My friend Bobbie and I made a trip up to Tawanda Farms, east of Yreka, last month, to pick up a beautiful starter-flock of recessive-colored Romney sheep from Tawanda Farms shepherdesses Carol Pasheilich and Maggie Howard. They are beautiful sheep with particularly soulful faces. Maggie has played an important role in the fiber-sheep community, educating people about the beautiful genetically recessive color patterns that can be brought out in sheep by  careful breeding. Her book which translates the scientific literature on the topic into a form understandable by any shepherd is an amazing gift to the field, and I was delighted at the opportunity to buy some of her sheep, the products of her many years of careful breeding. We have McDaniel the ram (Maggie sometimes names her sheep for movie actors, and this ram’s mother was Hatty, named for the actress Hatty McDaniel.) Although I have to confess we had already kinda decided to name our Romney ram “Mitt,” so McDaniel has Mitt for a nickname. On the ewe side, we have Celeste, who is 6 years old, Maureen and Tap, both 4, Swiss Miss, 3, Nan, a yearling, a colored ewe lamb we have named Scout, and a white ewe lamb who is adorable and still waiting for a name. Thank you Carol and Maggie for these beautiful sheep. Like our gorgeous Corriedales, the Romneys are still a bit shy and we are working on taming them. Genetically they don’t have the natural tameness that the East Friesians have, but we are hoping that when we breed Mitt to our East Friesian ewes, their offspring will inherit some of the East Friesian personality, as well as some of the Romney hardiness, thriftiness and fleece quality, not to mention the tendency to have singles or twins rather than triplets and quads! With my background in molecular biology, I inhaled Maggie’s explanations of the physiology and genetics of color in sheep and can’t wait to play with breeding these Romneys and crossing them with my East Friesians.
Romneys gathered in Tawanda barn
Me with Maggie (left) and Carol (right)
In our trailer for the trip home to Marshall.
Romneys in the pasture--don't their colors look beautiful against the dried grasses?
Lolo with Scout
This cutie needs a name.

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