We have anywhere from 15 to 60 sheep at any given time—at the moment we have one Katahdin ram named Beauregard. He’s smelly but nice. The rest are ewes and two wethers that were bottle raised and too sweet to sell. Our sheep are a mix of Katahdin, Polypay, Dorset, Suffolk, and St. Croix, with some Romanov in there somewhere probably.
you get lots of recurring patterns in sheep—we used to get brown sheep with a black and white butterfly marking across their face. these were always skittish. one year we had at least ten lambs born with a brown spot on the back of their neck, and we get a lot of round spots around the eyes (one is a lovely ewe named Cocoa Puff). Beau throws a lot of Beau lookalikes—black with white speckles, and a white marking on their poll that usually resembles south america. we used to have a sheep with horrible tiny horns but we don’t know what line those came from??
sheep are ruminants, so they have a multi-chambered stomach and regurgitate partially digested food to chew again in their down time. They like to belch this up as they’re inspecting what you’re working on, preferably as close to your face as possible.
Sheep are food-motivated animals and engaging them with a rattling bucket in hand can lead to a stampede. I once had a sheep eat a half bag of bread, including the bag. Don’t want to know how that cud tasted.
Sheep come in many fun colors, textures, and patterns. Some are lop-eared, and some have sticky-uppy ears (that’s a technical term). Hair sheep don’t need to be shorn because, in theory, they shed out their hair every summer. In practice, they develop a hair-based suit of armor that comes off in huge carpet sheets on the fence and may startle you into thinking a small badger has gotten into the paddock.
for a good time, look up ‘fat-tailed sheep.’ i really want a Qaraqul, i think it’d do interesting things to our bloodlines.