(Iona in the back of the pickup)
So in my last, somewhat controversial post I talked about the conundrum of raising dairy animals, in that in order to have milk, there must be pregnancies and babies…
…and here I find myself dreaming of lambs. Our two Shetland Sheep, Iona and Inga are spending a few weeks at the breeder we got them from, with their boyfriend, the handsome Austin and if all goes well, we should be welcoming lambs onto the homestead in late May, early June.
I wish I had taken some pictures of Austin and the girls together, but they got “acquainted” so fast, that we were all just taken with the events unfolding so to speak and of course it wouldn’t be prudent to take pictures of THAT. But gosh, Austin is a handsome guy who knows exactly what his job is…and the breeder remarked that Inga was a bit of a slut! LOL Good Sheepies who know just what to do. We have twin sisters getting knocked up by the same guy, in view of each other and there is no problem. The natural instinct is so strong!
So what are we going to do with the lambs? Well, we got Inga and Iona in the hopes of making some delicious Italian style cheeses with their milk (and of course for wool). Namely, Pecorino Fresco (which means Fresh “small sheep-ish” – at least that is the nuance that my Italian husband explains it to mean). However, as much as we have worked to socialize them (See Taming of The Sheep) and they do come running for treats, let us briefly pet them and have come to not fear the Shepherd’s Hook, there is no way we will be able to get close enough to them, in a way that would not be a terrible experience for all involved, to milk them for cheese.
Our hope is that by bottle raising and working with any female lambs they might bear from birth, we will be able to imprint a little on them, and have luck milking them for cheese down the line.