Posts Tagged ‘fleece’

Fresh Fleeces Listed!

I have started the list of fleeces from shearing in October 2012. Most of the fleeces are lamb fleeces from our flock of purebred Finnsheep, Shetland, and crosses of Bluefaced Leicester, and Border Leicester.

Please check out the Raw Fleece page for photos and prices.  The quickest way to reach me is via the comment section or email at roundaboutacres AT gmail DOT com (you know what to do with the AT and DOT)

Thanks for looking!

(This posted has been edited.  I originally set up a new sales blog but decided, after two days of use, that I didn’t like switching between two blogs so I transferred everything to this blog.)

Baa, Baa Grey (?) Sheep

Our new Finnsheep ram lamb is from Gail VonBargen of  Little Red Oak Farm.  His mother is black piebald (wildly spotted) and sire is brown. So he BBBb with spots.  Or so we thought…  Last Saturday, as Knuut was being sheared, his fiber fell aside to reveal a beautiful silver grey.  Finnsheep genetics are not as well understood as Shetland genetics, but Shetland breeders would call this type of change “modified.”   I think it is beautiful, whatever it is called.

Finn ram Knuut

Finn ram Knuut

Fleeces

On Sunday, daughter-in-law Ashley helped me skirt 21 fleeces.  This is our first year shearing in autumn.  We will always shear twice annually from now on!  The fleeces were very clean and the six-month old lamb fleeces are luscious!  I am working on a Roundaboutacres Sales blog and will get photos and prices of sale fleeces online in the next few days.  In the meantime, here a few photos.

Bluefaced Leicester/Shetland Mulesheep Sasha

Finn/Shetland ram lamb

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.

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.

Bad Boys, Bad Boys! (What ya gonna do?)

It’s jail for our Bad Boys!  I guess I should say they are just doing what nature intended…  My plan was to remove the ram lambs in a few more weeks but a few of our ram lambs have different ideas.  The new Finn ram lamb was lovin’ up every ewe in the barnyard.  They just ran away from him but I don’t want to take any chances.  So I put him in a pen with BFL – NC Cheviot cross Tank who was also friendly with the girls.  I will get them set up on their own pasture.

I have decided to name our new ram Toivo, which means “hope.”  I have big dreams for this Finn ram so the name is fitting.  Also, coming from northern Minnesota and being Finnish myself, I grew up with the name – even if it was used a lot in jokes!

While The Shepherdess (Cop) was throwing the boys in the brink, I noticed this pumpkin plant growing along the fence line.  I wonder how long the sheep will let this grow?  It must have planted itself from a pumpkin I fed the sheep last winter!

This photo is of our newest Finn ewe lamb from Gale Woods Farm.  I have decided to call her Saara.  She is a calm, friendly, very feminine lamb who is white with light brownish gray legs and white boots on her rear legs.  She is a twin but her sibling died at birth; consequently, she got all the milk so she is a very good size – she must weigh at least 50 lbs.  I need to get a larger sling to weigh the lambs as they get larger.

Saara’s fleece is white to the roots.  Her legs are both brown and gray; she has brown and black in her background so time will tell what her base genetics are.

New Finn Ewe Lambs!

We have two new additions to our Finnsheep flock!

The first ewe lamb is from Gale Woods Farm.  Her body is white but her legs are brown and gray with white socks on the rear legs.  Her hooves are very light brown with some white.  At this point her fleece is white to the roots and her skin is pink.  She has a very dense, heavy coat with a nice crimp.  In the photo, her rear end is wet – I think she got “wee’d on” by the other lamb when they were in the crate on the ride home.

White ewe lamb Reese X020 from Gale Woods Farm

Reese X020(Not named yet)

And since I love the natural brown Finnsheep, I brought home a lovely ewe lamb from Little Red Oak Farm.  Leila is a twin with wonderful fleece.  I am happy to report that we now have five Finnsheep ewes and two rams in all the colors – white, black, brown, and gray.  We have spots and (hopefully) modified/Ag genetics.  Ooh, I can’t wait to see the lambs of 2011!

2010

Finnsheep Little Red Oak Leila

I GROW WOOL but There IS A USE for Man-made Synthetic Fibers (via O ECOTEXTILES)

I love wool even though I am sensitive to the “itch” factor. I have learned to love the smell of lanolin when washing fleece. My hands like that soft feeling of the grease in the water when a fleece is soaking. And picking, carding, spinning, plying, weaving or knitting are lovely tactile pleasures.

BFL X NCC Mule fiber

Happily, we knitters and spinners have a wealth of natural, renewable fiber to choose from – the many types of sheep’s wool, llama, alpaca, mohair, yak, bison, cotton, linen, silk, qiviut, even dog hair! So many fibers — so little time.  Sigh…

Having said that, I have happy for a lightweight, rip-stop nylon tent that sheds water when camping in a rainstorm. Also, a breathable rain jacket is a vast improvement over the inexpensive plastic raincoats that leave me more drenched in sweat than rain! And thankfully, our police officers and troops are protected daily by Kevlar vests which will stop a bullet.  Having said that, if set on fire, wool will self-extinguish;  synthetic fibers will melt onto one’s skin.

So there is a place and use for synthetic fibers. But production of any fiber comes at a cost to the environment. Scouring natural fiber involves water, soap/detergent and vinegar. With synthetic fibers, I never really thought about the oil and chemicals involved in the manufacturing process. Thank you again to the ladies of O Ecotextiles for their excellent information!

Man-made synthetic fibers For millennia mankind depended on the natural world to supply its fiber needs.  But scientists, as a result of extensive research, were able to replicate naturally occurring animal and plant fibers by creating fibers from synthetic chemicals. In the literature, it is often noted that there are three kinds of man-made fibers: those made by “transformation of natural polymers” (also called regenerated cellulosics), those made from synthetic polymer … Read More

via O ECOTEXTILES

A Visit to Finn Land

It has been raining non-stop since the beginning of June.  I’m trying not to complain… we need the rain… but the barnyard is saturated, mushrooms are sprouting, and the gray is depressing.  So I was happy to spend a bit of time away from the farm.  And what did I do on the day spent away from the farm?  Go shopping at the Mall of America?  Get a relaxing massage and pedicure at the spa?  Um, no.  I did what any crazed shepherdess would do – I visited another farm.  Oh dear, I just realized that I visited two farms!

Gail Von Bargen emailed last week to let me know she and a fiber friend, Candy, were going to Gale Woods Farm to look at the 2010 crop of  Finnsheep lambs.  Did I want to meet up with them?  You betcha, I wanted to go!  I had already decided to purchase two to three more Finn ewe lambs this year for our flock.  I wanted to see Gale Woods’ lambs and I’ve picked out two from Gail’s lamb crop so this would give me the chance to see them also.

It was raining as I drove but I still enjoyed listening to several episodes of Craftlit.  I met up with Gail and Candy at Detta’s Spindle where Candy was buying a spinning wheel.  I had never met Detta or been to her store before so that was a nice treat.  Then we had lunch and went to Gale Woods Farm.  Farm Manager Tim Reese has a mixed flock of Clun Forest and Finnsheep, with some Border Leicester and Icelandic mixed in.  Within a few moments of entering the pasture, Gail and I set our eyes upon a lovely ewe lamb who looked like she may have modified or Ag genetics.  (Forgive me, but I am still learning the genetics.)

2010 Finn ewe lamb at Gale Woods Farm.

Tim said they considered her gray due to her leg coloring at birth.  Gray?  She looks white, yet not white…  Gray in Finns ranges from nearly white to a dark, steely gray.  She has good confirmation, a sweet personality, and her fiber looked lovely.  Her spotted face appears “washed out” or diluted.  Gail and I pondered if she could be Ag?  Modified? Gail is much further along in a comprehension of genetics than I; but we agreed that this lamb looked to have whatever genes are at work in Finns that lightens the fleece.  Time will tell.  I placed a deposit to hold the ewe lamb.

Look at her precious face!  I will bring her home when I pick up the other two lambs from Gail.  You can click on any photo to “biggify.”

Little Red Oak Finn ram lamb (L) and Finn ewe lamb Leila (R)

We ended the day back at Gail’s farm which was full of bouncing Shetland and Finn lambs.  These brown Finns are brother (spotty) and sister.  I will bring home the ewe on the right.  Her fleece is very, very dense and curly and she likes chin scratches.

2010 Little Red Oak Finn ewe lamb

And finally, here is a photo of Kimi’s ewe lamb.  Gail’s daughter Emily is holding her.  Her dam Kimi can be seen on the right.  Her fleece became gray before she reached one year old.  This ewe lamb has silky soft fiber with very little crimp at this time.  It will be interesting to see how her fiber grows in.  She has HST spots and maybe, maybe will give us some gray??

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