Mary the Chicken.

Chicken Lambess

Well. I was summoned by Holly…She was standing at the back of the Buff Orpington house baaa baaaaaaaaing her head off. She does this, well, quite often. She does this whenever Mary is out of sight.

As you know, Mary was born on the 11th of September. So she’s a few hours past 2 weeks old. She has become, as her mother and Aunt Sally were…uh, are…a caution. To say the least. She runs ahead of her mama, or as soon as Holly puts her head down to eat, Mary grows lateral thrusters that carry her hundreds of yards from her mama, all the while remaining just out of sight. Poor Holly.

At any rate, Holly was baaaaaaaaa!ing and I went out to investigate. Nope. No Mary. She wasn’t hanging around the pasture fence flirting with Bing and Sam. (Her cousin and papa are completely enchanted by her royal adorableness.) She wasn’t hanging around Tom’s tablesaw. She wasn’t under the house, or climbing the canoe, or finding mischief in my laundry basket.

I had a feeling.

Went into the Buff’s chicken coop. And there she was. Silent. Neatly folded. Smiling a little. “What?” Yeah, that kind of face. Her mama was 3 feet away, right behind the coop, and was panicked and terrified, and the little toady wouldn’t even baa a single baa in reply.

We’re in for a wild ride with this goofball, yep.

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Oh, Ram!

Sammy

Well, all this lamb business started after Sammy arrivayed on the scene. He came here from Georgia last summer, 6 months old, and adorable. By September, he was feeling his oats, and the ladies thought he was pretty cute, too. Midwinter, we had 2 sets of twins arrive. There’s a scar on Sammy’s face, from a dog attack last winter. Just to the right of his mouth. You can barely see it now. And, by the way, his fleece is fairly spectacular.

Zee Nose

Now a year and 9 months, his nose is taking on the characteristic wrinkle and hump. But, he’s still our pretty boy.

Bing at the Lick

Bing is giving me the eye. He’s a shy boy. Curly Lumpkin’s twin. But, what a difference between them! Sammy’s pa has scurs. Sammy’s horns are definitely horns, but they’re not massive. Here’s Bing. At 7 months old, he’s as big as his daddy, and those horns. I would like to get a close up…maybe one of these days…his head is all bone at the top…he’ll be quite the headbanger.

Bing beside his Pop

Here’s Bing, showing his profile. Already, he’s developing the characteristic humped nose. We’re hoping his horns take a turn out soon…they’re so close to his face right now…they look like they’re ready to pierce his cheeks. So, he’ll be our “At Stud” guy. He has the luscious fleece of his Pop Sammy, and great size and conformation. He’s Perkins all the way on Sammy’s side, and Perkins/Holt on Sally’s. If you read here much, you know that our gals, Sally & Holly are also very large horned ewes. So, we expected her babies to have size. Bing, though, is so gorgeous, I want to invent a new category for him!

This little photo session was brought on by my morning with Mary, who, at 2 weeks, looks ready to go out into the world. What a Big Girl! I’ll get pictures later.

Day No. 8 at Mary’s House

Mary’s Guardians

Teddy, Checking my Credentials

Composed, Eight Days Old

Laughing at my Corny Joke

Well, I’ve given you a couple days off. That doesn’t mean I’ve not been falling madlier in love with this lambess, though. Anyway, thought I’d catch you up with a couple pictures taken this afternoon.

First off…here’s the typical scene…Holly & Mary hanging out doing mama – daughter things, and The Sentinels…Coco (front) and Teddy (back) ensuring peace in the barnyard. See, those dudes are her playbuddies…or playbutties, as the case may be. She practices butting those guys…and they take it! They act all offended and spin around…but they never threaten to peck her, or anything close to that. They are in loooooove with Mary.

Second picture shows what happens when an intruder invades The Space. This is Teddy…coming over to me, His Mom, and saying, “Step away from the baby, please.”

Third up…why, that would be Mary. Just plain Mary.

And the last picture shows her laughing. I mean. I had just put a fistful of peanut hay down for her mama, and I was making goo goo eyes and being silly and tickling her…so…she laughed. I swear. She said, “Haaaaaaaaaa!” No kidding!

Fifth Day

Here’s that Big Girl!

Oh man. This morning, I took my coffee, the fichu I’m knitting, and my camera down to my chair outside the corral. I opened the gate, and Holly brought Mary down in the shade for a morning browse. I started shooting pictures. All one of them. Yep, the card was full. Ah well. This afternoon, I’ll get more, addict that I am. Have to say…she looks quite fetching with her head poked through the fronds of the dog fennel.

Mary has gained quite a bit of weight by the looks of things. She certainly has gotten onto how to get the most milk for her money. Has the ol “udder head butt” down to a science.

Later on, then…

Day 4 in Life o Mary (or Mother’s Day all Over)

Taking a Break while Mama Browses

First Field Trip – Up to the Woodpile

Giselle and her Brood – Half In, Half Out

Giselle, aka She Who Loves a Footbath, and Half her Brood

Well, it’s quite the wonderful wild Mother’s Day kinda ride around here!

From the top…Little ol’ Mary really likes Dog Fennel. Her mama and auntie loved dog fennel when they were lambs too. It’s tender and resiny. What do I know? This is also one of her favorite spots to sit outside the corral, while Holly grazes – right near her old knitting Gramma…uhhh, me.

In the 2nd picture, Holly decided to take Mary for a walk yesterday afternoon, up to the woodpile. It’s close to the house. She’s not taking any risks…going out into the open where a hawk or a fox might take an interest. Cool that the hennys come along for the walk. They do sort of follow the sheep around…which is perfect…keeps the bugs down, if you know what I mean.

Picture #3 shows the ol’ chicken tractor…the blue end cut from an old dance floor. Half the chicks are in and half are out with Giselle. This was taken right before the marauding roosters ran over to try to have their way with Giselle. Smitty and I shooed them off.

And in the 4th shot…Giselle is back in character. She’s the henny who had a foot problem a couple months ago. I took her in the house and bathed her feet and put medicine between her toes. Before she went all broody on us, she would come in the dog door and walk right into the bathroom and get in the sink…demanding to have her feet tended. Well…looks like this henny knows that if your feet feel good, your head feels good. Notice that great big chick? That is the ONLY one out of 14 who has this kind of size. Wouldn’t it be something if that were the only roo in the bunch?!

Mary’s Third Day on Planet Earth

Stepping onto the Grass for the first Time

Don’t You Want Grass?

Mmm. This Pusley IS Pretty Good!

Browsing Lesson

Full Bellies

This morning, I took Holly an ear of Hickory King. When I got to the paddock, both Mama and Mary were up and ready for action. I’ve been cutting long grass for Holly for 2 days, keeping them confined for bonding, and for their protection.  I stood there with my scissors, considering.

Just so happened, Smitty was standing on the porch. I waved him a hi-5, and he lay down on the top step. I opened the gate and invited Holly out, to do some browsing on her own. She thought about it for a minute, then came out and aimed for a big sprawling Florida pusley. Mary didn’t consider coming out, rather stepped to the fence, put her head out, and called her Maaa. Holly walked over to her and talked to her, softly, for a minute, then walked back to the pusley. Mary came right out, and that was that. Holly browsing, Mary trying to eat that big old green stuff, and then walking over to the built in milk-mobile for a drink.

I set up a chair right outside the corral, where I could sip my tea, knit on a Hitchhiker, and keep an eye on my girls. They didn’t go far from me at all. After about an hour, they came right over to where I was sitting, and lay down beside me. A hawk flew over, screaming, and Holly stood up, right over Mary. Pretty cool. Peaceful, quiet morning. Chickens pecking and clucking, a light breeze in the pines. I couldn’t believe it when the mailman drove up to the mailbox. After noon. Wow. Time flies when you’re in love.