Tiny Tim Leaves His Adoptive Soay Home for Greener Pastures

When Tiny Tim arrived on April 17, 2013, weighing in at just one pound 13 ounces, we despaired that he would survive, much less catch up to his greedy twin sister.

Tiny Tim was born way too small but he has caught up
Loyal readers know we were lucky to be able to place him with an adoptive mother at the ripe old age of one day, just as he was failing for lack of access to his birth mother’s udder. Over the next several weeks, we kept a close eye on him to see if he could recover from his slow start. Soay sheep lore tells us these animals are hardy and can thrive under far less than ideal circumstances, but still …

We need not have worried. Once Tiny Tim latched on to his adoptive mother Lindsey, both figuratively and literally, he never looked back. Here is the growth chart for his twin sister and for him:

birth,4 lbs 6 oz, 1 lb 13 oz, he dropped to 1 lb 9 oz before he turned the corner!
4 weeks, 13.5 pounds, 10.5 pounds
10 weeks, 17.0 pounds, 16.5 pounds
4 and 1/2 months, 22.5 pounds, 24.0 pounds
And all that growth occurred without benefit of performance-enhancing drugs, of course. Mother’s milk and then a summer on pasture grass will do it every time.

As tempting as it was to keep Tiny Tim’s name, we knew he should have a proper “British” name at some point just like all our other lambs. The naming part was easy: our 2013 lambs are named for small towns in the county of Sussex in England. We decided Dallington fit his big greedy sister and Ferrington was sufficiently masculine and classy for Tiny Tim.

Ferrington’s future lies at another farm, and here’s why. We still practice fairly strict rotational conservation breeding, which means only “line cross” rams stay here to breed. Tiny Tim and lots of our other 2013 ram lambs are “out cross” rams; they supply the pipeline of new starter flocks and replacement flocksires for our customer pool. And so it is that Saltmarsh Ferrington, ten lovely ewe lambs and a second ram left our farm this fall headed east. Shortly before the truck arrived to deliver them to their new owner, I caught Ferrington showing off in the pastures.

Ferrington (Tiny Tim) shown after he passed his twin in weight

It took several months, but eventually Tiny Tim caught up

As you can see, Ferrington is quite the stud muffin — a robust, well-fed young ram with handsome symmetrical horns and a can-do attitude that will serve him well in his new role as a flocksire for his new owner. We can’t wait to see what he produces!

For now …