Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spring Shearing

Do I dare say it? It sure seems like it ...the birds are saying it ... and the pond has no ice ...could it be that Spring has come early? Sam came up from the basement with the Maple Tree spiles ready to tap the trees. Such a cutie.
All of the lambs have been born. Meadow had two beautiful lambs during the wind storm that knocked out power for days, and my gigantic monster-of-a-sheep Martha, who I was sure was carrying twins or triplets, had a single spotted little ewe lamb which we have named Godiva. It has been an interesting year for names. We started with a candy theme and somehow,with the birth of Hercules, switched to Greek Gods. Meadow's new babies are being called Zeus and Athena. Both are good sized solid Romney lambs. Their sturdy legs appear to have leg warmers on. We will be shearing in a week, and boy do we need to get the fleeces off these sheep!
Today I am beginning to clip my Angora goats. Paulie Walnuts is half done and Silvio will be next up on the stand. Such beautiful boys ...such beautiful mohair.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Restless Ewes

Restless ewes make me nervous. I watch and hover, and poke and feel and fuss. They become quite frustrated with me and yet I can't help myself! Watching lambs be born scares and thrills me at the same time. It does not matter if it is lambs, puppies, rabbits, or chicks hatching out of eggs. New life is amazing!
Jelly and Bean have graduated from sweet and innocent, to troublemakers with a mission! They are into everything! Their curiosity know no boundaries and I look forward to letting them out every morning to see what new discoveries they will make ...or who will be their springboard for the day.
Carmella finally lambed a week ago. An almost 14 lb ram lamb we have named Klondike, and a 9.6lb ewe we have named Truffle. This is the largest lamb I have ever had born on my farm and he is marvelous! She looks like her mother with her narrow nose.

Annie popped out this little gem yesterday. If you look closely, you'll see the H on his nose so we are calling him Hercules. Two ewes left and I am done! Seems like I wait and wait and then I am in Lambtopia!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Feed Your Soul

Another bitter cold morning. Well, this is Maine after all. My hope for this winter was more cold and less snow ...was that a bad choice? My arms are certainly toned and muscular from carrying the water buckets out to the fussy little goats. The sheep get their share too of course, but quite often I will find full, frozen buckets as they prefer to eat snow for some unknown reason. Maybe they just enjoy watching me build up my biceps and know that come spring I will be grateful to them as I pull my summer clothes out of the closet.
Gromit a.k.a Mutant Sheep Boy ( named by my husband ) enjoys the sun with his snug coat and good layer of fat. Gromit is Judy's boy from a few years ago. He is Suffolk/Romney and Babyd0ll Southdown. I think he is kind of cute. My husband says if we fall on hard times he'll feed us all for a solid month he's so fat. ....I do not agree.
Watching the prego-ewes get fatter and fatter makes me very excited! I am beginning to develop an eye for the ones who "drop" and seem to be noticing that more this year than watching for udders. I remember my own pregnancies and when my kids went from bracing themselves off my ribs to dancing on my pelvis. I wonder what these creatures feel as they are not supporting the lower half with bone structure. The grunting I hear when they walk up to the barn must be a sign that it gets pretty uncomfortable. But like all females in this world ...we just keep on going and doing.
My lambing system seems to be working well this year. We sectioned off the back of the barn into four stalls. each with dividers so that as each ewe lambs she is dewormed and moved to the next stall. The first stall is mucked out and re-bedded and ready for the next ewe. With all dividers down, we have a large "play area" for the moms and babes until they can go outside. Of course the one flaw is that I have too many bred ewes ( by adding two to my flock this fall) but we can erect pens as we need them with panels. When lambing is over, we can take down all of the dividers and remove the doors opening up the barn . I am really enjoying this system. It is easier to keep up with and cleaner.

Jelly and Bean have gained almost 3 whole pounds each! I let them out in the barn afternoons as poor Mama Belle is going stir crazy. They are quite the busy boys investigating all corners of the barn and chasing chickens. It is good for the soul to watch these babies enjoying life to the fullest.
You can watch a few videos of them on our Facebook page just search Romney Ridge Farm in the search box ...or click here . :)