Monday, March 31, 2008

New Babes!

Cara was a real trooper today!! She had twins, one boy and one girl!!

Last night she wasn't as interested in us as usual. Cara is a lap sheep.
She didn't want any of the other sheep touching her in the barn so she ate hay outside. This was a little unusual for her too. Sheep check at 10:00pm- nothing; at 7:00am- nothing; at 10:00am- off on her own; by 11:45am- twins up, licked, and returning to the flock. Wow! I would like all of them to do that. She was put in her lambing jug very content and very protective of her little ones.

The ram lamb, Hank Aaron, is a white katmoget. He also has some brownish wool. This will fade away. Cara had a ram lamb just like him last year and he was champion Shetland ram at the NC Mt. State Fair. We hope he will grow up and be just like Ande! Hank is soft and very gentle and calm when touched.

The ewe lamb, Jackie O., is precious. Her black markings are not quite as dark as her brother's. I don't know if she can be considered katmoget. She also has only a black stripe on her belly. We'll see as she grows. She is white and soft with little ringlets. She's a keeper!

Mother and babies are great, and we are feeling better than we were yesterday. Life on the farm can be precious!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Life And Death On The Farm (But I don't have to like it!)

Well, today is one of those days that you don't want to repeat at any time in your life! As a little girl I remember hearing my Dad say, "It's life and death on the farm!" This of course came when one of our animals died. Yes, it was death on the farm today and it sure doesn't get any easier.

I mentioned in our last post that one of our ewes delivered a preemie lamb on Friday. It was quite a surprise as we weren't expecting it since there had been no udder formation. We actually thought she hadn't bred or that she would be very late in April. After giving her a shot on Saturday to help her expel the afterbirth will little result, we took her to the vet this morning.
(We have a wonderful vet that always accommodates us and actually knows all about sheep!)
Upon examination she discovered that somehow her insides were a mess and that there was nothing that could be done. So of course that meant putting her to sleep! Whew! It's hard to put down one that is really a pet!

Miriam was 2 years old and this was her first lambing. She was a beautiful fawn katmoget with a very soft, lustrous, long fleece. She loved attention to the point that she would get so close to your face that she kissed you. Miriam loved animal crackers. She was also my daughter's Champion Shetland ewe this past year at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair. We so looked forward to her lambs. We buried her in full fleece near our sheep pasture.

Okay, enough of that. Let's get to life on the farm! Here are pictures of Orville and Wilbur Wright. (Remember, our theme for this year is famous people.)

Annie with Orville (white on head) and Wilbur.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Lambing has begun for Hidaway Farm Shetlands

After much anticipation and checking other sheep blogs to see lamb pictures, we have twin rams of our own.

First, a little about our breeding selections for this year. We used 3 Shetland rams on 13 ewes.

Our adult ram is 3 year old Rare Find Farm Cory. He is a fawn katmoget with a very crimpy fleece. He was placed with Hidaway Farms Ruth (black and white flecket), and Cara (light grey), Maisie (black), Gina (black HST), Daisy (moorit), and Woolstone Cadey (moorit).

Emmett, a ram lamb from Rare Find Farm who is emsket was placed with Jehovah Raah Annie Oakley (grey), Highlander Farms Bethia (grey), Hidaway Farms Miriam (fawn), Sarah (fawn), and Abigail (moorit). He has a medium length, wavy, dense fleece.

We also used Hidaway Farms Razzle, a ram lamb out of Cory who is a grey katmoget with a very soft, wavy fleece. His mother, Gina, is a black HST ewe. We put him with Windswept Shania, a mioget HST ewe and Windswept Martina (black with a white krunet spot) that is a definite spot carrier. We are hoping that this breeding will give us a least one spotted lamb.

On Thursday, March 27th we noticed that Annie Oakley was in the early stages of labor. She is a very friendly ewe and an old hand at lambing. By 9:30 she had produced two small boys. We had her down for Sunday at 146 days gestation which is when she normally lambs. They were probably a little early but are doing very well. One looks black now but we believe that he will be emsket like his father. He also has a white krunet spot. The other little guy is dark but there are signs of light grey inside the fleece like his mother.

On Friday, March 28th our yearling ewe, Miriam ,delivered a stillborn premature ewe lamb. We thought she might not have settled with the ram because there was no progress in udder formation when we crotched them last week. This is the first time we have experienced this with our Shetlands.

Pictures of the rams will come later. This year our sheep naming theme is Famous People. These two are our youngest daughter's and she hasn't decided on names yet.