Archive for the ‘2009 Lambs’ Category

Friday Farm Photo #4 – A Little Late

I had a busy weekend and missed the farm photo last Friday, so here it is – a little late.

These photos were taken in the spring of 2009.  The lambs enjoyed jumping on Rudy and several other llamas.  It was a disappointment that this year’s lambs didn’t jump on the llamas.  Too bad, because they were just so darn fun to watch!

Twin Shetland Mule ewe lambs playing on Rudy

Friday’s Photos – Faces and Fiber

Karma and 7 month old cria Primo Jan. 2010

BFL x NC Cheviot Mule ewe lamb Fiona has such an adorable face and ears! The moorit lamb behind her is Shetland ewe lamb Bonnie. Next to Fiona is a BFL x Shetland Mule ewe lamb.

NC Cheviot Mule lamb Fiona's feathered tips of her fiber. I can't wait to get to spin it!

BFL x Shetland Mule ewe lamb fiber, also very lovely. It has a nice luster that isn't visible in the photo.

The perspective is askew because I am standing over them. But this photo does illustrate the size difference between the BFL x NC Cheviot Mule lamb Helena (foreground) and purebred Shetland ewe lamb, Bonnie. Helena was born six weeks earlier than Bonnie. The NC Cheviot mule lambs have the most growth compared to the Shetland Mules also.

BFL x NC Cheviot Mule ewe lamb Helenas black fiber. At this point I have not observed that Helena has the side dusting like our black Shetland Mulesheep.

Shetland LRO Lily (FOR SALE) is jacketed. I coated three Shetland ewes this year, Lily, Bella (FOR SALE) and Jellybean. I think I may coat more sheep next year...

I can't remember if I posted this photo or not. This is the Shepherd walking Blue through a field in a failed attempt to lure Ben back home when he jumped the fence last October. If you want to read more about that adventure, click on "How Does One Convince a Llama?" on the sidebar.

Happy New Year! Friday’s Fab Five (Photos)

We are Truly Blessed

The New Year is always a time of retrospection.  I have been looking through farm and family photos as a way of reflection — and planning for the future.  As newbie Shepherds, we are constantly “tweaking” our methods.  We have made some changes to the farm/flock management this past year – some proved ingenious, “Why didn’t we think of that before?”   Other changes have left us groaning, “Why is there a sheep under our bedroom window – at midnight?!?”  I will do a post on triumphs and tribulations in the future…

On Friday’s in January, I will post my favorite photos from 2009.  Most, but not all photos have already been featured at some point on this blog.  I hope you enjoy them!

Rudy and his sheep. The black eweling in the rear is Helena, a BFL X NC Cheviot. I really like her confirmation, disposition, fiber and size. If you click on the photo to enlarge, you can see the shine of the fleece of the white Shetland Mule standing directly behind Rudy's legs. As a contrast, the Cheviot Mule fiber is more dull, but very "sproingy."

Shetland ewe Nugget stands over NC Cheviot Molly as she snoozes in the snow. Molly is Helena's dam.

Gus waits patiently for the Shepherdess to finish chores in the barnyard.

Gus waits patiently for the Shepherdess to finish chores in the barnyard. I have never had a dog as sweet, well-behaved and loyal as this boy. He truly is a gem. And he is intact. If you are looking for a purebred, 7/8 Scottish/English bred Border Collie sire, contact me. We sure would like to have an offspring of his.

Granddaughter Reese is not sure what to think of bottle baby Duncan. Of course, he thought she was wonderful!

Twin Shetland Mule ewe lambs playing on Rudy

I Love Those Shetland Lambs!

Roundabout Acres JoAnn, black krunet, had her first lambs on the 21st.  They were teeny-tiny little rams.  I thought she was only carrying one…but we arrived home from work to find two wildly spotted boys in the barnyard.  Mom was out in the pasture.  She bought herself three days in the jug with her lambs.  I apologize that the pictures are fuzzy.  My point-and-shoot digital is getting fairly old.  The first little guy weighed 3 lbs. and had a floppy ear.  I released them from the jug today.  His ear has straightened out nicely.  Today he weighed 4 lb. 9 oz. and is full of energy!

JoAnn's twin ram lamb 2009

His twin weighed 2 lb. 13 oz. when born.  Today he weighed 4 lb. 6 oz.    I haven’t figured out names for these guys yet.    They both have cute spotting on their eyes and noses.  Their sire, Costello had some wild coloring which looked white and brown.  He is musket.  I wonder if these boys could turn grey?  They look like they could have grey under the white.  Is that possible?

JoAnn's tw ram lambs 2009

One thing that is so fun about the Shetlands is the anticipation of what might “pop out!”  So far, Roundabout Acres Costello has given us some wonderful color and pattern!!  Two days ago, we also had a lamb born out of Tami-Lami, another black krunet.  I don’t have a picture yet, but she had a single black ram with a spotted white face.  We are up to one Shetland ewe lamb and four ram lambs.

On another note, I have been thinking about which sheep I am going to sell.  At this point, our 2009 lamb crop has added five ewe lambs to our farm, two BFL – Cheviot Mules, two BFL – Shetland Mules, and one purebred Shetland.  As much as I would LOVE to keep them all, I cannot.  I will have several adult ewes and  rams, and ram lambs for sale.  At this point I am keeping all the ewe lambs.  We have two more ewes to lamb, hopefully by the end of the week.   I will be able to make some final decisions at that point and will get prices and pictures posted on the sales page.

First Shetland Lambs of 2009!

Our Shetland lambs are due in June this year.  I spread out the timing on the breeding groups this year due to space constrictions in the barnyard.  I won’t do that again!  By the time it is all over, our lambing season will be spread over three months.  That is too long!  We have three or four ewes left to lamb.

On Monday, June 8th, we had our first Shetland lambs of 2009.  The sire of our 2009 Shetland rams is Roundabout Acres Costello, Musket bersugget.  I still haven’t registered him so if any of you Shetland folks have suggestions on his markings, I will take them.  Below are two pics, the first of Costello, the second of Costello and his white twin Abbott.  Costello has part UK genetics, wonderful fleece  which rooed easily, and a sweet personality.  Just what I want in a sire.

Costello face horns 2009

2008 Abbott & Costello from Jellybean

The dam of these twins is Twin Brooks Nugget, a five year old musket ewe with modified genetics in her background.  Nugget has wonderfully soft fleece and a calm, steady personality.  Her lambs this year are the friendliest we have had.  They already love chin scratches and cuddles.  They both are curious and spent their few days in the jug trying to get out!  They were either leaping around or trying to squeeze out of the jug (aka jail.)  We’ve decided to name them Bonnie and Clyde.  The first picture is of Clyde, 6 lb. 11 oz.  He looks to be musket (oatmeal colored,)  modified.  He will probably fade to nearly white as he ages.

Nugget 2009 tw ram lamb

These pictures were taken immediately after they were born so they are still wet.  Clyde’s horn buds are set nicely toward the sides of his head and his fleece is curly throughout.  His belly, mouth and “package” are white.

Nugget ram lamb side 2009

Nugget 2009 tw ram lamb face

Below is Bonnie, moorit (brown) with about 10 white hairs on top of her head.  Does that qualify as krunet?  Her coloring is a gorgeous brown with a definite reddish cast.  I will watch her to see if she also carries modified genetics.  Her fleece is dense and curly.  She is our first moorit born on the farm.

Nugget 2009 ewe lamb

And finally here is a picture of both of the lambs.  They both gained two pounds over the four days they were in the jug.  I kept them in an extra day because I forgot to worm Nugget earlier.  I like to worm in the jug before releasing them.

Nuggets twin lambs

W i t h d r a w a l…

I am in withdrawal.  It’s been sixteen days… I’ve gotten panicked more than a few times already.  So far, I’ve been able to talk myself away from the edge.  The “edge” of what?  I’m not really sure, but that is the phrase.  The “edge” of sanity?  The “edge” of reality?  The “edge” of – THE EDGE?  Trophy Husband would say (tongue-in-cheek, I think) I have already been to the edge and back many, many times throughout the course of our lives together.

Imagine that you go to sleep one night and the world is fine – the crickets are singing, a cool breeze drifting in the window, and coyotes howling in the distance.    (Call me crazy but I like hearing their calls – but not too close. )  The animals have completed their lazy evening graze.  They’ve brought themselves in from the field and tucked into the barn – llamas, ewes and lambs mingled with each other.  Looking out the kitchen window, one sees a brown, tan, white and black patchwork quilt of wooly lumps.  Recently the lambs have taken to climbing on the backs of the kushed (sitting) llamas.  Amazingly, most of the llamas don’t seem to mind.  Oh, a llama might look to see which lamb is jumping around back there, but then returns to chewing the cud.  To me, this is a wonderful testament to how well they are all bonded as a flock, or in llama terms, a herd.

Okay, now it’s time to cue the music from the movie “Psycho” – the shower scene specifically.  The next morning I woke up to find – insert music here – that my laptop screen had died!  MORE MUSIC, MORE MUSIC!!  My laptop is about eight to nine years old.  A Compac Presario with an Intel Centrino processor.  It has been very trouble free for all these years.  TH also has an HP that has given him no problems.  So I have been researching a new HP laptop.  Right now my laptop is hooked up to our old desktop monitor.  TH says I need a 12-step group for my computer addiction.  I admit it…but I’m not in any hurry to go looking for that group!  I can hadle it…really…I can.

I will finish this post with a very fun picture of our guard llama Rudy with his charges.  These two girls are Little Red Oak Lyra’s twin Bluefaced Leicester-Shetland Mule ewe lambs.

Rudy and lambs 2009

Take a Moment

Helena and Chev 23 2009Cheviot #23 and BFL Cheviot Mule Helena.  I LOVE this ewe lamb!  She is full of life, playful, happy and a sturdy, strong little girl.

Chev 7 w ewe llamb Lily w ram  lamb

This picture is a few weeks old.  Cheviot #23 in the foreground; behind her is Cheviot #7 with her ewe lamb Fiona.  Sadly, Cheviot #7 has not recovered from her disk issue and we will need to put her down.  Her lamb is my favorite ewe lamb so far.  She is friendly, like her mother, has great structure and fleece.  In the background is BFL Shetland Mule Danny-Boy, ram lamb of moorit Shetland Lily.

Bella w ram lamb 2009

This picture is also a few weeks old.  This is Shetland Little Red Oak Bella with her BFL X ram lamb.  His fleece is looking nice.  I may retain him as a whether pending evaluation of possible Shetland ram lambs.

We are waiting around for the last few Shetlands to have their lambs.  Come on girls — we can hardly wait any longer!!

Shepherding 201 (Part 2) How I Became a Midwife

If you read the last post you may remember that while Duncan was being rejected by his mother, Cheviot #7 was trying to have her lamb.  We sequestered Duncan in a separate jug from his mother and went back to watching Cheviot #7.  She labored for about 45 minutes with little progress.  She was outside the ram pen; those darn rams kept poking their heads into her business, if you know what I mean.  As a mother myself, I’m pretty sure that hubby didn’t have quite the same empathy as I did.  I was hurtin’ for the poor ewe!  She was straining and straining.  She stood up (grunt) and lay back down (groan.)  Grunt…groan…uungh…umph.  I flinched each time she pushed.  She was working so hard and making so little progress.  I moved closer to check that both hooves and a nose could be seen on the lamb.  Yes, the baby was coming out hooves and nose first, as it should.  But then I noticed that the tongue was sticking out and looked purplish.  Yikes!  The sheep books say to wait at least 45 minutes before intervening.  Now a purple tongue on the baby had me completely worried.  (I have since learned that this can happen and is not abnormal.)

TH (Trophy Husband) helped me place a halter on #7 and we brought her into a lambing jug.  TH held the ewe while I put on gloves and a little lube (just in case I needed to help loosen a shoulder.)  With the next contraction, I held the lamb’s front feet and pulled down.  The lamb was out to it’s back hips.  It hung there, half in/half out, while mom took a break.  She was exhausted!  At the next contraction, I pulled again and the lamb flopped to the ground.  It laid there – motionless – for what seemed like 10 minutes, but was most likely only five seconds.  It’s dead.  I was sure.  Then, all at once, the clouds parted and angels started singing!  Well…at least it felt like they were singing…  The lamb started twitching and struggling to get out of the sack.  Yeah!  It was alive!  Ewe mom was licking the lamb while I cleaned the sack off its nose and mouth so it wouldn’t inhale any fluid into it’s lungs.

Chev 7 lamb 2009

Now I was so excited I couldn’t stand it.  The lamb was white… now I checked the back end… and a girl!!  I checked three times to confirm that she was a girl.  Little Fiona is beautiful and weighed 11 lb. 5 oz.  at birth.   So my North Country Cheviot ewelings delivered well for the Shepherdess.  We have black and white Cheviot Mule ewes to add to our flock here at Roundabout Acres.

Chev 7 and Fiona in jug 2009

I now feel like I am becoming a true Shepherdess and we indeed, are learning how to be farmers.  This, our second lambing season, has presented us with a few more challenges which we have been able to meet, thanks to the help of books, Yahoo groups, and knowledgeable shepherd and llama friends.  Thank you to all!  However, we are not done lambing yet.  We still have about four or five Shetlands left to lamb, sometime around the beginning of June.

Chev 7 and ewe lamb Fiona 2009

In the next post, I will give you an update on Duncan, our bottle lamb; Lyra and her lamb (lambs??); and the final statistics for BFL Dougal’s Mule lambs.

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