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Meet Ripley

Bottle lambs come and go, very often will stay tame throughout their life, coming up to say hello. Sometimes they become real characters. I have a feeling that Ripley will be one of them. She instantly took over the cat bed, much to Sooty's disgust. She will be inside until she is feeding properly on the bottle. Even in this she is quirky, preferring to seek the bottle teat amongst the farm dungarees hanging up or under your arm.

Over the years we have had many bottle lambs, a few stick out as favourites. Dougal the ram was a very gentlemanly creature, always liking a head rub. Usually male bottle lambs are a nightmare when they grow up and can become aggressive, head butting and chasing you in the field. Mystery was another favourite, she appeared in the middle of a field one day, with no other sheep around. I think a tourist must have picked her up on the moor. She could get out of anywhere and used a kind of leverage to get over gates and walls. She was a terrible nuisance and caused much aggravation with the neighbour's garden.

Lambert was also badly behaved, she grew up with the sheepdogs and never accepted their authority. No kidding, she used to chase sticks with them in the field. She calmed down a bit when she had her own lambs, but always at some point taught them her escape routes.

Here she is with her first lambs in 2003. She always had twins and was a great mum. She died this last winter so would have been 15 years old, a good age for a sheep.

My all time favourite was Rosie, who was born about 1996. All her life she refused to join in with the other sheep, very quietly went her own way. I remember having to rescue her from one of the bogs on the moor when we first put her out. She had a great attachment to Brennan and Elinor, as they were all running around together from a young age. The following photograph was taken in 2008, she too lived a long life.

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