Saturday, April 18, 2009

Recap of Springbreak Events

Well, let's see. I have been on Springbreak since Good Friday. Tomorrow is my last day off.
Yep, I have not even scratched the surface of what I intended to get done. Yesterday and today were actually the only 2 super nice weather days.

The goats love a good sunbath even the 2 1/2 week old little Nigerian Dwarf baby thought he would soak up some rays with the big guys today.

Today I cut the front lawn for the first time, gosh knows once you caught it, its gonna grow like crazy. I trimmed up some branches on trees and cleaned up some of the flower beds, of course with the help of a few LaMancha babies.

Tuesday was shearing day and I am so thankful it is over. These are the fleeces from Ira and Ethan, my Black Cotswold wethers. Ira's fleece is on the left and weighes 12.1 lbs.!!!! Ethan's is on the right and came in weighing 10.8 lbs. I love it!! I also have T.J.'s fleece which is very similar to Ethan's fleece. Now, all I need to do is learn how to work with it:)

On Friday, my parents, my sister, and my niece & nephew went to Amish country for the afternoon. I stopped at Maysville to stock up on feed. Brought home 400 lbs in grain so that should hold me for a while. Gracie and Bobby were enjoying their first ice cream of the season in the picture above. They had a good time seeing everything!

And today was finally Johnny's BIG he became a proud GELDING!!
YIPPEE!!!!!! It was an expensive day as he got gelded, West Nile shot, 5 way shot, and 2 wolf teeth pulled. He and I are going to get along much better now I believe. Yes, I admit buying a colt, now a 2 year, was NOT one of my better ideas esp. since I have the most novice experience with horses. My 2 miniature horse mares are very easy to deal with but Johnny was a whole new experience. I was torn between selling him or gelding him. The horse auctions are heart-breaking right now and I know I would get very little money for him and the thought of not knowing what I might be putting him into would eat at me. He is not a big eater so the food is not the big factor. So, hopefully this will help him and I to the right path of getting along.

Today I put out my new little bird waterer I bought down in Amish Country and the ceramic snail that just made me laugh.

This is my new garden toy that I bought. My dad picked it up from Sears and brought it out to my house on Wednesday. FWB is going to put the handles on it and get it set up for me and then Dad and FWB will give me Tiller 101 lesson. Look out garden!!!

Now of course, I have to save the best for last!! Okay, I found the perfect garden clogs in PINK with PINK FLOWERS to match my PINK gardening tools!!!! Is that not too fun???
And for all that fun, the shoes only cost me $1.99 at my favorite store. Of course, once I showed my sister and my mom they made me go back and get them some, but they only got plain colors because they have big people's sizes. Fun stuff like that comes in size 5 1/2:)
Whatever makes you happy Mom!!!
Let's see tomorrow I will be on a paper grading marathon but first I will make more chocolate chip cookies to get me through going back to school.
Think positive....the last day of school is June 10th!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Caution: Naked Sheep Photos!

Well, I was going to wait to take pics of the sheep now that they were sheared but since I have not seen the sun since Easter due to the clouds hanging over Ohio I decided to go ahead and take some pictures.

Above is Ira, my Black Cotswold wether. He is so shiny can tell Ira is not lacking in the weight department. He is a really good hugger too:)

I will call this picture the "butt A*@ naked picture". Someone on the right side of the picture looks pretty pregnant to me. I am actually concerned that some of the girls look too thin to me. On a couple of them I can see hip bones so that has me worried and though summer is coming, I still want to see more weight on some of them, esp. those that are pregnant.

This is one of the ewe lambs that was born in June. I need to get more weight on her too. All my lambs were born in June or July and this shearing posed an interesting issue. All the lambs were difficult to shear in that they had a double coat. Is it because they were born so late and therefore did not come into rise (did I say that correctly?). They did not shear as clean/smoothly as the adults so they look a tad disleveled. Can anyone give some input or suggestions on this?

This is Windswept Savannah, a mioget ewe who had twin ewe lambs last year. I am pleased that she is pregnant and I am hoping for twins again. She was such a good mom last year.
Based on udder size, I am thinking the girls will lamb around the first to middle of May. Though I think Savannah could go earlier.
After this lambing season I really need to decide on what direction I want to move with the sheep. I have 25 sheep right now. I do not want to ever go over 30, actually 20 would be a much better size flock. I never want my animals to become a burden to me and therefore I need to seriously decide that direction I need to go and selling these soon to be lambs has to be a top priority. I am in no way saying I want to get out of Shetlands as I truly love them but I have to learn how to part with them and sell them......I get too attached.
Well, its late and the gerbial wheel is spinning too fast in my mind so I am off to check on the barn and then more milk & cookies before bed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shearing Day is Now History

By 7:30 this morning I had all the wethers and ewes separated into 2 stalls. I didn't care who was with who as long as they were all in the stalls, gotta love the power of grain in the morning. I had already walked the mini horses to the back pasture. All the LaManchas were in the last stall munching on grain and hay. The Nigerians were outside under the overhang except Sassy who was with her babies in the small stall I had made in the barn. I closed the double doors under the overhang to close off the center of the barn. Then I walked TJ, my Cotswold ram and Jed, my polled Shetland ram back to the big barn from their barn. AND YES, they both walked like gentlemen right back with me, following the grain cup all the way. Once they were in I walked the 3 Shetland ram lambs back.....all were so good.

Now that everyone was secure in the big barn, I could have given a crap if it rained. Actually, the morning was very overcast, little bit of drizzle but the real rain started about 1:30, just one shy of the last sheep to be sheared.

Little Jammer was all upset with the whole ordeal but I told him to hold real still while George sheared around those real important places.

Let's just say there was A LOT of wool on the Cotswolds. Ira was not having a lot of fun with this. Even the shearer could not believe how much wool was on the Cotswolds. Perhaps a reflection of the cold winter.

I'll give you a sneak preview of what the fleece was looking like as it was coming off......let me just say, it is REALLY NICE:)
So, today 25 sheep got sheared.....thats a lot of sheep.
I am being pro-active when I say there are at least 5 girls definitely pregnant, I could be wrong.
I have a lot of thoughts on my sheep right now but I am tired...... new stress and anxiety issues knowing that lambs are coming soon.
I think I need a glass of milk and cookies before I go to bed to relax.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Shearing anxiety

Tuesday is shearing day.
Tuesday's weather forecast is 80% chance of rain.
Of course this would happen because I am on springbreak.
I scheduled this 3 weeks ago.
It is the only day of the week, besides today in which there is rain.
The shearer leaves for Minnesota for a big shearing job on Friday.
If I have to cancel shearing, the reschedule will probably not happen till the first of May.
I annoyed and having anxiety issues right now.
I think if Ethan could see me, he would be telling me he is annoyed too.
I am trying to guess how much the Cotswold fleece will weigh. This year is the thickest wool I have ever seen on all of my Cotswolds.
I scraped down one of the 10x10 stalls today.
It was really thick......11 wheel barrel loads I hauled out to manure pile.
Why have a pass to a health club when I can do this?
I was feeling pretty strong today.
Tonight I am feeling pretty sore.
Single farm chick going down for the count tonight.