Thursday, January 28, 2010

Preparing for Lambing

Well this year the first date for lambs is March 1st. That is six weeks earlier than last year. We'll see if any of the ewes cycled that early.

To be on the safe side and prepared, I will trim hooves this coming week (after the puppies leave), check eyelids for anemia, check ewes for condition. Its harder to see their condition under all that wool (and in every do you check them all daily? Its impossible with this number).

I'm happy to say that all ewes and ewe lambs (yearlings now I guess) are in wonderful condition. Probably over condition. I'm actually having to feed them LESS this year, as the food is higher quality. Heck everybody looks fat, and just off of good grass hay! I'm really happy with the girls.

Everyone looks alert, happy, sassy and full of spunk. Today it was -4 for a high (without windchill) and the girls were jumping and popcorning all over the winter paddock. They are in such good spirits for being so cold outside! I know that dense, warm fleece is keeping them warm!

Since I'm lambing March 1st, I have decided to shear that first weekend in March. This will give me a better visual idea of who is close to lambing, if I am not certain by dates ewes were with the rams. My shearer who is amazing, told me I should either wait until June to shear, or before the ewes go through the rise. I had ewes IN the rise while shearing last year, and they had to be hand clipped later. Something I may have to deal with this year, but still worth trying it early, as he IS the one who knows what he is doing, having done tens of thousands (and many many Shetlands btw!)

I am hoping to have a shearing party this year for several of the local spinning guilds. Last year, without advertising my fleeces, I sold over half of my fleeces. Most of my single coated fleeces are sold, leaving me with the longer intermediate fleeces left to make into roving. I'm not sure how to proceed with them. I've washed them, but haven't seperated the wool coats. Should I?

Word of mouth has spread about my fleeces and those that have spun and knit my fleeces, love them. I have some fleeces already reserved for this year. I've gotten helpful hints from these spinners/knitters about where and how to market the fleeces. Now its just a matter of finding the time to get it all together! I'm hoping most of the fleeces sell at shearing day, but time will tell! If they don't I'll be heading out to fiber festivals that are in surrounding states to sell my goods. Maybe I"ll see ya there?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Ah yes, Happy Day!

Have a fabulous STRESS FREE day!


Today is one of the many National Mental Health Days throughout the year. You can do your bit by remembering to send an e-mail to at least one unstable person. My job is done!

Life is too short for negative drama & petty things. So laugh insanely, love truly and forgive quickly! From one unstable person to another... I hope everyone is happy in your head - we're all doing pretty good in mine!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Still Kickin'

Wow its been two weeks since my last post! Who knew?

There hasn't been much news to share. Lots of time to reflect on farm goals, cattle goals, sheep goals, life goals. What exactly do I want to be doing? If you've followed my blog for several years, you'll realize I go through 'this phase' every winter when I have a lot of time to reflect. hopefully it passes soon.

I've spent a lot of time out WITH the animals. Yes even though we've had a huge terrible cold spell for the last three weeks. I've been playing with my first litter of puppies. You can follow them on my dog blog at

I've not looked at my sheep spreadsheets, pedigrees, micron tests or ear tag #s. I've been totally devoted to the sheep. Their care. Their well being. They seem happy. I'm happy. Its always wonderful to nuzzle them or bury your face in their soft wool. I'm remembering why I have the sheep. Their fun personalities and their wool. Their easy keeping, hardiness and individual antics.

I'm going to shear two months early this year. Let's hope that March is snowless and warm (ya right...HERE?) and lambing starts March 1st here. We clean the barn this weekend and will prepare the lambing jugs so they are ready to go when the lambs come. If I don't do it now it will be last minute racing to find where I used the panels for the lambing jugs when there are wet lambs wandering the barn.

I've started seeing someone casually and this also makes me happy. Now if it would snow more, I might be able to pay my bills this month :) Other than that, live is good.....time to go snuggle with the dogs on the couch and watch my Netflix movie!

Enjoy the weekend! Wine and good company (dogs). I doesn't get much better :)

Available sheep

With my work load continuing to pile up, and less time to spend with the sheep, I am offering the following: My entire flock of BlueFaced ...