We’ve been wanting to add a few sheep to our menagerie for the past couple of years. Not a full flock, just spring lambs to raise over the summer for a winter full of roasts and stews. Every year, something seems to stop us: anxiety about the girls getting too attached to the lambs, waiting too long after lambing season and finding all the sheep spoken for, a lack of barn space after last year’s bumper of goat kids.
But this year we did it! On Sunday we picked up two Katahdin lambs from shepherd Allen Smith at The Androscoggin Apple Co., a gorgeous apple orchard and sheep farm near Lewiston. We’ve named them Lamb Chop (Bea calls him Choppy) and Gigot (the French term for leg of lamb). With the exception of a brief escape by Gigot while we were loading him into the back of the Subaru (see photo below), they seem to be settling into their new home.
Their personalities are so different from the goats–they seem awfully skittish and shy in comparison–that we’ve been spending a lot of time in the barn trying to win them over. Three days in, they’re starting to come to us when we shake the grain pan, and they’re chowing down on the big roll of good hay we set aside for them. Eventually, they’ll head down to our orchard for the summer, but for now they’re getting used to the sights, sounds and smells of the barn. Charlotte and Bea like to hang out near their pen, but our fears about attachment seem to be unfounded. The other day, when asked if she was meeting the sheep, Cha Cha said, “Shhh, if they hear you say “meat” they’ll get nervous!” And then she licked her lips.