Spring is right around the corner and we’ve been enjoying unusually warm (and sunny) weather here in Michigan the past two weeks or so! What better place to celebrate Spring than on a farm? My sheepies have all been sheared in preparation for lambing – several ewes have been bred and will begin to lamb April 1 through May. Katie has been taking the yearling goat kids for ‘walks’ as she prepares them for the 4-H show at our local Armada Fair in August www.armadafair.org . My does, Schaherezade and Nelly are due to kid later April/early May. They’re enjoying leisurely strolls in the garden with me ~ helping me ‘weed’ and ‘fertilize’ ! Aahhhh…life is good!
Yesterday, Katie and I decided to shear our new yearling wether Pygora, Brutus. His fleece was a little better than 3-inches long. This was a first for us, but Brutus behaved beautifully while on the stanchion. Pygora as well as Angora goats are typically sheared twice a year, Spring and Fall.
Three things: 1) I nearly forgot Brutus had wattles! Katie and I almost had a HEART ATTACK when I barely knicked one wattle as I sheared him – from his scream, WE thought I slit his throat!!!!!!!! The big baby…poor thing! BTW, that was the only little knick he suffered!
2) However, I sliced MY finger open with the shears – YIKES, they’re very sharp, but better ME than my goatie! Only problem was the paper towel I wrapped around my finger quickly became saturated as I continued to bleed all over Brutus (and the barn floor).
3) We very quickly discovered poor Brutus had lice! EEEEKKKKKK!!!!! Thankfully it was warm enough to give Brutus a nice warm bath with some ‘medicated’ goat shampoo I had on hand from Hoegger’s (www.thegoatstore.com). I also promptly ran up to TSC for livestock/goat dust which we sprinkled down along his back. ‘Ya might say Brutus had a day at the spa? I promptly inspected the rest of my herd for lice, but didn’t SEE any…which I thought odd. Wouldn’t they ALL have lice??? Well, we’ll have to see how this progresses. As usual, always a new learning experience down on the farm!
Speaking of shearing, this Saturday, March 20, Katie and I will be at Metropark’s Wolcott Farm Learning Center for their annual ‘Sheep Shearing Saturday’ . We’ll be dyeing wool fleece with Kool-Aid all day (from 10 AM to 3 PM) ~~~ or until the fleece runs out! There will be plenty of family activities, so come on out and say ‘hello’.
Have a blessed day!