Saturday, June 2, 2018

Wait! ...were did May go?

What happened?  I've had alot going on and really intended to get a post out in May 
and missed it.  We had the Great Lakes Fiber Show  -Which was awesome! 
I didn't get one picture!  I think I really need to take the whole week off
away from my day job to prepare better.

So lets catch up...
 We had a new white ewe lamb born this morning.

I've never lambed this late.  In January I decided to put a #61 Andrea
in with a white polled ram lamb.  I didn't breed her earlier in the fall 
because she had become ill and was already stressed.
But she has come through with the gorgeous lamb.
 The shetland lambs are growing by leaps and bounds.
The ones at the feeder are shetlands, two blacks a grey and moorit.
Those in the back are border cheviot / shetland crosses.
 My two spotted shetland lambs, on the left a ewe, the right a ram
are both loosing their spots :(
 Another gorgeous white shetland ewe lamb.
 The white lambs in this photo are all border cheviot / shetland crosses.
They are gaining quickly.  I haven't had time to weigh them
but I believe I will have a group of them ready to go soon.
Three more of the crosses.
 Back in March when we had the sheep sheared I held back about 
10 sheep that we would hopefully be able to roo.  
Well half of them did roo and we found that some didn't roo at all.
So while I've been working on shearing them by hand I have found
a why that is working quite well for me.  Which I will share.
This is one of my newest rams, which we really got him hoping to
get this pattern, but he doesn't roo.
 Isn't he pretty? and he has a good disposition.
 So what I have found is that if I part the fleece as shown above
then working from the back to the front I slide my hand shearers
into the wool as shown below.
 Holding the shears in the angle shown I can get close to the skin and 
not cut the skin. Continuing across to the front.  Taking small 
bites so you can see what you are doing and it really goes pretty fast.
 I can get the prime part of the fleece off in one piece.  I leave 
the britch and underbelly to take off afterwards.  Because these
are pieces that I would skirt off the fleece anyway...for a handspinner.
The britch still have a useful purpose, this just makes it easier for me.
TA DAH!!  A shorn ram in under 30 minutes!

That's all for today!

Monday, April 30, 2018

growing lambs

 Center of this pic. shows one of the first lambs born here, with his
Dam at his side.  He is six weeks old today and is almost as tall 
as his Dam.  He carries spots and is scurred.  He has a very 
gentle personality.  Anyone looking for a new ram?
 This little spotted ewe will be staying here.  She and her twin were
the last lambs born here.  She is now three weeks old.  I'm sure that
she will lose all of her body spotting, but her face and legs spotting 
will stay.
 This little spotted ram lamb with his Dam.  He is about 3 1/2 weeks old.
I think I may have to hold onto this guy and see what happens with
his spots.  He will be horned.
 Below, a short clip of how these lambs get their exercise every day,
morning and night.

 Below, another cute little black ewe, 5 1/2 weeks old that will be staying here.
Those fine black fleeces sell....must keep another one.
Above, I had to share the pink moon that we had last evening.
Although you cannot tell the color here, it was quite beautiful
and appeared quite early in the evening.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Skirting fleeces

 I have been skirting fleeces off and on as time permits since we have
shorn the sheep.  A couple of weeks ago we had warmer weather and
roo-ed a few.  The grey fleece shown today is one of those.
This is a grey lamb fleece, very fine and very clean.
This is one of fifteen that I have selected to take to the 
 Each fleece I skirt I check to make sure that it is a healthy fleece. 
Taking a lock of wool from the side and tugging on it to check it's strength.  
I am still amazed at the lock length and fineness.
Above shows a relaxed lock length of 4 inches.
 Stretching out the staple length show it at just over 6 inches.
What elasticity!!
With lots of grey color variation.  Most enjoyed with processing 
it yourself, getting to separate the colors to see the variation
in your yarn.  ...or having a woolen mill process it, 
(one that can handle processing fine wool)
blending all the various coloration to make one color of grey.

I don't see having time to show you here all the fleeces 
that I will be taking to the show to sell but....

What will I have available at the 
Great Lakes Fiber Show??

1 - Black 
1 - Mioget
2 - White
3 - Fawn
4 - Musket 
4 - Grey

I have already sent out much wool to be made into combed top.
I plan to have some beautiful fawn top 
and white top available for sale
 in the Guild (Algonquin Spinners & Weavers) booth at
the Great Lakes Fiber Shows,
located next to the Information booth.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

#51 Audrey & #60 Zoe

 This morning Audrey had delivered her lambs. A ewe and ram
The ewe lamb did not survive, but the ram lamb is doing well
 These pics. were taken in the evening and this little guy has found 
the most comfortable place to lay.
Zoe, above seemed to have been in labor since this morning.
When I came home this evening she had made no progress so I 
wasn't going to wait any longer.  After tending to everyone's needs
I moved a couple of ewes out of this pen and slipped Zoe in.
Going back into the house to scrub up, I was determined that 
I was going to help her along.  With assistance we were able
to get ahold of the little spotted ewes legs and guild her 
out while Mom did her part.
When she was ready to deliver the second lamb, a moorit ram
again I kept constant tension on his little legs so she could 
do her part and deliver him.

I've had a few issues with deliveries this year I believe that I have overfed my ewes
causing their body condition to be a little too plump therefore some of the births have been distressing on the ewes and lambs.  I definitely need to be more mindful
when it comes to giving anything more than good hay.
This ends our Spring Lambing for 2018.
We might have some summer deliveries but 
we are not going to get too excited about this just yet.

Monday, April 9, 2018

#135 Carmen & #59 Mia

 Above Carmen, first time mom had delivered this ewe lamb
before I went out to the barn this morning, tending to her quite nicely.
She was bred to the border cheviot ram.
Mia also delivered this ewe lamb today.  She was pawing at the 
ground early this morning.  I had my hubby check in on her 
later in the morning and she had delivered her by then.
This is also a border cheviot lamb.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

#15 Eve (again!) and #175 gulmoget ewe

I've been doing this for a few years now, about eleven and sometimes
when you get so busy you tend to "forget" things and sometimes think
that you are losing your mind.  Writing yourself notes or in this case
recording and tagging and taking pictures helps to keep yourself straight.

This ewe Eve gave birth 4/4/17 (i have pictures to prove it).
Unfortunately, the next evening she lost her lamb due to soffocation,
in this case the lamb had wedged itself into a downward sloped corner
of the pen face first and I'm sure that if it even tried to get up it just
pushed itself further downward eventually not being able to breathe.

The next day I moved Eve out of the lambing jug, back with the main
Upon going out to check on everyone last evening 4/7/17  I seen 
a new lamb laying stretched out and a second one with a ewe.
Going into the pen to see who had delivered I see Eve caring for a 
new born lamb and another lamb that lay lifeless next to her.

I begin to search and look over all the other ewes that might have 
delivered these one.
I go back and look over Eve again and yes Eve did deliver these lambs!
By appearances I can only figure that this third little lamb that 
survived was not in the same birth sack as the previous two lambs.
Eve was bred to the Border Cheviot ram.
 The above ewe, #175 with the gulmoget pattern delivered this 
single ram lambs this morning 4/8/17.
This was not part of our planned breeding.  This ewe squeezed into
one of the pens I had a breeding group in.
The ram is Bian1107.
#175 is just over one year old and is proving to be a very good
attentive mother.  I haven't named this ewe yet or even registered
her, because I wasn't sure if I was going to keep or sell her.
So there is a possibility that she will be available this summer.

So to go along with my first paragraph of this post, about 
keeping things straight.  In a previous post I had mentioned
a number of yet expectant ewes.  Well it is best to 
keep track and reference your written list rather than
try and take a count out in the barnyard...because you always miss someone. of now I have four ewes yet to give birth. Before I 
consider this lambing season over.

But...I did put a few ewes in with rams in January, February and March
I don't know that any of them did breed or get bred but we will 
have to just watch and find out.  If so we could be expecting 
lambs in June, July and possibly August.  We will 
just have to wait and see...

Saturday, April 7, 2018

#32 Butter Cup & #1113 Oregon

 Butter Cup delivered these twins last evening (4/6).  I went out
to check one last time before I went to bed and glad I did.
She was just beginning  to have the first lamb and I feet! 
So glad I was home to be able to assists her.  The front legs of each lamb
were bent back.  Had I not been here I don't know that she would
have been able to push them out on her own.  
Butter Cup delivered twins, one ram, one ewe, both doing well..
so is MaMa.
 Last evening while I was helping Butter Cup, Oregon just wasn't 
there yet, as far as being ready to give birth.  So I did
come back out about 1:30am to check on her again and still
nothing happening!!  When I went out this morning she had 
already delivered this single ewe lamb.  I think she was a bit
worn out so I gave her a few squirts of nutri drench to give
her a quick "pick me up".
The little ewe is doing just fine.