Well, Freddy was a light brown dutch bantam rooster, to be precise. He was one of the first animals I (Isabelle) ever showed, and he was an absolute doll. At the 2003 Bolton Fair, I exhibited him (just excited to participate) and he won first place...then best of breed...then best of show! The weight of that award didn't fully sink in until I got home. Freddy lived happily with us, he loved riding on the backs of the sheep, and falling asleep in my arms. He protected his flock well, and fathered several chicks. He was always kind to his hens, and friendly to strangers. He was only with us for a few years, but he filled our lives with crows and love.
We had to move during this time from our main street house, to a rental, to our current home, and he followed. When we finally settled in to our current home, we had a large shed that functioned as both a chicken coop and a barn for the sheep. We only had 3 sheep back then, Sarabelle, Angel, and Rosiette. The shed was split into two parts by a half wall, and door. One night, when I was sleeping over a friend's house, the ewes broke through the door into the chicken side. Freddy had a thing for sleeping on the ground, and was trampled. In his memory, I named my flock after him. Even though his genetics died out soon after him, at least his memory lives on. On our farm sign, his head is present, being nuzzled by Sarabelle.
What about Olive Branch?
Starting our flocks young we were not allowed to have two people under 18 on the same farm prefix (show/association rules). So the sibling had to make their own flock name - she was very happy to do so since she thought naming the flock after my rooster was tacky. Olive branch is just that, a branch off of the main flock, managed by an Olive.
Who are the flock shepherds?
Isabelle (28) and Olive (24). Isabelle is currently working in biotech, and Olive is working from home.
Besides the sheep, what other animals do you have?
For starters, we have two horses: a Lippitt Morgan named Star, and a Shetland pony named Strawberry. Star is not a fan of being ridden, so she is allowed to chill. Strawberry, used to be ridden by children, and was not treated well by her previous owner; the circumstances of her coming to us included the death of her son whom she was closely bonded too. Since then, she has refused to be saddled, so she lives comfortably with Star in retirement.
Then we have an assortment of chickens, mostly bantams but also a handful of standard hens ranging from lavender Orpingtons to speckled Sussex. They are all barn chickens, and spend their days foraging around the farm, one social group even hangs out with the horses! .
We also have a frenchie named Billy. He loves to snuggle and get kisses from the horses.
Last but not least, we have our two cats: Hermione an 8 year old chunky long hair, and Raven our 3 year old black short hair. Isabelle also has Felicia (Hermione’s mom) who lives with her! We adopted Hermione and Felicia as a mother daughter pair back in 2014, and Raven a few years later. Of course, our household is always growing, so who knows what we might have next!
What are those birds in the picture?
Those are Guinea hens that live at the farm where we used to graze the ewes over the summer. The new home owners are new to farming, and decided to start things off with a flock of guineas and have now moved on to fruit farming. As you can see, the sheep enjoyed their company, even during that terrible drought year.