Saturday, October 25, 2008

October 2008 at Oldesouth Farm

I did not realize it has been almost a year since the last blog. What have we been doing you ask? We had purchased 40 acres, fenced it, put up shelters, cross fenced, built pens for the bucks and rams, kidded, lambed, hayed 3 cuttings, put in a well and will need to run water lines and put in more water troughs before the end of the year. Now you know why we have not posted due to time and lack there of...

I have been away from the farm for a week at the beginning of October. I had traveled to Michigan to pick up some Icelandic Sheep I had purchased from Lavender Fleece Farm. I had put a deposit on some lambs fall of 07, picked out the lambs in April, via the internet and drove up to Michigan to pick them up in October 08. I wanted to be sure they would not experience the heat of the summer, coming from up north to the south. They will have plenty of time to acclimate to our climate before the heat of next summer.

The beautiful ram lamb is pictured to the right. He is an Icelandic Sheep and I love the fleece and the wonderful, calm dispositions of these sheep. I brought back 5 sheep, 3 ewes and 2 ram lambs. We sheared the young ram and his fleece is spectacular. He looks a bit different after taking off all that lovely fleece. The second photo is the ram sheared. He is long and wide.

The Sheep were spectacular and Laurie was a wonderful and gracious host. Her husband was wonderful as well, as was her father in law who is into his 8 th decade of farming.

I will try and post more often so folks know what is going on. I had not put the bucks with my does until mid May, so no one would kid while I was in Michigan. My Son, Tim came up from Fort Walton Beach, Fl to take care of my stock while I was away. My son is in the Air Force.

My first doe to kid was Blue, our cover girl. She had twin blue eyed daughters, both buckskin. One is a dark buckskin, the other a light red buckskin. The sire is a new blue eyed buck I had purchase last fall. These does have a 50% chance of being homozygous to the blue eyes. Blue is homozygous and all of her kids have blue eyes. The next one to kid, in my opinion will be Angel. she is about ready to explode and has been holding out for a week. Most of the does are close to kidding and will probably kid in November.

I have my sheep separated into breeding groups, but was a bit late with the Mini Cheviots. The morning a friend had stopped by to assist in separating out sheep, Trumpet was sited breeding one of the Cheviot ewes. She is due to lamb on Valentines day 09. We had thought of giving her a mismating injection, but had a couple of goats go a year before their cycles were normal. I would rather have a cross bred sheep, then loose on any lambs for a year. The morrit icelandic and Cheviot cross should be an interesting cross. The icelandic lambs are born small, should be no problem with lambing. We will wait and see what happens.

The official breeding season for the Icelandic Sheep is in November and December. By January, the rams can be put up for the year. I usually run a ram with them anyway until Febuary, just in case someone was missed as a clean up ram. Usually, the Icelandics are done by this time, but just in case...

More later...