Saturday, March 31, 2007

Farewell to March, 2007

March was a busy month with shearing over half the flock, construction, judging agility trials, our farm business class, and starting lambing along with maintaining our off farm jobs. This last day of March was spent mostly working on the Ovine Hilton. The roof is over half complete!

We now need a couple days of rain to wash the end panel. It was on top of the stack and the dogs had fun running over it with dusty and muddy feet!
We're now within our "lambing window" for the ewes who were artificially inseminated in November. They are looking very uncomfortable. The Finns make this funny noise that is between a groan and a hum.
Above are Finnsheep Bibb and Tucker (with Lindy snoozing behind). Tucker has lamb bulges on both sides. It won't be long!
Little Country Val is shown above. We suspect she'll be next to lamb. She has the possibility of producing polled rams since her sire is polled and she was bred to a polled ram.
Daisy and Electra are very heavy with lambs. They have a long standing feud that started up again yesterday. They carried on all over the pasture and in the barn, bashing heads, backing each other up, posturing and carrying on until they were both exhausted. Here they look peaceful, but they're still eyeballing each other.
Bessie and her triplets seem to be doing fine. They all love the game of jump on Mom. Bessie doesn't seem to mind.

Here's the gulmoget ram lamb. We've named him Franjean. Anyone remember where this name is from??? He has interesting faintly light patches on his sides. Is this common in gulmogets?

I bought a new toy! It's the Udderly EZ Milker and is supposed to make getting some extra colostrum or milk from ewes easier than hand milking. It reminds me of the breast pump I used when my son was born. ;-) I was hoping to steal some colostrum from Bess. Then she had triplets! When they had a good start, I tried anyhow, just to see. She wasn't very cooperative and the lambs had just nursed, but I did find out that the inserts fit Shetland nipples - yeaa! - and that it is pretty easy to work... also that I need to halter and tie the ewe. (...duh....) Here's the milker -

and the little bit of milky colostrum that Bessie donated. Thanks, Bess!

Busy day, the last of March. Welcome April with more daylight, warmer temperatures, more rain... and more lambs!

- Franna


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Lots of promise in those pix!

Kathy L. said...

Hey, Franna!

I got one of those milkers, too! Great minds DO think alike! :) Not only do I want to "harvest" some colustrum from my girls, but I have one ewe who is a good milker, and since I do make cheese,...well, you get the idea.
Best of luck with the lambing! Mine are due next week and our video is up running and even has the brains to record things if we want.

Franna said...

Yea, Kathy. Have you used the milker? I milked about 8 ounces from one of the ewes this morning. It was sooooo easy!

Kathy L. said...

Not yet, Franna -

We start lambing next week, so I will have it at the ready! I need to watch the "great milker" ewe very closely re: milk fever...she's new to me so I don't know much other than she really feeds her lambs well. :)

When I saw this I thought it would be a great tool to have as it makes it soooo much easier to milk these Shetlands - I don't bend that far that well anymore! (lol)