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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. Jan 19, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    Thirty-six days and counting! All the ewes got noticeably more hungry this week so I've upped the amount of feed. They aren't going after the round bales I just put out though and I'm not sure why they seem to pick at one bale but devour another. All the round bales are from the same field and I don't think it has much variation for them to be this finicky between them? Odd. But they really hoard after the square bales I put in the shelter so I'm not real worried about it. They are getting plenty and all look fat.

    SO EXCITED for lambing and shearing!

    Tomorrow is guild meeting and a small group of us are doing a "handspinning fleece judging" class. I am so happy to have found this guild and to know these wonderful people! I can't even put it in words!

    I am putting together a list of what will go into different runs to be milled. I want to have it all skirted and washed and sorted into different runs in time to drop it off at the Zielingers mill booth at the Great Lakes fiber show in May. One run will definitely be yarn from the cormo/shetland white ewes and butthead's (his 2017 and 2018!) fleeces. I still have to go through the others and decide what to put together. I definitely want to send some for a roving/top run of natural colored wool. And I want one to be natural colored and off-white fleeces for a roving run that will blend up as a grey. And decide if a couple fleeces will be nice enough and well enough together to put into the fleece show at Great Lakes fiber show.

    And then I had to go do a thing... I bought dyes... And some cheaper sock yarn... So I will have that to play with and see if I want to do some yarn dyeing or just go with fiber dyeing. Either way I am adding to my investments and need so much more time than I ever actually have! And somewhere in there find time to feed myself and clean house as least a little bit... Hahaha!

    Butthead is being.. especially butthead-ish.. He needs a ram flock or to go in the freezer. I hope to find a few minutes to list him on a couple groups but haven't gotten to that yet either. The wether keeps getting a stay of execution but he will be going in the freezer for sure. He is still a nut. Nice wool but too much hassle to be worth dealing with one fleece. Especially when I will want to keep every lamb as it is! I will be keeping the ewes for sure. And probably the two best looking ram lambs will keep their 'family jewels' to be possibly sold and possibly kept back for breeding here next year. The wethers I hope to sell.

    And lambs from Hairy will probably be freezer bound. I still can hardly believe she is holding out! I know she has lambed just fine at least once before so I don't have much reason to worry. But the bigger she gets the more I worry if she has a huge single and possible birthing problems. But I am really hoping for a lot of twins from Buttheads group.

    Fitzwilliam has filled out a bit. His head looks more.. mature? He is a handsome guy and his fleece seems softer now than his lamb fleece was. More of a softer hand, where his lamb fleece is almost sproingy feeling like a down wool in a way. I am really interested to see how his lambs turn out. And to see how Pigpig's lambs turn out, if there is a big difference in them and Fitz to help guess if he was sired by the tiny shetland or by Butthead.

    I could go on for a few more paragraphs but I've still got to gather my things by the door for in the morning.
    I hope everyone's critters are doing well! I will have to go look for lambing threads! And start one for my own!! :D
     
  2. Jan 30, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    Everyone got wormed yesterday... By that I mean we actually got some in the pen and after the first three I figured out how to hold them and the best way to put the syringe in their mouth. The rest I had to do some feed blackmailing and got in some lucky grabs to dose. There was two ewes and the wether left to dose but they were just getting really anxious and running around.
    This morning I managed to get the two ewes in the pen during feeding time. So the only one left to do is the wether but I know he will be really difficult so I'm not going to try to get him until at least my next day off work when I know I have time to wait him out and grab him.

    I tell you what though if I had my barn built this would have all been done in an hour or less! Not over three hours and two days, plus however long to grab the wether... Live and learn I guess.

    Hairy is getting quite taut-bellied and her back end looks to be getting puffy. So I just now checked the date I removed the rams... 9/5/17... which puts the latest due date for her (before my planned breeding groups) at... Today! What?! For some reason I thought her due date would have had to been like two weeks ago. Apparently I didn't check the dates and check it, I just thought it was a week or more passed already... So she could very well pop anytime from today through Saturday if she got bred the last day or two before separating the rams... Life sure stays interesting around here!

    I ordered the combs and cutters that (fingers crossed!) should be the last of what I need for shearing! And that should be here on Thursday :)

    Also made a lambing thread.. https://www.backyardherds.com/threads/ohiogoatgirls-2018-lambing-thread.37337/
     
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  3. Feb 9, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    I've been really thinking about this... I will be listing butthead and if he doesn't sell soon after shearing he will probably go in the freezer. Fitz will have longer opportunity to be sold unless he develops some shenanigans issues himself (knock on wood!) but I am not planning on keeping him.
    I will be watching the lambs and evaluating. All ewe lambs stay (barring health issues). The best ram lamb (or two) will stay, preferably of twins and one white and one colored.
    This fall those two ram lambs will go in with all the ewes (2018).
    Most likely keep all those ewe lambs and cull the older cross ewes after weaning (2019). If one of the 2018 born rams really grow well and have great fleece I may keep one back.
    2019 I will be on the lookout for a BFL or Corriedale ram.

    At least until I decide otherwise :hide
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
    Bruce and Mike CHS like this.
  4. Feb 14, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    Bruce likes this.
  5. Feb 18, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    With the boys separate now I have upped the feed a tiny bit. Only because they are all looking so big and with less than a week until the first possible due date they will be working on building up those udders!

    Speaking of.. This morning I checked Midget and her udder has grown significantly! It will be interesting to see what order they lamb in and who shows an udder sooner or closer to lambing. I am trying to remember to take notes on all of this for future years.

    I talked to Hairy's previous owner and last year she lambed late February with a very big single ewe. Said she was big as a bus. I told her she's been big as a bus since December! :eek: So I am really hoping for twins rather than a huge single. Although I think with the katahdin in her she will probably tend to throw bigger birth weight lambs.

    Speaking of weight I gotta remember to put the scale and lamb sling and all the 'goodies' in a dedicated bag to have all set. I bought bands but hoping dad will find the bander.. Somewhere.. :hu If not in the next couple days then I will buy my own to add to the bag.
    Lambing goody bag:
    bander, bands
    ear tags, applicator
    notebook, pens
    scale, lamb sling

    Very open to suggestions of anything else I should probably add to the bag.

    Also thinking about when is the best time to put in ear tags and band tails. I want to wait a couple days at least for the tags because it seems like their ears are too delicate right after birth.

    I am planning to wait to do any banding of ram lambs 'jewels' until at least all the lambing is done and I know what I have. The plan is that real tiny rams would get banded first or if any had a serious fault or health issue (especially genetic). Other than that I want to let them grow some and evaluate them.

    Also hoping to keep up with weighing the lambs regularly. I know most people seem to do birth weight, 30days, 60days, 90days. I want to at least do those. When they are smaller I may do like every second week for a while. Help track their early growth. Partially for my own interest and partially to see if it helps me decide on keeper ram lamb(s).
     
  6. Feb 19, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    I've read and heard a lot about banding males early vs late. Though my investigation was dealing with goats, I'd suspect much of it would hold for sheep as well. The testes of a male contribute to male health, growth, build, etc. In addition, the urethra needs time to mature as well... Banding/castration too early can cause it to remain very small/narrow adding concern for urinary calculi (crystals blocking the urethra). From what I understand, leaving them intact for a while aids in enhanced growth, thicker build/more muscle, better health, stronger animals. With my goats, they become breeding capable about 3 months, so I wait till just before that to band them. I know my intact buck is much thicker, stronger, larger than my wether and they are about the same age.
     
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  7. Feb 19, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    HAIRY HAS UDDER DEVELOPMENT :weee
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BfYyNexnZAg/?taken-by=girlwalkswithgoats

    The shetland ewe. Her belly is the most obviously round (after hairy) apart from her small frame. There was a bit of late flirting from Fitz with her and the black cross ewe so they may go about the same time as the others or a while later.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BfYy1FtnWQy/?taken-by=girlwalkswithgoats

    Hungry boys. They were not happy about the rain.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BfY1lYEHW5C/?taken-by=girlwalkswithgoats

    Fitz has recently started having these grey (?) hairs around his eyes. We shall see if he starts changing color a bit.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BfY2dnLHZOV/?taken-by=girlwalkswithgoats
     
  8. Feb 20, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    I'm not sure if I actually * need * a stethoscope or I just really really want one now that I saw it... I don't think any of the ewes would let me sit there and listen to their bellies... Except maybe Midget :idunno:lol:

    http://www.lancasterag.com/Stethoscope/item/014118000
     
  9. Feb 20, 2018
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master

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    Ah heck, it is only $16. Go for it. You can listen to your heart and lungs if the ewes aren't willing to be "investigated".
     
  10. Feb 20, 2018
    ohiogoatgirl

    ohiogoatgirl True BYH Addict

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    Posted this in the lambing thread but figured it should go here too.. I'm sure I will keep going back over re-reading my posts for things I'll forget like I already do now..

    With the white ewes I am considering possibly options if they lamb close together. As the ewes do not have tags or any notable differentiation other than the younger looking two and the older looking two. I was really hit with this when I wormed them and had to have hands on the next ewe as not to double dose any of the white ewes...
    Thinking that I will be banding tails will help. If one lambs in the morning I will hopefully have checked them and banded tails, taken weights, etc. before the next one goes. So the newer lambs won't have tails banded yet.

    However after the first couple days if I end up with many white lambs I will have to rely on the lambs going to the correct ewes. I was planning to put in ear tags at a couple days old because newborn lamb ears are just so.. new and soft and tiny.. I hate the idea of putting tags in their tiny ears and having one rip out :hit I know that may happen but I want to try and avoid it.

    I hate marking crayons but I was thinking if I got one I could do something like mark the first set with crayon mark on top of the head, then the next mark on the tails, the next on front legs, the next on back legs,... And I would make note of it in my notebook I have added to the lambing kit bin. This will help me to keep track of the lambs until I tag ears and then I can keep sort of track of the white ewes that way too. In case any have any sort of problem I can mark it as whichever number lambs mom. That will also be good to watch for in keeper ewes if any have problems I will know which ewe line is culprit.

    Am I a little overboard with the ear tagging? I was thinking definitely before a week old.