Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lambing/kidding 3/19-3/27

Here are some of the lambs and kids that have arrived so far.

First, this is England's buck kid he weighed 4# at birth. He is the dumbest baby animal that I have ever had! He refused to nurse from his dam until he was 4 days old and I had to hold him on to get him to nurse. Finally at 6 days he nursed from her on his own. Talk about slow! (He will not be used or sold for breeding. :> ) The first Corriedale sired Shetland lambs! Both are ewes and weighed 6# 12oz and 7# 5oz. Both were very vigorous at birth and are doing well. Birth coats look like a double coated Shetland lamb's. (The ewe is double coated/intermediate.)
Pearl my faded red Angora doe had twin faded red DOE kids out of the pure white Texas buck! I am so glad that they are both does. They 4#8oz and 4#15oz.Alice my Merino had Shetland (Fandango) sired cross lambs -a ram and ewe. They weighed 6#13oz and 6#4oz.This huge "pony" is almost as tall as my Shetland ewes and weighed 13#! She is out of the Corriedale and Eco a katmoget Shetland/BFL mule.First Coopworth sired Shetland cross lamb. He weighed 6# His birth coat looks like a Coopworth lamb's.Dove a white Shetland ewe produced the first pure Shetland lambs of the year. They are both rams out of Drummond a musket. They weighed 5#7oz and 5#8oz.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two More Does Kid/Sad Begining-Happy Ending

England (black) a first time kidder gave birth to a tiny white buck kid. He was slightly chilled when we found him, but is doing well now except for not wanting to learn to nurse from his dam, he does like a bottle though. My guess is his mouth is so tiny-to small to get on the teats which are bigger than the bottle nipple. I have not weighted him yet, but I think he only weights 3#.

Belle (white color carrier) also had a white buck kid. He looked great. He was big probably 6 or 7# and was vigorously trying to stand up and nurse. (It is great when they try nursing as some Angora kids are kind of dumb and don't try. They are good mom's though and some will even butt at a person trying to help to protect their babie/s.) Any way he was great until he had an umbilical hernia and his guts (an apple size amount) were coming out. I shortly thought about trying to put them back, but the opening was so small that there was no way I'd get them back. I did call the vet and he said that the kid was a gonner. He could get the guts back, but since barn floors are dirty...He'd get a huge infection. So we put the poor kid out of his misery. (He was in a lot of pain or shock as he was shaking really hard.)

The happy ending is his dam decided she was not going to not have a kid and started licking off China's (rejected) white kid WITHOUT me even getting a chance to get it wet and get birth fluids, etc. on it (grafting tricks.) I am so happy that he has a mom and I don't have an "empty doe". I did lock them up in a tight pen as the kid needed to learn than he was going to have a mom. He had been wandering around without paying attention to the doe. (He was born on Tue. and got a new mom on Fri. so he was 4 days old.) He did discover the worlds greatest milk bar. It's so much better than the stuff the humans bring and is always there and is never the wrong temperature. This morning he was sleeping next to her!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Is Here!

I've been busy (blade) shearing, hoof trimming and vaccinating with CDT my sheep and crotching the goats. (I'll shear the goats in April as they aren't as cold tolerant as sheep.) I got done with the ewes just in time as they are due to start laming on this Sat. I still have to shear my rams and yearlings. I have been skirting and weighing the fleeces and they are about 6-8 oz. heavier on average (skirted weight) than last year! The sheep are in very good condition this year and last year they were a bit on the thin side. (They got good Alfalfa hay this year and last year they had lowish quality grass hay.)
The first set of babies came on Tue.! China a black Angora doe gave birth to triplet bucks. The sire is Danbury a pure white Texas Angora. The surprise is the color of the kids. Pure white Angoras have been bred against color for so long that most pure whites don't have a color gene. I guess my buck does! I'm happy because these kids should have really nice mohair as pure whites generally have better mohair than the colored goats. The med. colored kid had weak tendons from being in a weird position in the womb-he was side ways. I put splints on and he is fine now. (I took the splints off tonight.) The poor white kid was rejected, so he is a bottle baby. It was partly his fault as he was stupid and refused to drink (I tried to get him to nurse from her.) He had to be tubed and then finally accepted a bottle at 4 AM after being born at about 5 PM.
This is one of the "ladies in waiting." Triplets?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Roving CSA Shares

Looking for a fun, easy way to get roving for your handspinning and felting needs? Psalm 23 Farm is now offering wool/mohair CSA shares. For $130 a year or $70 twice yearly you will receive a total of approx. 4# of wool and wool/mohair roving spaced between 4 shipments every 3 months in a multitude of colors (dyed and natural.) The CSA year will be based on the "sheep" year starting in April (twice yearly payments will be due in April and Oct.) You will also enjoy a biannual newsletter on the farm. I do have to limit the number of shares to 15.

Psalm 23 Farm's soft, lustrous wool and mohair comes from Shetland and Shetland cross (Coopworth and Corriedale) sheep as well as colored and white Angora goats. All breedingstock have names and graze on lush pastures during the growing season. In the winter all sheep and goats wear coats to keep their wool and mohair clean.

(Roving can be seen on my wool sales blog.) I can also send samples upon request.

If interested e-mail me with your address and I will send you a form or simply send me your name, address, phone, and e-mail along with the payment of choice.

Laura Matthews
12223 Lax Chapel Rd.
Kiel, WI 53042

Saturday, March 6, 2010


Here is some of the yarn that I have spun recently. I have started shearing my sheep now so won't have much time to spin (lambs start coming in 2 weeks and kids in 1 week.)

This is some Cormo, spun from Cormo combed top. I didn't really like spinning it very much. I think it is harder to spin than Merino top. I does have a good hand and is VERY soft.
Shetland lamb and natural colored cotton
Black Teeswater, white Wenslydale and grey Romney. I am thinking of making a shawl from this. Both this longwool and the Shetland/cotton were very fun to spin.
Another sunset-we've been having beautiful sunsets almost every night!

Sheep X-ing

Paul and Carol's Coopworth sheep going home to be shorn and then have their lambs after spending a winter on pasture (eating hay.) The line of sheep was about 3/4 mile long. They follow the tractor as it means food to them.