Sunday, June 8, 2008

First Lamb(s) this Year

We had our first (and so far only) lamb here at Kalwa Taure on June 3rd. A cool, rainy day, I decided that it was OK to let the mioget group outside. I came home to this little lovely:

Windwater Lipstick Rose (hey - I didn't name her). We will call her Rose. All the lambs born here this year will carry the Windwater name, because they were bred by Shauna Grey at her farm - they are only visiting with us. So, I'm kind of like a Gramma this year - I get the enjoyment of the lambs, and get to spoil them - but I don't have to worry about selling them in the fall. Kind of a sweet deal if you ask me.

She's a little darling - as all first lambs are. She's very tame. Oh - and she's also a black, smirslet, gulmoget. Her dam is Windwater Rolo (hey - I didn't name her either), who is a mioget gulmoget.

Here she is with her mom "Rolo".

Now - Rolo is just staying for a visit till next year, along with Windwater Caramel. Their owner, Shauna Grey, (Windwater Shetlands), is selling her farm, and I have offered to keep these two for her this year, and a few of the lambs until she can get the other farm up and running.

Shauna is going to take Rose back to her new farm with her as well (this will probably be difficult - because I'm getting attached).

Needless to say - we brought the lamb inside and warmed her up. For the first time, we had a retained placenta. It was a bit disconcerting, but with no intervention from us, she did drop the placenta on Saturday with no other assistance.

I tend to take a very hands "off" approach to lambing. Shetlands are very hardy, primitive sheep, and usually can handle everything themselves. For the most part - I dip the navels in iodine, and watch to make sure they are sucking well. If feeding appears to be a problem - I will supplement some colostrum. Selenium shots are also given - and that's about it. We also tend to keep them in the barn - and separated for a few days, just so mom and lamb can bond. In this case, we are going through a heat wave right now (34 degrees celsius, 93 degrees farenheit), it's very muggy - and the sun is scorching, so I am keeping Rose and Rolo in the barn where I do have a fan going to circulate the air. Besides that - we're having a lot of thunderstorms right now (my poor border collie is going crazy) - and little lambs in thunder and lightning and torrential rains is not a lot of fun.

Yesterday - I went on a pottery run - I'll post about that tomorrow. Enjoy your day - hope it's not as hot as here.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

All Sheared for Another Year

Well, we're all done shearing for another year - whew!

It wasn't the best shearing we have ever done.
We used a new shearer - who is more used to doing
commercial flocks than our shetlands, although he has done shetlands before with little problem.

I think most of the problems were that the weather was cool - and those fleeces were sticky. We had lots of little nicks and splits, even though he tried to be extra careful.

So - ignore the bluespray on the sheep in these pictures.

In the top picture - is Ewenique Spencer - he's a yearling ram.
I'm pretty positive that he's a mioget flecket judging
by his colour. He's still quite small.
I love the look of just sheared shetland rams. They look like
goats with long johns on.

The second picture is my group of miogets.
There are actually 6 sheep here - but only 5 are
mioget. The ewe on the front left is a moorit
flecket. These miogets all belong to my friend Shauna Grey of Windwater Shetlands. I am babysitting them for her because she is selling her farm, and needs somewhere to board her
sheep until she gets set up again next year. Two of the ewes will be going back to Shauna's new place, and 3 will stay with me. 4 of the ewes are pregnant - so we will be having lambs at
Kalwa Taure this year - they will just all have the name Windwater in front of them.

This last picture is just of some of my ewes
standing around in the middle pasture - waiting to come inside for the night.

I'm sure everyone is so happy to have all of those
long hot fleeces off now. I see lots of happy scratching going on at the fence posts.

Soon - an update on pottery sheep - and lambs. Until then - stay posted.