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Tag Archives: breeding

2010: The Year in Sheep

January-March: Mother Nature decides that this is the year I can handle the coldest winter ever, most ewes delivering after 10 PM in 30 degree temperatures, and lambing problems never encountered:  Prolapse, detached placenta and stuck shoulder.  I lose the only black lamb we’ve ever had to a detached placenta and mourn all three little lives lost this year. March: Noel shears our flock! My back is saved! Thank you Noel! May: A tough lambing season motivates me to sell practically everything except my dogs.  I sell sheep I swore I’d never part with but am happy with the quality of the homes. August: North Texas State Fair: Highlight: I’m on the committee! Lowlight: The girls come in close to dead last. All sheep put on diet and exercise plan. September: Don and I go on a Sheep Tour of Ireland! […]

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Yes, we still have good lambs for sale!

These are all sold, but I am keeping this here just for fun! … But not this one.  One of our buyers sent this pic of “Rocket,” a ram lamb she bought from us. What a handsome boy! The funny thing about him is, he is off our Ballard ewe “Big Momma.”  The other twin showed much more promise early — we called him “Big Boy” — and called this one “Wrinkly Guy,” because he was just a wrinkly little guy.  I guess he didn’t get the best teat or something. When he was still in his scrawny phase, the breeder of our ram stopped by for a visit and he picked Wrinkly Guy out right away and said he liked him. I said, “Oh but he’s so wrinkly!”  Sure enough, he grew into his wrinkles and a young woman […]

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7 Lambing supplies I can’t live without

Lambing season supply lists are easy to find in books and on websites. You can even buy a kit  (like this one) that cover all the basics. However I have found a few things that have made my life much easier. 1. The Carhartt arctic overalls and jacket has quilted lining and comes in men’s and women’s sizes.  There are plenty of pockets for bottles and vaccinations. And, when it gets covered with enough milk, lamb poo and mud to stand up on their own, you can throw the whole mess in the washer and dryer. When it’s really cold, I wear a polartec hood and thinsulate-lined gloves and I can literally stay out in the barn all night. And this year, I had to – several times. 2. Baby Monitor/Intercom. A simple unit from Wal-Mart or Radio Shack will […]

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What happens when most of your ewes get bred in one week?

Pandemonium. This year I tracked every time Mr. Seven marked the ewes on my Excel spreadsheet.  The idea is to put paint on his chest, and it leaves a mark on the ewe’s rump when they get busy.  The shepherd notes the date and waits for the lamb to arrive 150 days later. I was told that once a ram has bred all the ewes, he sits around acting bored because the ewes won’t let him near them. So I was very disappointed when I saw him mark them once, twice, three times. I resolved to accept whatever I got because it was too late to change rams. Then I noticed ewes bagging up much too early to have late-March or April due dates. I started backing up delivery dates to previous markings. Then last week, the babies started coming. And […]

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It’s 2010 and Lambing Time Again!

… and we are getting pretty jittery around here.  It’s that time when I spend an inordinate amount of time sharing at the ewe’s rear ends, as if they were crystal balls or something: “When are you going to deliver? Will there be twins?” Of course I have some idea of their due dates, because we used marking paint. But, we had a very rainy fall and I think there are a couple of cases where I thought ewes were re-marked and perhaps they weren’t, because the girls look way too big to be due that late.  We also ultrasounded, but apparently we did it too early because several of the ewes that were said to not be pregnant are bagging up now. Knowing the due date is important because we vaccinate momma 3 weeks before delivery (5 weeks and […]

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