BAYMULE FINALLY HAS SHEEP!! BABIES!

norseofcourse

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Tell me about saving the skins. What do I do with them and how do I send them to be processed? And where? And do you sell your lambs on the hoof? Hanging weight? I am thinking selling them as hanging weight. $4 to $6 a pound seems to be the going rate. How much do you get for yours, if you don't mind my asking.
There's a good article on preparing sheepskins for tanning here:
http://www.isbona.com/images/pdf/newsletterarticles/preparingyoursheepskinfortanning.pdf
I am, however, switching from skids to half sheets of plywood. With the skids, I could not get my sheepskins to lay smooth, causing the salt and fluids to pool in the low spots between the skid slats, and also the fluids would drip onto the skins below (I did stack the skids as she mentions). The plywood makes them nice and flat. Instead of putting legs on the pallets, I put wood blocks near each corner, then the next pallet/plywood. I put more blocks on one edge, so the plywood slopes, also to help fluids drain.

I've sent skins to Bucks County Fur Products (note she has their address wrong), this year I'll send some to Stern Tanning to see how they are. Both companies have websites with good information on salting skins, and are very helpful over the phone if you call.

I sold the lambs whole by hanging weight. I looked at a lot of websites selling Icelandic lamb by hanging weight, and decided to stay at the lower end of the range I saw. Mine are not organic (although I follow nearly all the practices), and I do feed some pellets/grain so I can't say they're completely grassfed, either. I charged $7 a pound, which included all processing fees, transport to the processor, and delivery of the meat to the buyer within a reasonable distance.
 

goatgurl

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just saw your big sheep announcement and all i can say is yeaaaaa!! i know how bad you've wanted the sheep and to have them there to look at and love is such a good thing. love all the colors. i can't wait to see what the black ram I'm using this year does for color with my lambs. and btw i love the names! and like Southern, i haven't given up on getting you a goat. you'll need one to have fresh milk for the occasional lamb that needs supplemented.
how is paris doing with them now? and what about trip? can't wait for more pictures
 

Baymule

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thanks @norseofcourse for the information. I appreciate it so much. Do you leave the wool on the skins, i would suppose that you do for a luxurious pelt. With the hair sheep, I guess I would just have the leather. Hmmmm...... I do have a couple of the old timey slat back chairs that have stretched webbing covered by ugly fabric that i could put a leather bottom seat in. I also have a cedar chair and footstool that i covered in deerskin many years ago out in the storage room that the hair is slipping and it is not fit to sit in.

Thanks @goatgurl Paris will probably go in with the sheep this afternoon. It is raining right now, which terrifies her and there is no shelter yet. Supposed to clear out, so DH and i will start on a hoop shelter this afternoon. I'll put Paris's doghouse in there too to make her feel more at home. Coyotes were howling last night, so Paris needs to move in right away. I have to balance the needs of the dog with the needs of the sheep. With sunny days ahead for the rest of the week, Paris should be fine. We have a portable building that we are going to extend a lean to 3 sided shelter for the sheep, but we are weeks away from that, so a temporary hoop shelter will have to do for now. This pasture is heavily wooded and the sheep have stayed up under the huge cedars.
 
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