Monday, April 27, 2009

Goodbye Daisey

On Saturday I sold Daisey the Dexter cow. I had gotten both Daisey and Heifer, the Jersey, pregnancy tested and Daisey was open, while Heifer was bred. (Heifer will calf in Sep/Oct) We only need one cow for milk and a steer for a companion/meat. So Daisey was the one to go. It was also harder to breed her as she had to be bull bred (no Dexter seman and too small to cross breed) and that means loading her up in a trailer, ect. while Heifer can be AIed. Daisey's original owner bought her back so she'll be used for breeding. Her dam was an old cow (17 yrs) and her last calf was dead, so he tried breeding her back for a replacement and that did not work out. I guess Daisey ended up being the "last calf".

Edelweiss and Eco's lambs

Eco a Shetland mule (Shetland/BFL) had a grey katmoget ram lamb. I had bred her to my Cheviot ram, but she recycled and was bred to PS23 Craigrothie so the lamb is 75%Shetland 25% BFL.

PS23 Edelweiss had a white ewe lamb out of PS23 Craigrothie. The lamb is an F2/F4 Skeld and F3 Brent. She is a tiny lamb-only 2 # 14 oz.! She looks like she'll have a nice fleece and conformation. She is already an escape artist! Her dam lambed when we were at church yesterday morning and when I got back her poor mom was bawling. I saw birth fluids hanging out and thought that she had not lambed yet, but was having trouble. As I was going to the house I saw Miss Tiny hanging out with some big lambs. After I put her back her mom licked her off everywhere and was so happy to have her baby back. I'm glad she did not reject her!
Here is a picture of both the lambs together. Now I have just one more ewe to lamb, Windswept Lime, a first time lamber. I have four yearlings that I think are open, but they may lamb in June as Craigrothie was with them long enough.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rooing! edit: picture of the "rise"

I rooed PS23 Dove (seen above) on Friday. I never rooed a sheep before and this was kind of cool. Her wool around her neck was falling off and I tied her up and just peeled her fleece off. I got the neck wool off first and peeled (kind of like peeling a banana) backwards toward the britch-the fleece came off in one piece and it only took about 20 minuets.

Shetland sheep get what is called the "rise" where their wool stops growing and gets a natural break. Just before the "rise" the wool gets compacted at skin level and you can't easily part the fleece to see the skin. Then the fleece "rises" and you can see the skin-they are then ready for shearing or rooing. Rooing is basically pulling the loose wool off the sheep.
Here is a picture of the "rise".

Rooing was historically the way Shetland wool was harvested on the Shetland Islands. In modern times it has been easier or more convenient to shear, so many of the Shetland sheep have been bred against this trait. Some don't roo any at all and some roo only on their necks, and britch area. Others roo on the neck, britch, belly and on their back line. I have a lot of Shetlands that roo in patches and a few who don't roo at all. This is the first one I've had that rooed competly!
This is a picture PS23 Emrald shorn. Emrald is one that won't roo. Her dam did not roo either. She kept her dark patches on her sides!

This year I'm late with shearing as I normally shear before lambing. (I did not shear as the sheep that had gotten sick from acidosis, (grain overload), lost a lot of weight and I had more barn space with 15 fewer ewes.) This year was the first year I've lambed out unshorn ewes and does. I have now shorn all the Angoras and a lot of the sheep.

Not all are ready to shear, and since I waited so long already I may as well wait untill they are ready to shear. I have 18 more Shetlands to shear: about 6 or 7 are ready and the rest are not ready. I normally shear in the beginning of March (the rams get shorn later as they don't have lambs.) I reshear the ewes that need reashearing-about half--when they are ready (usually in May or June.)

If they are shorn too early they get the rise and the wool gets matted on the outside of their next fleece. I have to say over-all the wool lost from shearing too early and then reshearing is a wash with the amount wasted because they get dirtier when shorn late. I also still like shearing before lambing better because they don't bring as much water into the barn when it rains, the barn would be less crowded and the ewe's back end is cleaner for the lambs finding milk.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Emrald's lamb

PS23 Emrald had a nice white ewe lamb out of PS23 Craigrothie. The lamb is an F3 Jericho/F2 Skeld. Both Emrald and Craigrothie are out of Holy Hills Onyx a very milky, poll carrying, sheala ewe. Emrald has a nice big udder for a yearling and very soft intermediate fleece. She also has a sheala spot on both sides. This lamb is going to be a keeper!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ewe Won's lamb and an event

PS23 Ewe Won had a moorit or fawn ewe lamb. (Ewe Won is a mioget HST) The lamb is the wildest lamb I've had. I went into the pen and she was soo frightened! She ran as fast as she could to her mom (who also is not tame at all.)

Today I went to a craft sale to try to sell my yarn and roving. I only sold 2 balls of roving. I should have known better than to try selling there. There was not a good market for wool/yarn. At least I got all (150) of my buisness cards stamped on the back with my blog adress. I also spun some yarn and read a magazine.
This is a picture of my booth (I normally have a lot more stuff, but did not bring it all.)

The vender next to me had yard decorations hand molded out of cement. They were very cool!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More Purebred lambs!

PS23 Easterlilly had a nice light gray ewe lamb. The ewe lamb has "dog hair" but will be nice! She is an F2 Greyling/F3 Skeld. I'm so glad she's light grey! Her granddam was Bubba Baby (Longshadow Orhpan Annie, a light grey) and was one of the sheep that died from acidosis. This lamb looks like her. I love the sugar frosted lips as well! (She has light gray wool under the black birth coat.)
PS23 Dove had a white ewe lamb. She looks like she'll have a nice fleece!

PS23 Ewe Two had a gray Katmoget ram lamb out of Walnut Rise Trevor. The lamb is an F2 Greyling/F3 Orion. This little boy is very active. He was bouncing and jumping and running every where!
Bramble Jocelyn had twin Shetland/North Country Cheviot -a ram and a ewe.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Essex'es lamb/Yeah a pure bred!!

PS23 Essex had a nice black ewe lamb out of WalnutRise Trevor. (Essex is a yearling)

Here she is! She has a really nice short tail too. She is an F2 Greyling/F3 Jericho.

Eve's lamb

Eve a Shetland mule (Shetland/BFL) had a nice ram lamb out of my North Country Cheviot. Eve has LOTS of milk so her lamb should grow well! Yes, he has a spot on his leg. (Eve is a yearling)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Diana's lamb and other pictures

PS23 Diana had a Shetland/BFL ram lamb. He's a nice looking ram lamb-I wish he was a ewe!

Syrah's babies found a new entertainment.
This lamb was trying to drink from mom's ear.

Not to be outdone the chickens layed a huge egg. It was a double yolker with full sized yolks (most doubles have small yolks.) A turkey layed a pointy egg.