Ohiogoatgirl's Escapades & Adventures- Pulse check! pg14

ohiogoatgirl

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Pigpig. Looking a little round but nothing like last year. Expecting another single. Ewe would be nice because I like her wool and build but would like to replace her with daughters. One, because she is getting older. Two, because I'm more likely to get daughters from her that will twin and she always throws singles.

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ohiogoatgirl

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Pigpig is the tall ewe. The short ewe is one of the shetland ewe lambs. 9 is the only one who looks possibly bred. She is the biggest so I guess if any of them are it's better to be her. Crossing my fingers though. I can't tell quite if there is udder change or not. She is a wary one.
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The moorit katmogets are shetland ewes. They look round and I think maybe 2 of the 3 could have twins.
On the left is Caroline, one of the ewe lambs born here last year. She has definite belly and some of the most udder change of the ewe lambs.
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One of the black katmoget shetland ewes. She is still in that kind of "paunchy" stage. One of the bigger bellies, possibly twins.
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Caroline's back end. REALLY loving how nice her teats look to be placed and the length! I'm going to keep notes on udder depth, teat length and placement, etc. They are pretty heritable and if I end up milking a few I'll already be selecting towards good udders. Midget is her mom and I'm really happy with how her udder looks so far. Real nice depth.
She was with the shetland ram lamb and It'll be really interesting to see the outcome. Caroline has a very similar body shape to her mom, so even though she's 50% mutt 25% cormo 25% shetland, she has a shape very much like shetland and Icelandic.
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I found a free editor that actually works decent and doesn't watermark the video. I took some video and put together the interesting parts!

Today I was out for a while putting out a new bale etc. I noticed that it seems like the ewes either have longer round teats or short wide almost cone shaped teats. Caroline and Midget being the longer teats, better for hand milking.

I also noticed that Mary and Ayr have the biggest udders of the ewe lambs right now. I'm going to tentatively guess they'll be among the earlier to lamb.. then Caroline maybe..

And just about everyone's back end is getting more puffy and.. well eye catching :idunno:pop
 

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Everything has been crazy. I feel like that's how all of my posts start.. But that's life I suppose..

Lambing round up...
21 lambs born, 19 live. First was the DOA that I think came backwards and didn't get out quick enough so drowned. The last was Minnie Pearl's ram lamb that decided to jump in the water trough overnight. I rigged up some scrap fence around it so they have to stick their heads in and cannot fall in now. Odd though that the ones lost were the very first and very last born.

Preparing for weaning!
Holy Toledo, I feel like I just got ready for lambing and now it's already weaning! The lambs are growing well. I am seeing who is small framed and throwing identically small framed lambs. Possibly 3 ewes will be up for sale: Pigpig, Lizzy, Lydia. Pigpig would be great if she didn't always single and didn't have an attitude. Now I have two daughters and a granddaughter to replace her, fingers crossed Mary proves herself and throws twins next spring! Their wool is lovely.
Lizzy and Lydia are ewes born here last year. Lovely fleeces but they are just lanky things and aren't filling out. Their lambs are also dainty. Even considering they were bred to the shetland ram, I've decided I'd rather cull them and keep the better bodied ewe lambs.

I will have 5 (possibly 7) ewe lambs and 7 ram lambs to sell.
I've got 4 ewe lambs I'll be keeping, and 2 to consider. The 'consider' ones are the twin ewes from Midget. They are quite 'dog coated' right now and I am as sure as I can be that she was bred by Bingley, her son. On one hand: +twins, +good sized, +fleeces will be similar I could process together. On the other hand: -dog coated and probably turn dual coated and med-coarse like midget which isn't the wool I'm working toward overall.
Then of course one of the ram lambs is looking real nice... So I'm going to hold him back. Dam is 185 (shetland/border cheviot) and sire is Bingley (mutt/shetland/cormo). His only fault is he's a black katmoget! And I'm going to quickly run into too many katmogets if I'm not careful.

It's been a heck of a year so far. Unless I work out a trade with another sheep person not terribly far from me for a ram lamb.. I'll be working out groups with Spot, Bingley, and 19 the ram lamb. I'm sketching out the timeline of things that need doing through next year. Hoping to have things sorted out work wise and when things will need bought wise.
 

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Busy Busy! How is the ground there, flooded like other areas or were you spared?
 

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Lambs are weaned and in new paddock, and ewes are in new paddock. I managed to get the lambs all weighed as well! Huzzah, just in time for a solid week of rain... So I have ADGs to look at now.

I'm going to cull 3 ewes and the wether.
And keep 7 ewe lambs, possibly 1 ram lamb. There is one more ewe that I could have considered keeping but she is one of those wild eyed crazy ones, and I have someone wanting 3 or 4 ewe lambs.. And this leaves me 4 ewe lambs for him to look at. I'm going to have him look at the 'cull' ewes as well and hope he is interested. He is into the wool only from what I know at the moment, and these ewes would still be real nice, just not the best of my flock for what I'm doing.

ADGs...
1 ram lamb hit .5#
4 lambs hit .4#
9 lambs hit .3#
4 lambs hit .2#
1 lamb was under 1#
The smallest two are a set of ram twins that the ewe was not that big, smaller birth weights, and in hindsight they'd have grown better if I pulled one and left her one. I had a small bag of milk replacer and was giving them a bottle in the mornings until it ran out, to give them a boost. She just didn't have the milk for twins. She is in the list of cull ewes.
Total 19 lambs, group avg .337#

That one lamb hit .5# was really exciting for me since alot of these lambs are 60s% and 80s% shetland crosses. However of the two ram lambs I was looking at as keeper considerations, he and the next biggest, I decided on the other lamb who was the third best gaining lamb at .438#. The lambs look near identical standing together. Both look well put together and have real nice fleece. Both sired by Bingley, my cross ram I retained last year, 25% shetland 25% cormo, 50% mutt.
The .5# one's dam is a 3-6y/o, shetland ewe. Single lamb. The .438# one's dam is a 1y/o, bred as a ewe lamb, half shetland half border cheviot. Single lamb.
The pure shetland ewes I just got in the fall so I don't have lambing history on them. But my gut says 'ehh why is a proven ewe single lambing' and I won't want a ram from a ewe who always single lambs. My gut also says, 'hey look how great the first time ewe raised this ram lamb, and she should go on to twin next year, and this ram lamb is 25% border cheviot to add frame to his lambs'.
The ewe lambs are the top 7 ADGs of the ewe lambs. 3 are .4#s and 4 are .3#s ADGs.

I had 4 sets of twins: EE, RR, RE, RR. And of course the RE twins are the crazy ones and I'm not keeping that ewe. I was curious the total lamb weight that those ewes weaned, respectively: 67.7#, 50#, 53.4#, 29.3#. So the EE twins were terrific, that ewe twinned last year and singled her first time, and the ADGs are .414# & .409#. The last set of twins are the ones I supplemented and the ewe on the cull list.
From the adjusted weaning weights (60 day) I did a performance ratio. The lambs I'm retaining are all the best ones as well. From +3 to +45!

Then I pulled up fleece weights from the spring and did a performance ratio as well. Avg fleece weight 3.1#. Heaviest fleece 5.6#, lightest fleece 1.3#. Of course the pure shetlands that are fine and first shearing, scored big negatives. The biggest positives were one of the mutt ewes and several of the sheep born last year that I retained. With keeping the best lambs I'm really curious to see how this compares next year.
 

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Well it's been a while.. I kept meaning to post and the way stuff happened I just couldn't make myself drudge through things and put it off.
Last year I lost every lamb. It was very difficult. I knew I was battling barber pole worms. I knew I was doing the best I could to rotate them on the paddocks I had. It wasn't enough. Then losing lambs left and right I finally figured out that they had coccidia.. on top of that. The symptoms were the same as I expected with worms. There wasn't bloody stool etc other symptoms so it went on hiding and getting worse without me understanding what was going on. I started the five day treatment of corid with the remaining lambs.. less than half.. On the fifth day I had two lambs left on deaths door, day six I had no lambs.

Take a deep breath. Regroup. Make plans.
I bought deccox and made a plan to mix it in the feed. It's worked great this year and I'm not seeing any signs of problems so far. Keeping my fingers crossed though.

So I finally made the jump and invested in electric netting. In November after breeding groups I used the netting to rotate the ewes across a hay field. Me and dad have worked out areas that I'm going to graze this year. That particular field had issues and between grazing, and later on seeding into it with a no-till drill, I hope to make a lot of improvements.

I invested in the CIDRs. Pulled on day 12 and put together breeding groups. Shetland ram with shetland ewes and a spotted cross ewe. Bingley, my homebred cross ram, with most of the ewes and two ewes that are the neighbors who doesn't want to keep a ram yet. I knew I didn't want too many in a group so I got another ram. 007 (double-oh-seven) is half mini cheviot and half shetland. He was a ram lamb and I hoped he'd fill in as he grew. 007 had a few ewes that were not really prioritized with the other two rams.
My planning was that I'd be getting rid of the shetland ram and culling my proven ewes hard after weaning. I have a new ram lamb lined up and was already on the wait list and I wanted lots of nice ewes to keep and have for that breeding plan. (More on that later.) I was pretty sure Bingley would be going this year also since he'd be the sire of a lot of ewe lambs I'd be keeping.
Bingley group bred- 3 home bred cross ewes, 1 shetland/border cheviot ewe, 1 mutt ewe, 1 neighbors ewe.
Bingley group not bred- 1 home bred cross ewe, 1 shetland/border cheviot ewe, 1 neighbors ewe.
shetland ram bred- 5 shetland ewes, 1 home bred cross ewe.
shetland ram not bred- 1 shetland ewe.
007 bred- 1 home bred cross ewe, 1 mutt ewe, 4 shetland ewes.

In hindsight I wish I'd have put more ewes with 007 and that I'd pulled half the CIDRs on day 12 for each group, then the next day pulled the second half. A few ewes didn't breed and they were in Bingleys group with the most ewes and only one ram. So I think that was a numbers game. Especially since most of the lambs were born on the same day.

The shetlands are a hot freakin mess. I attribute a lot of it to the breeder that the bulk of them came from. Of the three first timers 2 year old shetlands: one lambed a few days early a tiny lamb that I found dead. one scanned twins but never looked bred and still doesn't look bred and it's past lambing by a while. one I spent a whole day with in the barn thinking the lamb was turned stupid and couldn't be born only to end up finally getting the lamb out and have the whole uterus rush out following it, and my hand and wrist and arm was bruised up from working to get inside her. She was shaking bad and in shock, it was a mess. Dad put her down. She was entirely too small on the inside. It's good the other ewe didn't breed because she's even smaller and she never would have made it.
Needless to say all the problem ewes are going to a nonbreeding home as weed eaters and almost all of them are shetlands. Jane is another, the spotted cross ewe. She prolapsed again the week before lambing. She has a great fleece and makes nice lambs but I don't have time or energy to deal with her prolapsing every time she's bred. The other is Pigpig, who this year had twins amazingly, but had no milk. She's at least 9y/o and she just isn't fit to breed anymore.

Bingley was already set to be going but he also got bad mites this winter. I ended up having to emergency shear him myself, big mess of bad timing and weather everything. He hasn't put on condition since. I was really upset his fleece was absolute trash. I had really been looking forward to his.

007 was really the underdog this year and he came out the super hero. His lambs were all ewes and they are all great. He grew a bit since I got him but didn't fill out a whole lot. I was hesitant about using him but I knew that many ewes in just two breeding groups would not work out trying to lamb all real close together. His lambs are only 1/4 mini cheviot and they are little cheviot-esque lamb-bricks with nice fleece to boot. He earned himself a spot to stay on breeding again this fall.

So lambing... The found-dead lamb was a few days early. Then everyone else lambed...
3/2- Lydia, 32, Lizzy
3/3- 185
3/4- pigpig, 56, 99, 60, 76
3/5- Jane, Midget, Ayreshire
3/6- the put-down shetland ewe
And 3/14- 15 who also went a week later than everyone last year.

Pigpig, 56, and 60 twinned. All had udders but no milk. You could tell they have udder but it never filled out like they usually do before lambing when they kind of fill up with milk. I bottle fed those lambs. They were all left with mom and I'd come out and feed through the day. I know they'd go to moms to nurse but would only nurse a few moments. I'm guessing they made enough milk just to keep the lambs trying because I certainly couldn't tell from how much they ate from the bottle. It worked out alright at the end of the month the bag of replacer was used up and they were eating and grazing well so I just stopped bottle feeding. They are all doing good.
The exception being Pigpigs.. Her twins looked good but right off the bat.. The black one ate ok but the blue one was a huge pain. I'd go out extra and have to chase her down. I'd bring her in the house and she'd holler til she almost had no voice. I don't think she got one full bottle in the whole months time. She very rarely would nurse and just eat it. She'd fight and pee on me and run away. Absolutely couldn't even force feed her like I've had to do back with the dairy goats. Get a dumb kid who you'd have to force feed a few times before they figure out hey it's food! Nope.. not this idiot.. I honestly have no idea how she's alive.

Which brings me to.. The neighbor's one ewe that bred had twin rams. I went down to see how they turned out. The ewes are some meat or show lamb cross. One has the grey speckley faded face and the other doesn't. They have the meat cross type though. Anyhow he also had two goats he got a good deal on at auction and was feeding up to resale later for the easter market. Well of course one day he comes out to the barn and there's a kid there, then the other had twin doe kids.
So in talking to him we worked out that they're getting two ewe lambs and one proven ewe from me. And I'm getting my pick of the ram lambs and the two doe kid goats. So there ya go, girlwalkswithgoats will have a few goats again! When they came down to look at the ewe and ewe lambs I said hey if yall want this idiot and want to work with her you can take her. I have too much else to do and they decided they're going to try and get her trained to a bucket and give her replacer that way, see how she does. They have kids so between them she has more chance than she did here. Be a pet if nothing else.

So to wrap up.. I bred 19 ewes. 3 not bred. 1 stillborn. 1 problem and loss ewe and lamb. 3 twinned but no milk and bottle fed. 11 singles and raising nicely.
Bingley- 6 lambs. 3 ewes, 3 rams.
Spot- 6 lambs. 2 ewes, 4 rams.
007- 5 lambs, all ewes.

007 is staying another year. 73 is a really promising ram lamb sired by Bingley, mom is half shetland/half border cheviot. The ram lamb I'm trading with the neighbor for is also sired by Bingley, but the mom is a market type cross and I'm very interested to see how he grows. Then the ram lamb I've been on the wait list for!

I'd been looking around on groups and searching ads and talking to people. I couldn't find a ram I wanted that was a) close enough to get, b) in my price range, c) among the breeds I wanted that looked like it was coming from a breeder with the type of stock I wanted to invest in. You don't get a lean pig for making lard! So finally I got a response on a breed group of someone that was coming to a fiber show I'd be at in May. We've been messaging here and there to touch base. She sent me what rams she ended up with after lambing was done and I picked one out.
Then quarantine happened. Then more panic. Then the fiber show is cancelled. So far the sheep show and sale has not been cancelled, it was in the same place but through its own people not with the fiber show. So I messaged with the breeder again and we have plans to meet up if the show is cancelled she'll be travelling through at a different time to deliver some other sheep.
So sometime in the next couple months I'll also be adding a really nice Border Leicester ram lamb. I'm very excited about where things will go from here.

With all the issues and trying to do much better grazing and all around.. I've buckled down and 9 ewes are being culled, the nonbreeding home I mentioned before. 8 ewes will be staying and 6 ewe lambs are being kept for breeding. Leaving 7 lambs that I'll put up for sale, but not really expecting much with all the hubbub at the moment. They will most likely be grown out here and I'll have them butchered in the fall.

Speaking of butchering in the fall.. I'm planning to raise 4 hogs this year. I have some family planning to buy from be if I raise and they can shop the cuts. My mom is going to pay me to raise one of the hogs for them and they'll do the butchering how they want. I thought I had a breeder lined up but he wants more for his weaners than is workable for my budget so I'm crossing my fingers to find some. I plan to train them to electric and be able to have them help clear brushy wooded areas that I'll be thinning out into silvopasture.

Also next week I pick up the 50 honey locust trees I ordered from the county tree sale. They'll be planted in an area for another type of silvopasture.

... *sigh*
Have I mentioned I've been busy? ;)
 

Bruce

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Very busy!!! Sorry for all the troubles. Have you read through @Mike CHS's journal or talked to him about barber pole worms? Seems he's got pretty good control of it on his farm with treatment (animal and land) and culling.

Maybe if you have fewer problems you'll have more time to post now and again :D
 
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