Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sheeple and Their People

"Sheeple" is how our good friends, Yvonne and Doug, refer to their resident flock. They have personalities, moods, rather expressive faces. And, when they vocalize, they are amazingly loud. Who knew? 
Not long after lambing, 2012

When I was a child, I'd dreamed of roaming green hillsides, frolicking with goats and lambs. But Los Angeles didn't offer any such landscape. It was the stuff of story-books.

So was winter. But here I am in my Muck Boots and thick jacket against the chill in the barn at their Spinners Eden Farm ( ), watching Doug shear some very pregnant ewes and Yvonne pick through the fleece. She's a spinner/weaver/knitter, and, at first, they'd planned to raise a "spinner's flock" with a few angora goats, alpacas, and sheep for Yvonne's own personal use.  She found that she especially loved spinning wool from CVM (California Variegated Mutant) /Romeldale sheep ( ), so that's the breed they raise.  

She writes, " Then friends started asking about buying fleece.  I didn't think I'd ever have that much.  We had our first lambs, Adonis, Bacchus, & Athena.  The next year, we cross bred the two rams with the ewes, bought two more champion blacks & a white at Black Sheep Gathering. . . so our flock grew from four sheep to seven, to ten, to . . . 38 right now."  

  The wool makes them look twice as big as they are, even the pregnant ones!


 Bliss, below, clearly would have preferred some other activity, but she remained pretty calm with the process.



To the left, poor Holly looks like she exploded!

Raising sheep was not their first profession.  I asked Doug, an Ob/Gyn, if he'd ever imagined himself doing this; he just laughed and shook his head, before answering "No." But he's as passionate about these lovely, funny creatures as he is about medicine.  Just ask him what he learns from living with them; but pull up a chair and plan to stay awhile.