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Ohiogoatgirl's Escapades & Adventures- Shearing, Check! Lamb watch, Onward!

Discussion in 'Member's "BackYardHerds" Journals' started by ohiogoatgirl, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Mar 26, 2018
    Roving Jacobs

    Roving Jacobs Seeing Spots

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    I used CIDRs this year and getting lambing done in 10 days instead of over a month on average was great. Only had two that didn't settle out of 20 and one I figured one wasn't going to since it was her third try. I was exhausted after those 10 days but they were all born while I was on spring break just as planned. I'll be done with my masters by next year but I might end up using them again just because they were so convenient.

    My personal opinion is that there are too many good sheep out there to keep ones you don't like. They don't sound like "problem" sheep so I wouldn't feel bad selling them as breeders, just maybe not the right personality or background for your operation. It sounds like you want super well halter broke, extremely docile sheep and those girls clearly aren't going to be it without a lot work. Starting from lambs that you can break the way you want seems like a good idea.
     
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  2. Mar 26, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    Following your journal. Very interested in your breeding plans and processing wool. I’m a planner also and have a tentative breeding plan based on all kinds of variables through 2020. I change it regularly or add variables. I’ve always found wool work very neat.
     
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  3. Aug 31, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    Oh lordy yall! It has been so busy here!

    To wrap up lambing season here is the final story...
    First lamb March 6 and last lamb May 5! Holy Toledo! Several of the ewes lambed from the 12th to 20th of March.
    Fitz got 2 ewes resulting in a single ewe and twin ewes. (total 3 ewes)
    Butthead got 7 ewes resulting in 4 singles and 3 twins. (total 6 ewes, 4 rams)

    I sold two wethers. I bought a ram lamb. I thought I had a hold on the worming and it turned sideways and with several troubles I finally figured out I had barber pole worm problem. Now I have six wormers here to show for it... They are due to be checked and re-wormed as needed right now. In the time it took me to get things under control with that I lost 3 lambs. One of course being the ram lamb I had bought... :somad And the group of ewes I had bought last year were not cooperating with me at all, I decided it was best to take them to the auction. I bought two ewe lambs.

    Currently I have...
    grown ewes- Pigpig, Midget
    ewe lambs- Ayr, jane, caroline, lizzy, mary, kitty, Lydia, 184, 185
    grown ram- butthead
    ram lamb- bingley
    wethers- idiot, sir William (lamb)

    ~Ayr is Hairy's daughter. I decided to keep her and see how she does. Her wool is very interesting and she is built real sturdy like her mom. Crossing my fingers Hairy's prolapse was a one-off and not passed on.
    ~Bingley is caroline's twin, Midget is their mom and sired by butthead. Caroline is dual coated and looks like she will be a mini-me of midget in type. Bingley is one of the sturdiest body lambs I had born here and his fleece looks so nice, great crimp and nice density and rich color.
    ~184 is sired by a border cheviot and mom was 75% shetland 25% cormo (like the group of ewes I had). 185 is also sired by the same ram and mom was pure shetland. Both are white and have really nice fleece. Density is pretty good and I really love the hand it has! Crimp is looking very similar to border cheviot. I actually got some of the rams fleece from this spring and processed and spun it, and I am familiar with the pure fine wool shetlands of this flock. A cross ram lamb from this farm is definitely an option for the future.

    I am going to see how the ewe lambs grow right up until breeding groups. The sufficient sized ones will go into groups. There is 5 I am pretty sure will be fine and 4 I am not sure. The 4 are more shetland in % and in body type.
    Pure shetlands run 75-100# for ewes. 80% of that adult size would be 65# to 80#. I am planning to have breeding groups together a little later in the year also, so that ewe lambs will be 8 months at breeding and 12/13months at lambing.

    My breeding groups were planned as...
    butthead- midget, pigpig, 184, 185, kitty
    bingley- mary, jane, ayr, lizzy, lydia, caroline
    ...and with the idea that if they aren't big enough the groups might end up...
    butthead- midget, pigpig, 184, 185
    bingley- mary, jane, ayr

    At this month's spinners and weaver guild meeting a member came to me and said he needed to talk to me before I/he leaves.. Kind of odd but ok. So after lunch he waves me down and tells me he is cutting down his flock.. a lot.. He has over 30 adults and he wants to cut down to 8 or 10. Another girl in the guild is building up a flock of pure shetlands (fine wool, registered, etc) and he's talked to her and she is going to let him know what she wants. I should let him know what I want.
    Honestly I was a little in shock :eek: He has helped me with sheep stuff and wool stuff and I knew he was fond of me being a younger person in the fiber/sheep world. So before I head home I stop him again and he clarifies that he wants to GIVE ME the sheep!
    :th
    So after thinking it over and mulling over lots of stuff I send him an email with some things I'm interested in. Up to 1 ram(/ram lamb) and 9 ewes. This would give me 20 ewes total.

    So if that goes well breeding groups will be...
    butthead- midget, pigpig, 184, 185, & 4 shetland ewes (total 7)
    bingley- ayr, lizzy, jane, & 3 shetland ewes (total 6)
    new ram- kitty, mary, caroline, Lydia, & 3 shetland ewes (total 7)
    cleanup rams- butthead for shetland ewes (total 9), new ram for the rest (total 11).

    And I am hoping to get CIDRs to use on the ewes and hopefully have lambing all pretty close grouped together. And I am hoping that with groups this small I won't have to stagger pulling CIDRs but also won't have many miss and be caught later.
     
  4. Aug 31, 2018
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    Giving you sheep that are worthy of your purpose!! :thJust wow!! Keep us posted on that!
     
  5. Aug 31, 2018
    Roving Jacobs

    Roving Jacobs Seeing Spots

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    How nice of that gentleman to gift you nice stock like that!

    20 ewes is perfect because that's how many CIDRs come in a pack :p I wouldn't bother staggering them with that few ewes to a group, as long as the ram doesn't play favorites it should be no sweat to cover all of them. Fingers crossed they all take the first time! I used a 12 day protocol with no lute or PG600 and had great luck with it.
     
  6. Aug 31, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    I know I can still hardly believe it!

    :lol: yes that's why I told him up to 9 ewes! Hahaha!

    Sounds good! I am using them by themselves, no lute or pg600, and I figure if I end up breeding all 20 and get more than 10 to lamb close together I'll be pretty happy.
     
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  7. Nov 26, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    If feels like that last post as a week ago not months ago! It's been so busy trying to catch up and get things done around here my sense of time is even worse than usual.. o_O

    Nov 13 I finally picked up the panels and the new sheep.
    I got a great deal on the panels from a guy who is going into fabrication. He and his wife had alpacas but got out of them. They had the last of their fleeces as well as his new hay feeders, etc. at the Great Lakes show in Wooster this spring. They had two panels there with the hay feeders on them and I got to talking to them. The panels were used to pen up the alpacas they'd bring to shows. He added bars at the bottom and recoated them for me. They are nice and light, easy to move, and easily bolt together for a pen.
    The panels were loaded on top of the truck cap and I was off to pick up the shetlands. My friend from the spinners and weavers guild who was giving them to me kept trying to talk me into taking more! But I knew I needed to have enough barn space and to get them all home in the back of my little truck. Plus feeding all the darn things! :pop :hide

    I came home with a moorit spotted ram lamb.
    3 moorit katmoget, 2 black katmoget, and 1 white adult ewes. 3 to 6y/o.
    1 black katmoget, 1 black with white forehead mark, and 2 unknown color/pattern ewe lambs.

    As soon as I got to the pen of adult ewes nearly all my concerns about breeding my ewe lambs was gone. My ewe lambs are all as big and bigger than the adult ewes! The smaller of mine being the 75% shetlands and even then they are just about the same size as the pure shetland ewes. The ram lamb is noticeably smaller than even my smallest ewe lamb born here. The shetland ewe lambs are that and smaller. The black katmoget ewe lamb I've already taken to calling Tiny Kat. She is a smidge over 20# and all around smaller than the other ewe lambs. I have them penned to keep them safely from the rams.
    At my friends place he didn't have space to separate and the ewe lambs were with the ram lamb until they got here. I'm hoping being so small that they haven't cycled. Just in case I looked ahead and marked on my calendar that they could possibly lamb until April 12th. After that I can be sure if they haven't lambed or are about to pop then they won't be. I'll be keeping a close eye on them.

    When I unloaded the new sheep I got everyone set up into breeding groups.
    Butthead and Bingley were still in the smaller paddock and I had added Midget, Pigpig, and Ayrshire on Nov 7. On the 13th I unloaded the new ewes into the shed (paddock above the house). The new ewe lambs got put into another section of the barn. I used two of the new panels to make a pen in the barn for the 'ewe lamb group'.
    In the barn is the shetland ram lamb with Jane (moorit/fawn? spotted), Lizzy (blk), Kitty (blk), Lydia (moorit), Caroline (fawn/tan?). All ewe lambs born here.

    In the shed is the 6 adult shetland ewes, Mary (white, pigpig x butthead daughter), and 184 & 185 (white, shetland/border cheviot cross). I was exhausted by this time so Bingley (blk, greying?) got moved in with them morning of the 14th.

    I am planning to separate the rams from the groups on Dec 3. This only gives them a 20 day window but I'm hoping to get to MD sheep & wool so hoping that this will keep lambing from March 29th to May 3rd. With a little luck (ha! fat chance!) I won't be leaving dad on lamb watch for a straggler or if so that they'd wait til I returned.

    Which brings me to.. Gosh darn it I gotta get on this sales stuff because I *NEED* to try CDIRs next year! I would feel much better right now if I had been able to get things in order and gotten them to mostly cycle together. As it is I have plenty of ewes so I'm bound to have several get bred.
     
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  8. Nov 26, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    Also.. I've put in with the only people I can find locally-ish for shearing in early March. But I've got several stories of them changing shearing dates over a month's time closer to the date originally scheduled.
    If anyone can recommend shearer(s) I'd much appreciate it. I just don't trust myself to a) be able to shear them all myself, and b) be able to properly handle fat preggo ewes safely.

    Any which way I won't be lambing with full wool sheep this year!
     
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  9. Nov 26, 2018
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master

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    Don't know how many of us would know any shearers in your area, good luck and congrats on the new animals.
     
  10. Nov 26, 2018
    Roving Jacobs

    Roving Jacobs Seeing Spots

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    Where are you (generally) in OH? You can message me if you'd prefer or email rovingacres at gmail. I know several shearers and can ask around my Ohio sheep buddies for recommendations. I do shearing as well but I seem to remember you being fairly far from me. At very least I can tell you who to avoid!

    Aren't shetland lambs so teeny?! There were a ton at SAFF in NC and it was hard to not just stick them in your pocket and run away with them, they were too cute. If you're worried about your tiny ewes getting bred this year you can always give them a dose of lute 10 days from their last ram exposure. All the ewe lambs I took to show got a dose because they ran with my rams while preparing and I didn't want to risk it. I was thinking of going to Maryland Sheep and Wool as well. It's a bad time to show sheep but I might go cheer on my jacob friends. Maybe we'll run into each other.