Cameroon sheep come from West Africa. They are similar to early breeds of sheep. Sheep bred for wool like present-day ones developed over the course of time. In Germany there are primarily sheep with chestnut-colored backs. They are raised only for their meat. As a rule, Cameroon sheep are anxious, withdrawn and always ready to flee. They grow quickly and at four to eight months have reached slaughter weight.
Since this breed of sheep comes from Africa, its wool is suitable for the
hot temperatures in Africa. In winter it develops an additional layer of
wool. However, this can be compared with the coat of an Arabian horse and
doesn’t really provide protection from the long, cold European winters. Even
native animals with a winter fleece that has adapted to prevailing
temperatures don’t always survive cold winters. Therefore, conscientious
animal keepers should always provide a shelter that is dry and free from
Julian was born at a farm where sheep were raised for meat.
His birth was very strenuous, there were complications and his mother died. The farmer was helpless. He didn’t want to have the work of raising little Julian on a bottle. So he took the little buck under his arm and went to his friend the butcher, saying: “Here, you can have him; I have no use for him. Make some sausage out of him.” But the butcher didn’t have the heart to kill the little fellow and so he went to his friend, a hunter who he knew wouldn’t waste any time: “You do it; I can’t butcher the little guy.” But Julian showed his strong will to live and the hunter remembered that he had a neighbor who worked at an animal sanctuary. So he went to his neighbor and said: “If you take him, you can have him. Otherwise, I’ll have to get out the knife!” A brief phone call and it was clear that Julian could go to the Johannishof.
Since, there was already a Cameroon-sheep family at the farm that had a
newly born lamb, Julian went to the family of Sahme (father), Lela (mother),
Maya (first child) and Salim (second child, born just 3 weeks earlier).
When Julian came to us, he was very small and thin for his age. Even the lamb born to Sahme and Lela was stronger shortly after his birth. But Julian felt very well again and his new family accepted him.
You can see in these pictures how small and thin Julian was when he arrived.
Papa Sahme and Mama Lela are the parents of Maya and Salim. They came to us in April 2004 from a farm that raised animals for meat. This farm was closed down by the veterinary authorities due to conditions that did not comply with state regulations. In such cases, an attempt is made to place the animals in an animal shelter; when this is not possible they are killed. After the request from the veterinary authorities finally found its way to us, Sahme and Lela were brought to our farm.
And so, our first Cameroon sheep arrived. We didn’t know that Lela was
pregnant. But soon a little lamb was born whom we named Maya.
Sahme and Lela had both had bad experiences with people and were thus very shy. It was very different with Maya. She learned very early that the people at Johannishof were her friends and likes to come to us to be petted. In time, even her shy father learned from Maya’s interaction with us and was able to overcome his old experiences. Now he gladly comes to us. He really likes having his thick coat brushed.
Julian is now Sahme and Lela’s adopted child, thus becoming a real part of the Cameroon-sheep family on our farm.
Pictures: © by Home for Animals