Friday, April 22, 2016

Dahl sheep in NM: Gentle, wild, hardy, and beautiful

ALBUQUERQUE - As Donald Chavez approached the pole-fence corral, the four white sheep — a ram, two ewes and a lamb — moved off toward the center of the enclosure. Chavez grinned. “You get just close enough to talk to them, and they walk off,” he said. From a distance, the sheep watched their visitors as intently as the visitors looked at them, the Albuquerque Journal reported. They are beautiful animals. The ram sports majestic, curved horns. The ewes have horns, too, but short ones. And the lamb, like most lambs, is super cute. These are New Mexico Dahl Sheep, sheep Chavez believes are descended from the animals Francisco Vásquez de Coronado brought into New Mexico in 1540 during his futile search for the fabled Seven Cities of Gold. If they are aware of their lineage, they don’t flaunt it. Nothing pompous about them. They are shy, gentle animals. “They make great beginner projects for 4H and FFA because they are very easy to keep and care for,” Chavez said. The corral is on the grounds of the Gutierrez-Hubbell House History and Cultural Center in the South Valley community of Pajarito. The sheep are the center’s newest, permanent exhibit. It opened officially during a ceremony in early April...more

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