The Silence of the Lambs

Now THAT is an ominous blog post title for a sheep farm at the end of lambing season, but I couldn’t resist. It’s a classic example of how my mind works, making connections.

  1. Film director Jonathan Demme passed away from esophageal cancer this week. The first Demme film I remember seeing was Something Wild (1986), but he preceded that with the Stop Making Sense (1984) rockumentary about Talking Heads (one of my favorite bands). He went on to direct Married to the Mob, Philadelphia, and The Silence of the Lambs. In 2006 he returned to rockumentary with Neil Young: Heart of Gold.  Neil is another of my favorites – I went to see the movie alone – I think Peg was out of town.
  2. We’ve been “silent” about the names of the 2016 lambs. With this post, we are announcing their names.

Note: our 2017 lambs, for the most part, are just fine and we wait on the last pregnant ewe.

So, why the delay in naming 2016 lambs? Looking back, we had 21 lambs in 2016 – 10 ewes and 11 rams.  During the summer of 2016 we sold 5 ewe lambs to two different couples who wanted to start their own flocks (all 11 rams lambs were destined for the freezer). So we didn’t want to name ewe lambs that weren’t going to stay with us.  Beyond that, naming kind of fell off the to-do list. Let’s be honest, they don’t come when you call regardless of their names unless you’re shaking a bucket of grain.

A couple months ago, I started thinking about a good theme for naming the five remaining 2016 ewes. The only option that came close – Spice Girls – Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger, and Posh.  A few things made me reluctant to pull the trigger:  1) we used a music theme to name the first set of lambs – Crosby, Stills, Nash, Ella, and Jewel (we learned later that naming the rams wasn’t a good idea when a neighbor told me “I had Crosby for dinner last night; he was good.”); and 2) the Spice Girls aren’t really relevant in 2017 and beyond.

Easter weekend, Lori and Jason visited the farm, and I mentioned our naming conundrum to them. Lori pretty quickly suggested the Olympic gold-winning 2016 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team.  Google showed some good names, but one of them is “Laurie” and one idea that had been suggested to us was to name the 2016 lambs after daughters and nieces (I don’t think we’ll ever do that).

Well, as the 2017 lambing season is coming to a close, I said to Peg (via Google Hangout):

“ok time to name the 2016 lambs:  alphabetical, according to ear tag:  Aly, Gabby, Laurie, Madison, and Simone (mic drop)”

Peg came back with (mom’s name in parentheses):

1603(Willow) Aly
1609 (moorit – Yoohoo) Gabby
1613(Dolly) Laurie
1614 (Dolly) Madison
1619 (Ella) Simone

The yearlings are heathy, gorgeous and elegant, but for the most part, pretty skittish, so getting photos of each wasn’t that easy.



  1. Nancy on April 30, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    So the 2016 represents the year they were conceived, even tho they were born in 2017? Just fascinated…

    • peggy.allen on May 2, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      2016 represents the year they were born. We’ve just been really, really slow about picking a naming convention, but we wanted to do it before all the 2017 lambs were born!