Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lambing Update

Lambing started March 13th and has been sporadic. Since Shetlands are known to be seasonal lambers, they do not start cycling in the fall until it gets cooler and the days get shorter. It seems that even though I try to put them in together early, flush them, and keep them on grass, they still don't seem to start lambing for me until the last week of March and first few weeks of April. *sigh* Patience is not a virtue of mine!

So far we've had the following:

Finn ram x Shetland ewe - twins ram and ewe
Finn ram x Shetland ewe - single ram
Finn ram x Shetland-Cheviot ewe - single ram
Finn ram x BFL Mule - single ewe
BFL ram x Shetland ewe -twins ram and ewe (badgerfaces!!)
BFL ram x Shetland ewe - single ram
BFL ram x BFL ewe - twin ram and ewe
BFL ram x Shetland Mule - single ewe
Shetland ram x Shetland ewe - single ewe
Shetland ram x Shetland ewe - twins ram and ewe
Shetland ram x Shetland ewe - single ewe

I flushed the girls last fall with beet pulp and mineral and rolled oats and roasted soybeans. They were in amazing condition, with green pastures and wonderful green 2nd cutting clover/grass hay. The singles born above were quite large (8# pounds for shetlands 12# for other crosses) so they were well fed, just huge.

The last two weekends have been spent with sheepie friends. First Kelly and her husband Mike came up for a short visit (they are always short visits it seems!) and then last weekend I was down at Corinne's farm and got to see my ram M&M and the rest of her flock. Always fun to see her sheep! I couldn't believe it had been 18 months since I'd last visited her!

The next few weeks look to be like pandemonium for lambing. Naturally I have my best friend Briony's wedding this weekend I cannot miss and hope that the ewes hold off until I return. I'll be gone only about 30 hours so hope they can lamb before of after. My dad will be in charge while I'm away and I hope no mothers to be try to steal newborn lambs away from other moms like what happened to me on Monday. I swear those Shetlands are SUCH fantastic moms, that they want every baby that is born before their own.

That's the update for now. More soon (and photos too!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Shetland Lambs

Just after Mike and Kelly left this morning, I went to do chores and after finding no new lambs at 7am this morning, didn't think I'd find any now. Low and behold, there was NEW lambs!!

After not having a ton of spots for awhile, they are back at Ramsay Farms!

Below is a yuglet sokket moorit ram lamb with horn buds. His yuglets are so large he'll probably be registered as a smirslet because I'm sure as he grows the white will get smaller.
 here is momma shelteringpines Cabotine with her twins, the moorit spotty ram and his lovely moorit ewe lamb twin. Cabotine is mioget so the lambs could also be modified.

And when I went to feed hay this little firecracker came running in with the big girls. She herself is a big GIRL. She is a gray katmoget flecket ewe lamb. Her momma is WhitePine Eiffel 65 who is a Jazz daughter out of Sommarang Emerald (black flecket).  Sire is Crosswinds Apollo who is mioget flecket smirslet so she carries moorit and possibly modified to boot!

 She's a flashy gal! I'm excited to see that fine fleece grow in too :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Here chick, chick, chick!

I notice i'm calling a lot of critters as of The chickens are nearly as tame as the hogs are. While out working around the farm yard, the chickens had to all supervise me in whatever I was doing. Some would come up to be held, others to taste the mud on my boots, but nonetheless they were around me all the time.

Without checking my facebook, can you name the breeds of chickens in the photos below?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Here Pig, Pig, Pig!

The pigs got upgraded to bigger 'digs' (pun intended) in the barn. They are still able to go outside, and they appear to enjoy the round bale as well.

The three whites are Hampshire x Yorkshire (mmm bacon!) and the boar is Duroc x Hampshire. The three girls will be used for breeding so I named them after three original Ramsay women. If those women knew someday they'd be named after

Anna, Dora and Hattie are the girls' names. And they are ever spoiled and squeal for attention ANY time I go to the barn. Which these days is about 20+ times a day....
I had hoped the girls would be bred, but it appears that our boar isn't really interested in breeding the girls, as I see one is season now. *sigh* To find a new one now will be interesting.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Lambing begins

Lucy was bred to the Finn ram Eino this past fall. She had given me three years of all ram lambs, two of which were AI offspring and I retained both. Figuring I'd get only more rams (yes I realize the ram is responsible for the x or y chromosome decision), I put her to the Finn. She produced two lambs, a gray katmoget ram and a fawn katmoget EWE. It was a difficult birth and Lucy was not getting up for several hours after wards. The ram was poor presented, stillbirth, but not overly large (6 pounds). The GIRL is a spitfire and bouncing around already. After lunchtime I went back to find Lucy up, but a little wobbly. They have the entire loafing barn to themselves now, until I know Lucy can walk around good enough to be jugged up. Although it was a rough start to lambing in 2012, I am STILL excited that its finally here :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Any day

Any day will start lambing! The first that looks ready to lamb based on tightness of udder is WhitePine Eiffel 65 (Jazz x Sommarang Emerald) who is a smirslet flecket sokket gray katmoget. This is her first lambing as a 2 year old and she is bred to Crosswinds Apollo (mioget flecket smirslet) so spots should be the rave from this pairing. Others that look eminent are one of my BFL ewes, ShelteringPines Catalonia and a black Shetland ewe ShelteringPines Tresor who I am hoping is bred to Stephen's ram Grand Luxe!

Stay tuned....Any day.

In the mean time I will be rooing WhitePine Levi AI (67.5% UK bloodlines) again. He's already rooed most of his neck and belly wool so this should be an easy task :) stay tuned for photos

Thursday, March 1, 2012

3 weeks...

....until lambs start to appear. The barn is an overhaul this weekend. cleaned, swept, scrubbed, limed and bedded down. I have all the buckets, heat lamps and clips waiting to be put in the pens this weekend. Feeling good about lambs this year!

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 ...