Springtime is always busy around here, and this year is no exception. Every week I think I will update the blog, and now two months have gone by! First item of business is to give the final lamb report- total count is 22. For some reason it was really lopsided as far as gender goes. 18 males, and only 6 females. Two of the males are black, all the other lambs are white. There were 8 sets of twins and 6 singles. This was the best year ever in terms of health and good mothering. All of the mothers are excellent, and all the lambs were large and healthy. They were all born during the daytime hours, between 6 am and 4 pm. Couldn’t ask for better than that! I stuck around pretty closely and we had a pretty good system. The pasture was divided with the electric fence, so that all the ewes were in the area near the barn. I could easily see when they were starting labor and would let them have their lambs outside on the nice green pasture. (The weather was beautiful the whole 3 weeks). I’d give them an hour or two together to let the lambs get up on their feet, then I’d bring the lamb down to the barn, with Mama closely following, and put them in the temporary lambing pens we had set up. After 24 hrs of observation to make sure that they were bonding and eating, they got to re-join the flock. It all went very smoothly, and we are really pleased to not have to deal with bottle feeding.
One thing we are particularly excited about is that we have 3 lambs from our new Cormo ram, Manny. He was only 9 months old when we started breeding and we weren’t going to even try with him this year as we figured he was too young and still pretty small. We put him in with the other ram and ewes just to see what would happened, but our new dog, Callie, was getting a little rough with him so we took him out after only 2 days. He was in an area by himself, and he busted out and got into the other side of the barn where we have our non-breeding sheep. There was one particular ewe that he was enamored with – a smaller 2 year old- so we thought, why not? We put her in with him, and ended up with a single lamb. We noticed that he has a pink nose, a Cormo feature, and also noticed that a set of twins from the main flock had the same, so little Manny must have had success with one ewe while he was in with the others for those 2 days. These lambs are Cormo x Romney crosses, and should have some really nice fleeces. Can’t wait to see what they look like!!!
All during lambing, I was deep into planning for our local Fiber Festival, which took place on May 30-31, and was a big success. We had about 400 attendees, and everyone loved the Agriplex as a venue. There were lots of really wonderful raffle prizes, and the winners were thrilled. It was a lot of work, but it paid off. We are already starting to plan for next year.
At the same time all this was going on, we got started on our fence building. I should say the guys we hired to build fence got started. It was hard for Bill to let someone else do this job, but it was the only way it was going to happen, and we desperately needed to replace the burned up fencing and finish the new section that we started last year. The crew of two guys got all the perimeter finished and it looks great. We will be doing the interior dividing fences ourselves as we have time. The list of things to do is still so long we can't see the end, but we're plugging away a little at a time. We did manage to get a new compost containment area done, and it is really nice. Close to the barn, but still out of the way and easy access for the tractor. Can't wait until Fall to get some of it spread on the garden!