Monday, February 16, 2009

Spring is coming; shearing, then LAMBS

I believe it's coming-- I see the lawn again-- spring is around the corner!
We had a heat wave last week in Minnesota-- it hit 40 degrees for several days and melted away piles and piles of snow. It did leave ice slicks on the driveways, but they'll go away soon enough. My mom said "in the old days" they tossed ashes on the driveway to melt the ice-- so I've done that. It's working-- I wonder if it will be a mess when the ice is gone.

First, I want to introduce Osmo the Finn ram. Beautiful fawn color and the mildest, sweet boy you could ever meet. These pics were after a bright white snowfall around February 1st. Click on any to "bigify" them.

Actually, all my boys are pretty sweet this winter. Most want a chin scratch and no-one charges me when I am in their yards. I like them all. Nancy H. in NY bought Little Red Oak Mullein's lamb fleece and wants to see what the big boy looks like now, so here he is at 21 months. He's BIG for shetland-- and his crimpy, silky gray fleece is so big he looks even larger.

My two horned rams, July and Mullein, shared a pen this winter. I kept them from the hornless or half-horned rams so that nobody'd get hurt- those 4 had their own yard.
Here are Osmo, the Finn, with mioget scurred-horn Shawn on the left-- lovely wool-- and little snail-scurred,gray Ulysses on the right. All sweet boys. Three different lines, so they all got some girls. Shawn's mom was (fawn) JustaLitl Sarah, dad was Little Red Oak Mullein.(Earlier, I'd said he was out of another, mioget ram. Wrong!) That tells me Mullein carries modified AND polled, since Shawn is so golden, and Ulysses is so scurred. Ulysses is Mullein's son, too, and his mom was Sheltering Pines Ferah, a moorit. Kimberwood Leonardo, my polled Shetland ram, is still in with the girls.
I worry because I don't want to send any to the butcher this summer, and I'll have to if no-one else needs their services. So anyone who wants ANY of these rams this year, talk to me, I'm reasonable. My breeding strategy, with such a small flock of ewes, is to simply move the older rams out every year and get a new one.

I had to toss in this flock picture-- the beautiful blue sky, the crisp white snow, the incredibly rusty, beat up lean to that the ewes live in all winter till lambing time. . . is actually a lovely old straw filled haven inside, with a heated water pail and Christmas lights giving light. ..
And do notice what the horned guys did to the lower left wall of that building last year. Tsk Tsk.

Monday I'm going to the Weaver's Guild (MN Textile Center) in St Paul for a fun fiber day, meeting 4 women who all have different aims for going there. So fun.

And now, for sure, Shearing day is April 5th, Palm Sunday. Sorry you church-goers, the shearer didn't have a better day available. Come to watch, help, or pick your favorite fleece.


Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Your sheep look just fabulous, Gail. Always glad when you post!

We do the ashes thing too up here. Unless you have a big thick pile of it, they just soak into the ground and run off in the spring. They are more of a mess, actually, during winter. They are also super good at amending acidic garden soil.

Take care. :)

Unknown said...

Love the photos! My horned rams once took out the back of my 10x16 barn...quite the surprise when I opened the front doors and was looking right out the back....boys will be boys!

Gail V said...

Sabrina, nice to hear from you! Today it was so warm that the ice is nearly gone-- and when I see how my husband tracked in coal-black on my rug over the weekend, I believe what you say about ashes in WINTER.
Thanks for your note. ;-)
Kristi, you too! I clicked on your name and found your blog-- but now, are you in WI or Iowa?
Cute sheeps, by the way.

Juliann said...

Gail, what's the breeding on the polled mioget ram? He's nice.

Gail V said...

He is out of Justalitl Sarah, a larger, fawn ewe who never liked me-- so she went to live at a neighbor's farm, in spite of her lovely, soft, fawn wool. If you look at my June 08 blog posts, there's a pic of a little, tightly crimped ram lamb with tiny points for horns. That's Shawn. He was golden in his first week-- you will also see him with his mom in May, and he had a white spot on his head. Little Red Oak Mullein is Shawn's dad-- so Mullein's carrying polled AND modified. And Mullein, if I don't have him registered yet, is out of Highland Hollows Bluebell, the grand dame of crimpy, abundant fleece, and Little Red Oak Frazier.

Terri D. said...

Nice photos of your sheep Gail. LRO Mullein is a nice looking ram! Our shearing day is 4/4. I can't wait!