Saturday, April 28, 2012

Lambs, lambs, lambs

First, I love this-- it looks like Holstein cows grazing on our flat Minnesota pastures-- only it's two spotted Finnsheep.  Mom, Kora, is on the right and daughter Nappylainen is on the left.  Both produced lambs this past week.  Kora had mostly-black twins, a boy and girl, big and healthy-- and Nappy produced a big healthy ram lamb.  Hers has more spottedness-- but nothing like the moms' spots.   First year Finns often have singles, but after that, it's twins, triplets, quads, and sometimes, more.
Remember to double click on photos to show those lambs' amazing cuteness up close...

A few photos of Mari, the white Finnsheep, and her badgerfaced ewe lamb and black HST ram lamb:  The badgerface girl is going to Missouri, but the boy hasn't been promised anywhere, yet.  Both appear to have wonderful wool coming.  Both are big, healthy twins.  Last year Mari had triplets.  One each brown, black and white lambs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Forrest's been lucky---here are some of his lambs.

Dear Husband (DH) Howard's first hospital day for chemo coincided with Forrest's butcher date, so Forrest got lucky and missed his butcher appointment.
Then, I got lambing updates from the two farms I leant Forrest to last fall.  Now I don't know:  if I really want a spotted, polled ram, is this what Forrest carries?  Or should I keep looking?  It seems that what Forrest throws are bersugget or headsplashed spotted lambs, but not the spottedness I am after, which is harder to get.  Here's a photo of what HALF of his 10 or so lambs looked like:
Friend Lori, holding one twin he produced out of her ewe, LittleRedOak Mallow, a moorit who has thrown HST lambs (white Head, Socks, Tail).  Forrest, remember is musket-- and had white tracery on his face as a lamb.

This bersugget patterned lamb is also from Mallow.

Next, triplets he fathered from LRO Catnip, a wildly spotted moorit ewe (Mallow's twin! The wool looks tightly crimped.

And finally, a black lamb with white splashes out of LRO SunBear, a black ewe whose mom had even more white head splashes. 

So, what do you all think of Forrest's potential?  Piebald spotting is hard to find;  polled rams are hard to find, and the two together are very few!  I need one!

Two new lambs, DH returns to work

Blogger changes still confound, but I'll get the hang of it, I am sure.

Yesterday the skies cleared, leaves progressed their slow-motion greening on ash and maple trees around the farm, and Mari the Finn ewe gave birth on the green grass of the barnyard . 
Howard had gone back to work after 2 weeks of chemo (1 in hospital) and chemo recovery (at home).
Em had gone back to school, and I had the farmstead all to myself. A welcome change on a beautiful, sunny day.

 I thought you might like to see some of the steps involved.  First, the bubble of placental stuff emerges.

I sat on a haywagon a respectful distance away, and took pictures as Mari bravely pushed those lambs out by herself.  Stupid, intrusive chickens hung around, though, waiting to peck at any interesting birthing matter... eeeuuuu.

Seems that most other ewes will vanish from the site when one decides to give birth.  I think they are respecting an intensely private moment between mom and babies, but they might think "get me the hell out of here, that looks painful!"

Nice job, Mari.  The little  badgerface ewe lamb is already spoken for.  Her mostly-black ram lamb is not, yet.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lambs arriving

This is really a test to see if the new Blogger format works.  I'll be back to edit.  (Days later, still don't understand the changed format or how to access)

But it's true-- Shetland ewe lamb, Little Red Oak Trillium, had a white ram lamb on Tuesday.  Uneventful delivery, for us anyway.  We were gone.  She did it all by herself.
On Thursday, Finn ewe, Kora the spotty cow-sheep delivered just two lambs.  She had triplets last year, so, oh well.  And nearly solid black, no wild carnival-splashed up lambs.

Little Annie, the Shetland pet, had moorit twins by Friday a.m.-- boy and girl--
and now it's quiet in the lamb barn.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Last Chance for Forrest

Little Red Oak Forrest has a date with the butcher on Monday, unless you want him, and speak up quickly!
After Shearing Day on Saturday (a great, fun time, by the way, and just look at all of those shiny, cleaned- up sheep) he acted as rams do, and I decided I'd had it with him.  He's just a ram, not particularly aggressive, nor at all wild-- but when the sheep don't recognize each other after getting haircuts, they often butt heads to re-establish the pecking order, and Forrest wants to be No. 1! 
Besides, I have 3 rams for both breeds I own, Finns and Shetlands.  Forrest is so related to most of my ewes--he's a Highland Hollows Bluebell son.  I am pretty proud of everything about him-- his hornless little head, his nice square build.  His fleece is super-abundant, crimpy, and I had him micron'ed.  His AFD was 27 at 2 yrs old, probably "good 'nuff" for many folks.  I just want to keep moving on and keep my numbers down. I will look for an unrelated ram this summer.

Here are all 3 Shetland rams.  The little brown guy is only 9 months old-- a Forrest son-- he got about 4 ewes PG in a few days-- when I didn't think he could.  His fleece is baby-fine yet, at 20 AFD, so I will keep him to see how he works out.
My husband, Howard, holding the little ram, Apollo, waiting for shearing! 
There are so many big issues happening in my life right now it's hard to believe that a month ago I was relaxing, tying this quilt with Betty Ann-- the lady who was born in this farm house many years ago!
Now my, my, what lovely wool.  Just wish I could remember whose it was!  Emily will remember.