Thursday, March 29, 2012

....the waiting game

....and so we wait....we have been waiting patiently.  I have four ewes that look like they could go any minute and they are still holding on.  Friday, March 30th will be 146 days. 

~that's all for today~hopefully next post will be with lambs~

Fleece weights

This year I've weighed the fleeces after shearing they are as follows:
Mr.Mr.(rideau arcott ram) 8.1
Lacy 5.7
Blanche 5.4
Galaxy 5.1
Autum 4.14
Bonnie 4.14
Fancy 4.10
Mimosa 4.8
Claire 4.6
Eve 4.0
Flora 4.0
Lialac 3.14
Cori 3.13
Chloe 3.13
Oregon 3.9
Darlene 3.8
Charlene 3.7
Angie 3.7
Esther 3.7
Venus 3.3
Constance 3.2
Excelsis 3.2
Duroy 3.2
After reviewing my list I realize that I still have two rams fleeces on the shelf that I haven't weighed.
....I will get to them eventually...
The above weights are raw weights


We have had great weather to get the fleeces washed.  I have washed most of my fleeces and sent many out this week to have roving made.  I've sent them to Ohio Valley Natural Fiber  recently I had received two fleeces from them that I sent in January.  I was quite pleased with how they came back. 
In total I've sent approximately 23 lbs of fiber.  Ginny at Ohio Valley Natural Fiber will be bringing the Fiber to the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, Ohio, the end of May.  Can't wait.

I will be offering some for sale at this show. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shearing Day

In the early morning hours, the day of shearing we have captured everyone in the barn and squeezed them into a smaller area so the shearers can grab them easier.
This is just like Christmas Morning!
Can't wait to get those fleeces off the sheep to start sorting and skirting and washing....Yea!
They look so much smaller after shearing, Clyde (moorit) looks funny with that little body and big horns.
Mr.Mr. (white ram) his fleece is huge, I'm guess his fleece will weight 8lbs when it has been skirted.
I am thinking of entering both of their fleeces in the 
Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, Ohio on May 26th & 27th, 2012.


This is Duroy (white ram) getting sheared.  I need to check his fleece, I am thinking of entering his fleece in the Great Lakes Fiber Show also.
The shearer commented that Duroy was a really nice ram.  Duroy is very blocky or square and has an exceptional fleece (in my opinion).

This year we had 60 sheep to shear and two llamas, so three shearers were sent to us.
It took 4 hours to shear everyone.
We had some much needed helpers to assist with holding gates, filling syringes to give shots, collecting fleeces in bags and sweeping up between sheep being sheared.
It was a good day in all.
I took two days off of my day job to be here for shearing and then skirting fleeces.
I didn't shear one sheep, but when I came into the house at 5pm I was exhausted.

Going out this morning to finish sorting, skirting my fleeces will weigh them also.
Today isn't going to be a good day, weather wise to start washing, but it will soon.
Hopefully next post will be of fleece stats.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Shearing Day is upon us...

We have been waiting for this day with excitement.  Our shearer's will be here tomorrow morning bright and early to shear my flock and my friend Dave's.  We have shared the shearing day for a couple of years now and it has worked out well.  Combined we have 59 sheep to shear and 2 Llamas.
Although looking at this picture, I wish I had a coat on my new black ram, this is going to be fun picking all that hay out of his fleece.
Meet this new group of guys we have added this past year.
On the Left is Barg's he comes from Karen Valley, my friend Dave is the proud owner of this guy.
In the middle is a new ram brought in from Oregon, from the flock of Jim Chastain, I am quite happy with this guy.  I didn't give him a name yet.  Jim only registers his animals with numbers, this is number #1107.
On the right is the white ram that I've been wanting, this is Duroy and he comes to us from Theresa Gygi in Indiana.  I am quite pleased with him too.    
We have a nice selection of rams at this time, which will serve us well for quite well for some time.
This lovely moorit is Clyde, he will be 2yrs this spring.  He has a longer fleece but still very nice
I am quite pleased with his micron avg at 24.6 and he has such beautiful horns.
To the left in this picture is Mr.Mr., he is a Rideau Arcott Ram, a canadian developed breed of a dairy ram.
This past year I have been researching the dairy breed and have decided to cross 13 of my ewes with this ram.  He is a big guy, but I suppose not any bigger than some of the Leisters that other breeders cross with their shetlands.  I have been very careful not to overfeed the ewes, I am still concerned with how the lambing will go, hopefully no problems.  I hope to develop the start of a dairy flock from these original cross breed ewe lambs that I get with this ram.  So an East Friesian ram will be needed for a end of year breeding.
This guy really has a nice fleece too, very consistant from front to back.  Can't wait to see what this fleece weighs.

Will try to get pics. while shearing.........can't wait!