Sunday, June 4, 2017

Sheepies, sheep coats, wool & hay

 We are one week post the Great Lakes Fiber Show, so I am taking  it easy today.
This morning I scrubbed up my sheep coats which have been soaking in 
Soapy water for a couple of weeks.
...Sharing some photos today...

It was definitely a "must do" as there becomes a unique odor
when they have been sitting for awhile.  They have all scrubbed up 
nicely and will be dried and packed away until fall.
 I tried to sneak into the barn to snap a few photos of the girls and lambs,
but there is no sneaking up on them. Everyone was relaxing in the barn
on this day of rest, in between rain showers.
Above, photo shows a variety of my white woolies, some purebred shetland,
a cormo/shetland ewe and some of the lambs which are Border Cheviot/
shetland crosses.
 More woolies,  some need a little bit of a "touch up" on their wool.
Some of them were "in the rise" at the time of shearing, which 
makes it difficult for the shearer to shear the sheep.  They
need to cut either below or above the rise, so some of them look a bit shabby.
 We are well on our way to having our hay supply for the year.
We have 67 round bales of 1st cutting.
 All set up on skids, so there's minimal waste.
Between 2nd and 3rd cutting we should be set for all year.
Our hay supply maintains two shepherd's flocks.
Each flock will use about one bale a week.
 Of course while I was out snapping photo's I wanted to catch some of the 
boys that were chill'in in the pasture.
 But as they seen me, they kept coming....
 and coming.....
 and coming....
 until almost all of them were there to see what I was giving them.
Thirteen shetland rams in all, several available for sale.
(my border cheviot off to the right....not for sale!)
I have about 10 raw shetland fleeces available to sell.
Anyone interested email me these are all nice fleeces.
I took many fleeces to the Great Lakes Fiber Show to sell
and still have some really nice fleeces available.
I sent about 10 lbs of grey to Zeilingers to be made into top.
I should have this back in August if anyone is interest in grey top.
I will set up a tab for fleeces and post them as time permits,
but if you're interested in looking email me.
Thanks!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#62 LoLa

 Lola delivered these twin ram lambs Monday evening all by herself.
Lola did wonderful, she is so calm and laid back.
These little guys are marked quite nice.
The lamb on the left is moorit, with spotting and eye patches.  The lamb on the right 
is katmoget with spotting and will most likely be fawn in color.
 Rear view....
What a cute face.
We are done lambing !!! So glad to be done.

We have had 24 ewes birth 42 lambs.  All births went well
and I must say this was one of the easiest years I've had with 
lambing.  No problems and everyone delivered on their own.
Out of 42 lambs we had 21 ewe and 21 ram lambs.
That was amazing....I didn't know this until I ran my tally.

I have 9 lambs that are Border Cheviot / Shetland crosses;
3 are ewes and 6 are rams.

I have 33 lambs that are Shetland;
18 ewes and 15 rams.

I do not know yet what will be available as far as lambs go.
I will have several ewes available when lambs are weaned.
If interested email me.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Sheep coats'n Sheep

This evening after turning the ewes out to pasture I decided to 
throw the sheep coats in some soapy water and let them soak away 
the soil and lanolin.
So thirty-seven sheep coats will be soaking for a few days until
I have time to scrub them.  I prefer to clean them by hand
outside using dawn dish soap and a garden hose.
Last year I invested in more coats to get all of the adult sheep covered.
Although I will need to take count again and purchase a few 
additional coats to make sure I have adequate sizes to 
cover everyone.  
When we went to our accountant this past year to do our farm taxes
and the accountant asked, "sheep coats"?  Do they get cold?
I then had to explain the whole purpose of why the sheep wear coats.
Not because they get cold....because those coats keep their fleeces
clean and that is what hand spinners want.  A clean raw fleece.
Free of VM (had to explain that too!)

So if you are coming to the Great Lakes Fiber Show at the Wayne Co.
Fair Grounds here in Ohio on May 27th & 28th .  You will get to see some 
Awesomely clean raw fleeces for sale.


LoLa is still hanging in there.  Her due date is on the 22nd.  She looks like
she could go at any time.  Hopefully soon, I would like to be done 
with lambing. (note to self....after I've taken the breeding groups 
apart.   If a ewe comes back into heat...DO NOT put her in with 
a ram!  I don't want late lambs!) 
 Above, all the ewes and lambs out to graze for the evening.
LoLa on the left, expecting soon and Jasmine on the right...buddies.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

#118 Luna

Luna delivered the katmoget ram lamb with a spot on 
Saturday evening (4/29/17), she is a first time mom.
Luna was bred to ram #26,Gwynevar Du Roy , a polled grey katmoget ram.
This little ram is probably the finest fleeced ram lamb that I've 
had born this year.  If someone is looking for a super fine shetland 
ram lamb that will probably be polled he is available.

One more to go before we can report our lamb totals.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Homemade creep feed gate

The girls have been yearning to get out into the grass, so the last few days I have 
been letting them out in the late afternoon until dusk.
Making them come into the barn and settle in for the evening.

Today's post is about my homemade creep feed gate....it's as simple as it gets.
You can go and buy a nice metal gate with spindles that turn as the lambs go through
or
You can make a homemade gate for much less and it serves the same purpose.
This is my basic gate.  I use inexpensive furrowing strips of wood that are 
8 ft. long from the local Home Improvement store.
I'm guessing that I used 8 boards for this gate.
I didn't get measurements on the gate tonight, I'm guessing it to 
be about 36 inches tall and 8 foot wide.
 This bottle baby is my "model".  You can see he is in front of the gate, 
 he is able to slip through the slots.  The slots are about 6 inches wide and about
10 inches tall.  You can see behind the lamb that I have two 8 ft boards next to each
other, this was added later to keep the yearling ewes from slipping through the gate
and eating the lambs pellets.  By adding the second board it has decreased the 
height to about 7 1/2 inches tall, keeping  those ewes from getting into the lambs space.
Pic. above shows how the lambs maneuver through the slots in the gate.
Some of the slots are a little wider than others and the lambs will learn 
which ones they can fit through better as they use them.
As my yearlings fill out and mature I will be able to remove the extra board
from the gate which will increase the height for the lambs.
It's pretty simple to make, I have several gates  that I've made using this wood.
They are not something I would use for a ram pen but they work just fine with the 
ewes and they are light and easy for me to move them around.
This is a view inside the lambs area.  Accessible only to the lambs.  They have
feeders that have lamb pellets in them constantly so they can eat at their leisure.
The gate off to the right is another creep feed gate that I have that needs some repair.
But I have flipped it over to use it as a regular gate, so I get double duty out of 
these gates too.  Just another tip if you are trying to keep your costs down.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

#52 Sophia

 We have been long awaiting Sophia to deliver these two.
I was hoping for a moorit gulmoget.
But we got one black gulmoget and one black with some 
white markings on top of his head.
Both are rams.
Sophia was bred to Tardus Radd.
Tardus was bred to several ewes, solids and katmogets 
and all the lambs have come out black or
black gulmogets.  I think he may are go to guy to 
produce more fine black fleeces.
 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Skirted fleeces

 As time allows I've been skirting fleeces.  Above is a
gorgeous fawn fleece.  These will be available for 
 another beautiful fleece, an off white, cream color with some
light brown also is fleece.  Check out that staple length!
 another great fleece, this is what I love about the breed.  If you process
the fleece yourself you can separate it by color, spin it up and
have two to three different colors from the same fleece.
 Oh yeah!!  That is a mioget fleece above.
For those not familar with "mioget" it is a color
I just love and don't have alot of.  I would describe it as
a buttery blonde....if that makes any sense and yes this fleece will 
be for sale at The Great Lakes Fiber Show.
Another fine fleece with variations of creamy white, light grey 
and some darker grey.
All the fleeces I will be taking to sell this year are clean.
I invested in coats for the sheep and the wool is very clean 
from veggie matter.