My Sheep Journal~ I'm a grandma! Black Betty had twins!!!

Beekissed

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I decided to chronicle my journey with having sheep for the first time and will try to start at the beginning, include helpful articles I've read, take pics when possible of lambing, drenching, feeding, etc.

I'd like anyone to visit this journal and add helpful hints and insights to the process so we can all learn together. Please remember that journals are like someone's home~be polite and nonconfrontational at all times. We like to have a good time here on Starlight Farms! ;)

I currently have two St. Croix/Katahdin cross ewes lambs I purchased from a local farmer back in June that had just weaned at 4 mo. of age at that time.

We named them Black Betty and Ugly Betty. Black Betty was slightly bigger, one of twins, still keeps her wool and is the more friendly of the two. She is black with a white star, two white socks and an all white tail~uncut in the tradition of hair sheep.

Ugly Betty was smaller, the runt of triplets, and is colored like a Holstein cow. She is true hair and has turned out to be more assertive than her friend and also has caught up to and is in danger of passing BB in size.

Here are the Bettys:

At 4 mo. of age, newly arrived on the farm!




At about 8 mo. of age, fat as ticks:




I am trying to be as all natural as I can be in my husbandry efforts for all my animals, sheep included. This journal will help me keep track of my efforts, trials and tribulations, etc. with raising sheep on an acre of ground, without using chemical interventions~if possible.
 

Beekissed

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Well, most of us folks are kind of new to sheeples, BBH, so I thought we should have a thread or two devoted to comparing notes on methods and documenting progress about things like sick animals and what works, what doesn't, what is available, etc.

I would be honored if you would contribute and help me build a journal that could help others and ourselves along this path. :)



ksalvagno~thanks! :) They are very mild-mannered and funny to be around also. They are absolutely the easiest animals I've ever kept, hands down. They don't make a peep, they keep my lawn and orchard beautifully groomed and they don't drink much water nor eat much hay. What could be better? :D
 

big brown horse

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We do need more sheeple people don't we? HA! :gig


Funny little story, I had a nice man sheer Dolly with a pair of blades, (like big sharp sheep scissors) and the minute he sat her on her bottom, she went limp and relaxed. It was amazing! All that time I spent wrestling with her to snip off the nasty wool b/t her legs! :barnie

Anyway...
 

Beekissed

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They are helpless on their rumps! :p :lol:

So far, for these sheep , no traditional dewormers have been used since they left their place of origin. I have used Shaklees soap in their water a few times but nothing else.

I am going to start a drenching program this winter after reading a few of these articles:


http://www.garlicbarrier.com/sheep.html

http://www.sheepmagazine.com/issues/24/24-1/Laurie_Ball-Gisch.html

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/organic/organic_14c.php

I have made my own ACV and left it unpastuerized to preserve the probiotics of the solution.

My goal is to see exceptional health, fertility and growth in my grass fed sheep this winter.

I also am feeding sea kelp meal and coarse salt as minerals and have done so all summer. I just purchased a goat/sheep mineral block for the extra selenium needed for when the sheep are eating hay this winter~my hay is not the greatest, so I will also be supplementing with winter squash, pumpkins and stored apples.

Other than BBH and me, are any of you taking the homeopathic method of animal husbandry with your sheep?
 

Beekissed

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I have an orchard, so I have plenty of apples at my disposal. I just juiced a bunch of apples and let the juice ferment in open containers in a warm, dark place.

The juice forms a "mother", or a yeast clump, during this process. You don't get to see this in store bought vinegar as it has been pastuerized, which kills the good bacteria. These good bacteria, or probiotics, are great immune system boosters.


I don't anticipate any problems with my sheep not cooperating with the drenching process....they are pigs! They follow me around like dogs and try to eat anything that is in my hands~this evening they tried to eat my hammer.... :rolleyes: When they find out that sweet things come from the drench gun, they will practically chew it up to get at it! :p
 

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Some discussion on the boards about not being able to raise animals, particularly goats, organically and this is somewhat disturbing.

Now, I don't even attempt organic, as I have no interest in being certified and can't buy hay that is certified. BUT, I am attempting to do all natural as much as possible. So far, so good.

Some folks think that this just involves medicines or not medicines, dewormers or not dewormers. I think it involves more responsible animal husbandry~like pasture rotation, culling for breed hardiness and productivity, creating the best and healthiest scenario for your stock and being consistent.

I like my sheep very well. But I also like to have animals with a large degree of sustainability. So, first, I chose a breed that is known for this.

1. Choose a breed that is right for your expectations, your climate, your pasture/environment, your needs.

This is probably the most important decision you can make at this point. If you want show breeds, then buckle down for touchy immune systems and a truck load of health issues, as these animals have been bred for breed standards and looks, not for sustainability and plain ol' work.

Before I bought these sheep, I did much research and reading, planning and envisioning just what I wanted for my farm dot. I spoke with people who owned the breed to see if what I had read was basically true and I prepared a place for shelter and feeding.

Next~choose what you your husbandry style or method will be.
 
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