This weekend I collected all of sheep together in a pen, then separated the lambs. I had already determined the two ewe lambs to keep for halter training. These are the two I think are the best representations of the breed. In reality, it is extremely difficult to predict their eventual outcome. And I am very inexperienced, but gave it a go. When I trimmed their feet a couple of weeks ago I got a close up look and eliminated a few due to stripey feet, dark horns, poor colouring, etc.
We had a good look at the six ram lambs, chose two to keep as rams. So now it was time to call the vet…castration required for the remaining four.
The vet arrived Monday. Four rams patiently awaited their fate. One by one they were turned on their back ends, held firmly and given a shot of painkiller…right in their sac. We expected some fight in them but they took it well. And once numbed up a big pincher was placed over the top end to cut off the blood flow. This all takes quite a bit of time but they never flinched. My fabulous boys! Now they have a solid 12 to 18 months of eating and playing and growing before they are sent off to the abattoir and become the most delicious hogget meat you may ever eat. Hogget is a sheep over 1 year, so no longer 'lamb'. Mutton is over two years. Portlands are too small to kill as lamb.
Halter training started today of my two ram lambs, Caraway and Chicory, and two ewe lambs, Cardamon and Chipolte. The challenge begins.
Jo Stover has daily adventures on her small farm, together with her Highland cattle and Portland sheep, bees, a few hens, dogs, and some two-legged family and friends.