We acquired our two Jacob ewe lambs in early spring. They are our first Jacob sheep and were actually our first lambs on the farm. They initially went in with the goats but they got butted and shoved around a lot, so we eventually transferred them in with the sheep. They still got butted and shoved around a lot, so they ended up in a smaller size pen with our small angora goat who is relatively timid, and our Nubian with her baby who was born in late May. In there, they held their own and have done well, although they seem to have grown very slowly. I think it's possible they were separated from their moms too early, but we didn't know much back then and the seller seemed to think it was fine. We were taken in by their sweet little faces.
So, yesterday we decided to put them back in with the rest of the sheep. They had gained some size and were doing well, so we thought it was time. When I picked up Penguin, I realized she had some clumpy bits of fleece around her head so I went to brush them away, and I realized her fleece was ready to roo. (For my non-sheepy readers, rooing a sheep is essentially shearing it by pulling out the fleece by hand rather than cutting it - only some breeds of sheep naturally lose their fleece like this). So, I rooed her, and she looked much smaller. Her friend Pennyroyal has also begun to roo, but not as much, so I did not get as much fleece out of her.
Here's the aftermath. Looks like a little fleece explosion, doesn't it?
So I have a few questions now:
1) Is it normal for Jacob lambs to roo at about 6 months of age?
2) If the answer to 1 is "no," then can anyone suggest why this might be happening and what I should do about it?
3) Is it normal for Jacob lambs to weigh only about 35-40 lbs at 6 months of age?
4) If the answer to 2 is "no" then what should we do?
5) Will they now grow in a winter fleece and will it roo in the spring or will we need to shear them?
When I was trying to roo Pennyroyal, I noticed that her second horn buds have developed into these little curls. They are relatively loose, which I think makes they qualify as scurs. Am I right about that? If yes, should we try to remove them or will they fall off by themselves. The only reason I'm concerned is because of the curl diameter - I don't want them to grow into her head.
I gave them a belly rub post rooing, just for good luck.
Of course, I never kiss my sheep on the lips. What do you think I am - crazy?
You can see that Pennyroyal is much fleecier than Penguin now. I think her fleece will come out too though, because it has started to do so. Their little black bottoms are soooo cute!
They seem to be OK with the other sheep although they are still getting pushed around a bit. I will give it a week or so and see if they adapt. I just worry because they seem so small. Here, for example, is Penguin (born in February) next to Cream Puff (Poppy's ewe lamb born in May).
Not that Poppy is that big herself, so Cream Puff is doing fabulously well. They both look grand to me!
Sven says "I'm still the most beautiful sheep on the farm." Of course you are Sven!