Thursday, April 29, 2010

Whew! I think we're done!

At least I hope so... I had two yearlings lamb today without a hitch. Grettle had a sweet little 6 lb. black ewe this morning. Her wool has grown so much over the winter, I was afraid the lamb couldn't find her udder, but, no problem.
Georgia had a seven lb. black ewe lamb this afternoon. That little girl was so vigorous, she was up and running in seconds, wandering around the barn, chewing on hay. After about 20 minutes, she decided it was time for some milk. Neither of these girls were supposed to get bred, but Grady had other ideas, and broke into their pen when they were cycling. Well, I guess all's well that ends well! It's so nice to see how well these young mothers do with their lambs.

We've begun shearing a couple of sheep per day. The Icelandics shed naturally in the spring, so if you wait for the spring break in the wool, shearing is easy. We put them on a stand, and it comes off in just a few short minutes. This is Finn, our two year old ram. He's maturing very nicely. I love his wide horns. He has the silkiest fleece of all of our rams, and the calmest demeanor. He has given us a lot of cute black spotted lambs,
and of course plenty of white lambs too.

Drea's twin ewes, by Grady

Esther's twin ewes, by Finn. These girls are so chunky!
I'll do this breeding again next year.

Claire's adorable moorit ram

Evra and her pair of black badgers, a ram and a ewe.

Pippi's black grey spotted ewe
Now I have to get everyone named, and my sales list ready, which will probably come out in May.
Maybe now I can get some sleep!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Small miracles

I was sad when I thought that Fionna, my largest 2 year old ewe, lost her lambs this winter due to a miscarriage. Imagine my surprise this spring when she developed an udder full of milk and a round tummy! Today, she finally had her lamb,
an 8 lb. moorit grey ram!
Sire is Finn.
Spring is really here, the gardens are in full bloom, and so is the lawn! Here are some of our bluebells.

Can you see Belle, peaking at me from in the barn?
I love this crab apple tree on the north side of our barn. I bought it as a tiny forlorn little twig of a plant in the reduced section at Smith & Hawken in Chicago. It has beautiful, delicate shell pink blooms with a heavenly scent, and sets on tons of tiny red crab apples.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Getting ready...

I'm getting ready for "Ag Day" tomorrow, a program put on by our county extension program for 4th and 5th graders (400 of them!). I think this is the 4th year that I've participated in it. I bring along a couple of ewes and their lambs, as well as some sheep products. I always try to make it interesting, and even try to freak the kids out a bit. I show them sheep horns and tell them that yes, they eat this things (in Jello), and other odd tidbits.
I just hate being away from the flock for the day. We still have a few ewes due, plus many tiny confused lambs that sometimes get lost. Well, my husband promises to be home on his lunch break. I don't know how much good that will be. He just isn't that aware of who has lambed, or will lamb, and then tends to freak out about things. I hope all goes well....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lambs, lambs everywhere!

Esther's girls
Everywhere I look, there are lambs! No new ones today,
so I spent some time in my much neglected flower beds.
And, of course, taking more cute lamb photos.
Pippi's pair of spotted black greys

Folly with her newly born babes,
a white girl and a moorit grey boy.
Small, but mighty!

Folly and newborn twins

Charlotte and her twin girls

Dalla's incredibly cute black grey spotted girl

Esther's black spotted ewe

Pippi's girl

Helen and Helena, Felicia's girls

King (Queen?) of the Mountain

Happy, smiling babies

Faye and her chunky boy

Stella's white triplets
Lambing is winding down. Still 3 or 4 left to go,
unless I get more surprises.........

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Morning

( I began this post on Sat. morning, but have been too busy to post it)
Mornings like this is the reason I no longer breed ewe lambs. This past fall, Grady broke into our non-breeding ewe lamb pen twice, so I have several unplanned breedings.

My favorite ewe lamb Garland happened to be one of those little floozy girls who got bred. She was a big girl, so I hoped everything would be alright.

At 6 this morning, I found her in labor. I sat in the barnyard drinking coffee, and watched her. She wasn't progressing, so I had my husband hold her while I went in a checked for the lamb's presentation. Two legs forward with the head turned back. Way back. UGH!! The worst.
We finally ended up turning the lamb around and pulling it breech (dead). My husband had to euthanize the ewe. Her uterus was ruptured and she was spilling out her intestines. Horrible, horrible, horrible. I still can't get the image out of my mind.

Fennel saved the day, with a beautiful set of black twins. Thank God!

That evening, another one of our ewe lambs went into labor. Ginger had a big black ram lamb on her own, Grady is the sire. She's one of my crazy girls. She's a good momma, though.

Monday, my bottle ewe from 2009 (Godiva) had a little (6.5 lb.) ewe on her own. So nice to see these ewe lambs as good mothers.

Later that day, Garnet, Claire's ewe lamb had a 7.5 ewe lamb. She is also doing a great job, caring for her new baby.

This morning, Folly went into labor, and produced a pair of teeny tiny little lambs, both 3.5 lb. a moorit grey ram and a white ewe. Even though they are small, they are feisty! and so cute.

Delphine finally lambed today. She went into the lambing jug this morning, and Stella her momma (along with her white triplets) joined her in the barn. Just like her momma Stella, she produced 3 big white lambs, an 8 lb. ram, and 8 lb. ewe and and 9 lb. ewe. All doing well, and Delphine will be a good momma.

Today was my daughter's 17th birthday! She is one life's best blessings.

More lambing to come. Boy am I tired. I've taken lots of cute lamb pics, so hopefully I can get those posted soon. They are so adorable!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What a day!

What a day this has been. Frea started out the day with a tiny ewe lamb. I think she's a premie, our first in 8 years of lambing. Mom looks bewildered, lambie looks confused. She wanted to nurse, but just couldn't get the hang of it. So, I decided to tube her. This is quite a scary thing to do. Elaine from Flesi Farm in Maine has some great instructions, so that is what I follow. Blogger won't let me cut and past the instructions, dang it.
So, I've been tubing the premie today, and she seems to be doing well. Frea is quite frustrated. She wants to be a momma, and doesn't like this situation! The little ewe weighed in at 3.75 lb.
Ella lambed while all of this was going on. Such a good ewe, no problems with her--ever. A smaller ram lamb weighing 5 lb. and a big ewe lamb weighing 9 lb., both black. Ella is such a nice, easy going, no problem ewe.
As Ella was lambing, so was Claire. Claire was certain that Ella's ewe was hers. I quickly put Ella and her lambs in the barn, much to Claire's dismay. She bellowed and fussed around the barn door, but finally settled into pushing out her lamb. A GIANT moorit ram weighing in at 12 lb. His horn buds are gigantic. Claire has had 2 sets of triplets, and several twins, so it was quite a surprise for her to have a single. This little guy should grow out really well.
Here's a cute pic of Dalla's ewe lamb. Isn't she adorable?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Evra lambs

Evra had twin black badgerface lambs yesterday morning at about 6 am. That seems to be a popular time with the girls. She had an 8 lb. ram and a 4.5 lb. ewe. The ewe was backwards, so I was glad to be there. She came out so quickly, Evra didn't even realize she had a second.
Delilah is so funny with her new baby, spoiling it rotten. She's extremely protective, and wouldn't leave the barn all day. That little ewe is the cleanest, fattest baby here. Her wool glistens like mohair.

We certainly have been blessed with some beautiful lambing weather. Most of our springs are wet and dreary, but we've gone from winter to almost summer like weather in no time at all.
Lamb count: 13 ewes, 12 rams

Monday, April 12, 2010

Lambs, lambs everywhere!

Found Delilah at 6 am frantically licking off a giant 11 lb. ewe lamb, sadly dead. I'm sure it came out backward and drowned. Poor thing. "If only" I had gotten up an hour earlier. A second ewe lamb followed, almost identical in coloring and weighing 9 lb. That darn Delilah. Such a piggy girl. She is very possessive and proud of her remaining lamb. She's a black spotted badger, with Finn being the sire. Hope she has horns. Delilah is the only true polled ewe in our flock. One of Stella's triplets, a ram
I went a little crazy with lamb photos today. I snapped away until the batteries died on my camera. The lamby cuteness only lasts so long, so I try to take advantage of it!Dalla and her twins, a white ram and a gorgeous and most interestingly colored greyish blue spotted ewe lamb.
Sire is Finn. Pippi's black grey spotted ewe lamb.
I'm feeling pretty irritated at Pippi tonight. She's one of those ewes that won't keep her baby bums clean. They get all yellow and pasty, hard as concrete, and as smelly as can be. I spent part of my evening soaking lamb butts in warm sudsy water, then spraying them with PAM cooking spray. Weird, huh?
The oily spray really helps to keep those bums clean.
Esther's black spotted crazy girlDrea, headed out to pasture with her girlsA close up of Drea's black badgerface ewe. The black badgers have a lot of moorit coloring, but Icelandics can only be one of 2 colors, black or moorit. It really makes for a richly colored fall spinning fleece. Belle loves all of the new lambs.Doesn't she look content?More of Stella's cute triplets.Charlotte's black grey ewe lamb is the calmest,
sweetest girl born this year.Charlotte's other ewe, this cute black grey spotted is so frisky, and is always licking her lips!

Lamb count so far, 12 ewes, 11 rams. Boy, am I tired.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Lambs

A good lambing day! Pippi had 2 adorable black grey spotted lambs, a ram and a ewe, both with white blazes. I love Pippi's lambs, they are always exceptional. I just wish that Pippi was a calmer ewe. She was born in Michigan, and though a nice ewe, has never calmed down. Her lambs are more mellow, and we have two of her lovely daughters from last year. Sire is Finn. That combination has produced such nice lambs, I'll do it again next year. These lambs weighed in at 8 and 8.5 lb.
Drea had 2 ewe lambs today! A nice black ewe and a black badgerface, sire is Grady. Both weighed 8 lb. Dalla also twinned today, a white ram lamb weighing in at 8.5 lb. and the most beautiful blue grey spotted ewe lamb weighing 8 lb. Sire is Finn. This is a repeat breeding, and I'll probably do it again this year. The lambs are just exceptional.
I also spent a good deal of time in the garden today. Planted kale, collards, Swiss chard, turnip greens, leeks, broccoli, radish, sugar snap peas, and mesclun today. We are typically very wet, so I hope they don't get flooded out. Our rhubarb is up, so I made some yummy rhubarb ginger scones for breakfast.