Friday, October 8, 2010
Ewes grazing and market lambs
Ewes, replacement ewe lambs and a couple small (unshorn) market lambs enjoying some of the last grass. I am afraid that the grass will run out about a month earlier than last year. At leat I have some of my winter hay. Now just to keep working and the sheep coats I'm making...
I had decided to save money by making my own sheep coats this year. I can buy a coat for $15 each or make them for $3.70 each (not counting my time) so since I need about 50-60 coats that's quite a savings. Eleven done... (The rest are all cut out.)
The blacks are Corriedale X Shetlands and the whites are Shetland X Coopworth. The Shetland X Coopworth are defiantly bigger, but the two sets of Corriedale X Shetlands are out of first time lambers and they are black while all the Coopworth X Shetlands are white. In Paul and Carol's Coopworth flock the whites are always bigger so I don't know if that would hold true for the Corriedales or not. I will do the Corriedale cross again this fall (that will give me more to judge on) and he will get more than two ewes!
Shetland X Corriedale
Shetland X CoopworthThe Coopworth X Shetland fleeces are very nice. They are not kempy like the North Country Cheviot X Shetlands and they are heavier (by about 1#), shinier, longer and silkier than the Bluefaced Leicester X Shetlands.
Another Coopworth X Shetland. I am keeping seven Coopworth X Shetlands. They will not be bred this year. Next year I may get a terminal sire or use the Corriedale on them. (The Corriedale sired lamb out of the Shetland X Bluefaced Leicester is great-she is about 100# and has a wonderful soft, dense, bold crimped, silky soft charcoal fleece-I'm keeping her as well.)
The Corriedale X Shetland fleeces are great colors, but of the four two are kind of double coated (this is one of those.) I can pull of guard hairs out and they area different color, but it is not a typical double coat. The hand on these two is kind of like a down wool. One of the other two is crimpy and very soft and the other is very long, soft and is like an intermediate Shetland.
One other thing. The Coopworth X Shetlands are great to shear-the fleeces cut through like butter, while of the Corriedal crosses one was great to shear and the other three were like cutting through a brick. I could not get to the skin level on those three and I started to wonder if my blade shears were dull, but they weren't as I did some more Coopworth X Shetlands after them.