“What really matters?”
I bought this momma who we call “Soula” at a show over 2 years ago. Not only did she not place in the top 5, during the auction no one bid on her during the sale. The judges hated her, she was knock knee’d, short in length, and too wooly. I bought two sheep that day. The champion of the show and “Soula”. All the “respect” I earned when buying the champion fizzled as I won the bid on “Soula”. A man in his 60’s with thick glasses nodded to me and said, “Yup… I see yer’ buying a wide range of sheep today son”. At shows total strangers will gladly tell you what they think. I shrunk in the bleacher seating feeling the pang of my possible mistake.
To date “Soula” has had 3 lambs. All have been strong, up on their feet with in minutes and grown faster than the rest. “Soula” has become the leader of the flock and dictates the tempo calmly leading them to new grass. She’s been the most resistant to parasites and never been sick. Since we don’t feed our animals antibiotics or use conventional worming meds like Ivermectin, health and resilience is our primary focus. And good mothering skills allow us to actually get some sleep at night. On top of that she’s the first to greet us when we enter the pasture. The kids love her!
Incidentally the beautiful & perfect champion who I also bought that day, who we call “Weezie” because of her chronic cough that developed during transportation, was sick for almost 7 months when she arrived here on Apricot Lane. Sure after green grass, and an exhausting mineral and supplement regimen she’s in tip top shape. But it doesn’t compare to Soula’s ATTITUDE, SPIRIT & HEALTH. The very qualities make farming with animals magical and life enjoyable…for all living creatures, including humans.