Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring to Summer...

Wow, another day of almost 90 degrees today. We have been busy shearing sheep in between ewes lambing. The above and to the left are our group of rams all sheared and lovin it. Gary, a friend of mine helped out and showed me how to shear on a stand without cutting the sheep. The shearing machine has very sharp blades and I hate to cut one. I am getting better and did my first one today without a cut.
The picture to the right is my new Shetland Sheep I have recently purchased. The ram is Dunkin and he is AI from England. It was pure luck I came across him for sale on the breed registry website. He is long and a beautiful ram, sired by Enfield Greyling, a very well respected AI sire from England. Dunkin has a huge set of horns, is extremely easy going and a lovely gray. I sheared him myself and his picture post shearing is above. The Shetlands remind me of mini icelandics with a very fine wool. The ewe in the picture is also a Shetland, Venus. I purchased her and her daughter when I went to Tenn. to get Dunkin. They are all three in isolation until I am sure they are OK to come out and have been wormed twice.
The pictures below are of Uma, one of my yearlings out of Havvah, an icelandic. She is standing in a hole and the picture is not great, but she lambed 4-25, a lovely black ewe lamb sired by the Trump. Uma is a triplet, polled white icelandic ewe. She just turned a year old and did a great job, lambing without assistance. The picture on the left is with her fleece and to the right, without. She is one of my shearing jobs, with only one nick on the other side. Uma is a nice, long ewe and meaty in the hindquarters. I will post better pictures of the baby when Uma lets me. She keeps herding the baby behind her.
Enough for now...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring is finally here...

We have actually had several days without rain and able to get around to round up the rams and do some shearing. The picture above and to the left is The Trump. We put him on a stand and sheared him due to his size and horn size. He was no trouble and has done very well on grass only. We still have some yearlings who will lamb by him. We have two moorit lambs on the ground now sired by him. He is a Gray Moorit Icelandic Ram.

The picture on the right is the goats on new pasture. We will be changing pastures every 30 days to decrease parasite problems. The sheep were put on new pasture as well. We have 7 different pastures to rotate the livestock on.

The picture above and to the left is a cute little Shetland ram lamb. He is pretty tame and comes up to be petted. I have not figured out what color he is yet. He will be For Sale. He is not registered, but purebred. He has a very nice wool and will have a good horn set. We will be offering him For $100.
The Ewe above and to the right is Havvah with her Trump ram lamb. They are enjoying all the lush pasture and he is growing very fast. We sheared Havvah just before she lambed several weeks ago.
We also purchased a dozen chicks for more laying hens. My original hens are pretty old and not laying like they had been. We purchased 6 Americaunas, 3 Production Red pullets and 3 black sex link pullets. The Ameri were straight run, so will have to wait and see how many are hens. Anyway, they are doing well and we will get pictures of them later.

Enough for now...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter Everyone...

Happy Easter and what a beautiful day we had today. It was sunny, not to hot and we had a lovely breeze. We spent the late morning moving goats, ewes and rams to new pastures. By rotating pastures we keep the parasites down and give the pastures time to recover. It is a lovely site to see the livestock neck deep in new pasture.

The pictures above and to the left are of Sarah and her baby ewe lamb. She is a lovely chocolate color, which is referred to as Moorit. She is sired by The Trump. The picture above and to the right is Havvah's son, sired by The Trump as well. He is a rich Moorit and is nice and wide and long.

The grass has grown beautifully and we are backing off on the feed. We will keep an eye on everyone and supplement accordingly. With the abundant pasture, little to no extra feed is needed. The ewes are down right fat, so we have stopped feeding them and just checking them daily to see how they are holding their weight. The moms with twins are being monitored the closest.

The picture of the white ram on the left, above are of Havvah's triplet son from last year, Ultram. He has the widest set of horns I have seen on an Icelandic. He is almost a year old and For Sale. The picture to the right and above is The Trump. His horns are magnificent and he is just about two years old. His horns have grown quite a bit over the winter. I had to share these two with you as I admired their grand style and beauty. The Icelandics are beautiful sheep.
The rest of the afternoon was spent with family and friends celebrating the Easter Holiday. Enough for now...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Beginning of Icelandic Lambing...

Havvah is the first of the Icelandic Sheep to lamb. But as luck would have it she had complications. This is her 4 th lambing without problems. She had triplets last time with out a hitch. This time was different. She had triplet rams, but only one made it. One was still born and the last one was very large with his head twisted under, behind the pelvis. After much manipulation I was finally able to free him, but he did not make it. Poor Havvah is exhausted and sore. Havvah had a lovely moorit ram lamb (above) sired by The Trump. He was born Friday the 3rd.
Sarah was due according to my calculations the 4th, but she has not lambed yet. We will keep her in a pen close to the barn to keep an eye on her. The two lambs below are the Iceoits, the mix between a Cheviot and Icelandic. They are doing great and growing like crazy. All the rain has caused the grass to jump and the grazing is great. The lambs are growing really fast and are all fat and happy.
We have received more rain today and had not dried out from the prior two weeks. Mud and more mud is the word of the day. At least a lot of the pasture has dry areas and the goats and sheep can get where it is dry. I worry about foot problems and have been checking everyone. So far all is well.
The blood work has come back on the Shetlands and they are all negative for OPP, Ovine Progressive Pneumonia. That is good and they will be coming home shortly. The moms and the lambs are doing great. Once Sarah lambs, we will have room to bring the Shetlands home.
There was a nice article in the Coop News about the Expo.
Enough for now and everyone take care.