Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

He went and named one John John

We never name the rams lambs, or at least not since the first lambing season 7 years ago when I kept every ram lamb and named each one thinking I could sell them all quickly for registered breeding stock. Not.

Part of raising livestock is dealing with the males. I've been over this a million times, so it is not that I have not thought of creative ways to deal with it. Rams are either sold for breeding, or eaten. It's a fact of farming.

However, this year, I am doing something I have never done. It all happened when Lilly gave birth to triplets. This triplet birth was a few days after Daisy had given birth to her triplets, but two were lost within days. So when Lilly had triplets, my heart flipped, but also sank. Especially when I saw the size of the little male runt that came out last. He was maybe 3#. He still is 1/3 of the size he should be. I did all the things I try to do with the male lambs- put up a bit of a barrier so as not to get too attached. And that means no names, no cuddling, no midnight bedtime stories.

But then Martyn came into the house one night weeks ago and said, "That little runt is so cute, he runs around like John John did in the Oval Office."

Great. He called him the same name as one of the century's most beloved first sons of one the most beloved Presidents.

I had spent the month very sick, and had hospiced two newborn lambs until they died. We'd lost Gertie and Georgie in the winter, and then the sudden death of a young ewe, Emily Wigley. The idea of butchering John John was unthinkable.

John John will be whethered and remain as a buddy for...I don't who, but he's staying.


Kathy said...

He is adorable. I don't know how you do it. I would get attached too and be broken hearted. I guess it takes a lot of distancing yourself from them. They're so cute.

Anonymous said...

He is especially cute, I'm glad he's staying around.

C.M. Mayo said...

Viva John John!

C.M. Mayo said...

Viva John John!

Christine said...

And sometimes you just have to keep the little guys. Looking forward to hearing of John John's adventures!

GrayFlannel said...

He's so handsome, just like his namesake. I'm happy to hear you will be keeping him. And I'm sure he'll find a buddy or two in the barnyard. After all, look how he's already befriended you and Martyn :)

Blackfeatherfarm said...

All I can say is - YEAH !!!!!!!

Lisa of Lisa's Little House said...

John John makes me happy...I have a cat named John!

Susan Moorhead said...

that is the sweetest face.

Claire MW said...

He is indeed a very special lamb, to be given the gift of a name. As a wether, perhaps he will give the gift of companionship to your rams.

Claire MW said...

He is indeed a very special lamb, to be given the gift of a name. As a wether, perhaps he will give the gift of companionship to your rams.

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Thank you for reading! The farm and my art/writing keep me hopping, so might not respond immediately. Thank you for understanding. ~Katherine & Apifera ~