Friday, February 27, 2009

Food fair and sheep shearing

On Saturday my Mom and I went to a local food fair (focusing on local food.) It was at Maywood nature center and I took these turkey pictures from the window. The turkeys were funny! We had lamb samples and many people had never tried lamb before-most liked it. There were a few people interested in buying some lambs in the fall. One was Greek and she was very excited. I also had roving and yarn and sold 2 skeins. Other vendors had CSAs, grass-fed beef, bison, herbs, apples, baked goods and more. Wagners were also there with lamb.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the morning I went to Wagners Hidden Valley Woolen Mill to help with skirting fleeces. It normally takes 2 days for shearing, but on Tuesday it was cold and the sheep were harder to comb through as the lanoline was stiff. They sheared about 230 Coopworth sheep-all had BEAUTIFUL (jacketed) fleeces. It was fun to talk to every one and see all the fleeces. David the shear is very knowledgeable. He shears in Scotland every year and has shorn in other countries as well. He has a flock of Corriedales and Comebacks and he said that he culls his ewes by 6. (He used to keep them until mach older, but had more bottle lambs and lower weaning weights.) Ewes over 6 also have smaller fleeces. He said that once they get to 6 "it is down hill from there". So if you make 6 your cut-off you'll make more money and have much less work during lambing. David also does not breed his sheep as lambs(neither do Wagners) as he said it is actually MORE expensive to do so as you have to feed them really well so they are not stunted. That is something I'm going to think about!

David Keir shearing.
Coloreds in back waiting.
Who's next?
All white.
Daphne-Carol's pet. Daphne is a spotted Coopworth, but can't be bred ever as she has a hernia.

Yesterday afternoon I got my rams into their own pen. They had been with the ewes all winter and were starting to get bored as 3 of them decided to be acrobats-jumping over the hog panel. (They are in a cattle panel pen now.) I also had to get them out for lambing as I want to start grianing my ewes, but not the rams. Then I opened up the fence separating my ewes from the ewe lambs and mad a gate there. I will be able to lock all of the sheep in one half so I can put the grain down without having sheep in the way.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Finished shawl

First the roving,

Then the yarn (singles),

Finished shawl. There are 11 natural colors most are Shetland, but the dk. charcoal and the med. grey is Shetland x BFL with 20% mohair, and the dk. brown-almost black is Coopworth. The shawl is very soft!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Silly Birds!

Turkey on the sky watch. ( This is the first one to get up to the top of the barn.)

Riding the sheep.
Some chickens lay shell-less eggs! Usually they lay these eggs when under stress.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rug and sunset

I finally got my wool rug done!!! I've been working on it for 3 years-so I'm glad it's done. It is crocheted out of bulky yarn spun from britch wool. It's mostly Shetland, but the lt. moorit/fawn is Castlemilk Moorit and the cream is Kerry Hill. The Dk. moorit is Shetland from the UK and the red musket is Shetland mixed with llama.

The sunset tonight was really pretty.

Monday, February 9, 2009

OK another lamb!!!

Bluebell and rambie lamb.

Baby lamb again. He's quite a bit darker in real life.
Bluebell protecting her lamb-he is in the corner.

So much for no more lambs until March! I kept my rams with my ewes in the summer and took them out on September 17th. I thought that no one would breed that early except the two non-Shetland ewes. But obviously Shetlands CAN breed early!!!! I checked udders on the ewes that I did not see come in heat and thankfully they are not ready to lamb. I do know who this guy's sire is as Campbell is the only ram that can sire katmoget and Bluebell does not have the katmoget gene.

(This year I think my rams can live by themselves !)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Spring is coming!!!!

The spring time "rivers" going to the spring time "pond"
The "pond" Cattails grow here in the summer-it is wetter in this spot. On the other side of the driveway we have a mini spring fed pond.
I can see grass!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ram fight, hay and lambs!

On Wednesday my rams had a fight. Craigrothie the white used to be the boss ram,but Drummond the musket took over.
On Friday I dewormed my ewes and sold a ewe (PS23 Buttercup) , then on Saturday I got a semi load of hay and went to a funeral.

On Tuesday there were lambs! This first lamb (the one with black spots) was rejected. We found her in the snow unable to get up as her back legs were frozen. She's fine now. The dam is Alice my Merino.

On Wednesday there were more lambs! Meatball the dam is a Corriedale/Dorset. I got coats on all the lambs.

Yes I know I left my rams with my ewes too long in the summer, but there are only two ewes who can breed out of season. So this is what I get ...

In 5 week I'm going to be shearing my flock-I'll have lots of nice wool and mohair! In 2 months (last week of Mar. except for a doe who'll kid in mid-Mar.) the rest of my flock will lamb/kid. I'll have lots of babies!!!