Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our first Lambs have arrived on Valentine's Day...

We are very excited with the first lambs of the year. The ewe is Sunshine, one of our Mini Cheviots. This was an accidental breeding of our Icelandic Ram, The Trump and Sunshine. When we were separating out breeding groups, we noticed the honey mooning couple. I wrote down the date and quickly divided up the breeding groups.

The Icelandic ewes come into season in November and lamb April to May. The Cheviot's come in earlier, as we found out. Our other Cheviot ewe should lamb end of march, first part of April bred to our Cheviot Ram.

The interesting cross has produced a ram and ewe lamb of beautiful quality. They have medium length tails, which I am not sure if we will need to dock them or not. The Cheviot's have long tails and need to be docked. I will need to measure them and decide in a day or two. The coats are a mix between the medium wool of the cheviot and the double coat of the Icelandic. It is extremely soft and will be interesting to see how it develops. The lambs have extreme high bred vigor and were lambed on pasture during the cold early morning and were up and nursing, still wet when I came up to check on the ewe.

Sunshine will be two this month and this is her first lambing. She is a lovely ewe and has a wonderful fleece. Her lamb fleece from last spring is available in roving on our website. I have dyed some of it with Koolaid and spun it up and made a couple of hats out of it. It is very soft and easy to spin.
The Cheviot's are sheared once a year in the spring and are very heat and parasite resistant. I only wormed the Cheviot's once last summer and they have been on pasture without grain most of the year. I did start giving them a bit of grain before they were due to lamb, just to make sure they were getting enough nutrition. As you can see in the pictures, Sunshine is in great shape and milking well.
We have also had some more goats born and I will detail that at a later time. We have been working on getting an electrician out to wire the barns. We have had electricity brought to the farm and have a yard light now, but still waiting on the electrician to wire us. We anticipate this being completed next week, which will be great for checking on mom ma's and we will have everything ready for spring lambing in April. The lambs come all at once, which can be a crazy time. I do not have any goats scheduled to kid in April, and a couple toward the end of May. This should keep the craziness down to a minimum.
I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day and we are open to suggestions on naming the two lambs. So far, the suggestions are Cupid and Valentine. Does anyone else have any names?
Take care...