Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Puppies!

Santa has been good to us, 7 beautiful, healthy Great Pyrenees puppies born just this morning, on Christmas Day. Belle is a wonderful first time mother. She is a full blooded great pyrenees. Sire is as well, and he's a big handsome boy. Belle has been a very attentive LGD for us, very tollerant of the sheep and lambs and happy to spend her days watching over them. These puppies were born in our barn and will be raised with our sheep, so should also be great LGD's. Once they mature a bit, I will post photos and start taking deposits. I haven't checked to see how many males vs. females we have, but they will all be $350 each. I will update with photos here and on our facebook page!/pages/Red-Brick-Road-Farm-Icelandic-Sheep-Wool/186746228026140
Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Ewes!

We've just added two new lovely ewes to our flock! Lucy is a black mouflon ewe MBG29X
bred by Susan Norden from Mulberry Grove Farm. She's a very calm, sweet ewe and will be a very spoiled girl here. We love the mouflon pattern.

Tawny SRX EWE M2H 998T was bred by Susan Briggs from the Tongue River Flock. Any time I can add Tongue River genetics to my flock, I'm happy. She is related to our ram Thunder. She is a big hearty girl, very parasite resistant and doing fine in this terrible heat we've been experiencing. Can't wait to see her lambs next spring.

We don't usually buy many ewes, but it's so much fun to add these two beauties to our flock!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Goodbye, my dear Claire

Claire, as a lamb in 2005
We lost a dear friend yesterday, our 6 year old ewe Claire. She had somehow injured her leg. It was swollen, but not broken. The heat has been really getting to her as well. I brought her plenty to eat and drink as she recuperated. I had also been giving her vitamin therapy, and really anything else that I could think of to ease her pain. The leg improved, but then a bad case of summer pneumonia set in. She was having difficulty breathing in the evening. By morning, she looked worse. I talked to my vet, and picked up a dose of Draxxin for her. I have used this in the past, and one shot has done wonders for sheep suffering from respiratory problems. It was too late. She died in my arms that afternoon.

Claire snuggling with her momma Hazel, 2005
Claire and her sister Charlotte are the oldest sheep born on our farm. Really, it was a bit of a miracle that they lived. This was my 3rd year of lambing, and I was still quite inexperienced. Their dam Hazel was a very poor mother, and had nothing but problems. She experienced ringwomb when trying to deliver Claire & Charlotte. If I hadn't intervened, neither would have been born alive. Hazel was depressed after this whole ordeal, so wasn't will or able to nurse her twin girls on a regular basis. I had to supplement them with bottles. If you've ever had a bottle lamb, you know how they steal your heart.
2007 Salem checking out Claire's twins
We didn't breed Claire the first year. She produced a beautiful set of twins in 2007 and was a wonderful, attentive mother.

Claire's dam Hazel remained open that year, but enjoyed babysitting her grand-babies. In fact, Hazel never did lamb again, so sadly, was shipped to the butcher.

Claire and her lambs

Claire has been a great producer for us, we've sold 5 of her ewe lambs to other farms. She has always been one of those easy keepers. Whenever I went out to check the sheep, I'd say "Hi Claire", and she'd always answer back. I will miss her sweet voice.

She had an outstanding set of twins this year. The only lamb we've lost this summer has been her ram lamb, who greedily ignored the electronet and got tangled up and died. So tragic, as I believe he was the nicest ram lamb ever born on our farm. Claire was very depressed about losing her boy, and never really seemed the same after that.

So, we are left with her beautiful daughter Ingrid to treasure, as well as her sister Charlotte and her lambs. RIP my dear Claire.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lambs, lambs, lambs! Decisions, decisions, decisions...

Most of these photos will enlarge if you click on them!
I've finally got all of the lambs photographed! They have grown so much in the past weeks. These have all been taken within the last few days, and they are in chronological order, oldest (aprox. 10 weeks old) to youngest (6 weeks). I will keep just a few, so many will be for sale. Some will go right to the sales list. Others, I will watch to see how they mature, especially the rams. I will also note how they do with parasites through the summer. So, the list may change from week to week! Keep in mind, that this is just a preview, I will have more information when I list them on my website.
Ilette RBR166Y
These two are my oldest lambs, out of Charlotte by Grendle our new ram from The Creeks Edge. I will be keeping Ilette for sure, she's looking just fabulous, a big, big girl and very friendly. Though they both started out at 7 lb., her brother Ilen has grown much slower. He's about 2/3 the size of her. He's got nice wide horns and great fleece, but won't be suitable for a breeder unless he starts putting on the weight!

Ilex RBR167Y

Ingrahm RBR169Y

These next two moorit spotted lambs will be staying here on the farm, out of Claire by Thunder our new Tongue River ram. Both are just outstanding! I will most likely match Claire and Thunder up again next year. These are the nicest lambs she's produced for us.

Ingrid RBR 170Y

Iren RBR171Y

This white pair is out of Grace (daughter of Charlotte) by Thunder. Iris is for sale, not sure on Iren yet. Wide horns and fabulous fleece.

Iris RBR172Y

Iden RBR173Y

This set is out of Delphine by Grendle. I wouldn't consider Grendle very long, but he has put some great length into the lambs he's produced, along with his thel rich fleece. Iden is for sale, Idalia will most likely stay here and replace her dam.

Idalia RBR174Y

Illias RBR175Y

This set of black grey rams are out of my leadersheep ewe Glimmer. Ilias is a homozygous black grey. Sire is Thunder, so they are looking much meatier than the typical leadersheep. Glimmer has outstanding fleece, so if I don't sell these rams as breeders, they would make great wethers.

Illiad RBR176Y

Ivory RBR177y

This set of white lambs are out of my very milky Fiona, sire is Grendel. Great stocky build, both should mature into excellent triple purpose sheep and should throw color.

Ivan RBR178Y

Ivette RBR179Y

Grettle is the dam of these twin moorit ewes, sire is Thunder. They are a perfectly matched set, Ivette will stay here, her sister Izette is for sale.

Izette RBR180Y

Inego RBR181Y

Fennel is the dam of this pair of white lambs. These are the only lambs out of Finn this year. (I sold a large number of bred ewes). Inez has alot of phaelomenon in her fleece, which gives it a rich antique linen look to it, very pretty. Inez is for sale, depending on his horn growth, Inego may be as well.

Inez RBR182Y

Ivy RBR183Y

These beautiful ewe lambs are out of Garland, sire is Thunder. Ivy will stay here, Iva is for sale.

Iva RBR184Y

Isabelle RBR185Y

I would keep this pair of ewe lambs if I had the room. Both are growing well, extremely friendly, excellent fleeces. If I keep one, it will be Isadore, the solid moorit. Sire is Thunder.

Isadore RBR186Y

Ilex RBR187Y

This last set of rams are real lookers, out of my big ewe Ella, sire is Thunder. They are just 7 weeks old in these photos. They should both mature into heavy meaty rams. Both are for sale.

Ilez RBR188Y

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Last of the Lambs

Our final two ewes have lambed! Faye had an adorable set of twin ewes by Thunder on April, 26th, both moorits with lots of flashing, one is also grey and the other may have spotting. I'll have to wait until they mature a bit before I'm sure about the spotting. They were right on target for size, 7 and 8 lb.

Ella had twin rams on April 28th, again, by Thunder, 8.5 and 10 lb. Ella is a big ewe and had no problem with these two. They should mature into really nice flock sires.

Here are Ella's sleepy one day old boys, out enjoying the warm sunshine in the pasture.

One of Faye's ewes, probably only about 3 days old here.

Her sister

Faye's girls are so calm and friendly.

Gardenia's ARE NOT! Catching them is nearly impossible.

A couple of sturdy ram lambs, look at the nice wide chests on these guys!

"If" I keep any rams, it will be this ram out of Claire by Thunder.
Her ewe is equally stunning. Now, that is a match made in heaven,
and will be repeated again next year.

Delphine's ram by Grendel.
He is another "stand out" kind of ram.

Delphine's ewe lamb, her carbon copy. I may keep her and sell Delphine.

LOVE the markings on the ewe out of Gardenia.
She certainly is a shy thing.

Charlotte's moorit grey ram by Grendel.

The days are warming up and the grass is growing. With the end of lambing season, I'm breathing a sigh of relief! No more late night visits out to the barn. Lambs have all made it into this world safely. Ewes and babes are doing well!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Phaeomelanin Ewe

This Spring, we have a ewe lamb with a lot of tan splotches of color throughout her wool, really lovely, and yet another variation on the many possiblities to expect when breeding Icelandic sheep. In the years I have been raising these sheep, I have become fascinated with the seemingly endless variations on potential colors and patterns.

Here, you can see the phaeomelanin on this mature ewe's head

There are basically three factors that determine the appearance of a sheep, Pattern Factor, Color or Pigment Factor, and the Spotting Factor. The color in the wool is caused by pigment called eumelanin (the black and moorit (brown)). There is also pigment called phaeomelanin which can be shades of tan yellows, or rusty reds.

Lambs born with phaeomelanin look rusty color at birth, however the pigment fades with age in the fleece. The head and leg continue to exhibit the color. You will notice this on many mature white sheep on their heads, tails and legs. In Iceland, it was believed that sheep with this tan had better meat conformation, so it is quite common.

The pigment gives the fleece a rich linen color—just another beautiful shade for the handspinner who prefers to work with the natural colors of sheep.