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Important sheep update

Sorry for the crappy cellphone pic, but you’re looking at something extremely rare. One of our neighbors woke up to a newborn lamb in September. I asked him how often that happens. “It never happens,” he said.

That’s not, obviously, because sheep are biologically incapable of reproducing at other times of year. It’s because farmers carefully control when rams have access to ewes, so the lambs all come at the same time. In fact, the gentlemen are out doing their duty at this moment.

Rule of thumb, in case you ever need to know: one ram for 50 ewes. Any more than that and the rams fight. Any fewer than that and some ladies get left out. How the rams keep track is anyone’s guess.

Sheep are moved by truck from field to field over the year, everybody in together. So there’s your answer – one of the ewes that didn’t ‘take’ in the Fall got a second chance in the Spring, bumping along in the back of a transport lorry.

I hope they keep this little girl.

Oh, also, we’ve had our first Satanic ritual sheep killing. At least, that’s what the police think. At least, I guess it’s the first.

One of our other neighbors found a ewe in the field, decapitated. Head missing — cleanly removed with one stroke — body (you know, the part that’s worth money) still there. No blood.

Of course, that’s the neighbor with badger troubles.



Comment from Scubafreak
Time: November 23, 2011, 11:43 pm

Hmm, maybe UB should just do his best Zombie “BRAINS!!” imitation if they come around demanding info….

Comment from JeffS
Time: November 24, 2011, 12:59 am

Ummmm……Stoatie, are you saying that when it comes to sheep, badgers always get a head?

Comment from Oh Hell
Time: November 24, 2011, 1:10 am

Sheep are like goats – they are decreasing daylight breeders. Occasionally you get one that cycles late into the season. She probably got bred and aborted later, then came back into heat. I had a Nubian X doe that kidded in April and because I was to lazy to take the buck out until July, she kidded again in November.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 24, 2011, 1:11 am


Other way around, I think. That particular farmer told me a fox always eats starting at the head and a badger always eats starting from the haunches, so he can tell what’s got at his lambs.

I don’t know if it’s true. Farmers say the most astonishing bullshit.

Comment from Frit
Time: November 24, 2011, 2:08 am

Totally off topic, but I thought I’d share some (to me) sad news with you all.

Anne McCaffrey, a relatively famous SF/Fantasy author, passed away this week.


RIP Anne, and thank you for all the wonderful adventures you took me on!

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 24, 2011, 2:31 am

There are usually three ovulation cycles in the humble Ovine … and we alter them to induce pregnancy at various stages, as we use the lambs in utero and post birth for all sorts of applications.
Whilst it is rare to see, it is not that odd.

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 24, 2011, 2:33 am

And then we have our humanised trans human sheep, the genetically altered sheep, the ‘goy’ sheep – and the specially modified trans-lactation critters.

Next year we have the special ‘alien-hybrid’ sheep from the crash flying saucer samples in 1976 in Fiordland.

Comment from Oceania
Time: November 24, 2011, 2:42 am

Satanists? lol! You have to be kidding! If we had those here we’d just shoot them.

Head? Hmmm probably your local prion researcher looking for a sample. Most likely done with a sharp histoknife or brain knife … you can slip the brain knives through the cervical vertebrae cleanly in one stroke.

20,000 units of heparan pre slice prevents clots and then formalin infusion via cannulation post decapitation.

Comment from Argentium G. Tiger
Time: November 24, 2011, 5:58 am

Happy Thanksgiving Stoaty & Uncle Badger!

I saw this in my daily online comic read, and thought I should share it with you both: Why the British might care about U.S. Thanksgiving

Frit: Sad news indeed about Anne McCaffrey, I read a few of her books when I was a kid. I’ll keep her family in my thoughts. (Also: Happy Thanksgiving to you and Mr. Dragon too!)

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: November 24, 2011, 6:29 am

Stoaty Weasel, and Cousin Badger are among the things I give thanks for, and all who gather here.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 24, 2011, 11:52 am

Today’s task: figuring out how to make homemade brown ‘n’ serve rolls. They don’t really have soft dinner rolls here.

Comment from The little fat guy in the dough
Time: November 24, 2011, 4:56 pm

Happy Thanksgiving and good luck with the rolls!


I love making bread… it’s a great way to kill 4 hours or so, while doing nothing. Better than flying a kite!

Anyhow Happy Turkey Day to all the other Minions, and may Uncle Badger’s Worm Pudding come out well!

Comment from Frit
Time: November 25, 2011, 7:35 am

Happy Thanksgiving to all! May your food be delicious, your company enjoyable, and the clean-up handled by those who didn’t cook!

Argentium G. Tiger: I have all of Anne’s books, Mr. Dragon and I are both fans. I was lucky enough to have met Mrs. McCaffrey once a few years back at a convention – very nice lady with a wicked sense of humor. Her son Tom is pretty cool too. (Also: I hope you and Mrs. Tiger enjoy a wonderful day of giving thanks. Mr. Dragon and I appreciate your good wishes, and offer our own in turn.)

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: November 25, 2011, 7:03 pm


Her passing was a sad thing for me as well. I read and re-read her books many,many times throughout the years. I was so enamored of Pern that I refused to read her other books, until I found Get off the Unicorn, and decided that it wouldn’t be heresy to check out the rest of her stuff (I can be unreasonable to the point of Aspberger’s over odd things). Just a few years ago I picked up Sassinak and LOVED it, and keep hoping to find the rest of that series. Anyways, McCaffrey’s books have and will always be a cherished part of my life.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: November 27, 2011, 11:52 pm

“Rule of thumb, in case you ever need to know: one ram for 50 ewes. Any more than that and the rams fight. Any fewer than that and some ladies get left out.”

This is backwards. It’s opposite of what you wrote.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 28, 2011, 12:37 am

What, fifty rams on a ewe? Ay-yi-yi!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 28, 2011, 12:43 am

Oh, wait…I meant, any more rams and they fight.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 28, 2011, 12:45 am

That farmer told me he had a flock of 200 ewes in one field, and two rams were fighting over one of them.

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: November 28, 2011, 6:09 pm

That farmer told me he had a flock of 200 ewes in one field, and two rams were fighting over one of them.

That must have been the Embraceable Ewe, then! I see where I went wrong though. 50 rams per ewe makes quite a mess, I would guess, but I digress, pay me more not less… Sorry, I couldn’t help myself! It must have been internet anonymity what caused it!

Comment from gavin
Time: December 1, 2011, 1:34 am

dorset are known to breed twice a year.in fact celebrated for that.talk to the people who actuacly know what live and deadstock do.the hippies have no clue.

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