Sunday, July 29, 2007

Little lambs going home

Some little lambs went to new homes today, and I hear their moms crying in the night. A photo tribute to some:

Juicyfruit, who went home with Nancy Krohn. But Nancy wants to give her a special name, so. .. that means I can use Juicyfruit next year? When Chicklet lambs again?

Anyway, best wishes in your lush, green pasture in the Bluff Country, little girl!
Then, since I was corralling sheep, we gave all the ewe lambs their booster shots for the year, and penned 3 more to deliver to Garrett Ramsay. With him went Little Red Oak Wren, and Jasmine and Rue, two little black ewe lambs. Garrett also took home a fine little moorit ram, Hansel. These little ones will be happy to have each other when they arrive, I know, and will soon be exploring their new flocks!

And now, the pressure is less on my dry pastures, and greater on Garrett's and Nancy's-- but we'll miss these sweet lambs.
It was so nice to see other shepherds today and talk sheep talk! What a fine bunch of folks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Juicyfruit loves her mommy

Little Red Oak Juicyfruit and mom, Minwawe Chicklet, try to keep cool in the shade by the lean-to. It's a sheep pile of spots back there.

Juicyfruit is for sale (Gail's edit-- SOLD)-- she's out of Minwawe Equator, and like him, has a slightly longish tail. She is otherwise an outstanding sheep, and half sister to the little ewe who won Best Fleece on Hoof (right, MaryEllen?) at Jefferson last year.

We're preparing for heat in the 90s this week but all is well.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A week in July

Hi all,

Wow, since the 4th of July, the week has flown. We met the elder parents at a park where marching bands lined up for the big parade, and had an old fashioned picnic and game of croquet. On the 5th, Kelly the vet tech was here to do her scrapies annual flock review and ear tag the new lambs. Later that day, DH (Dear Husband) and I took 3 little rams-- 2 black, 1 musket, not bersugget boy-- to the vet for "emasculating". We saved the farm visit fee and with 2 men & me, easily hoisted rammies upside down for the procedure. Little struggle, little visible discomfort. The youngest ram was 2 months or so and ran out to forage as soon as he returned home, the older two (3 months old) stayed still and distant from the flock for a while. The following day, all rammies acted normally.

Then in a whirlwind of planning, I had Peeps from Missouri and Garrett from Northern MN meet here at the farm -- Garrett brought me his last years' mioget/fawn? ram, FirthofFifth don Telmo Bourbon, who I agreed to buy. (Thanks, Garrett!)

Peeps had several adorable spotted ewe lambs for Garrett, and I had suggested they meet here to make the delivery! Both of them wanted to see what I had for a flock, and it was very enjoyable walking around, talking and looking at sheep.

This week I've been arranging the sale of several of the ewes 'n' lambs-- at Peeps' suggestion, I said "buy 3 lambs, get a ram lamb free!"

It seems to work, so remember that offer! I have whittled my "keep" list way down to 13 ewes and 4 rams, which is 8 fewer sheep than I wintered over last year.

Toward that end, I sent two mature rams off to the butcher yesterday. It's kind of hard to do-- they are great, handsome rams, but nature makes many more rams than we need. So, soon the freezer will be full.

Goodbye to Little Red Oak Dill and Frazier, the well-used rams of last season--

Now, back out to the field to photograph lambies.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Wethering, dithering. . .

Hey Hey,
day after tomorrow, the state scrapie program vet tech, Kelly Voge, is coming out to help me ear tag and vaccinate all 25 lambs that are here. I thought I'd castrate by banding a number of the excess ram lambs, and my vet was willing to lend me his bander for the job.

I googled "band castrate ram lamb" last night, and my research led me to decide not to do it-- I'll have the old vet come out and "emasculate" them with the "emasculatome" instead. I have seen him do it on a 3 month old and on a 6 month old; the former without anesthetic and the latter with general and local anesthesia. It worked in both cases, the rammies didn't seem badly hurt, it's bloodless. . .

What got me was the assurance that banding older lambs really did hurt them; the web sites suggested doing the banding with a local anesthetic like Lidocaine-- but I know that would wear off before long. . .

But even more, that in Britain it's not allowed to band lambs after a week's age--
So okay, I know this other method that requires my vet's touch.
Maybe in another year I'll know more and go ahead and band lambs, but for now, it's going this way.

Now, I think I'll show you Abby (spotted lamb, perfect little yuglet sokket, HST) and Jasmine, her black wooly friend. See above! What pretty faces! Both girls are available, too, if you need a few nice girls. (Gail's later note: Abby is now staying here, Jasmine has been sold.)
Have a Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Two sweet little brown-haired lambs

Need I say more?
A proud shepherd-mom,

Favorite lambs

Okay, on the Yahoo MSSBO list, Sabrina so nicely asked people to submit photos of fave lambs, and since Yahoo! says they will dump all our photos soon enough, I'm publishing here!

First, a little more grown up pic of that little gray-IS -HE- BERSUGGET- OR- FLECKET???? lamb. (I thought I had put my finger on a color pattern definition and it MOVED!) Isn't he sweet looking? And a shy-not terrified boy, nice to have around. Note that his coal black brother and musket mother, behind, appear hazy. . . due to peanut butter & jelly on the camera lens. Great technique, I know. Same story on the lens of this next picture of Jellybean, a favorite little ewe lamb. Chicklet, her mom, grazes behind. Chicklet's Ag gray flecket, Jellybean is musket flecket.

I can't seem to get my 3rd picture of 2 favorite girls in here. I'll do a second entry so you can see Mallow-- though she appears as one more little brown ewe. Darling. You wait.