Lambtown 2017–Showing Sheep

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.

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Buster had his own pen. The ewes are Cindy and Vanna.

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Mary having a conversation with Buster.

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Mary and Lisa in the barn.

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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.

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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.

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Buster was the only one in his class.

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He didn’t want to cooperate.

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Do I really want to be dancing with a ram.

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I think not.

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He was better behaved on a halter…

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…and especially when tied to the fence after his turn.

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This is the rest of the sheep waiting their turns.

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Vicki helped with the ram lambs.

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We showed against Shetlands in the Primitive Breeds Division.

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Doris helped with the yearling ewes.

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Everyone was a winner. Thanks!

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Breeding Season Starts

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.

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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. IMG_2484

We got the rams out and trimmed their feet.

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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.17008 head

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.

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I this opportunity to take close-up photos of the ewe lambs that I need to register.

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Here is the main event. Rams working working overtime with their mouths open and tongues out. Uh, Peyton, that’s a wether.

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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.

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This gives new meaning to Fall Colors.

More Farm Views

I have dozens of blog posts in my head and I’m determined to catch up with them.

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Look back at the post before this one to see the dallisgrass in the paddock where I put the sheep a couple of days ago. There comes a point after they have grazed it for five days or so when I want to move them. The plants I prefer (clover, trefoil) have been eaten to the round and I know that they will never finish off this grass. Besides, while they are in one paddock the dallisgrass in the next is just growing more. After I move them, then we mow. This is what the paddock looks like after mowing. I’d really like to rake up all that leftover grass and get it off the field, but the only way that happens is if I go out and do it by hand.

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This is Trista, also known as the Velcro Sheep.

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Do you see why? When she was a lamb she actually got herself stuck in the blackberries. Is this a the sheep way to always have a snack with you?

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Cattle egrets in the eucalyptus tree.

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Take off.

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Donkey

Amaryllis looking slim(mer).

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As I go through this batch of photos, here is another dallisgrass one. This is in the horse pasture (so called because when we had horses that is where they grazed–no horses now).

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Yes, there are sheep there.

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This is at the end of Dixon Avenue on our way to town. I am amused that someone added a tail. I’ll be at this festival in Dixon next weekend. I’m teaching three weaving classes, will have a vendor booth, and will have sheep there for the show.

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Last random photo for this post. That’s Chris with his unexpectedly large pumpkin!

Lambs Grow Up

I caught the ewe lambs yesterday to figure out which were still for sale. I’m planning to keep several this year and it’s always tempting to keep too many. I sold several adults this year and a couple have died so I can keep at least 6 or 8 as replacements.lambs to keep

These lambs are all on my list to keep. There are a few close-ups below.

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Meridian Jennie (bide a wee Buster x Meridian Jane). She won Reserve Champion Ewe at Black Sheep Gathering last month.

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Here is what she looked like in April.

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I just decided yesterday that I’d keep this one. She’s not named yet (Starthist Dragon x Meridian Alice).

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Here is a picture from May. Notice how the wool in front of her horns is shedding out. Adult Jacob sheep are not supposed to have woolly foreheads but the lambs are often born with wool that will shed.

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This is Jasmine (Starthist Dragon x Meridian Jazz).

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The wool on her forehead is also shedding.

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Here is what she looked like in April.

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Take a look at this nice looking ram lamb in late March. Look below to see why I don’t want to make deals for rams at a young age.

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This ram can not be registered.

Other lamb photos are on the website although I haven’t updated the listings this month. There are several ram lambs to remove. Ram lambs. Ewe lambs.

Black Sheep Gathering 2017- #2

I had too many photos for one post (as usual) so here is another of the weekend spent at Black Sheep Gathering. In the last post I mentioned Peyton, the new BFL ram. He just wrote a post on Rusty’s blog that you might want to check out.IMG_0526

In case you wondered what it was like to stay at BSG in a tent…here’s a photo of my camping spot. This wouldn’t have been fun if there was rain, but this time BSG was dry.

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The whole reason for going on a Road Trip with Sheep is to show them (and maybe to sell a few). We showed on Saturday morning. The crew that showed up to help include Deborah and Brenda, Farm Club members, and Doris, who knitted that beautiful shawl in the last post, and Vicki, who has sheep and Border Collies back home. None had shown sheep before so we had a quick sheep showing lesson before the show started and then brought the sheep to the holding pen. There weren’t enough Jacobs this year (one other breeder) and we were showing against some Shetlands in the NCWGA Primitive Breeds Division.

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There were no yearling rams entered so first up was the Ram Lamb class.

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The 4-horn lamb on the left here was awarded Reserve Champion Ram.

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Next was the Yearling Ewe class.

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It was followed by the Ewe Lamb class.

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The judge liked Jennie (front) best.

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The yearling ewe, Vixen (on the left), and Jennie (right) went into the Champion class…

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…and Jennie got Reserve Champion Ewe.

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As I say all the time, I couldn’t do this without the help of my friends…including the people who took photos and sent them to me. Thanks! Everyone had a fun experience and they all went home with blue ribbons.

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I don’t know how many fleeces were entered in the Wool Show but these tables were full and there was a long line of buyers waiting outside.

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I checked back an hour or so later and there weren’t a lot of fleeces left.

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Saturday night there is always a potluck followed by the Spinners Lead competition. You can find handspun items in the most unusual places. (made by Marilyn from CA). It was so unusually hot for Eugene that attendance was lower at both these events. But we found familiar faces.

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Doris and I took the yearling ewes to the Spinners Lead, wearing our shawls. We had both won first place in the classes in the Fiber Arts Show. Mine was in the woven division and Doris’ was in the knitted division where she also was awarded Best Use of Natural Colored Wool.

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Other California friends were there.  Marilyn wore the shawl that she had woven the previous day in the Sheep-to-Shawl contest. Her Hangtown Guild won that competition and she borrowed a sheep to enter this show.

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Beth knit this beautiful shawl and also borrowed a sheep.

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This was Doris’ first time at BSG, first time entering this event, and first finished handspun project!!

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I took Cindy in the show and she wore a scarf woven of the leftovers from the shawl I wore. All the entries in this show are handspun or felted.

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This is the smallest sheep I’ve ever seen at this show and she was quite a crowd pleaser.

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The next day I was sitting in the barn and spinning and glad that I didn’t have to take a sheep into the Black Sheep Cup (Supreme Champion) competition in the heat of the afternoon when I realized “uh oh, I do have to take sheep into the ring for the Young Flock competition”. Thanks to Doug and Karen who quickly helped me get the sheep to their appropriate spot in the ring, although I wasn’t exactly dressed for showing in my tank top, shorts, and Birkenstocks.

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I loaded up and got on the road about 4:30. View heading south.

A Lot of Random Stuff This Week

Can you believe that it is going to be over 100 degrees by the weekend …IMG_0163

…and  just four days ago it was in the 60’s-70’s with a thunderstorms…IMG_0164

…and hail?

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The morning of the storm, when it was bright and sunny out I saw that a big branch of this weeping willow had broken during the night–not storm related. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but where that big space is with sun shining through–that is where the branch was.

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The sheep made quick work of the leaves up to the height they could reach.

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Big event–my husband retired last week. I was worried that he would wear out his end of the couch, but after getting over a bad cold, he’s been outside spending time doing Stuff That Needs Doing.IMG_0191-2

One of those things is cutting tree branches that block the view from the driveway.

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In the sheep world, we’re getting ready to go to Black Sheep Gathering next week, so that means halter breaking lambs. A few Farm Club members have come over to help. That sheep is not hurt or dead. She is just protesting.

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This is a blurry photo of the back of a ram lamb’s head. What it shows is two horns on the right that are growing close together. Ideally Jacob sheep have symmetrical, balanced horns. I’ll wait and see how that 5th horn is going to grow out.

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I put a 40-yard warp on the Schacht loom and cut off 12 baby blankets. There are more to go but I needed to get some of these done. That reminds me I need to contact someone who ordered pink blankets.

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New items in the shop and on the website soon. These just came–Schacht flick carder, tapestry beater, and weaving cards.

I wanted to finish the warp on the AVL. The computer that is attached to it decided to update itself. This is a PC and everything else I do is on a Mac. I don’t remember the PC world at all.

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This message had me really frustrated. I can’t weave on that loom if I can’t get the computer and the loom to talk to each other. With trial and error I finally got it going again, but I have no faith that it will work when I turn it on the next time.

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So I stayed out there at the loom until I finished that warp so that at least I have some time to work with it if there is another problem.