April / May 2019 Shetland Ram Lambs for SALE. If you’re interested in a flock sire, contact me soon. Pet ‘fiber’ wethers (castrated ram) also available.
Lambs enjoying the view at Sheepy Hollow.
I do apologize for my absence… but, I’ve been a bit preoccupied! Merry, our second doe (another first freshener), kidded in the wee early morning hours on Friday. Triplets: two bucklings and one doe!!!
Also, Friday morning, one of our Shetland ewes, Serendipity, lambed: twin rams. But wait… there’s more!! This Sunday morning, Reece, lambed!! Triplets!!! Two ewe lambs and one ram lamb! Ditto last year!! Everyone is doing well!! More photos coming!!
Oh happy day!!
I can hardly believe it’s been F O U R years since I wrote this post… Recycled Wooly Wreath (see post for how-to mini wreath details).
This mini wreath was a cute speedy-quick project made with little snips of recycled/felted wool (sweaters even better) strung on a piece of wire. Simply cute for decorating cupboard knobs and/or adorning a gift?
Most recently, I’ve been busy creating a few ‘new’ sheepy ornies! HAHAHA What a surprise, right?
I slightly modified this little wreath project to create a cute little sheep ornament and/or a sheepy pin/brooch for another sheep and fiber enthusiast?!!
How-To // You’ll need:
To begin, cut approximately 1-inch little squares (( any color will do )) from your recycled wool. I used about twenty pieces or so… the more wool, the larger your ‘sheep’. You may also add a contrasting colored wool for legs/feet if desired. No two sheep need to be alike!!
When you believe your sheep is about the right size, bind the wire tightly – DO NOT LEAVE A HOLE IN THE MIDDLE LIKE A WREATH – and give the wire a tug and twist. Ta da… you have created a little fuzzy sheep body!!
Now comes the FUN part where you give your little sheep personality!! I used a simple black pipe cleaner to bend into the shape of a head ( like the shape of a capital ‘Y’ ). The top of the ‘Y’ become the ears and the bottom of the ‘Y’ is the face/head. Next, wrap/cover the pipe cleaner with black/white wool roving… a few pokes with a felting needle keeps everything nice, dense and tucked into place. You may add more details… eyes, nose, or not. Use a dab of hot glue to attach the head to the body (of wool).
Add a pin back [for a brooch] or a string for a sweet sheepy ornie.
Monday night I made a mistake, well, sort-of. I had two remaining pregnant Shetland ewes, mother and daughter, (from a total of five) still waiting to lamb. Serendipity (aka Sara) and her daughter, Mystique, a first-time mama.
Just so you know, my Shetland sheep basically live in the field/pasture year-round, with modest housing accommodations consisting of several shed-style shelters. As in prior years, I like to bring them into the barn/lambing jug under my watchful eye for safekeeping, privacy… and for any birthing assistance that may be required. Mama and lambs usually remain in closed quarters – that is, in the lambing jug – for several days before they resume total freedom back in the pasture.
Apparently, I brought the ‘wrong’ pregnant ewe into the barn/lambing jug Monday night, past. Early Tuesday morning (at 4 a.m. when I do Round #1 chores), I was greeted by two new lambs IN THE FIELD. Mystique, first-time mama, had already given birth to twin ram lambs. They were dried-off and getting around on their own… presumably already having suckled from mama! I immediately shuffled mama and lambs into a barn stall where they could enjoy a well-deserved rest! Thankfully, all ended well!!???
Meanwhile, Sara, who was in the barn (from the night before), was fine at 4 a.m., displaying no impending birthing behavior! However, when I went out to fetch Coriander (my dairy goat) for 6 a.m. milking (Round #2 of chores), Sara had already given birth to twin lambs: one ewe and one ram lamb.
I guess mama didn’t want to be upstaged by her daughter!
And so the saying goes, all’s well that ends well!! That concludes our lambing season!!! YAY!!
Around our house, Friday nights have been a long-standing tradition PIZZA and VIDEO night. When both ‘The Hubs‘ and I worked in the automotive industry, after a l-o-o-o-o-o-ong work-week, we looked forward to a no brainer; no planning ‘what to cook’ for dinner – after a 60-mile [one-way] commute!
Initially, Friday nights involved making a video selection between us and our two young children… mostly Disney films. We ordered take-out pizza from a small mom & pop shop [sadly, which no longer exists] and a 2-liter (the ONLY time my kids were allowed to drink ‘pop’). Every now and again, we’d substitute ‘family games’ for a video. Since my father-in-law’s passing quite some time ago, Grandma usually joins us… currently, with or without my college-attending kids.
This past Friday night was no exception. However, after the movie ended around 8:45 p.m., I performed my usual barn-check. I had moved one of my pregnant ewes from the pasture/field where their only accommodation is a shed roof/small structure into ‘a jug’ [a small pen set-up for lambing] in the ‘goat barn’. She was acting ‘a bit odd’ during the day, isolating herself from the rest of the flock.
AS SOON AS I ENTERED THE BARN, I knew there was a new arrival!! I recognized the chortling/cooing sounds made by my ewe, Reece. As I anxiously peeked into the pen, a tiny black life-form lay on the straw, Reece busily working to clean her off. The lamb must have been born only minutes earlier. I grabbed a few towels from my birthing kit and helped with the initial clean-up, making sure the lambs nostrils were clear from amniotic fluid (and, secretly feeling for horn buds). Hooray, it’s a girl!!!
Fast forward about another hour. Reece was up and down laboring/pushing, on two occasions by my count, trying to lamb No. 2. All the while my daughter and ‘The Hubs’ telling me to BACK-OFF, let Nature do its thing!!???
This is where I clearly STRESS… go in, don’t go in… to help the ewe/doe!? Not to become over-anxious and remain calm. Learning/recognizing the signs/stages of ‘normal’ labor versus abnormal/atypical signs. Assisting an abnormal/obstructed labor (dystocia) is required sometimes and is often life-saving, both for mama and baby! Over the years, you become more knowledgeable and confident as midwife. Each and every birth is a new learning experience. I thank the sweet Lord for his grace and guidance through this process!!
Now, back to Reece. I decided I’d waited long enough. I put my gloves on and squirted on lots of lubricating jelly. Katie was at the ready, holding Reece firmly and securely. I proceeded very slowly, massaging my way into her vagina. I immediately detected both front legs in a normal presentation, position for the lamb to come head first, right-side up. I GENTLY and slowly pulled the legs forward and down, followed by the head… and the lamb was on the ground. ALIVE AND NORMAL. Phew! It’s a boy!!! Should I have waited a bit longer???
Reece (who was a very cooperative patient) seemed relieved and no worse for the intrusion! She immediately began cleaning-off No. 2 lamb. We had stripped Reece’s teats earlier and No. 1 lamb was nursing well. We prepared to dip both lambs’ naval with iodine and finally worked with No. 2 lamb to latch-on for a drink of colostrum before we ‘retired’. Katie made a bucket-full of warm water laced with molasses for Reece. I’d be back periodically to check on Reece to make sure she expelled the afterbirth.
As I dottled, I just happened to notice ANOTHER tiny little foot coming out Reece’s back-end! OMG!!! Another lamb!!! Triplets!!!!?? How could I be so stupid!!!! Oh shiitake mushrooms!!! They say if you pull one lamb, prepare to pull them all!?? Mind you, I’m in the barn alone now. Without loosing another moment, I put on another pair of gloves, fished-out the other front leg and No. 3 lamb was born. A GIRL!
WOW! ANOTHER SET OF TRIPLETS!!! NOW, ARE WE DONE!???
Reeces Pieces and her lambs; less than 24-hours old
Reeces’ lambs receive instructions from Mama!