Monday, February 4, 2013

Baby Names

Is it hard to name all your lambs?

The question took me by surprise and made me chuckle.  It also provided me with a quick trip down memory lane.

The first lambs ever born here on the Hill were triplets that we named “Shish”-“Kay”- and “Bob”.  It seemed important to keep our young daughters mindful of the fact that despite the fact that these little white Dorset lambs were CUTE…they were indeed destined for the table.

Over the years we’ve had lambs with cute human names, like Molly, Susie and Pete.  We’ve had the no nonsense names like Stu and Runt and Dinky.  Then, there was a series of show lambs named after country singers…Garth, Trisha and Shania. 

Then there was Kenny. Who could ever forget Kenny?

We had Starvin’ Marvin and Lambchop.  We had a whole series of lambs with weird and random names…Wedge, Butterbean, Jumbo, Dreadnaught and Windy.  I’ve forgotten most of the others.

Bottle babies (pet lambs) always get names.  Read this!  …and you HAVE to read about Jimmy Dean.

But, I usually find myself referring to them all as “Goober”, “Sweetie”, “Lil Bit”, and “yo there, Bud”...or something like that.

So, I was in a quandary as to names for my current charges.  It was a given that a ram lamb would become Bob Evans. (you know, sausage?) That tagline of “Discover Farm-Fresh Goodness” was just too good to resist. But, sister sheep…what to call her?  One of our customer-friends suggested “Baa-bette”.  That’s it!  “Baab” and his sister “Baa-bette”! Weird and random AND in keeping with the focus on food. Yay, customer-friend-Jeannie! J

But, back to the question…

Generally, we don’t name the lambs anymore.  There are far too many and it’s too hard to keep track of families based on looks alone. As the shepherdess, each animal’s little idiosyncrasies are somewhat noticeable to me, but the Boss insists he can’t tell the difference…they all look like SHEEP to him. So, we eartag all the lambs.  Ram lambs get tagged in their right ear and ewe lambs in their left.  This gives us a quick way to tell the lambs apart.  Each lamb has a specific number and that makes it easy to reference families.

I have a software program to let me keep track of all this stuff, but it’s not particularly user-friendly, so I find myself referring to my tried and true method of recording everything in my daybook.   I guess I will never truly embrace the 21st century. There is something comforting about my pencil and paper in our high-tech world.

While numbers 172 through 201 will never make it into any book of baby names, those numbers will serve us well during the season as we track weight gains, need for special attention and that final date of harvest. 

However, any lambs we keep back for breeders will get names.

      and, yes, I’m already thinking….

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