Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Sea of sheep and goats
Yesterday I dewormed and vaccinated (with CDT) my sheep and goats. Here they are in a hold pen. I have a primitive chute system using the lane that goes down between the winter pens. Both ends are gated off and I run a bunch of sheep into the lane and then use a panel that I swing shut to make the lane smaller and then use another panel that I can swing shut after the other is closed to really crowd them so they can't jump and run around too much.
I used to just have the sheep in a pen and run and chase each one down to treat them and mark them off the list, but a chute system works much better. Now with a smaller group (10-12) getting treated at a time I don't even need to mark them down to remember which I did. I used to absolutely hate deworming my sheep, but now I enjoy it as it is so much easier and I also like to see how the lambs are growing and how their fleeces are turning out.
Most of the lambs have excellent growth rate this year. Most of the lambs also have great fleeces. Only two purebred lambs out of 30 purebred lambs have coarse, harsh fleeces. Most of the cross lambs have nice fleeces as well.
One lamb, Amber's black ewe seemed harsh fleeced when she was younger, but now her fleece is very soft (and very black, and some crimp is starting to come!) Weird. She is a keeper (I need more black wool.)
Ooo the Angora kids... This years kids have the best fleeces I have ever produced! They are so soft, silky and some are even quite dense. The doe kid, "Grace" also known as "Texas Kid", out of both the Texas buck and the Texas doe, has the absolute best fleece. It is like cashmere, but silkier and shiny.
Oh the new OR goats are doing great (they are still in quarantine, but are getting plenty of grass.)