Monday, September 15, 2008

Floods and lambs

The best part of Sunday was breakfast. I made biscuits, veggie sausage, and fried breakfast potatoes with sweet peppers.

Not much happened on Sunday. The rain continued, and the creek kept rising. We learned that the sheep's new shelter was prone to flooding, and Mike made a temporary shelter for them with a tarp nailed between trees on higher ground. Of course, all the usual pastures flooded. But since losing so many animals to coyotes during floods when the fence is dead, we moved everyone to pastures without electric fencing once we realized a flood was eminent. You see that thing sticking up in the middle of the water? That's one of the fence posts for the electric fence, and you can also see a lot of dead branches that were washed downstream and got tangled in the fence. It's a mess to clean up!

Even the pond behind our house went beyond its banks. This was definitely a bigger flood than we normally get. When we were looking for property, we wanted a place with either a pond or a creek. We thought we were so lucky to get both. We had no idea that when you have these beautiful features, you will also have floods. Nor did we realize that a creek provides a great home for families of coyotes and foxes.

In the midst of the storm, we were blessed with a new life. Minerva gave birth to a spotted ram. I know there is a proper Shetland name for his color and markings, but rather than scratching my head and looking at the Shetland website, I'll just ask my Shetland friends to offer a suggestion as to the proper terminology for him. I'm thinking that Minerva is shaela after reading Nancy's very informative post on that color.

Since the two yearling rams were different colors -- gray and brown -- I am wondering if I'll be able to figure out who Daddy is based upon the color. I think the little ewe might actually be a dark chocolate just like Charlie when he was born. I thought he was black for a few days before Margaret pointed out that he was not the same color as Rambrant who was definitely born black.

On second thought, maybe breakfast wasn't the best part of Sunday.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

If you get a black-based lamb from a brown-based ewe, the sire had to be the black-based ram. All other bets are off, unless you know for certain that the black ram ONLY carries black genes (BB/BB). But if he COULD carry a brown gene (BB/Bb), then you can get brown AND black lambs from him. The brown-based ram can only throw brown genes since he's Bb/Bb, but his lambs can be black if they inherit one BB gene from the dam.

As for the newest lamb (congratulations!), does he have "sugarlips" or any white hairs in his ears? If so, he's probably Ag grey. If not, then he may be a black flecket or he may turn shaela; no way to tell which one at this point. Gotta love Shetland color genetics. They aren't easy to cipher out!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

P.S. Check the color of the new lamb's tongue and gums and compare them to mom's. A black sheep has black tissue; lighter colored tissue indicates something else (a modifier or Ag gene) going on.

Pamela said...

I so envy you your new lambs! I am really trying to limit myself. Really I'm TRYING!

Anonymous said...

Definitely not our type of biscuits.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the mess. One site I visit gives you 5 minutes to edit the comment.

Deborah said...

No problem, Dogbait! Perhaps I should start calling them American biscuits.


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