Sunday, April 29, 2007

Almost done with Lambing

Well, it's been a week since I posted and three more lambs have arrived!

On Monday, April 23, Mabeline had our second Shetland mule lamb, Delia, pictured above. Delia is named with the first letter of her sire's name.

Cocoa's mule lamb, pictured here, will be called Derra. These two look a lot alike, but Derra is bigger and has more pheo coloring on the back of her neck. Their tails were banded on Wednesday night, that's something I haven't done much of breeding shetlands. I wimped out and asked my neighbor to do the dirty deed. They didn't seem too pained by the experience and they were good as new the next morning.

Tuesday night Tasha broke the streak of 10 unanswered ewe lambs with a musket ram lamb sired by Bombarde, his name still to be determined. He's got a wispy line of white across the back of his head.

And then on Friday morning as I was feeding the ewes before work, Jasmine delivered a musket krunet ram lamb. I was hoping for a grey lamb out of Jasmine, but this litte guy is very cute with a good sized krunet marking. He looks very much like his half sister, Bonnie pictured below. I keep getting them mixed up. Good thing he has horn buds. All of Bombarde's lambs were born up and running. They are so cute and have fabulously soft fleece!

Things have cooled off with the lambing now. As far as I know, next up is Cora, on May 22nd. She is carrying a shetland cross lamb too. I hope she'll do okay delivering it since she's just a yearling. Hers was an accidental crossbreeding.
Hopefully our BFL ewe Lanora was bred late too and will give us a purebred BFL lamb or two. Same thing goes for Lottie, hopefully she'll give us a crossbred lamb too.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

More Ewe Lambs...

I had to work Thursday and Friday, but that didn't stop four ewes from lambing. All had singles, all were ewe lambs. So now we're up to 10 ewe lambs and only two ram lambs!

On Thursday Cocoa (my favorite ewe) delivered the first of our long-awaited Shetland-Blue faced Leicester crosses, a shetland mule! She's adorable. My husband didn't notice her birth while I was gone. Probably because she was born outside and was a big as the two-week-old lambs. She weighed 10 pounds! I'm really hoping Mabeline has twins so that she doesn't have to deliver such a big single. But Cocoa seems to have done just fine.

Our F2 Holly bottle baby ewe lambs from last year delivered their ewe lambs on Friday. Hattie had a dainty little grey katmoget with head spots (above) and Hannah had a musket with blettet markings (below). Both their lambs were sired by Sheltering Pines Bombarde, who also carries a lot of UK genetics. Tight fleeces on these girls!

About 8 PM Friday night Elsa had a white ewe lamb with LOTS of pheo or some very light mioget spotting. I'll keep an eye on her to see if her color fades away over time. She's sired by Windswept Boggart, a mioget with spotting.

And last but not least, here's a shot of the twin ewe lambs Cordelia had on Wednesday afternoon. A fawn katmoget with head spotting and a musket. These twins were sired by Boggart and have the looser curls. We don't expect any more Boggart lambs, so his total was 2 ram lambs and 5 ewe lambs. Colors were: 2 white (one with tons of pheo), 3 moorit (may lighten to fawn or mioget), 1 musket, and 1 fawn katmoget. I am very pleased with all of them.

Donder only sired one lamb, that was Darcy, a black ewe with small headspots.

Bombarde has sired three ewe lambs so far with two more yearling ewes still to lamb. Colors are a grey katmoget with head spots, a fawn katmoget, and a musket blettet.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

48 hours later...

Here's a shot of Eliza's lamb 48 hours later. It may be hard to tell in the photo, but he's in mid-air. All the lambs are like jumping beans in the evening.

We had twin ewe lambs born on Monday afternoon out of 10-year-old Bramble Gillian and Windswept Boggart. They appear to be moorit, but could lighten up to mioget or fawn as time goes on.

And Gillian's yearling daughter, Grace, delivered our first ever katmoget ewe lamb within a hour of her mother's twins. The katmoget is sired by Sheltering Pines Bombarde and she is a pistol! Her fleece is very tightly curled.

So now we're at two ram lambs and four ewe lambs. All are doing fine and they are so much fun to watch. Eleven more ewes to go!

BTW, I reformatted the blog colors, text and layout for a more spring-like effect. I wish I could get more space around the photos though. Maybe I should center all the photos?

Monday, April 16, 2007

Eliza's lamb

What a perfect Sunday. Beautiful weather. I washed Eliza's fleece and put it out to dry, then I washed all our bedding hung it on the line. I sheared Windswept Boggart -- the poor boy was simply begging to get that wool off-- and Eliza delivered a beautiful white ram lamb right around 7:00 p.m. Her labor was very short, I noticed she was dropped in the morning but she ate with the rest of the ewes up until the evening hay. She chose a spot out in the paddock and I could see she was straining with contractions. So I checked her and saw the water bag. I had to refill the ewes' water bucket and by the time I got back (only 5 mintues later) I saw she had delivered her baby and was licking him off. I didn't have to get too close to realize it was a ram lamb. All this time, Darcy and Harley are having lamb races around Eliza, she didn't seem to mind. So as I was taking these photos, Darcy was climbing on me and panting to catch her breath. Those lambs are so cute!
I picked up the lamb and moved mother and baby to a jug inside the Megahut. Clipped and dipped his cord in iodine and made sure both faucets were unplugged. They are doing fine this morning and he looks quite full. This is perfect weather for lambing!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring at last!

The weather has finally gotten warmer and I'm feeling lamb deprived. Yes, we have two healthy, friendly lambs who are SO cute, but it's been over a week now with no new lambs and I'm getting anxious to see the results of my breeding plans. It appears Donder only sired one lamb before he bashed out that window last fall and was returned to the ram pen. Darcy is a keeper though.

To pass the time, I went out to the paddock with the handshears yesterday afternoon and waited for volunteers to have their fleece removed. Eliza and Cocoa came forward. As I was working on Eliza , I looked up to see our BFL ewe, Lanora checking out the situation. I think she might volunteer next. I finished Eliza with only one tiny nick on her neck. And Cocoa was very cooperative for half the job, then she took off and didn't want to have her back end done. Hopefully I can finish her off today.

I can't wait to see the first of our BFL crosses hit the ground. Cocoa and Mabeline are carrying them. Unfortunately, Lanora doesn't look the least bit pregnant to me. But she certainly should be, maybe it's just harder to tell with that long body. I didn't take the BFL ram out until March, so we could even have summer lambs.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Meet Harley

Bramble Diana decided to lamb at 2:20 A.M. last night when the temperature was only 13 degrees. And here's her ram lamb, River Oaks Harley. He's our first lamb out of Windswept Boggart. I was hoping for a mioget, and I will be watching closely to see if he lightens up. But he will definitely carry modified genes.
These cold temps are such a pain for lambing! I was freezing out there and was quite worried about Harley getting chilled.
I don't have the ewes in a building, just a 10 x 10' Megahut without doors. Fortunately, I have an extension cord running out there for the heated water bucket and a baby monitor. I found a heat lamp from the poultry and rigged it up in the middle of the night to help Harley dry off and warm up. It wasn't actually close enough to do much good, but at least I felt better about going back to bed.
This morning with the windchill below zero, I let Jemma and her ewe lamb, Darcy (sired by Minwawe Donder), out of the jug. Darcy is so friendly and she was so cute finally getting a chance to bounce and run on the snow and ice. It was short lived though, because Lottie still wants to steal her from Jemma. They were fighting over Darcy until I put mother and daughter back in the calf hut. I sure hope Lottie has a lamb of her own soon, because I don't have much jug space and a few more ewes look ready to pop.
I guess I'll be staying home on lamb watch tomorrow instead of having dinner with the relatives. I'll feel better staying close to home.
Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Our First Lamb of 2007!

Jemma delivered our first lamb of the season today. It's a ewe lamb, black with small white spots oh her head just like her mom. Name still to be decided.

The timing was a little earlier than I had planned. We're in the midst of a cold snap and I haven't got my good tight fencing up yet. Mom and baby are inside a calf hut tonight with a wire panel tied across the front. Another ewe, Lottie, wants to steal this baby so bad! She calls to the lamb and the lamb calls back to her. But the lamb is nursing and her mom has claimed her too. I'll be so glad when the weather warms up and Lottie has a lamb of her own.

Getting ready for Christmas Markets!

  I'll be doing two Christmas markets this year. The first one is at Sapsucker Farms in Brook Park, MN Nov. 18-19th. And the second one ...