Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Shepherd's Harvest weekend/lambing, etc.

Spring has definitely sprung, the stone cherry tree is in full bloom and the dandelions are up.
Those Black Locust trees aren't dead, in a month they will be full of fragrant blossoms and lots of bumble bees.
I've got a full weekend planned, starting on Friday with a day of training for work in Bloomington and going to the Friends School Plant Sale with my oldest son Alex. Now that he's a homeowner he's really gotten into landscaping.   And on Saturday, I'll be at Shepherd's Harvest of course. 
Then I'll visit my mom on Sunday.  It will be the first time in years that I've been able to go home on Mother's Day.
I will not have a booth at Shepherd's Harvest this year. I will judge the felting competition Saturday morning and then shop to my heart's content. :-)  My major purchase will be a lambing jug and a ewe headlock from Sydell.  Thankfully I'll get a 10 % discount for being a member of Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers.
Shearing revealed that 3 of my 4 yearling Bluefaced Leicester ewes are bred (along with two yearling Shetlands). Lambing could start as early as May 19th (after Hansel's break out on Christmas Eve day).  Having the ewe headlock will allow me to handle tasks like milking out a ewe, letting a lamb nursing from a sensitive new mom, hoof trimming, ear tagging all by myself.
I'm also buying an extra panel so I can have a safe heat lamp area for the lambs.  I noticed that the BFL lambs born in March, 2011 grew better than the later born BFL lambs. Once they were dried off and nursing, they were able to take single digit temps without missing a beat or needing a heat lamp.  Plus I got all twins with March lambing of the BFLs. 

I'm seriously considering attending a Spring/Summer Jacket felting workshop in Otsego, Michigan in July.  Anyone want to ride out there with me? Otsego is close to Allegan and Kalamazoo, it's possible to haul a  few sheep one way or the other...just thinking out loud here.  Shoot me an email if you're interested in traveling and/or sheep transport.

Speaking of which, I have two ram lambs for sale, including the polled moorit gulmoget  in the photo below and a horned dark moorit who is not pictured.
Hattie's twin gulmoget lambs, she always produces rich color.

Good news - RAIN has come, yeah! The hayfield we planted in alfalfa and orchard grass last year is looking good but the rain is just what it needed. We've had over 4 inches in the past 5 or 6 days.

If you have time, click on this link to a great article about the Shepherd's Harvest festival director Julie MacKenzie. I loved how the reporter picked up the experience so many of us have with raising our own fiber animals. 




2 comments:

  1. Darla had a beautiful ewe lamb on Wednesday. All is well with both of them, and the lamb is the spittin image of her mother. Pix on my blog. Sorry we missed you at Shepherd's Harvest today.

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  2. I saw Darla and her new baby on your blog Sharrie, but wasn't able to comment from the hotel (forgot to bring my passwords with me). I'm so glad she gave you a ewe lamb! I hope all is well, how about Cleo, is she going to lamb too?
    Yes, sorry to have missed you at Shepherd's Harvest too. Their were so many people there, what great weather we had. I think that brought out the crowds. I only bought the lambing jug set up, some Finn wool and some dyed Icelandic wool for felting. But I sure had fun getting around to visit the vendors this year. So much nicer than being tied to a booth all weekend. :-)

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