When you spend as much time with the animals as our volunteer caretakers do, you begin to understand just how special and unique each and every one of the animals are in both their personalities and behaviors. Every animal has their own story to tell and Sheila is no exception…she’s one special sheep!
Sheila, a Rambouillet sheep
, came to the Lewis Oliver Farm about four years ago when her former owners at Angel’s Gate animal hospice and sanctuary relocated their operation from Fort Salonga, Long Island to a farm in upstate NY. They were very careful in selecting a new home for Sheila and knew that she would be in good hands at the Lewis Oliver Farm!
Sheila had a rough start in life. As a lamb, she was purchased as a gag gift to be given to someone for their 50th birthday bash celebration. The recipient soon realized that sheep, just like all other animals, are a long-term commitment and responsibility that require proper care and maintenance to ensure their well-being. They are not meant to be purchased on impulse or given as unexpected novelty or gag gifts.
Luckily, Angel’s Gate rescued Sheila from the situation but not before some damage was done. Sheila was not given the proper nutrition as a lamb which they soon remedied however, her original owners also missed the opportunity to have her tail docked which is something that must be done within the first two weeks of life.
Tail docking in sheep is not merely an aesthetic procedure. When tails are not docked, as is the case with Sheila, they are in a constant state of filth from the waste that collects on the wool. Not only is this a hygiene issue, it puts the animal at risk of developing Fly Strike
in the summer months. Fly Strike is a very serious condition in which flies lay their eggs in the dirty fleece. The fleece then becomes infested with maggots which can burrow under the animal’s skin and make them very ill. In seriously neglected cases, Fly Strike can result in death.
We always pay special attention to Sheila’s hind end to ensure this doesn’t happen to her! But despite our efforts, unfortunately, she still must endure a higher occurrence of annoying pest flies that are naturally drawn to the underside of her tail.
Despite her unfortunate start in life, Sheila is a well adjusted and happy sheep.
Her unique look and her deep, baritone bleat really sets her apart from the flock.
Sheila loves to have her ears scratched and to have her hay rations fed to her by hand. At 12 years old, Sheila is a senior gal but we often forget her age as she has a real spring in her step that helps her keep up with the rest of the flock!
Say a special hello to Sheila next time you’re at the farm…she’ll love the attention and you’ll have a new friend for life!