Wednesday, November 24, 2010

All Before the Snow

Last Saturday the plan was to put breeding groups together and tear down the summer electronet paddocks.
It was cold with a light dusting of icy snow that had settled into the pot holes and between the tufts of grass.  All in all, a bitter, gray November day.
But the sheep fully cooperated with my strategy for moving them.  Even the lambs followed where I led.
I love bucket trained sheep!
The breeding groups were assembled.

Ash seemed to be the lucky ram:  Lana (gulmoget) was immediately receptive on Saturday.
None of Courante's ewes wanted to be anywhere near him.  That didn't stop him from trying, though.

This is a photo of three of my Bombarde x AnnaBelle daughters.  They really do appear to be clones separated only by age.
Yearling Vianne (left) was put with Ash because he is the smaller of the two rams.   Two year old Lyneth, (right) was paired with the much larger Courante.  And lambykins Carys (center) is safe from the stinky boys until next year.   
River Oaks Lana sporting a size F coat....too big.  She's wearing a size E now.
The moorit girl in front is River Oaks Hannah.  Hannah must be an easy keeper because she looks like she is about to have twins.  All that girth fills out the size F coat just fine, though I doubt she will need a bigger size this winter.
Yearling LittleRedOak January is still in an E coat.  Her fleece is quite long, though, so I'm sure she'll move up to an F for the remainder of winter.  Even though she did get bred as a lamb, I am very satisfied with her growth this summer.  She raised a nice big daughter, and grew herself.  I really love her Shetland face and ears!

My two remaining ram lambs were given a dog kennel panel pen attached to a barn stall, thanks to my dad who procured several panels from a guy that works at a landfill.  (It is truly amazing what people throw away.)  It is not nearly as roomy as all the other pens, but I daresay it is the coziest.  They will be brought up to the small round pen after the ewe lambs have returned to the big ewe pen.  After breeding season...early-ish January.

So as darkness fell on Saturday, a snowstorm moved in.  Between then and now, we have received over 14 inches of snow.  I can't express how grateful I am that all this work and rearranging got finished before the first big snow.

I have observed Ash breeding:
Lana  11/20/10
Sian  11/22/10
and he seems very interested in
Vianne 11/24/10 (today)

Courante is still courting his girls, but I haven't witnessed anything yet.  I used to worry about such things, but I've learned that the rams almost always get the job done whether I watch it happen or not.  But it is so nice to have a guess at lambing dates, so I peek out the window whenever I'm home during daylight hours.  I sincerely hope Lyneth takes this year.  I really want lambs from her.  Last year she was too fat, but she hasn't received any treats this year so I hope that solved the problem.

I would like to wish everyone a lambing season full of wishes come true!
And to the non-sheepy people out there...
Happy Thanksgiving!


Nancy K. said...

It sounds like you really timed that perfectly, Sabrina! Congratulations on getting everything done in the nick of time. You're going to have some beautiful lambs next Spring!

Wishing you & yours a Happy, Healthy, Safe and Warm Thanksgiving!

Michelle said...

Happy Thanksgiving and happy lambing to you, too!

Becky Utecht said...

Yes, Nancy's right, perfect timing and beautiful lambs-to-be. I'm looking forward to your snow photos. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.