Sunday, March 15, 2009

We had a great time at the EXPO...

The EXPO had a good turn out even in the rain, and boy did it rain. The rain continued the entire day with out much of a break. It was a good thing all the activities were indoors. I took Bong for my Icelandic display and Madeline for my Cheviot display with her ram lamb. Raisin and her kids went along as well as Annie Oakley, one of my Nigerian doelings. We sold some farm products and I gave a spinning demonstration. We met a lot of great folks and had a great time.

I went to feed the Shetland Sheep in isolation at a friend's farm to be surprised with a baby ram lamb born to one of the ewes. He is jet black and I will have pictures shortly. They are doing well and I have pictures below of what one of the ewes looked like when I first purchased them. They were one large matt and looked pretty pathetic.

It took some time to get the matts off and because they were thin as well, it was difficult to get a smooth cut. The weather was extremely cold at the time, so I just took off enough to get the junk off and leave some wool for warmth. Later I did take them down some more, but they still look chewed up. I will give them some time to put on some weight and shear them again in May. I want them smooth, so they can grow a nice fleece for next years clip. The Shetland is a fine wooled, tiny sheep. They look like a mini Icelandic and are very calm in their disposition.

The picture to the right is the little ewe with her first clip to get the worst of the wool off. The clippers were just a moaning and she still looks pretty bad, but this got her through until the weather warmed up enough to take off more. This particular little Shetland ewe was a bottle baby and very friendly. I just do not understand how the prior owner could have let this little angel get in such a state.

But, she was not the worst of the three. One little black ewe, was thrown in the deal and I did not want to take her. I was afraid she would die on the way home. She was loosing her wool, had light eye membranes, which indicates worms and was pathetically thin. My soft heart looked at her and felt she had a chance. She is pictured below after I hand sheared her. I was afraid to stress her with the clippers. I wormed her, gave her B complex, Vit A,D, E, BoSe and fed all of them just a little grain at first and have worked them up to more. The tough little sheep are eating well and even little Scruffy is coming along and improving.

I will keep you posted how the little sheep are doing and will get a picture of the new little black lamb. I want to draw some blood on these three and have them tested for Opps, which is a sheep disease, similar to CAE in goats. I will keep them in isolation until I know for sure all is well with them.
I am not sure why folks purchase livestock and do not take care of them. Some folks need to be slapped along side the head or treated like they treated their animals. At least these three will be taken care of and hopefully will reward us with several lovely fleeces to spin into something wonderful next spring.