Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Parasite Control....

As I was watching the lambs play 'chase' and 'tag' and practice their Saturday Night Fever moves, I was listening to a message from my vet.  She had come out to check on the moms and do a fecal check.  Last Spring, like a lot of farms, we had a big parasite problem due to the wet conditions.  So, with help from her and a little extra prevention from us, we had a parasite free fecal check!  Woo hoo!!!  Anyone that has livestock knows how hard it is to gain control on those little pests.  Of course, you really can't be completely free, there were a small number of strongyls but, nothing to treat at this time....not a significant number. 

I am very excited as we worked very hard and diligently to keep the barn and pastures clean, rotate pastures/livestock, and control and treat only as needed.  So, this is definitely helping us and a supporting reason why the ewes look so good! 

I'm pretty sure we will have more lambs tonight as I keep a watchful eye on my ladies. 

We have a cow....

Yesterday evening, we had another set of triplets born to Betty.  They are cute but unfortunately one was stillborn so the remaining two are doing great.  So far all the lambs are healthy and big and we have had to keep ourselves away...which is hard for me!  I love to be right in there and helping but I know it's better for the babies.  Looks like more to come today as another couple mom's are off their feed.  I will keep posting as they arrive!  Check the lambs tab at the top for a total lamb count. 

Monday, February 27, 2012


This morning I went to check on the sheep before work at about 4am and found the lovely Kaarina and her up, dry, and nursing triplets.  Very cute little badger ram lambs and an adorable white ewe lamb.  Kaarina is now at a 266% lambing and all litters with no supplemental milk or help during lambing.  She is a wonderful ewe, thanks Tiffany for selling her to me. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lambing Kick-Off! Jan won the 2012 coin toss!


Late Friday night, Jan lambed her two adorable babies.  We went to check on her and she was moving around the stall cooing for her lambs, but no lambs.  She had the water bag hanging pretty low but no baby.  So Paul caught her and I took a peak..sure enough, two feet and head.  Proper presentation, so we let her go and stepped out of the stall.  I'd rather not interfere unless absolutely necessary.  She continued walking around the stall calling to her lamb but not pushing or contracting.  She finally laid down and gave one big push...nothing.  A little bit of foot and then she was up again. 

We watched her do this for a while and then we decided to check again and see how big that baby was going to be.  I got my hand around it, barely, big baby.  With a couple contractions, she was able to expel this beautiful baby.  A ewe lamb, very dark brown and cute little blaze on her face.  She immediately began shaking and moving...a great sign.  Jan took right to her, cleaning and talking to, and then I figured I check for a second lamb...yup, another one, this one bigger.  So, I gathered up the feet and head and slowly worked him out.
Ewe lamb is dark brown 9 lbs 
ram lamb is lighter brown with white socks 9.5 lbs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Aliens in my ewe!!

Another day lamb free....

but, this doesn't mean I am not having sheep fun!  After work last night, miss Jan blew her plug.  LOL, her mucous plug.  I won't show you pictures of that, don't worry.  Anyway, should be within 24 hours (about) that she will begin our lambing season...finally.  :)

In the meantime, I caught some great video of the aliens in their stomachs!

After that fun and weirdness....

I started working on Izzy's fleece.  It started here:
Izzy born last March an adorable little grey badgerface.

She then turned into...
A grown up...

She then went to....
 No No No, that's her FLEECE!!
(well, one of them is her fleece)

which I then pulled out and skirted and picked through.

And then washed...beautiful, soft, full of crimp and luster. 
 This will be my first 'from sheep to finish'
Check back in a year or so.....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Get outta my belly! And some other stuff..

Lamb Update:  No lambs....I am now convinced it will be a mass lambing and they will all go as soon as I get back into bed after my late night check.  Then, when I return to the barn, it will be baby chaos!  This is my view and what a stare at when I do my checks...yeah, it's hard not to look, I know.

Fleece Update:  all fleeces bagged and weighed.  Hmm...some nice soft and shinny wool in those bags.  My biggest surprise was Jan's, a tunis/texal cross.  She has a beautiful crimpy wool.  I have two photos, can you tell which one is the tunis/texal and which is the white finn?  In person, it's easy to tell because of color and texture but in the photo, not so much.

I'm amazed at the quality of Jan's.  (well, in all honesty, she could be a tunis/blue faced cross.  There was a little moment where she wasn't sure and we wanted to save her the embarrassment, you know how hard it is to be a young single mother without a baby daddy)

Duck Update:  Three bachelors left the brothel this morning so now our ratios of boy to girl are back to normal.  No more gang hen attacks.  1 boy, 8 girls.   Hmmm....he does seem to like his odds around the barnyard.  He did seem to be prancing around very proud today.  

New Birds:  Today, Tiffany, from Woodspryte Farm, brought our ram, Dexter, back.  She had borrowed him for a month and with him came, 40 quail eggs.  I will have to get back with her to get the details on the breed but we have them in the incubator...just put them in..and hopefully they hatch.  Secretly, I don't want all 40 but she wasn't sure with the weather and egg collection how many would make it through.   My friend asked me what we would do with all those eggs and I said, "not sure".  We have about 20 days to get a plan.  Any one want a quail??  I just said, I'm amazed loaning a ram could bring such a cool return! 

Dog Agility Update:  Taught many many lessons today and got some really good videos of the students.  I am hoping to put together another agility video of my newest agility crew.  They have been working so hard and are doing so well, I thought they deserved a tribute....

Oh, and Paul worked really hard today to get our washer and dryer installed in our bedroom walk-in cool!  That's where all washer and dryers should be, in the bedroom closet.  

Maybe lambs, tomorrow....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's been so long since I've been on blogger that I found lots of new settings!! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ewe Tube: lamb updates

No new babies as of this morning, Friday. I do have milk production and even bigger udders. I am glad to be done with the long days at work and school and can now be here to check often. I have a great friend that stops by and gives me updates via text message during those long days. (she has great experience with new little lambs) and of course, my husband, checks for me when he is home. Everyone still eating and I'm sure they are planning a mass lambing.

We do have fleeces ready for purchase. I have 8 available at this time and they are gorgeous. I will be opening bags and doing some skirting this afternoon as the sun is out and there is no wind today. Please let me know if you are interested as they usually go fast. We have brown, black, grey, white, and piebald. I still have to shear the rams and one little grey ewe.  Below are two photos of our fleece before shearing.  One piebald badgerface and the other, black.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lamb Watch

10 pm: no lambs

3:30 am: no lambs

7:30 am: no lambs

1:30 pm: ?

Can't wait til I get off work.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Runner Ducks

Today, we got another egg.  I have some very young hens and 3 very old hens.  So, I'm not surprised the eggs have been absent.  I purchased some very nice grey/mallard Indian Runners last fall and they had just begun to lay when the winter came and we sold the others.  I have 3 older ducks that will always stay here regardless of color, production, or breeding quality.  As long as the number of 'forevers' doesn't increase, I think we can manage the feeding.  Ha!! 

On Sunday, I found three eggs, pretty much frozen but the dogs liked them anyway.  We got 1 egg on Monday and 1 egg today.  So, they're coming back as the daylight hours last longer.  We don't keep a light on them in the winter so, I rely on season for laying.  I need to thank my in-laws for supplying us with chicken eggs during the winter as their birds lay year round.

I love the duck eggs and we are planning out Spring hatching as I'm excited to offer grey colored runners and some trout as the trout (li/li) color is a light phase of grey.   (Grey is mallard in Indian runners)

This is our main breeding male grey runner and some of his ladies. The males carry most of the traditional colors we are used to seeing.  We will have babies and hatching eggs available in early Spring.  Contact us for more information.

PS: no lambs yet

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ewe Tube: pre-lambing

It's been a while since I've blogged and I'm trying to get it all up and going during lambing so everyone can enjoy the babies!  We have built the lambing stalls.  We took our 14x14 stalls and divided them.  So, I can keep prolific moms separate so they can bond with their babies and I can keep everyone straight.  I have listed their due dates in the photos and we'll see how well they play along.  If I didn't see them get bred, then it's listed as unknown and I'll just have to keep an eye on physical changes to watch for signs of lambing.  

Here is Maggie and Jan.  They are our two non-finn ewes and they have produces large lambs.  These ladies our here for a special reason and will stay forever, despite how our breeding program goes.  These girls can't remove their mouths and head from food long enough to see their faces but, this is the view I normally have anyway.  Maggie is mostly hair sheep so we don't shear or save her wool, so messy is fine for her.

This next group is our crazy group.  They are wonderful producers, have amazing fleece, but just are, well, CRAZY.  They all have huge milky udders and love their lambs but are flighty.  I really just try not to cause premature labor with them and keep entering the stall with food.  They like food. 

 This next group is the friendly stall.  They will let you pet, scratch, hug, feel babies move, and do just about anything with them.  They were well socialized with humans and so glad because it's hard not to be involved with lambing and pregnant moms right now!  They are also the first to lamb, I think, because you can tell they are getting uncomfortable.

Finally, last but not least is Beedle and Betty.  They are friendly on their terms, not mine.  I can sometimes pet them and feel for moving babies but not always.  They, too, hardly lift their heads from the hay. 
So, there are the "ladies in waiting".  I will try to keep photos and updates coming throughout lambing and yes, lambs will be available for sale.  All Finns are registered and are available with or without registration. Maggie's and Jan's babies are not for sale. 

There are three additional ewes to lamb in April.  They are last years lambs from me that are at a friend house.  I will be posting those lambs for her coming in warmer Spring!