Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring, oh Spring, when will you arrive?!

Well, we are still pushing forward even though the weather is pushing back... 

Yesterday, I managed to shear the other ram, Hemi.  He was soooo easy but had a larger amount of lanolin than the others, so the blades had to be cleaned as I went along.  The fleece is beautiful and ran by the Spinning Loft to get a pro's opinion and she bought it on the spot.  Nice!  Love that, of course.  I trimmed his feet and we are getting ready to try and breed for fall lambs.  Hemi won't be staying so, going to try and get a couple more babies from him and hopefully a nice ram lamb to replace him.  He gave us all ewe lambs this time and normally, that's great...but really wanted one of his sons to stay on the farm. 

We had a fecal done and got our Spring deworming done in a  heartbeat.  Now, the rotation of pastures can start to help control parasites.  Horses tested, too, although parasites are species specific.  I won't deworm unless I know exactly what I am battling...keeps from developing resistance to dewormers besides the obvious fact that there are many different worms and parasites to choose from.

I set up the electro-netting to have a holding pen for the parasite control until we get the new fencing installed.  We are planning to fence the horse pastures (2 strand hot-wire) with field fence for the sheep.  This way, we can rotate all over the farm and let grass grow and keep the animals from pooping out parasites and ingesting them as the graze.  This is really good when you have multiple species of grazing animals.  If a horse ingests a sheep worm, it will die in the horse.  (or die on the ground) So, you can utilize your pastures by sharing pastures. 

If you felt like sending me a gift....LOL....I could always use more eletro-netting by Premier.   Hint-Hint!

Well, off to shear some more girls!!  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Ewe Tube

Phew!!   The lambing season is finished. I really can't imagine having a larger farm and having so many lambs!  I had 20 lambs born, 17 lived, 3 did not.  2 were gone when we found them, 1 got very sick and died within a week (even after vet. intervention) I guess the odds are fairly good and normal but, I still don't want to loose lambs.  So, next year, I plan to be even more prepared.  Although, I have lambed before, the Finns are different.  There are so many at once and it can be very difficult or "easy as pie".  Most of the mom's did a fantastic job and wanted all of their babies and are taking excellent care of them.  A couple, however, were born very small and if I hadn't intervened with tubing or assistance in reaching the udder, I'm certain they wouldn't have survived. I sold a few as bottle lambs unregistered.  That way, they got the love and nutrition they needed and can be excellent fiber pets for wonderful families.  We will also be letting a number of our adults go to other homes.

Part of our goals are to produce multiple lambs without needing assistance and large lambs from large sheep.  We want fantastic fleece and lots of milk.  So, that being said, I am not registering all of the lambs.  I don't believe everything needs to be bred and registered, just because they have all the parts to breed.  After many years of breeding working Border Collies, I have learned that you need to be objective about your goals and your breeding stock.  I also love that the Finnsheep is bred for function not "good looks" (unless it's fleece quality)  So, that being said, we are looking hard at our sheep and will be making some very difficult decisions. 

My next step is to have the fleece tested!   All the colors born here is the best ever as I have so much to choose from but, at the moment, most everything is for sale.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ewe Tube update

On Saturday night, we had our Kaarina lambs born.  Triplets!  Beautiful and colorful.  Kaarina is a great mom and has plenty of milk.  After two days, we let her out to join the rest of the flock and she kept her babies away from us for the whole next day.  Now, she is better and more trusting so I could get some good pictures. 

This is a ewe lamb (grey badgerface)

This is a ewe lamb (black)

This is a ram lamb (white carrying black and spotting)

Then a couple days later we had a litter of quads born out of Tuija!
Wow!!!  I can't believe the cute factor here!!

This is a broken (spotted) badgerface ewe lamb

This is a badgerface ram lamb

Also included is a black ram lamb and a black ewe lamb but I don't have pictures yet.