Sunday, March 29, 2009

I hate to admit this, but...

I was shocked at shearing to see how thin my sheep were. I immediately started them on corn and alfalfa pellets once a day. They are also getting good alfalfa hay at both feedings.

I really should have had our hay tested to see what the nutrient level was.

The Bluefaced Leicester ewes should be due in 2-3 weeks, if they are pregnant. They hardly even look pregnant except for their developing bags which are about grapefruit size. Here's Lanora...

Of course, we do have some easy keepers who are already pretty big, like Hattie...who isn't even due until after April 25th.

And Mabeline....I have her due date on the calendar for April 12th. She is our only ewe bred to produce Shetland Mule lambs this year.

6 comments:

  1. a few of mine are thin too...I think it's from the rough winter from the warm to cold and back and forth.

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  2. Are your BFLs thinner than your Shetlands?

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  3. Oh, Becky ~ I know just how you feel! I always worry about my girls getting enough to eat. As a result, I usually tend to overfeed my bred ewes. But, it's really hard to tell under all that wool! One year I caught a ram lamb (coming yearling) shortly before shearing and found he was skin and bones! I was so mortified and felt like the world's worst shepherd. I felt so guilty ~ like I was starving the poor little guy. Needless to say, I increased the ram's hay rations and all were fine by shearing day...

    I'm betting your girls will be fine. You may have to do what I do and separate the 'easy keepers' out so the rest get enough to eat...

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  4. I agree Rayna, this was a pretty tough winter for the sheep with all the cold temps we had. And then we got stuck using the poorer quality big bales that our hay guy was storing in our barn. We couldn't get to the better quality bales in the back. Now I'm feeding alfalfa hay that we bought.
    Poor old Cordelia looks the worst.
    But to answer Laura's question, yes, the BFLs and the ewe lambs are thinner than the adult Shetlands (except Cordelia) and the adult Shetland Mules.
    I've been graining the whole flock, ram included, for almost two weeks now and it's amazing how much better they are looking already.
    Good idea Nancy, I want to separate the BFLs and Shetland Mules from the Shetlands and the ewe lambs. I've been waiting for nicer weather, hopefully I can do it after the winter storm passes through.

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  5. Mabeline looks enormous! She is due on my birthday! Hooray!

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  6. April 12th is my neice's birthday too! I'll always remember it as the day my youngest (at 7 weeks old) went into respiratory arrest and I had to call an amublance. Eventually he was flown to the Twin Cities by helicopter and had two major surgeries. He's a fine healthy 20 year old now, but it seems like just yesterday...

    Oh that Mabeline, she's always on the large side, check out this shot of her in August last year, http://riveroaksfarmstudioblog.blogspot.com/2008_08_01_archive.html

    I hope she gives me with some nicely spotted mule lambs again this year. I traded her 2008 ewe lamb for the Ile de France ram lamb.

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