Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sheds and sheep

I've been really busy-again! I have finished shearing my market lambs. I built two sheds-one for goats and one for my market lambs (I can also use it for my ewe lambs in the spring after they are shorn.)

These three and a half sided sheds are each made from four cattle panels. Three panels curve to make the roof and sides and are held in place by eight t-posts. Two thirds of the fourth panel make the back and one third makes the front. A post holds the front in place as sheep would rub and knock it out of place. I got heavy duty tarps-the only problem is I could not find the right sizes-a little on the large side. Baling twin and zip ties work wonders along with a few bungee cords.
I decided to get a Coopworth ram for crossbreeding. I will compare the growth rates, fleeces weights, hardiness, fleece quality, ect. on the Corriedale/Shetlands and Coopworth/Shetland. Both crosses will be treated like mules and be bred to a terminal sire. This ram has a very lustrous locky fleece. Coopworths (a New Zealand breed bred from crossing Romney and Border Leicester and culling very hard for production and other traits) actually get FAT on grass too. If I like both crosses I will keep doing both-more wool types to sell and play with!

I put my goat breeding group together yesterday as one of the does was in heat and bawling and the bucks were getting restless-didn't want any accident kids from the wrong sire jumping out-so I stuck the white Texas buck in. He has already gotten to breed three of the five does! I didn't have the goats with a teaser either! I can't wait to see the kids' fleeces! (Or the lambs either!)


  1. Awesome cozy shelters! You must not get wind. If I built that here it would be gone in minutes when the wind kicks up!

  2. Is that your coopworth ram? He's very attractive. What is their fleece like?

  3. Hi Mim,

    We do get strong winds, but I'm hoping they don't blow down!

    Hi Juliann,

    Thanks. Coopworths are a longwool breed developed from Romney ewes crossed to Border Leicester rams and bred for production (the registry has a mandatory culling rate of 30% ewe lambs and 75% ram lambs.) The Cooworths have several styles of wool they can be crimpy and they can be locky. My ram is more locky and shiny. (Interesting thing is the colored Coopworths are smaller animals and their fleeces are about 3-4# less than the whites.)The wool is soft, but Shetland is softer. Handspinners do like Coopworth as it is very easy to spin (I think it may be a tad easier myself)and I think it will cross nicely with the Shetland-I'll find out!