Our Aging Flock

is dwindling.  We have lost two animals (Amanda and Patches) in the last 24 hours which has not happened to us before.

Amanda had been eating less over the last week so I knew she was declining.  I was at work yesterday.  But Tom said she seemed OK in the morning, but she was dead in the field by the evening.

Amanda (AKA Madison) was born on April 2, 2007, so had just turned 15 years old.  She was a twin out of my very first sheep, Sadie, and our second ram Jocko, both Shetland.  I named her after my ex-boyfriend and still-friend’s sister who had a transplant on the day she was born.

No along after she was born, I signed her up to show in the Skagit County Fair.  So then we had to train her to lead.

Tom showed her at the fair, and she won first place in Shetland ewe lambs there.

We wound up showing her at the Puyallup Fair where she won Grand Champion Shetland Ewe.  Our friend Jackie ended up buying her, and she moved near Chelan in 2007. She was renamed Madison then.  In 2008 she came for a visit to breed with our ram Lewis.

She lived through several fire seasons near Chelan, but in September of 2012 she moved back here to get her out of danger.  We brought her back with crabapples from Orondo.

She had the prettiest wool.  Here is some of it and then her shorn, both from 2015.  Her fleeces sold well.

Here she is being shorn 4 years ago.

In 2019 I made a felted fleece rug from her wool.  I sold it to Sheila then.  Now I wish I had kept it.

Shearing in 2019,

and then her after shearing in 2020.

Her pretty wool color and crimp.

She never had lambs for us so we do not have any ancestors from her.  So it is a sad loss in several ways, but I think she had a good sheep life.

Patches Pal was born April 30, 2005 so was almost 17 years old.  She was born as a triplet to our Nigerian Dwarf goats Paloma and Cody.  I named her after what I am since I was a kid myself watching the J.P. Patches Show.  I had originally sold her, but the buyer backed out so we ended up keeping her.  Here she is on her birthday and her first 18 months.

We then bred her to Mr. Mahogany, and in February 2007 she had triplets (Boris, Gertrude and Sturdley).  Gertie ended up starved and chilled so became a bottle baby.

Unfortunately in June our buck Cody escaped so she was rebred too quickly, and that October gave birth to Esmerelda and ggoorrsstt.  Here she is very pregnant just before that.

This is her with Magpie, trying to steal hay in October 2008.  The next month she was bred to Mr. again, and in April had quads (J.P., Tikey, Paddy and Alla).

In October 2009, Cody broke out again, and the following March she had quads again (frple, Ooga Chugga, Swami of Pastrami, and Miss Smith).

Here she is with Miss Smith that September.

She was bred to our buck Bumble Bea in 2011, and in November she had Pisqually and Petunia (the only ones I did not name after J.P. Patches characters).

In 2012 she was bred to Dean, and in April 2013 had triplets (Zenobia, Ketchikan and Henny Penny).

Then we stopped breeding goats, and she went into retirement.

She was an amazing escape artist.  She could get through the smallest fence breach so we regularly found her in other pastures.  She stayed remarkably healthy except she had a hormone problem that she was in heat all of the time.  We tried medication, but it didn’t work.  So she was harassing the other goats constantly because of that.  But yesterday Tom noticed some diarrhea, and this morning she was dead.  She was a character and a beautiful animal and will be forever missed.

It is funny that we made it through the whole, long, brutal winter without casualties, but now in the spring are having losses.  Although the weather now is quite wintery (Tom was hailed on yesterday) so it may have just been too much.  About half of our sheep and goats are in nursing home status on the farm so more deaths are likely coming.  It never gets easy though.

This entry was posted in Farm. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Our Aging Flock

  1. Michelle says:

    You lost two beautiful animals. Yours live longer lives than mine, so you’re obviously doing things right by them. But yes, it’s always hard.

  2. Jeanne says:

    I’m very sorry about your loss. Amanda and Patches were booth beautiful, and obviously had good lives in your care. It’s so difficult, when we lose our beloved animals. Thanks for sharing about them.

  3. Denise says:

    sorry for your loss, Donna. Rest peace Amanda and Patches Pal. Love the photos of them both through the years.

Leave a Reply