Monday, March 30, 2015

Autum, Buttercup, Sofia & Eve

Sunday was a busy day.  I spent most of the day in the barn moving sheep around and dealing with a frozen water hose.  While in the barn Autum, ButterCup & Sofia were in labor all day.  Later in the afternoon I made a makeshift pen and put all three in so they were contained to have their lambs.  We had made arrangements to go out for dinner....but only planned to be gone a couple of hours.  Of course Autum waited to begin delivering her first lamb soon before we were to leave.  I convinced my husband that we needed to stay home a little while longer to make sure that she delivered ok because of all the 'talking' she was doing and she was so large I didn't want to have problems if a lamb was not positioned correctly.
I assisted her with her first lamb who was positioned correctly and I felt better about going knowing that the little black ewe lamb that she had just had was doing fine.  The other two ewes where just hang'n out.
We came home within two hours.  I went into the house to change and slipped out to the barn to check on everyone.  I walked in to see six little wet lambs all together with the three moms around them.
It was not obvious to me who belonged to whom and I don't think they knew either.  Everyone appeared to have nursed, but what confusion!  It just figures that they would all have to wait until I left to delivery and I honestly do not know who belongs to who!  These will all need to be DNA tested...I had to do this a couple of years ago with a ewe and two lambs.  I used three different rams and they are all really nice, as are the ewes and the lambs?  Well, five ewes and one ram. 
I put lamb tags in and recorded them, but we will rely on the DNA to tell the truth.  That ended up being quite and expensive dinner date!
 I know the little black ewe is Autum's, I assisted with her birth, the beautiful little grey Katmoget....?
These two are beauties also, can't wait to know who there out of.......isn't this something?  You wait five months to see what your going to get, then they all come at the same time and the MaMa's just take care of them and you still don't know who is who.
I took pics. after I fed everyone, so of course I was interfering in nap time.
This little girl was covered in hay.  I don't know if you can see it but she has the wooliest head....hmm, just like her daddy maybe? 
This is Eve, I put her in the mix Monday morning, March 30th she delivered her twins, Katmoget and Moorit ewes.  Tagged immediately and mistakes on her. it goes....

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oregon ewe delivers Thursday, March 26, 2015 & other lambs

I have have been slacking at picture taking lately.  But I have been getting lamb tags in immediately.
This is my ewe Oregon, who of course came from Oregon.  She is of the Whistlestop Farm flock and I am so glad that I put her in with my now deceased Whistlestop ram.  So these little ewes are still pure lines that I will keep in our flock.     

The little one on the right looks to have spotting showing through her fleece.
This year I haven't taken pictures of all the lambs being born here on the farm.  I have quite a few that I have crossbred to sell as market lambs, but I wanted to show some of these lamb pics.  Can you guess which one is the purebred shetland? Well, if you are not familiar with the breed it is the little one on the right.  There is an age span of three weeks on these lambs.    

 The large white lambs shown above & below is out of one of my crossbred ewes who is about 1/4th shetland.  The brown lamb is 3/4 Shetland and 1/4 Cormo and still a nice sized lamb.  These cross bred lambs will make nice market lambs.  I have eight ewes that put to my Shetland/Cormo ram and we have half of them yet to deliver.
This morning is hopefully our last of cold weather that is trying to hang on.  The calendar says it's SPRING!
But the weather is telling us winter is trying to hang on.  The last two nights the temperatures have dipped into the  teens!  I'm tired of this and all the sheep have been huddling together to stay warm in the barn.  Today brings us warmer temps. into the 40's to low 50's ......can't wait!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sweet Pea & Lialac delivered March 24th

Above, Lialac delivered this single ram lamb this year.  She was bred to my now deceased Whistlestop ram.  This little guy looks like he will be grey, although his legs look to be a solid black quite a bit of grey is showing through and what a face....quite speckled.  Maybe he is blettet? Another pic. further down in this post.

This is Sweet Pea with two lovely little lambs, both Katmoget pattern.  The one in the front is grey (ram)and behind  brown based (ewe).  These are also lambs from the late Whistlestop ram.

Little better view of these guys.

Lialac again, if you look closely you can see the tips of his ears are brown. Interesting!
I was surprised Lialac had a single this year.  The past three years she has had tripletts!
So, in the last four years she has had 10 lambs!  What a Sheep!  One of my favorites!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Amelia delivers twins

 When I went out to feed and check everyone after work I found Amelia tending to your new lambs.  They had been born earlier in the day as they were all dry and already nursing.  She is being an excellent mom.  This is one of the wonderful traits of the shetland breed.  This is Amelia's first time giving birth, she is 2yrs old.  and I really don't expect more than singles from the new moms, but she has surprised us and is doing wonderful.

A better pic. of these two little ewes, Kamoget pattern, both appear to be brown based color.
Amelia is a daughter from my now deceased Whislestop ram.  The sire of these lambs is Luxor, who is out of an unrelated Whistlestop ewe and Sheltering Pine Grand Luxe ram.  So we are getting the WS line on both sides of the family tree.  One of these ewes will be available to a new home after weaning.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Roll with the punches

We take many pictures of our flock, never knowing when you get "just the right one" to post.  I had to go back into camera to find this photo to share.  This picture is one that I took probably a month ago of all of the adult rams that we have here.  I wanted to share the last photo I have of my treasured WhistleStop Ram.
On our Shearing day I lost this wonderful guy (the black full horned, not coated ram). He would have been 4 years old this spring and I had sparingly used him until this past fall.
We always shear the rams first, as we halter them all, walking them to the shearing area then take them back to their pen.  When we've secured them back into their pen we move on to the rest of the flock.
Well this year they decided that they didn't recognize each other and commenced to beating on each other (the horned rams that is).  The other two full horned rams in the photo are his sons.
I didn't see this happen, I just know that is what had to happen.
At the end of the shearing day when I began to feed the sheep he was lying down not alert has he would normally be at the sound of grain being handled.  At first I thought that he might be in shock from the days events even though everything went smoothly.  Reaching through the gate I rubbed and patted his rump to try and get a response from him.  After a short time he did get up and then laid back down.  Thinking he was in shock, I mixed up some molasses and water to drench him, hoping to give him a little pick-me-up.
While administering the drench he was listless and beginning to feel cold.  I couldn't believe this was happening.  I called my Vet to let her know of my situation, she told me I was doing everything right.  She had me check his eyelids and they were pale.  I made a dash to the house for a heating pad, blanket, thermometer and a warm drench. Once back with him, I tried warming him and rubbing him to stimulate him and giving him a warm drench to try and warm him up.  Not knowing the full extent of his injuries.  While holding him he stretched out and I knew he was gone. Checking his eyelids again he had no color.  I called my Vet to let her know he passed.  This happened so fast it was like it wasn't real.
I can't say that their is really a bright spot in any of this, but I did put him to seven ewes that will be delivering soon and all of his lambs will be prized for their genetics.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Shearing Day

Our shearing day was moved up to Saturday, March 14th.  We began at 9:30 in the morning and finished up about 2:30 in the afternoon shearing a total of 61 head.  Of which only 44 were mine.  We included a few friends and neighbors sheep to take advantage of our expert shearers skills.
Soooo...I have many quality, gorgeous fleeces to choose from if you are looking for a spinning fleece.  I will be taking at least 10 raw fleeces to the Great Lakes Fiber Show, May 23rd & 24th and by then I will have washed fleeces that I will give to some Fiber Mills to process into roving and batts.  If you want a raw fleece contact me soon before I start washing them.
Above pic. shows two yearling rams that gave us beautiful fleeces, L to R, Katmoget  light fawn scurred ram, Katmoget grey full horned ram.  Both have had wool samples sent out for micron testing.
These guys are available as flock sires.
These two rams also are available for sale. L to R, Katmoget fawn scurred ram, Spotted Brown & White full horned ram.  These have also had wool samples taken for micron testing.
These 4 rams above are all out of Sire:  ShelteringPines Grand Luxe S34244.  Each ram is from a different ewe so their genetics are not related on the Dam's side.
 Forty-four does look like so many....does it?  With those fleeces off they look so much smaller...I'm sure after lambs we will find some place to tuck a few more into the flock. 
This past fall I put sheep coats on many of the ewes and am so happy with the cleanliness of their fleeces.
Many of the fleeces will be available, contact me via email if you are interested.
I will try posting some pics. of the fleeces when I can as we have also began lambing.

Monday, March 9, 2015

2015 Lambing Season begins

Sparkling started us off this lambing season with these two little guys.  They were born Sunday afternoon,  dark brown cormo-shetland cross lambs.  I did put my cross bred group together early this year, so I need to look a little closer at these girls as it is difficult to tell with all that wool on them.  I like to have them sheared before lambing begins, as it is easier to see what is going on.  We are scheduled for shearing next Monday, March 16th  I just hope we can get them all sheared without stressing any of the ewes who may be  really close to delivering on that day.

I had to get a pic. with our English Shepherd "Red"  he just loves the lambs.  He whines and wants to lick their faces, but Mama isn't too keen on him.