Thursday, March 15, 2007

Number 14 and Counting!

We just finished shearing the 14th sheep tonight! March is the month for shearing and it has been very cooperative so far - many dry sheep days. Only 4 more of the AI ewes (2 Finns and 2 Blackies) are left to shear, then the 4 rams and other 7 Shetlands plus Jill, our one Mule sheep. It's great to get in under all that wool and find a well developed bag and a wide load. The Finns are pretty easy to see even unshorn, but the Scottish Blackface are so heavily wooled and skittish that it's hard to tell.

Tonight we sheared Luna, aka Cousin Itt, and her 12" to 14" long, gorgeous Blackie wool was hiding a nicely plump bag and a lot of Luna. She missed last year, so we're really looking forward to her lambs this year from the Scottish imported semen.

Luna is pictured above in December. She grew several more inches of wool between then and now. In full fleece, it almost drags the ground. Wool like that can hide a lot of surprises.

Only about 16 more days until the first AI babies could be due. We LAI'd 6 Scottish Blackface with semen imported from Scottish SBF rams and 9 others with Gotland semen also imported from the UK. Those sheep were 3 Shetlands, 4 Finnsheep and 2 Blue Faced Leicester Crosses. As of now, it looks like 2 of the 3 Shetlands, 3 of the 4 Finns, 1 of the BFLx's and 2 SBF "took". The remaining Shetland, BFLx and Finn might still be carrying Gotland lambs. We'll know in 3 weeks. One SBF was covered for sure by the cleanup ram, and 2 remain to be sheared and checked. Dallie, the Blackie who gave us our best ever SBF lamb last year, appears to have missed AI this year. She looks pregnant, but a longer ways away from lambing.

Bonnie, above, is one of the 2 Blackies left to shear. Her fleece looks almost as nice as Luna's. We hope to find the same nice surprises under her wool that we did under Luna's!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Hi Franna; found your blog. Wow, you have quite the assortment of sheep!