pain, just a slight annoyance.
It's a little sad that poor Thatcher's horns aren't awesome because he's such a sweet boy. His buddy, Caesar, isn't too bad either, but he likes to "play" and tends to get a little rough on occasion, but he sure is a sweet looking ram. The boys both still need to be shorn, it's been pretty cool here in Northeast Pa, but today the temps got a little warm so shearing the boys is on the list for this upcoming holiday weekend.
We've got lots of lambs for sale yet. Some have been spoken for, but we've got a few more really nice looking ram lambs who we are debating on keeping so we can use them to replace our boys when they finish their job here. But we are hoping to find some of them a good new home where they can go to grow up and make beautiful babies like themselves. I'd sure hate to have to put any of them in the freezer with their nice genetics.
Also today, with the help of some friends, I was able to get a few fleece skirted and picked over pretty well so they can either be spun into pretty yarn by me or so they can find new homes to go become someone else's new fun fiber project. Now it's time to go jump in the shower and wash the lanolin and sheep poo from my arms and call it a pretty productive day.