Horn growth update — what about the gimmers?

Several readers brought me up short by chastising me for unfairly omitting the yearling ewes (gimmers) from my report on the late-winter spurt of ram horn growth.  I was tempted to ignore their criticisms, so certain was I that only rams could possibly exhibit dramatic horn growth.  But then good manners and a little nagging voice in my head prevailed, and it was back to the pastures to corner and photograph the girls.

Lo and behold — the yearling ewes also experience the burst of horn growth, albeit proportional to their overall horn size.  Here are three of our yearling ewes. starting with our British gimmer Darrowby, who you will recall is named for James Herriott’s fictional town in Yorkshire: 


I decided not to interrupt the yearling rams’ strutting and preening so that I could actually measure their horn growth against Darrowby’s, but I dare say her horns have grown every bit as much as the boys’ horns.  As with the rams, her new horn material is somewhat lumpy and gnarly-looking right now, and quite a bit larger in circumference than her first-year, “baby” horns.

Ewe lamb Leyburn, also British, shows a similarly robust pattern of growth:


Compare Leyburn’s horn growth to that of her half brother Grassington (both offspring of Jerry Lee Lewis), shown in my original — and obviously incomplete — posting about horn growth a couple of weeks ago.  If anything, Leyburn has more new horn material.  No wonder people were crabbing about the omission of the girls!

My third example of ewe horn growth is our farm website covergirl, Ellerbeck, she of the assymetrical white nose spot, which I just realized I cropped off in this picture.  Sorry about that.   


Ellerbeck’s new horn material is visually more interesting than the boys’ horns because of her partially white horn.  The portion of her new stuff that eventually will be white illustrates through its pink cast just how “alive” the new horn material really is, with blood and soft tissue at work creating what will harden into a good sturdy horn. 

With hopes that my friends from the good old days of feminist activism will forgive me . . .