Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shearing Day & Sheep Coats

Caught "mid-beller", Nhu expresses her dissatisfaction with being sheared and dressed up in clothes.
Needless to say, there was a lot of "bellering" today from all of the sheep. Nobody was happy. Even moving the flock to fresh ground didn't offset the general disgust with the situation.
"Too bad, so sad," says the shepherd.
Sian and Nhu model their coats. I am glad to see Nhu is finally bagging up. She will likely lamb close to the date I noted for her last fall: 4/25/10.
Her twin, Lyneth, was in the breeding pen with Arvada for the same length of time but has not even started to develop yet. I'll spare you the close-ups I took of the area in question, but female intuition tells me she is bred. If she is, I doubt she will lamb until mid to late-May. Lyneth has always been an "easy-keeper." I suspect her weight interfered with conception last fall.
Lyneth models her coat. I am wondering if it isn't just a bit too short?
Anna Belle's coat seems to fit perfectly.
I'm so in love with the idea that my fleeces will be bright and clean next shearing!
L to R: Vianne, Anna, Lyneth, Leil


Karen Valley said...

Just one note of caution when using coats on sheep that are due to lamb...make sure the leg straps are tight up on the hindleg, so there is no chance of young lambs looking for teats getting their heads caught in the straps, as they will strangle. If the straps are a bit loose you can correct by just tying the coat up into a tail over the hindend with some binder twine or a castrating band.

All my sheep are wearing their coats and have lambed out successfully with no is just a precaution.

Michelle said...

I concur with Karen. My ewes had lambed in coats with no issues - until last year. Butter, a first-time mom, was so busy trying to keep her lamb in front of her that she was constantly spinning, and once when her ram lamb was trying to get dinner and she spun, his head got hung up in the leg strap. Fortunately I was there to rescue him. This year, even though all my ewes are experienced, I took the coats off right after delivery, putting them back on several hours or a day later once all the lambs figured out the milk bar and the moms had settled.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Thanks for the advice. I wondered about that when Jan lambed. Thank goodness all went well.

I think I'm going to have a very odd lambing year: only four girls bred...and at least two-three weeks between each one. Never had that before.

Arvada had 3 ewes:
January lambed 4/4/10
Nhu expected 4/25/10
Lyneth estimate 5/15/10

I had made a note of Arvada pestering Lyneth in late Dec. I pulled them apart 12/24/ the latest date is 5/20/10 or close to that. Just curious as to what would take him so long...or if the girls didn't take...or if they just didn't like him? lol

Michelle said...

I have heard that ewe lambs tend to cycle later, and ram lambs seem to take longer to figure out their job -- or maybe it takes them awhile to convince the older ladies that he has what it takes! :-)

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

I've heard that too, Michelle. But January was the only ewe lamb in the bunch...and she caught first. Nhu and Lyneth were maiden ewes but they are 2 years old this spring. And I held Arvada for a year before I used he was 2 this spring as well.

It's no big deal, especially as I think they all did finally get bred. It's just so curious that I was wondering if anyone might have experience with something like this.

Another way to look at it is that it is really only Lyneth that is way off. The others are about one cycle apart. So it could have just been that Lyneth was too heavy and it took a few cycles with her.