I’ve had sheep a couple of years now. We got Buttercup and Gypsy when they were just 8 weeks old. We brought them home and just stared at them… for days!
They are registered Babydoll Southdowns, which means they are a miniature breed. They are known as the smiling sheep because of their constant grinning faces. I wanted to breed them, but waited the extra year so they would have plenty of time to grow.
Last year we got Mable.
She is 1/2 Babydoll Southdown and 1/2 Hampshire.
We decided this would be the year to breed them. Gestation for a sheep is 152 days and for most breeders, fall is the ideal time for breeding. I’m undecided as to whether I want a Ram on the homestead, so for this year, we pimped out our girls. I have a friend who has a lot more sheep than I do. She was gracious enough to house our girls about 6 weeks this fall so their ram could “get to know” our girls. He is a Corriedale.
We will officially be on “lamb watch” starting April 1st.
Sheep, and or shepherd, is mentioned over 247 times in the Bible. Needless to say this is a subject close to God’s heart. When we read the 23 Psalms and quote that famous first verse, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”, it’s easy to understand the meaning behind David’s words. The Lord takes care of His people. But! Until you ARE a shepherd (or a shepherdess in my case) you can’t fully grasp the true meaning of these epic words.
Frist, a sheep completely depends on the shepherd. It doesn’t worry about where it’s next meal is coming from. Or if it will have fresh water to drink. It totally relies upon the kindness of the shepherd and the fact that he is faithful to supply the needs of the sheep. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need.” Luke 12:31
Second, sheep know the voice of the shepherd. I’ve grown up around cattle all my life and I’ve learned that cattle are herding animals. You drive them wherever you want them to go. But sheep are the complete opposite. If you get behind sheep and yell “Move on”, they will turn around and look at you like you’ve lost it. But if you get in front of them and start walking, they’ll follow you wherever you want them to go. “My sheep know my voice and another they will not follow.” John 10:27
Third, they need each other. More than likely, you will never see a happy sheep that is isolated and standing alone. They find comfort in the companionship of the other sheep in the flock. There is safety in numbers and they find peace in knowing they are not alone. “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25
I love how God speaks to us through everyday events and life lessons. If only we’d hear the Shepherds voice.. and then follow Him.