Monday, January 15, 2018

January blues

It's definitely winter here in Ohio.
This year I had to syke myself  up to get through our winter weather.
More and more I dislike this cold weather and have been keeping 
focus on March....a little over six weeks away.
Yes, we will still have snow, but those bitter cold days should be no more.
Our temperature today was a high of 20 degrees with a couple more days 
to come of temperatures in the teens!
focus on the goal.....MARCH!

Although the girls don't seen to mind this weather.  When I went out to feed this evening
several of them were laying at the edge of the barn in the snow.
 Every evening I give them a little grain and boy do they get excited.
They wait for me at the gate, then run and jump ahead of me 
to each feeder as I try and put some feed in all the troughs
so they can all get a little.
 While they are outside I lock them out of the barn so that I can 
prop open another gate to place hay in the feeders without 
sheep trying to get out.  My system of gates has worked out well.
No need to water tonight as I did that earlier today.
So feeding time tonight only took about 15 minutes.
So glad!
 Some snowy pictures to share, the  pine trees always look so 
beautiful with snow on them.
It's been fun watching these trees grow, I planted them
as little tiny trees with hopes that they will grow up and make
a nice wind break for our house.
 Couldn't help but get a picture of our English Shepard, Red.
He just loves the snow and is my best bud that helps with the sheep.
 As soon as I open the gate most of the girls are back in the barn to 
start eating on the hay.
Since it has been so cold this weekend I've stayed home all weekend!
Of course I've had plenty to do. Finalizing the farm records for 2017.
It's good to know the sheep have paid for them selves plus a little.
Also working on my USDA 2017 agricultural farm census.
I keep track of so many numbers and spreadsheets but have 
never really totaled my wool clip.  This is one of the questions
on the census.  So off to look at my charts and see that our 2017 
wool clip was 125 pounds.  That may not be much compared to 
some of the other breeds, but marketing of the shetland
wool at local events and festivals adds value that is not 
seen by most sheep breeders.
I am one shepherd that is very pleased with the wool from my little sheep,

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Yes....I am still alive

Sometimes we just get ourselves involved in too many activites
and we just tucker out.
....that has been me these last several months, with 
no blog activity many were beginning to think that I 
dropped off the face of the earth.

Well I didn't!!  I'm still here.
Quick update, since my last post, we've had no lambs....just a ewe
or two that do not have the best conformations that have started
to mature and tend to have a potbelly look.
 Not the most appealing and not a conformation that I want
inherited in my sheep's genetics.
I will be weeding out these undesirables.....

More recently...

Today was our regular monthly Guild meeting.
A great group of people who share interests.
Much going on at this months meeting.
Above, some spinning and having conversation.

Some hand quilting on a quilt to be hung in the Historic
McCook House, an extension of our Guilds members 
through the Carroll Co Historical Society.
Many of our Members are very involved in our 
Algonquin Mill Complex and all the "sister" groups.

In the dinning hall some hand work and good conversations going on.

 Another shot of the one room school house were we hold our monthly 
meeting.  Located at the Mill Complex.
And finally, a shot of the girls who know that I am now home 
and expect me to be coming out to give them some hay.
Our weather has warmed up a bit and will continue into this
next week.
The end of another year is coming fast, which give my cause to 
look back and review all the craziness that I have going on 
and re-evaluate.  What I have going on...
were I've been, what I'm doing and were I'm going.

As I set my goals for 2018 during the remainder of this year
I hope everyone enjoys their holidays with friends 
and family.

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

here's a new one for ya....for me too!

Sometimes when things don't go well with one of those in our flock
we might not always talk about it on our blog post.
But I feel the need to explain this twisted turn of events
this year.
Above....Eve.  A sweet ewe that is so friendly and always looking 
to be touched.
...earlier this year, January 11, 2017 poor Eve miscarried her lamb(s).
I knew when I went out to feed in the morning that "things weren't right".
Some said, Oh, if you put her back in with the ram she may re-breed.

Well I didn't see the need to do this, I thought that if she did "act" as 
though she was in heat I would put her back to a ram.  But that day 
didn't come.

...moving forward to April...

April 18, 2017 I get a call at work from my dear husband, telling me that 
"you've got a ram in with the ewes and he's chasing them around!"
"He is breeding one of the ewes and she is standing".
Unable to leave work, I ask him to have our friend Dave come over 
and get our Black ram "Bian 1107" back into the ram pen.
...those boys can be magicians when it comes to really wanting to get out of their pen.
He slipped under a 16 foot wire panel that was clipped on either end as a gate.

So I made a note in my calendar on my phone that Eve was bred and to expect a lamb 
on or about September 12, 2017.  Well as you can see Eve, above
just really doesn't look pregnant.  

As I have been inspecting the flock to see who might be a little thin or need 
wormed before we go into another breeding season.
I notice #53 Oreo....
 Oreo with her lamb born March 29, 2017 behind her.
As she walked past me in the barn, I thought boy does she look awful big.
The others not so much.
I recall the conversation with my husband, who doesn't participate
in helping with the sheep too much.
We never discussed "who" was bred.
I assumed it was Eve...that was my logic!
But I am now looking and thinking that Oreo may be the one
that was being chased and bred on that day in April.
At the time Oreo had delivered a lamb just 21 days prior. bizarre is this?????
I plan to get her in her own pen, away from her March lamb,
so "if" she really is going to lamb she will have 
colostrum for the new lamb(s).
I'll keep you posted on Oreo...
we have a tentative due date of September 12, 2017.


Saturday, July 8, 2017

Adult ewes, ewe lambs & ram lamb available

 This little guy was born April 29, 2017.  He is a fawn katmoget.
I think that he is has the finest fleece of all the lambs I had born 
this year.
 I've linked the pedigrees of 
his  Dam here.
 The only head set flaw that he may have is the size of his ears.
He may grow into them.
Although they are perfectly aligned just above the eyes, as you can see.

I've posted pictures of various adult ewes and lambs that are available 
on the "for sale" tab.
Take a look-see, email me directly if you have an interest in any of these girls.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Caring for the flock

This weekend has been busy separating lambs Saturday to be weaned 
in hopes of getting to our target weight so they can be sent to the sale.
Holding back a few that began to cough after having extreme fluctuating
temperatures and today.
Going out to the barn to find a ewe with bottle jaw.  Immediately upon finding 
this (she was fine yesterday!) I began treatment and examination of her and  
all the rest of the flock.
I always expect the parasite's to raise their ugly heads come July and into August.
This year it seems a little early though.

She is eating and doing well though and I am very optimistic that she will 
For those who have sheep or are new to sheep I have attached a link for more information
to learn about parasites
in sheep.

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.

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.