Showing posts from April, 2009

Cordelia's Lambs

Here's a shot of Cordelia's lambs taken shortly after their birth this morning. Their fleeces are on the longer side, but if they are anything like her previous lambs, they should have nice fleeces in adulthood, especially with Harrison's crimp added in.

Cordelia threw her Ag to both her lambs. It will be interesting to see how the Ag affects the gulmoget. We have two moorit ewes bred to Harrison also, but they don't look very close to lambing yet.

We had to run up to the auction for hay at noon. I bought orchard grass hay this time instead of alfalfa - no cheap hay this time, I paid $2.60/bale and it started to rain right after we bid. So we had to scramble to get it home before it got too wet.

I'm going to see if I can get in 5 hours of work today.

Our First Purebred Shetland Lambs of 2009!

This is what I found when I went out to feed the sheep this morning.
Woo-hoo, both are EWE lambs! Well-fed sturdy ewe lambs. :-))) Sired by polled gulmoget Kimberwood Harrison. Dam is River Oaks Hattie, an F2 Holly.

Ten year old Bramble Cordelia (F1 Minder) is in labor now too....

I just came back in for towels to help wipe off Cordelia's lambs. I went back to see Cordelia licking off an Ag grey ram lamb (with flat spots where the horn buds would be) and then she turned around and delivered a black gulmoget EWE lamb right in front of me.

The ewe lamb count is finally catching up with the ram lambs...7 boys and 6 girls!

A Mental Health Day

I took a mental health day today. Working 7 days a week has been too much for me with lambing at the same time. Cordelia is due tomorrow and Hattie is due on Saturday.

No, I didn't spend my day cleaning house, quite the opposite in fact.

I decided to stay home and work on a felt piece commissioned by a friend. I got out all my fibers and bubble wrap (actually pool liner), set up my tables, etc. I started in on the commission peice, but I soon realized I was being called to do a portrait of Lena (a Shetland Mule) using the wet felting technique I learned in Ewa Kuniczak's class last year at the Midwest Felting Symposium.

First I laid out the black background. One layer horizontal, one vertical. Wet it down with warm soapy water and added two more layers, horizontal and vertical. Then I wet them down and was ready to do my "painting"with wool roving...

I used only natural colored wool from own Shetland sheep. It is a very limited color palette.

Next it needed to be rolle…

Catching up

Thursday was so warm, I let Lanora and her newborn lamb out of the jug at about 2:00 p.m. He weighed 13 lbs. So it was another big single for Lanora this year and she did it all on her own. Whew!

Mabeline and her lambs got to come out of their jug earlier in the day.
I saw that Delia was in labor so I decided to postpone the rest of my workday until after the lambs arrived. Delia chose the same spot that her mother, Mabeline, had lambed in just 24 hours earlier.

Mom checked in on her as things started progressing. Oh-oh, I noticed there was only a nose, no hooves. So I went in to check for them; they weren't far back. Delia swiftly delivered this 10 pound 3/4 BFL ram lamb (our 6th this year!).

I snapped a few photos as she licked him off. Then she hunched up and pushed for a second. I checked for a twin and this is was I saw...
I snapped the photo without really looking, from the shape of things I was thinking the lamb was breech and that I needed to open the membranes quickly b…

Mabeline and Lanora's Lambs!

Well, something finally gave! I noticed Mabeline was in labor just as I was about to head out for my afternoon of census work yesterday. I decided to stick around in case she needed any help. But I just got to watch and take photos.

In labor about 1:30 p.m....

Two hooves and a nose, perfect!
I keep old towels on hand to help wipe away the gunk.

This 9 lb. boy was ready to nurse even before he learned to stand!

And here comes twin sister...

Out of the wind and into the jug, both lambs prefer the right milk faucet. Sister is in the yellow.
Five hours later, all dried off and well fed... Both babies were vigorous and good size. I think the ewe lamb is a little bigger than the ram lamb.

And now, Lanora's story!
This morning I awoke to the voice of a sheep - not unusual at all, but it reminded me that Lanora is due anytime. After last year and my BFL girls not being interested in their newborns until hours later, I've been vigilantly keeping an eye on Lanora. Thankfully, Rhyn lambed while…

Something's gotta give one of these days!

I've been watching for Mabeline to lamb for days. You may recall that I had her marked on the calendar for Easter lambs. She did the same thing to me last year, she's as big as a house and appears very dropped. She was the only ewe bred to produce Mule lambs for me this year. (The 3/4 BFL lambs we've had born here aren't Mules, they are just crosses.)

If Mabeline doesn't lamb this week, she may have been bred to Kimberwood Harrison. Same story with Mabeline's daughter, Delia, who looks ready to go any minute.

Our BFL ewe, Lanora, should lamb anytime, Saturday will be 147 days from when we took the ram out. She's getting quite a bag.

Poor Hattie isn't due until May 2nd.

No new lambs for days now, so here are some photos of the last two that were born.

Above are Lavender (in back) and Devlyn (foreground). Lavender weighed 11 pounds at 24 hours. She and Devlyn are pals, but he has to be careful of her overprotective mother who butts him away pretty sound…

Finally a Ewe lamb! And some new worries...

Meet Lavender, she's a strapping ewe lamb born last night as my neighbor and I were dividing up our essential oils order and raving about the scent of Hungarian Lavender. Thankfully Stan let us know that one of the ewes was pushing. I helped to pull her out after the head was delivered. I was amazed that lamb just kept coming and coming. I haven't weighed her yet, since the neighbor was witnessing the whole event and we needed to get back the oils, but I would say she was at least 10 pounds. She was up and nursing quickly and Dot was a perfect mother. I was pretty sure Dot was only going to single, I'm just very glad it was a colored ewe lamb. We're at 3 rams, and one ewe so far.
Lavender is out of Dot is my finest fleeced Shetland Mule, and Granite, our finest fleeced BFL ram. So she is 3/4 BFL, 1/4 Shetland. I may keep her.

Devlyn's fleece is really different, it's very short and feels like suede. So maybe he was more licked off when I first found him than …

Out of the Jug

Rhyn and her lamb were able to leave the jug and enjoy the wonderful sunshine today. I need to figure out a name for this little guy. His sire is Dougal, so I want a "D" name.

A Bright New Day and a Bouncy BFL lamb

Last night I was pretty worried about Rhyn's little guy. He wolfed down 2 oz. of colostrum and 2 oz. of supplement. He was pretty noisy when I turned out the barn lights and headed in for bed.

This morning I got Stan to hold Rhyn again so her lamb could nurse. By this time her bag was fuller and it must have felt better once the pressure was relieved. She relaxed while the lamb worked on both sides. Stan had to get to work, but I stayed a little longer and watched as the little ram nursed while Rhyn munched on hay. Oh, what a relief that was! I still gave him a 2 oz bottle of supplement to make sure he'd get through until we could check in on him again at lunch time.

We only had a half hour lunch break today and thankfully the little guy would only take about an ounce of his lunchtime bottle. Now tonight after work I see that he's gotten those bouncy lamb feet. Thank heavens! And check out his alert upright ears. I'll wait until tomorrow night to dock his tai…

Our First BFL Lamb of 2009

Well I had my first day of training for the 2010 Census job today. I'm in training all week from 8-4:30. Thankfully we had an hour lunch today so I ran home to check on Delia (a Shetland mule). She looked dropped to me this morning and her bag is pretty full.

Everyone looked fine, so I tossed in some hay and topped off their water before heading back to training about 12:45. When I got home at 4:45 I went out to feed the ewes their grain. Things get really chaotic when I dish up the grain and distribute it -- certainly no place for a newborn lamb to be.
As I brought grain outside for 10-year-old Cordelia and the two bred ewe lambs, I thought to myself that Derra's lambs sounded really upset. Then I saw Derra's lambs quietly frolicking outside. That's when I realized we had a newborn lamb.

I raced back inside and saw a little black lamb standing there bawling, quite a set of lungs on that one! He was dry, but he hadn't been licked clean. I looked for Delia. Oh-…

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

Derra's black lamb is very laid back. He doesn't get too excited when mom gets lost in the shuffle.
Derra's twins have been out enjoying the sunny afternoons...We've been getting lots of visitors's a shot from this morning-
Elsie and Emmy, our yearling Shetland Mules, are always the first to greet visitors. Below is a shot from Thursday,
I'm sorry to say I didn't get a photo of Tom and Debbie who visited the flock yesterday (Friday). It's been so fun to meet prospective shepherds and see the flock enjoying all the attention.

On the wool front, our latest shipment of combed top came back from Zeilinger's on Thursday. I had a batch of black with shaela done and a batch of long, silky moorit with fawn. I can't say enough good things about the turn around time for Zeilinger's and the quality of work they do. There is NO VM in the combed top, it's really nice! I got in on the 25% prepaid discount too.
Rhyn is definitely looking …

Our First Lambs of 2009

Yesterday was Derra's due date. In the morning I noticed she had a bit of discharge and she looked smaller - not so much like a hot air balloon. I headed off to work thinking for sure there would be lambs when I got home. Nope.

This afternoon she hung back and didn't get up when I went out there. I noticed a little more mucous discharge. But when I fed the flock she got right in there to eat.

After supper I checked the barn cam and noticed her digging in the corner of the barn - finally! She didn't lay down though, she went back outside. So I gathered the lambing bucket supplies: the scissors, iodine, towel, camera and sheep book.

Then the door bell rang. It was Jeannine, a gal I used to work with at the orthodontist office. She was out on her evening walk and decided to stop in and see if we had any lambs yet - her granddaughter has been talking about seeing lambs when she comes to Mora for Easter.

Talk about perfect timing! Sure enough, by the time we got out there, a wh…