Archive for the ‘ewes’ Category

Shearing Day – Fleeces available!

Shearing Day!

Saturday is shearing day on the farm.  We are trying something new this year – we will shear in the fall and again in spring.  Many Finnsheep shepherds shear their sheep twice annually.  The fall clip is clean because the sheep have been on pasture with no hay to contaminate the fleece.  I have also noticed that with the Shetlands and the Shetland/BFL cross sheep, the staple is VERY long when sheared annually; at times it has been too long for the fiber mill.

Fleeces are available from $9-$16 per pound plus shipping.  Please email roundaboutacres AT gmail DOT com

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Breeding Groups

We have two breeding groups this year.  Our new Finn ram lamb is Little Red Oak Knuut.  He is BBBb (black, carries brown) with spots.  His mother is piebald.  On Oct. 7th, he was introduced to ten ewes and ewe lambs and everything appears to be going well.

The second breeding group consists of four ewe lambs and a ram lamb which we brought home from northern Minnesota.  They are Border Leicester crosses.  The ram is 3/4 BL, the ewes are Border Leicester,  BL/Columbia, or BL/Karakul crosses.  I am really curious to see what we get from this group.  We are hoping for lambs with a bit more size.

And I had to include this humorous photo of a ewe lamb who didn’t want to go into the breeding pen.  She flopped… and then she flipped.  Enjoy!

Summer Update – Fiber Sheep for Sale

I have not maintained a weekly post this year.  I lost my motivation to blog when we made the decision to trim the flock.  I am sad, but resolved that we DO need to trim the flock because my lungs do not like the hay.

This spring we planted more apple trees, raspberries, blueberries and 70 grapevines in our newly established vineyard.  We are moving our focus to fruit and berries; next year we will likely add many more grapevines.  Trophy Husband made the commitment to keep four llamas and a small handful of sheep.  We really appreciate and enjoy the zen vibe of llamas.  If you have llamas, you know what I mean.

We are keeping four sheep, Emmi (a black Finn ewe,) Reese’s Pieces (brown 1/2 Shetland, 1/2 Finn ewe lamb,) Jellybean (musket Shetland ewe,) and Phyllis (white Shetland ewe.)  We may keep Reese’s Pieces twin brother who is also brown.

FOR SALE

The sheep that are left in the flock have remained because I liked their fiber and personalities.  But, we can’t keep all of them!  Make an offer, sheep that aren’t sold will have to go to the freezer this fall.

Kia one year old Finnsheep ewe, she is dark gray, carries spots.  Her fiber is lovely- she is gray at the skin, not a fading black.  She had a single piebald lamb this year.  She is shown in the photo below with her spotted, piebald ram lamb.  $200 + registration fee, if desired.

SOLD 2011 Single Finnsheep ram lamb. He is a gray, piebald ram lamb.

Bonnie, a two year old moorit Shetland ewe.  She had 1/2 Finnsheep twins this year.  She is an attentive mother with plenty of milk.  $125, unregistered

Shetland Bonnie in full fleece. Born in 2009, she is moorit and carries spots. She will be for sale after her lambs are weaned.

Brown twin ram lamb, 1/2 Shetland (Bonnie) and 1/2 Finn (LRO Eino) – he is still intact and would make an excellent sire for a fiber flock.  His fiber is very soft and plentiful.  I am still deciding if I should whether and keep him in the spinner’s flock.  Brown is my favorite color to spin.  $150  He is shown in the photo below with Bonnie, his Shetland dam.  He is solid brown, carries spots.

Finnsheep ram lamb – Twin, black, carries brown and spots, nice fiber, good growth.  $200 plus registration fee, if desired.

(photo to follow)

Glory – a small gray Shetland ewe, and Curly – a non-fading black Shetland whether, both are spoken for.

We also have one three year old Mulesheep ewe left (1/2 Shetland 1/2 Bluefaced Leicester.)  She singled her first year and has twinned the last two years.  She is an excellent mother with alot of milk to raise big lambs.  If she is not sold for breeding, she will go into the freezer along with her lambs.  $150

Mulesheep Sasha with her 3/4 BFL ewe lamb

While preparing this post, I realized I need to take some updated photos of the flock.  If you are interested in a sheep and would like more photos, just leave a message.  I will take more photos in the next few days and post.

Spring is in the Air

Shetland Bonnie with her 1/2 Finn 1/2 Shetland Lambs

It’s a warmer spring  day today.  Finally!  I promised more photos so I will keep the text brief.  Above, is two-year old Shetland Bonnie with her 50% Finn lambs.  The ewe lamb on the left has pretty white markings in her lighter brown fleece and her brother is a rich, dark chocolate-brown.  This is Bonnie’s first lambing and I am pleased to report that she is an attentive and excellent mother.

Spotted badgerface Finn ram lamb 2011

Above is the gray Finn ram lamb sneaking a drink of milk from Bonnie.  This boys mom, Finnsheep Little Red Oak Kiia, has been a reluctant new mother.  I have kept a close watch on them – she doesn’t let him nurse for long.  I’ve felt his teeth and they don’t feel sharp.  And Kiia’s bag feels normal so he is getting milk from her.  I will keep monitoring them and supplement bottle-feed him through the fence, if needed.

Australian Shepherd Molly with her pups

Our Australian Shepherd, Molly, whelped 7 puppies on Friday.  Border Collie Gus is the father.  Shepherd George was in attendance for the births while I was at work.  Molly needed no help; she and the three females and four males are doing well.  We weighed them today and all are gaining weight.   Molly is tricolor and Gus is red so we will see how the colors develop.  The pup at the top of the photo is lighter than the rest – I hope that pup will be red.  I know nothing about dog color genetics and I decided I don’t care to learn.  We don’t plan on breeding dogs in the future.  We did want one breeding from these two because they are both great farm dogs.  We were hoping to wait until the end of the year but Gus had different ideas.  (A brief lapse in judgment by this Shepherd  aided in his access to Molly.)

Two-day old Aussie/Border Collie pups

Spring Update – More Lambs!

It’s been a cold, wet, spring.  Yesterday we woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground and the day was frigid and blustery with intermittent sleet.  This year, the ewes have lambed when there has been a significant weather change; I wasn’t surprised to find Shetland Bonnie in labor.  She got my attention by loudly baahing.  That was unusual because she hardly ever makes noise.  I could see lamb hooves and legs but she wasn’t pushing.  We went outside to see what we could do to help.  Trophy Husband held her head and soothed her while I was at the business end.  I wasn’t sure if the lamb was alive or dead, but I held lamb legs while she pushed.  The lamb’s head was crowning and Bonnie just needed a bit of encouragement to push more.  I gently pulled while she grunted, loudly complained and pushed.  I helped ease his head out and after a few more pushes she delivered a live brown ram lamb!  I cleaned his face immediately as mom started cleaning him.  Within a few minutes she delivered a spotted brown ewe lamb.  After cleaning her face, I sat back and observed the new mom with her babes.  Everyone looked fine, both lambs were up and nursing within a short time.  After “snip, dip and strip,” the lambs were dressed in warm fleece jackets.

I couldn’t get a good photo but here is a sneak peek.  These lambs are 50% Shetland 50% Finnsheep.  I absolutely love the moorit coloring and both parents have wonderful fleece so I have great hopes for these two lambs.  The ewe lamb, on the right, already has very curly locks and her HST markings are lovely!

2011 Twin ram and ewe lambs (Shetland RA Bonnie X Finnsheep LRO Eino)

Shetland Bonnie (born 2009) will be for sale after weaning her lambs.  She is a sturdy, quiet sheep who is quickly becoming fond of animal crackers.

Shetland Bonnie in full fleece. Born in 2009, she is moorit and carries spots. She will be for sale after weaning her lambs.

Our First Gray Lamb!

Last week, April 6th, our most stunning lamb of the season was born to Little Red Oak Kiia.  She is a first time mom who birthed a single ram lamb, no help needed.  Kiia was bred to Stillmeadow Toivo, a gray badgerface ram with a finely crimped fleece.  I arrived home from work to find this little guy dried off and standing next to his dam.  His weight was 6 lbs. 4 oz.  He is exactly what I was hoping for!  However, now that we are decreasing our flock, he will be for sale.  His facial markings are piebald; I think his body markings may be “light badgerface.”  The black does not go all the way to his chin and he has white markings on/underneath his tail.  Elizabeth from Stillmeadow Finnsheep, any thoughts??  Again, I will post better pics in the next post.

2011 Single Finnsheep ram lamb. He is a gray, piebald ram lamb.

2011 Finnsheep ram lamb

Look at that fleece!

For Sale

And as a last note, brown Finnsheep ram Little Red Oak Eino is for sale.  He is a two-year old, extremely mild-mannered ram who throws spots.  His fleece is soft, lustrous and lovely; it spins like a dream.  He is very easy to handle and walks well on a leash.  Please leave a message for more info. and recent photos.

Shetland Bonnie will be for sale after weaning her lambs.

Finnsheep gray piebald ram lamb will be for sale after weaning.  It will be hard to let him go as I really wanted a gray sheep on our farm!

We will have more sheep for sale during the summer.  I am waiting for lamb weaning to make the final decision on who will stay in our small flock.

Meet the Shetland Ewes, Part 1

We have four Shetland ewes left in our flock.  When we made the switch to Finnsheep we were able to find new homes for most of them.  But we couldn’t part with Jellybean, a musket ewe who was of our original flock.  She is a very feminine, dainty Shetland with a wonderful fleece.   She has been bred twice.  She is an excellent mother who has given us two sets of twins.  This past year she became very very, very thin while nursing her lambs.  I separated her from the flock and gave her extra grain and hay, but that didn’t help; she still blew her fine, lovely coat.  I weaned her lambs as soon as able and she gradually bounced back.  I don’t know that I will breed her again.  She is such a dear sweetie in the barnyard.  She sticks a bit to herself and is very independent.  She loves a treat of bread or cracker and greets me at the gate when I enter the barnyard.

Jellybean’s white ewe lamb Phyllis was our first lamb born in 2010.  She is also the first lamb I’ve had to “go in and get.”  Fortunately we were both at home when Jellybean went into labor.  Long-suffering husband helped calm her while I pulled the lamb.  She quickly delivered a black ram lamb afterward.  We named the white ewe lamb Phyllis, after my mother-in-law who had recently passed away.  Of course, she will spend her days here on our little farm.

The Sheep Whisperer aka The Shepherd

Phyllis is a petite ewe, like her mother.  She loves to have her neck scratched.  I think I better stock up on treats!

The last two Shetland ewes are Bonnie and Glory.  I will write about them in another post.

I’m Baaack! And I Have Sheep For Sale!

Yup, we’re still here on the farm!  It’s been awhile since I posted and the Friday Farm Photo has gone by the wayside.

Yellowstone

The Black Hills

At the beginning of September, we took a much-needed vacation to Wyoming and South Dakota.  Thankfully, the weather was perfect and we had a wonderful time!  While on vacation, I solidified my desire to do more traveling and camping.

The View that is waiting for a cabin...

Are you reading in between the lines?  More time to travel means less animals on the farm.  I have figured out my breeding groups for this winter so pretty much all the other sheep will be sold.  My focus is still on Finnsheep so I am selling most of the rest of the flock, including Bluefaced Leicester Dougal.

Please check out our sales page.  There is nothing wrong with any of these sheep – they just need to go to a new home.

Less Sheep = Less Hay to Buy

The best laid plans…

My flock goal at the start of 2010 was to make the switch to Finnsheep but keep some Mulesheep and Shetlands for a lovely mixed fiber flock.  I could breed for purebred Finnsheep but also have some fiber crosses and meat lambs.  Sounds like a great plan!

But plans are subject to change…

Negotiations broke down between the Minnesota Nurse’s Association and the Twin Cities Hospitals.  The Union members voted overwhelmingly to strike.  I don’t intend to bring the specific issues to this blog as I want to keep the focus on farm, flock, fiber and family.  So how does this piece of news relate to the farm?  The economic future of the “city job” is uncertain for the next several months.  As much as I don’t want to sell many of our lovely ewes, I also can’t justify keeping them when it may be impossible to afford to feed them this winter.

A sweet 3/4 Bluefaced Leicester ewe lamb.

Our loss is your gain.  I would rather see the ewes go to a good home on new pastures.  The reality of farm life is that they will be sold for butcher – but that is not my first preference.  The sheep and lambs are listed on our Sales Website; photos are throughout this blog and on the sale pages.

We are  almost sold out of Shetland ewes but we still have Shetland-BFL Mulesheep ewes, a North Country Cheviot ewe, and a few fiber crosses.  Also, we have three lovely 3/4 Bluefaced Leicester ewe lambs.  We can put together a fiber flock with one of the two Finnsheep ram lambs or Bluefaced Leicester Dougal.  And we have whethered BFL-Shetland Mulesheep boys with beautiful fleece!

Prices have been reduced on several sheep but feel free to make an offer.  Email is preferred at roundaboutacresAtgmailDotcom (replace At and Dot with the real thing.)

Rams Bluefaced Leicester Dougal (white ram - For Sale) and Finnsheep Eino (NFS)

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