Friday, April 22, 2011

I'm seeing SPOTS!

I'm so happy! Faith had her babies today - Apollo, a beautiful moorit-grey spotted ram lamb and Amanda, a solid moorit ewe.  I haven't weighed them yet, but I would guess 6.5 to 7 pounds as they are quiet a bit smaller than April and Athena were at birth.

Apollo and Amanda
I really love the dispositions Heathcliffe is passing on to his lambs and I now know that he carries the spotting gene. Apollo and Amanda came running up to me this morning and they were just a few hours old. Amazing to me! I have turned April into a little snuggler and Athena likes to sit on my lap. April was very jealous tonight when I was scratching Athena and so she turned to Greg for some attention.




Heather is the last ewe to lamb and I think she has about 3-4 weeks to go. I'm kinda worried about her since she is a yearling ewe. She is about the same size as Gretchen, but not nearly as muscular. I probably won't breed yearling ewes again.

I am getting a bid from a fence builder on fencing in my back pasture with goat/sheep woven wire. That will make pasture rotation a lot easier since we plan on creating a lane from the pasture to the old barn for summertime shelter where the sheep can get in front of fans. I don't have any trees in the pasture and I'm concerned about the summer heat. Fans in the old barn will provide them some relief and the old barn stays pretty cool in the heat of the summer.

I love old barns that were built with large lofts and some where for the heat to esacpe too. Our barn is not fancy, but it makes a nice sheep barn. I believe the barn is about 100 years old since it has pegs in oak timbers instead of nails in some spots. I was told it use to be a dairy barn a long time ago and then it housed coon dog kennels. Oh, the history and stories that barn could tell.

Time to start planting my raised bed gardens, just need the weather to warm up and dry out. Have any of you started your garden yet? If so, what are you planning on planting this year? I'll do a garden blog update after I get my plants in.

Monday, April 4, 2011

First Lamb of the Year on April 3, 2011

I had my first lamb of the year last night; she was born to Gretchen. I named her April. April had quite the start in life as she was born during a severe thunderstorm with small hail and some pretty gusty winds.

She is a strong little gal as she was up and nursing quickly. I love the way lamb and goats nurse while wagging their little tails. It is so endearing. April weighs 9 pounds! I am hoping she stays a solid moorit, but she may grey turn since Heathcliffe the ram is a moorit-grey. Time will tell in about a week as I may start to see sugar lips (white hairs) and white around the eyes.

This is Gretchen's first lamb and she is doing great as a first time momma. Very strong maternal instincts which I am very grateful for. Just waiting for the next three to go, hopefully in better weather.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Shearing Day

Today my Icelandics gave up their warm fleeces. Poor things look like little aliens now instead of sheep! I took a few pics before they were sheared. The shearer is Danny Smith and zipped right through those thick fleeces in no time flat. A lot faster than I could ever dream of doing... plus no one was nicked in the process. All sheep were very well behaved too, so that of course made the job go much easier.

The good thing with getting all the wool off is that I can see the ewes udders more clearly now. I suspect Gretchen will lamb first. Her bag is getting very full and she looks like she is starting to drop a bit. I'm so excited to see what colors I will get. I'm hopping for a spotted ewe out of Faith. And of course it would be nice to have another Moorit Badgerface ewe out of Gretchen.

I'd like to get a Black Badgerface, so that is on my ewe list for this year as I'm fairly sure I will not get one out of Heather.

Now to skirt those Spring fleeces... I'll be spending quite a bit of time picking hay and straw out of them.

Oh and one more thing I am excited about - I put a deposit down on a rat terrier puppy. I have first pick from 5 males!! I couldn't have asked for prettier pups and with so many to chose from. It will be hard! Here are pics from the breeder site for Karma/Indy pups:;jsessionid=oa52ev0291.penguin_s

I'm interested in the Chocolate/Tan/White male and the Black and White Male, but personality will be my deciding factor before color.

I'll keep you posted as the lambs arrive; hopefully within the next two weeks.

Faith and Heather


Fauna, Heathcliffe, Gretchen and Faith


Heathcliffe Shorn

Faith Shorn