Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm a Happy Camper.....

Why??? You might ask...

Because my lambs are all healthy and happy and growing like weeds.

How many shepherds do you know with an eight legged, "Push Me - Pull You"?

I'm especially happy because the sun is shining, the temperature is comfortable and the grass is growing faster than my sheep or I can keep up with it.

My beloved, Shaela, HST ewe, "Bluff Country Zaria" made me VERY happy this morning...

It seems her handsome son: "Bluff Country Bling" (fawn & white, Hst) has HORNS! Not scurs. Horns. Firmly attached. Widely set. Nicely angled. Horns.

Yup ~ "Mr. Fuzzy Face ~ has so much wool on his cheeks and his poll that he looks like a Teddy bear" has real horns.

A few weeks ago, those horns were very loosely attached and didn't seem to be growing. I thought sure Bling was going to be scurred. But this morning, I tried to wiggle one of the rapidly growing wonders and found it to be quite firmly attached and warm. A sure sign of blood flow and a real horn. Needless to say (in case you hadn't noticed) I'm quite pleased... ;-)

Of course, I'll still have to watch Bling's horns ~ just as I do with any young ram. Things can change. That's why I always put a "horn guarantee" on all of my ram lambs, when I sell them. But Bling looks like he's going to be OK and That's a good thing, Martha!

BLING says...
It sure is easy to make our Shepherdess happy!

8 comments:

  1. So, blood flow makes the difference between scurs and horns? I may have learned something. Love your grass!!

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  2. I'm curious (and woefully ignorant). Why is it important for the rams to have horns? Is it cosmetic or functional?

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  3. Not all breeds of sheep have horned rams and even Shetland rams can be horned or polled (hornless). I particularly like nice, big, wide horns on my rams and breed for such. Typically, Shetland rams have beautiful spiral horns but there is a movement in the breed to breed for polled rams and they certainly do have their place...there are a lot of people out there who are afraid of a horned ram! I for one, like horns on my boys but have the utmost respect for those who breed for polled. If you'd like more information on polled Shetlands, check out Juliann's "Little Country" link in my side bar.....

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  4. Terry7:23 AM

    Hi Nancy,

    Russ definately wants a horned ram, so that is what we will have, but I can certainly see some advantages to barns and buildings if one chooses polled. I'm glad Bling's horns are fine, though.

    2 more busys weekends in June with family activities, but early July is looking good for a visit to you and the sheep!

    Terry

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  5. Hi Nancy,

    Thanks for being (as always) so supportive of my breeding, and the goals of other breeders. (And we are equally supportive of your HST goals, as well!) Your open mind and sweet personality reflects so favorably on you. There are people out there who coud learn a lot from you, my dear friend. :)

    Sharrie, the difference between scurs and horns expresses mostly in the horn size. The larger scurs can and do have a "horn core", and they certainly do bleed when broken although not as much as a full horn when it breaks.
    The largest type of scur is an aberrant horn, which grows so large it is indistinguishable from a regular horn. And some scurs are so tiny they break off regularly with no bleeding, and the ram appears polled.
    And there is everything in between. I am trying to breed my rams to be smooth polled so there will be no scurs at all.

    Terry, my husband also likes the horned rams and sometimes misses them. They are beautiful to look at, no arguement here! :)

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  6. Hi,

    We used to raise Shetlands.

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  7. You must be a busy little shepherdess! Don't you know i get through each of my classes by perusing your blog between them? By Monday, I fully expect a fresh batch of pictures and amusing farm-life anecdotes; my academic future rests in your hands ;) Much Love!

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  8. I don't know, Nancy! Even though Juliann didn't comment on Bling's horns, they look pretty small at the base, like those on my two lambs with longer scurs. When I was unsure if mine had horns or scurs, I sent a photo to Juli and she said the size at the base was the big give-away and pronounced mine to be scurred. (And yes, they are warm, like all long scurs would be.) I'd say the jury is still out!

    At BSG, we came to the conclusion that another breeder's ram has long, aberrant horns, because he produced two clearly scurred boys out of two different ewes this year. When I questioned them, they admitted that the sire's horns, while long and wide, were much smaller at the base than other rams they've had. They can fool you!

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