Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Lambing Update - April 26

As of April 26, we have 32 lambs running around. A little more than a month ago, we were blessed with 6 early lambs due to a ram escapee. The Icelandics began lambing a couple of weeks ago, and we've seen a few early lambs in the commercial flock. The actual due date for the majority of the 90 or so that are left, is May 2nd. Things are getting very busy around here now!
2 of the 3 rams we used on the commercial flock are black, and I've already got a couple of black lambs from that crossing. Lovely boys with white stars on their heads, spitting image of their dad :)
The Icelandics have shown several blacks, a couple of grays, and a few spots... along with the usual group of white lambs. The most unique looking lamb is a moorit spotted lamb. His face is white, and the rest of him is moorit, including his ears! There are a couple of adults left in the Icelandic group, and the ewe lambs who were bred a little later, are getting ready to start.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Shearing Update

Well! What a time around here. Eric has just finished shearing all of the sheep, and for his first shearing experience, he did great. He sheared 139 sheep, a few every day. We learned that we need some serious work on sorting equipment around here.
My work begins now as I get to spend several hours a day skirting all of the fleeces. There are 3 stalls in the dairy barn full of fleece, and another stall full of just belly and junk wool collected during the shearing process. I've kept the colored fleeces seperate as he sheared them, and they are in individual bags awaiting skirting. The Romney ram fleece is so big I had to split it into 2 bags.
Those of you who have a 'Rented' sheep, I'm working on them!
Unfortunately, the icelandic fleeces were not worth saving. The adults were quite felted on their body (a real joy to shear), and the lamb fleeces had quite a bit of hay and dirt in them as well as some felting. I've saved back several white and the 2 beautiful moorit fleeces and am seperating the tog out of them. The thel is very short and not worth spinning, but the tog is fine, especially on the moorits. If anyone is interested in the tog, let me know.