Just in case anyone was wondering, the sheep were his idea.
I wanted horses, chickens and a couple of cats. That was it. We bought a modest sized piece of property and built a barn and fenced it for my lifelong passion. Well, I should say the hubs masterminded and did most of the work building it and I helped some. I was pretty happy with the status quo and my two horses.
And then it happened. The hubs began to take notice of a neighboring sheep farm. “Let’s get some sheep,” he suggested one day. “Why do you want sheep?” I asked incredulously. I had no desire to get sheep and was suspicious of the upkeep of additional animals. “’Cause I can eat them!” He replied. Of course. “Why do you always want to eat everything?!” I groaned. (This man. I’m telling you. I see a cute animal, and he sees a nice juicy cut of meat!) “They eat the weeds in the field that the horses won’t eat, and then I can eat them!” came his reply. “Well if the ram smells anything like a billy goat, then you can forget it!” I retorted.
My family had a small herd of dairy goats while I was growing up. I loved them dearly. Goat milk is absolutely wonderful. There is nothing like baby goats skittering sideways across the lawn and jumping wildly over and onto the top of whatever stumps or logs or hills or anything else or anybody they can think of. You can’t have babies without a daddy though; and although the male goat my mother had was exceptionally gentle and well-mannered, he was rather very odiferous. Actually in truth, he stunk to high heaven. I didn’t really want that. Finally though I did agree to take a look. We took the phone number from the sign and I called to inquire about visiting.
The lady at the sheep farm was very kind and helpful to us, answering several questions for us that we didn’t even know we had. I only cared about one thing though. I wanted to know the truth. “Do your rams stink?” I asked. She gave me a very peculiar look and hesitated before slowly and thoughtfully answering, “I don’t think so.” I guess she could see from my expression that I wasn’t really content to simply take her word for it. She furrowed up her brow at me and politely asked, “Would you like to smell them?” “Yes please,” I replied emphatically. She motioned for us to follow her to the farm golf cart and we got in for the little ride to a beautiful and verdant field that was noticeably very clean and completely weedless and contained probably 40 rams all peacefully grazing. The breeze was gently blowing over the field and the rams and right towards us. I got out of the cart and stepped up to the fence and drew in several deep breaths. I’m sure she probably thought I was a little bit on the nutty side. It was early fall. “Is this your breeding season?” I asked. “Yes,” she replied. I knew that if they were going to be stinky, right now they would be at their stinkiest. But surprise! All I smelled was grass! I looked over at the hubs and allowed, “Okay, you can get one.”
We placed our order for two ewes and a ram for the following spring. That was almost four years ago now. Our flock has grown and so has my love for these amazing creatures. My ewes have become friends to me. I can’t imagine not having them. They really do eat the weeds too! I’ve cut my mowing time by two thirds at least; and I haven’t had to use a single application of broadleaf herbicide since either! Rotating the fields with the horses has worked out well. They always leave a field looking pretty, happily munching what the horses have left behind and wouldn’t consider to be food.
Lambing season is something I look forward to every year like it’s Christmas and Easter all at once. I can’t wait to see what colors the babies will be. I can’t wait to snuggle them and hear their cute little bleatings and watch them stand all wobbly for the first time. I love watching how their proud and happy mommas take such good care of them.
So yes the sheep were his idea. I think they were the best idea ever though, even if I was a little skeptical to begin with.