Monday, October 17, 2011

Always a Daughter, Also a Friend

People seem to think that livestock animals are without feelings to one and other.  By observing my own flock I clearly see this is untrue, not only do farm animals often form friendships with their own kind, they do tend to remember their offspring.  This contradicts what people are sometimes told, as I was often told as a child that farm animals do not remember their offspring after it is weaned, and particularly after they give birth the following year.

I do notice that even years later the sheep that were related tend to hang around each other more than with their non-relatives.  Mother's and daughters seem more close than sibling pairs. 

Dark Brown Barbado is a sheep we bought at auction, one we have had for a few years.  Early in 2009 she had twin lambs, Girlie being one of them.  Girlie is part wool sheep, she gets a woolly coat that sheds erratically and looks funny unless cut off. 

When the lambs were young I had told my daughter she could pick one to keep.  Her most favorite lambs happened to be rams, so she had to make another choice, and selected Dark Brown Barbado's lamb which she since named Girlie.  To make Girlie friendlier my daughter took her into a stall and gave her lambs starter pellet treats from her hand every day.   It was not long before Girlie learned to go to my daughter for regular treats. 

Girlie has had 2 sets of lambs herself, and has always remained friends with her mother.  This fall I took the picture of the two ewes standing in the pasture and thought they were posed quite nice, so wanted to share the photo here.

Girlie is in the back, with her mom, Dark Brown Barbado in the front. They are both starting to get their warmer winter coats.

No comments:

Post a Comment