Sunday, April 25, 2010
Lana's lamb - her name came to me this morning - she will be Ebony.
Life has been so busy around here this week! In addition to lambing, we had a stock pond dug out in the 20 acre pasture of our Ogilvie land on Thursday. I haven't seen it yet. Hopefully I can get over there this afternoon. We'll need lots of rain to fill it up. Then on Friday we had some fill brought in to level out the paddock south of pole barn here. We used all of our precious aged compost as topsoil over the fill - I should have saved some for my planters.
Oops, I almost forgot, I found the first Shetland goose egg this morning! It was laying in the mud, and I put it in the nest. I hope that means more to come. Maybe I should separate my pairs. Although I can't tell the ganders apart, so I don't know who should go with who...
Monday, April 19, 2010
River Oaks Lana had a ewe lamb all dried off and fed when I went out to feed the sheep on Sunday morning. I think she may be modified, her skin looks rather brownish, but her fleece is black.
She weighed 7 lbs. Only half as much as Lanora's ram lamb who was born Saturday morning.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Just a quick post to say that our white BFL ewe, Beechtree Lanora, had her lamb this morning. It's a beautiful white ram lamb with a very blue head. Look at those ears! He's certainly not a pinkie. :-)
This boy is white carrying color. And he is the last BFLlamb for us this year. Our two 2-year-old ewes didn't take last fall. I'm disappointed not to get any lambs out of Ward Harwell, he's a gorgeous ram. Next year I'll leave my breeding groups together longer.
Overall with the BFLs lambing, we've had 50/50 rams and ewes, and 50/50 colored/white. Now I can relax and wait for the Shetlands to start in with their lambs.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
River Oaks Rhisa 1 day old and weighing in at 13 pounds.
I'm noticing the rich brown facial stripes in the black gulmoget ewes right now.
This is a very pregnant River Oaks Lana, she was in the rise at shearing and she looks a little raggedy now, but she's also got solid sides. I don't know if she's homozygous black or not. I would love to get a moorit gulmoget lamb from her.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
It was grain feeding time, so all the ewes were inside at the feeders. Rhyn took a few bites, laid down to push and got up for a few more bites. I decided to watch from in the house. Suddenly I thought I'd better go check for two hooves and a nose. By the time I got to the barn, a newborn natural colored BFL ewe lamb was sprawled out on the hay in the narrow walkway between the feeder and the wall of the pole barn.
I've not been very excited about lambing this year, but there's something very special about witnessing those first quiet, gentle moments of life and the bonding of mother and baby.
While all the other sheep were busily eating their grain, old Bramble Cordelia came over checked out the newcomer real good. The yearling ewe lambs were afraid to go past and they had to jump as high as they could to get past her. Not wanting anyone to get hurt, I moved the baby out of the walkway and into one end of the barn and I set up a panel to separate them from the flock.
Then I went back to house to watch for another lamb's arrival. I was hoping for twins this year out of Rhyn, she seemed so big. But when none came, I clipped and dipped the cord in iodine and went to strip the wax plugs from Rhyn's teats. Again this year I had to get Stan's help in holding her still for that. I tried to help the lamb find the teat, but she resisted. So I gave her a little bottle of the colostrum I had milked out and a supplement I keep on hand for the BFL lambs.
But this morning the lamb was noisy and skinny, and Rhyn's bag seemed pretty sensitive. So Stan set up our new homemade headgate and we managed to get Rhyn locked in it. I am the first to admit I absolutely HATE having to milk out a ewe. I have an Udderly EZ milker which I eventually employed, but I am just not good at milking sheep even with good equipment. And Rhyn wasn't too happy about it either. The lamb got another bottle of colostrum and I got very frustrated with the whole situation. It really wasn't Rhyn's fault this time, it was that STUPID lamb's fault.
I wrote about it on the BLU Board group this morning and got some very reassuring advice from longtime Shetland and BFL breeder Judy Colvin. She said just stay out of there and don't bother relieving pressure on the mom's bag. And don't try to help that dumb lamb unless she's humped up. Just let them be. So that's what I did. I gave Rhyn a shot of Banamine just in case she had pain issues and I released her from the headgate which was making her pretty upset.
And now from the looks of things on the barn cam, the ewe lamb has figured it out! At least for one side of her bag - the sensitive side - it's completely shrunk up! So the lamb is getting all that good colostrum. Oh what a relief! Suddenly the sun is out and the rain that fell overnight makes the grass look green.
Saturday, April 03, 2010
River Oaks Lana and Freida before shearing - rich black color from their Holly genetics.Lambing seems to have sneaked up on me this year. I've been going a mile a minute for weeks now and suddenly I realize our first BFL lambs are due in only a week! I've got to put in an order to Premiere from some Kolostral, tags, Nutri-drench and a new battery for the electronet.
This is the time of year I do daily bag checks. I'm comparing bag shots from last year with actual delivery dates. And according to last year's photos, Rhyn should deliver pretty close to her due date of April 10th. I'm hoping for my first sets of BFL twins this year. But I will be plenty happy with healthy singles and attentive mothers. We've got two BFLs that I'm pretty sure are bred, but they could still prove me wrong. Not much for bags on them yet.
I had the vet out yesterday to look at Cordelia's eye and give Shachah his shots. Cordelia seems to have scratched her cornea. I got a new tube of antibiotic eye ointment (my old tube was expired) and gave her a shot of Banamine which I had on hand.
Shachah got his rabies, distemper and Lyme vaccinations and was tested for heartworm and tick borne diseases. He came up positive for anaplasmosis, so now we have to start him on doxycycline for four weeks. He'll need five pills a day. He only eats once a day, so I'm going to have to get him to take a little snack laced with pills in the mornings in addition to the same at his evening meal. I suppose I'll have to put the pills in venison burger...
Zeilinger's got my 32 pounds of washed wool in time for me to get the 23% discount on processing - that discount covers the cost of shipping. In fact they've already gotten my white BFL roving done and will ship it back right away. The rest won't be done until late May-early June, they are so overwhelmed with orders. I'm having a three-way swirl roving made from my longer-stapled black, moorit and mioget Shetland fleeces, and I'm having all the white Shetland Mule made into batts for felting (13 lbs). The natural colored BFL is being processed into combed top - it was kind of felted after washing, so combed top was the way to go. I think the processing is worth every penny, Zeilinger's does such a nice job on everything.
Off to work this morning and then I'll be on a mission to clean this house in time for the big family Easter dinner here tomorrow. Last week we were fortunate to win $250 in gift cards from the grocery store we work at. It really helps to cover the cost of groceries! A couple years ago our youngest won it in cash and we split it with him since it was our groceries that won the prize (they pick an employee at random and then go check their cupboards for the store brand items,they pay $10 for each item up to 25 items).
Oh and I almost forgot, our youngest finished his schooling two weeks ago and has landed a full time job with benefits! He'll be a help desk operator for the Apple iPhone after he completes 5 weeks of paid training. The bad thing is the training starts tomorrow, Easter Sunday! Strange, huh? Oh well, we are just so happy he's got a job and will be able to make the payments on his student loans. This is such a tough time to find a job. He plans to continue to working as a freelance videographer which is what he went to school for. But he needs to invest in a good computer and camera now that he's done with school and won't be able to use their equipment any more.
I've been getting ready to teach a Nuno Felt Tunic class this weekend at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. I've mad...