Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sue Weaver: Beautiful Sheep

Last week I had the privilege of previewing the sheep pages from Storey’s upcoming treasure, The Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, and all I can say is wow! Carol Ekarius and Deb Robson have created the quintessential guide to working with fiber from most every creature under the sun (wolves?) and the ultimate wish book for shepherds. So many breeds! So many gorgeous sheep!

Angel, a Wiltshire Horn cross, is one of our first and our oldest sheep.

Sheep aren’t animated lumps of wool and mutton. That they’re friendly and smart is no surprise to those who raise them. Professor Jenny Morton from the Cambridge University Department of Pharmacology, who worked with her own Welsh Mountain sheep as part of research into Huntington’s disease, found that sheep can perform cognitive tasks that no other animal can manage apart from monkeys. Researchers at Babraham University previously discovered that sheep could recognize 50 individual sheep faces and remember them for up to 2 years. Sheep in Marsden on the Yorkshire Moors taught themselves to lie down and roll commando style across 8-foot grids similar to cattle grids, set up to keep them out of town. Smart sheep!

Lambs love to snooze in feed tubs. This one's Sam the Lamb.

And they’re lovely creatures, too. I’d like to share some photos of beautiful sheep, a few above, most below, including a gorgeous ram pictured in The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook.

Fosco meets his grandma Rebaa.

Jacy smiles at the camera.

Baby Grace is one of our newest additions.

Hope is expecting her first lambs at any time.

Baamadeus with mullein leaves

Twins Maxx and Hope in a photo I call Ebony and Ivory

Maxx became one of our breeding rams.

Miss Maple's Mona Lisa smile

Othello is a Scottish Blackface lamb.

Mopple is a Dorper-Katahdin.

Shebaa and baby Fosco enjoy a warm spring day.

Shebaa is our talkative sheep.

Sue Weaver sold her first freelance article in 1969. Since then her work has appeared in major horse periodicals, including The Western Horseman, Horse Illustrated, Chronicle of the Horse, Flying Changes, Horseman’s Market, Arabian Horse Times, The Appaloosa News, The Quarter Horse Journal, Horse’N Around, and The Brayer. She has written, among other books, Storey’s Guide to Raising Miniature Livestock, The Donkey Companion, and The Backyard Goat. Sue is based in the southern Ozark Mountains in Arkansas.

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