In the post I wrote before this one I talked about getting the barn ready for shearing and I showed some fleece photos here. Here are some pre-shearing sheep photos. Hot Lips.
Some of the sheep are coated. This is Honey. Sylvia.
Shelby and her daughter, Lavendar.
Almost 1-year old rams, Cayenne and…
And these fleeces didn’t disappoint.
Shearing Day was a week ago and I’ve been so busy that there has been no time to sort through my photos or do anything fun on my computer (like writing blog posts). Now I’m going to try and catch up.
Shearing Day at our place is an Open House event so it’s a good time to get the place cleaned up and ready for visitors. It took me several hours to finally deal with the mess in the “milking stall” of the barn. That’s where we used to milk the goats but it is now kind of my barn office. I don’t have photos of before and after but I did take a photo of one solution I found for organizing some of the vet supplies.
I not only found a plastic tub to keep the dust and cobwebs and rats away but I wrote the names on the tops of the bottles so that I don’t have to pull each of them out every time I’m looking for something. This is so simple, but it makes me inordinately pleased–why didn’t I think of it before? While I was cleaning inside the barn Dan was working outside. We had finally had some rain so felt more comfortable burning the brush pile. By the way we burned this on Thursday. This doesn’t look like much but it was a pretty not fire. Even though it looked like it was out on Monday there were still hot spots and smoke.
That burn pile is right next to the ram pen. Here are the five of them. The 4-horned rams are Serrano and his dad, Buster. The lilac 2-horns are Cayenne and his sire, Catalyst. That’s Gotham in front. In the meantime, Dan is working on the west side of the barn. This has been a multi-year project but I think it may get finished this year.
I was trying to get ready for shearing but was also dealing with taxes, the clutter I still haven’t taken care of in the house after painting my office, weaving deadlines, etc. I found another way to procrastinate. Let’s put the GoPro on a sheep. Jade is the obvious choice, being the best pet sheep. The first thing she did was run into the barn. When one sheep runs, they all do. Then she shook her head and it was obvious that I didn’t have the camera secured well enough.
At that point I needed a scoop of grain to entice her. I had used the headgear that is meant for wearing the camera, but it was meant for a human head and didn’t wrap around the horns very well. I found the brace I use for my elbow and that seemed to secure it better. I’ve looked at the footage. It’s not as exciting as we might hope for. Maybe if she wore the GoPro all day (and there was enough battery life to do that…and then we condense it all into a minute) it would be interesting. But it’s not like she’s going to be skydiving or snorkeling. For this trial run she pretty much just looked at the barn, the pasture, and me.
I will still do something with the video but it probably won’t be winning any film festivals.
I wrote a post about teaching and vendoring (a new word?) at Lambtown. Dona send me several photos of our sheep and Farm Club members that I can also share.
Buster had his own pen. The ewes are Cindy and Vanna.
Mary having a conversation with Buster.
Mary and Lisa in the barn.
Sumi, also in the barn. A lot of the Farm Club members were also on the Spinzilla team and were working to increase their yardage spun.
Lisa rode the train back and forth from the barn to the vendor hall.
The sheep show was Sunday afternoon. Yearling rams were up first.
Buster was the only one in his class.
He didn’t want to cooperate.
Do I really want to be dancing with a ram.
I think not.
He was better behaved on a halter…
…and especially when tied to the fence after his turn.
This is the rest of the sheep waiting their turns.
Vicki helped with the ram lambs.
We showed against Shetlands in the Primitive Breeds Division.
Doris helped with the yearling ewes.
Everyone was a winner. Thanks!
October 1 – breeding season starts. Count 148 days more or less and there will be lambs. I know where I’ll be February 26. Farm Club came to help sort sheep.
There were four breeding groups to sort–ewes that would go to three Jacob rams and Peyton, the BFL. There is also a non-breeding group. I juggled which ewe lambs to not breed–I want to have some to show next spring (maybe take to MSWF to sell?) and to show at State Fair. I debated which ewes to put with Peyton. Obviously those won’t produce purebred Jacob lambs, but the crossbred lambs grow fast and are valuable for market lambs.
We got the rams out and trimmed their feet.
We got the marking harnesses ready. I use the same color in all of the harnesses. The breeding groups are all in separate places so I’m not trying to sort which ram bred which ewes. If they were all together I’d have fighting rams and still wouldn’t know the sires because there would be multiple breedings. I will change the color in about two weeks. Then I’ll know that all the blue marks are from the first two weeks of breeding and if the ewes are marked with the next color they were bred in the next two weeks.
This is ewe lamb, Hollyhock. The dirty face and dirty wool is a result of the tall dallisgrass that is now sticky. As a result the sheep are covered with dirt and with dallisgrass seeds.
I this opportunity to take close-up photos of the ewe lambs that I need to register.
Here is the main event. Rams working working overtime with their mouths open and tongues out. Uh, Peyton, that’s a wether.
The ewes that are in heat will hang around the ram. Sheena and Shelby were the two who were interested in Catalyst. If Catalyst showed interest in one the other started beating him up.
This gives new meaning to Fall Colors.