With the Year of the Sheep just around the corner on the Chinese calendar, it’s fitting that we’re celebrating the arrival of Pecorino. Pecorino is a Dorper-Damara cross ram, adopted from our friends Stefan and Amanda from their property at Inman Valley. Although our Wiltshire Horn-Dorper lambs have been pretty unfazed by the blinding summer heat, their Wiltshire Horn mothers have not fared so well. Enter Pecorino and his robust African desert-survival genetics and fat-tailed energy-storing mystique.
While being loaded up Pecorino demonstrated plenty of machismo, but arriving in the wide expanses of Yarnauwi seemed to knock the wind out of his sails. When thronged around by the curious ewes, he tottered off. The alpacas eyeballed him, and approached for a closer look. He ran. When we tipped out the feed, it was Year 8 Camp all over again, the cool kids convivial at their shared troughs, the new ram on the block relegated to wallflower. As a final insult, one optimistic lamb mistook his substantial endowment for an udder, sending Pecorino cantering off to the boundary fence and ready for a Homeward Bound-style pilgrimage back to the shady pastures of Inman Valley.
In the midday heat, he made more of an effort to mingle, demonstrating that, at the very least, he could stand near other sheep under the shelter, even if communicating is still out of the question. Perhaps when the weather cools he’ll relax a little and settle in to his new flock, and his new role.