Our Deadly Winter Continues

Today Sheila died.

She was born at Mountain Niche Farm on April 18 1999.  She produced lambs there for Kim Kerley in 2001, 2002 and 2003 (Koala, Jasmine, Honeysuckle and Periwinkle).  We then purchased her September 28 2003, and she moved her.  We got her because of her spotted (flecket) genetics to breed to our Lewis, but it turns out she had a color modifier and produced shaela and mioget lambs too which was manifest when she was bred to Jocko.  She was a somewhat wild and strong-willed sheep  but very lovable in her own way.


Sheila in 2005

In 2004 she lambed with Shane.  In 2005 she lambed with Sasquatch and Sangria.  All of these lambs were from Jocko.


Sasquatch in 2005

sangria 2005

Sangria in 2005

In 2007, after being bred to Jocko, she produced Shauna.  This beautiful lamb unfortunately died in the very neglectful situation I unintentionally sold her into.  It is so sad that such a beautiful sheep had such a short and painful life that I will never live it down.  She is in my blog’s header photo as a tribute.


Shauna with Sheila in 2007

Sheila's face in 2009

Sheila’s face in 2009

Then in 2009 she produced (with the help of Jocko) Shirley and Shaun.  Shaun ultimately grew into a gorgeous ram with both spots and a modified (and indescribable) color.

Sheila with her 2009 lambs

Sheila with her 2009 lambs

shirley 2009

Shirley in 2009

Shaun in 2011

In 2010 after being unintentionally bred by Shaun she produced Timmy.

Timmy in 2010

Timmy in 2010

This was her last lambing as she was getting old.  

Sheila in 2010

Sheila in 2010

I stopped shearing her in 2012 and in 2014 she became blind.

old sheila 2014

Sheila in 2014

She continued to be quite thin but still got around OK and ate well. She was a companion with Sadie until she died.  I had been trying to spoil her with bread, livestock feed and moistened alfalfa cubes.  Last night apparently she fell and could not get up.  This morning I got her to stand but she showed no interest in eating or drinking and laid down again.  It was obvious that it was her time so we put her down.  Sometimes it is really, really hard to be a tough but compassionate shepherd.  This is one of those times.

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17 Responses to Our Deadly Winter Continues

  1. Darn. It’s hard to put an animal down, but you know in your heart That it is the kindest thing to do for them.

  2. Teresa says:

    I am so sorry. I know what it’s like when they retire and get old. It’s never easy to say good-bye.

  3. Sarah says:

    That is very sad, though she was very old. What breed of sheep was she?

  4. Tina T-P says:

    Oh dear, so sad for you – I’m with Donkey Driver – I vote that you did the compassionate thing. She had such a long and full life and produced so many lovely lambs for you.
    I hope her loss doesn’t dampen your Christmas – we are going to have that lovely pork roast that we got from you. I’m looking forward to it – the pork chops were certainly delicious. XOX to you both. T.

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Tina! I am so glad you agree with our decision. It is always hard. I am happy to hear you are enjoying the pork. I will let you know when the rest is ready- it was delayed by flooding there. Merry Christmas!


  5. Denise says:

    so sorry. it’s been a tough stretch, hasn’t it? I’m sure you did the right thing. So hard to have to make those decisions. rest in peace, Sheila.

  6. Michelle says:

    Never easy, no matter how indicated….

  7. eliz martin says:

    Shane is still doing well…Its hard when those in our care live a shorter life than we…Just know that she is now in peace…Best Wishes, eliz

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Eliz. It has been rough. I could not find any pictures of Shane. Probably lost in a computer problem I had. Do you gave any photos of him you could send to me?


  8. Lois Moore says:

    Oh Donna, I do empathize….and my heart goes out to you. They do try to tell us when they are ready to leave their bodies, but it is never easy. Even so, it is a blessing that we shepherds are able to ease their passing. RIP Sheila.

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