http://www.narniafarm.us

Kathy Comeau's blog

Dahli the Llama Diaries

I am going to hand off the blog writing to Dahli the Llama. 43 I have not been very consistent with my blog entries, and I'm sure he will do a much better job.  Dahli can give you a unique perspective on the life of a guard llama.  He's looking foward to his new role as Blog writer and plans to include photos as well. 

The new sheep have arrived!

We purchased 10 additional sheep from Kathie Miller.  They were transported in an animal trailer from Oregon to Wisconsin.  The sheep arrived yesterday afternoon and they all look calm despite their journey. They all were hungry and gobbled up the fresh hay. water and sheep feed I put out for them.  The rams and ewes are being kept in separate isolation pens for a short time.  This is a precaution to make sure they are all healthy before introducing them to the rest of our sheep.

 

Our new ram is the son of an AI ram with new UK genetics.  We are very excited to add him in our breeding program. In addition to Justin, our new ram, we also purchase two wethers (castrated rams). [[wysiwyg_imageupload::]]It is so important to keep wethers in with the rams, especially right before breeding season when they all start testing each other.

 

In addition to the rams, we have 7 new ewes, 5 of which are adults, so they will be added to our breeding groups this season.  They bring to our flock a greater depth of diversity which is typical of Soay sheep in the wild.

 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload::]]

Rooing

We have rooed Linden and Glenda, getting about a pound of wool off of each.   Rooing involves just pulling off clumps of wool.  Once the sheep are ready to be rooed, it comes off really easily.   I was surprised how thick the wool was!  Glenda had a thin fur layer already growing in when we removed the wool.  Linden, however, was bare skin when we rooed the wool off.  They resemble small deer without all their wool.[[wysiwyg_imageupload::]]  Linden still has a bit of wool on her back that was still attached.  As soon as it loosens up, we'll roo that off.

The yearling ewes and rams still have their wool.  We were hoping the warm weather would trigger the wool to loosen up.  So far, they are still hanging on to their wool.  We did try to use some sheep shears to take some of the wool off.  Boy is that hard work!  I'm so glad we have 'self-shearing' sheep!  I've been told that the wool loosening is triggered by hormones and the yearlings will probably start loosing their wool in June.

lambs go outside

Because our barn is on top of a hill all the paddocks slope downhill.  We kept the lambs in the barn with their mothers for a few days until they 'found their legs'.  Today they went outside for the first time.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload::]]

 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload::]]

the 2010 lambs have arrived!

April 18, 2010

[[wysiwyg_imageupload::]]After 21 days of 'Lamb Watch' my husband came in from the barn at mid-day to announce that we had a lamb!  Glenda had given birth to a single lamb.  After Glenda had cleaned it off and her placenta had dropped, we went in to examine it and give it the shots. Our first lamb was a ram.  Little Anakin weighed in at 4.9 lbs.  Glenda had given birth in the barn in the sheep stall.

 

 

 

 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload::]]

A few hours later, when it was starting to get dark, I thought it was curious that Linden was still down in the lower paddock.  Normally she would have gone back up to the barn at that time of day.  So I got out the binoculars and took a look - just in time to see Linden's lamb being born!  We were expecting Linden to have twins and about 30 minutes later she had two lambs!  By then it was dark and we took a flashlight out to see how things were progressing.  After Linden had a chance to lick them off , I picked up the lambs, keeping them at eye level and carried them towards the barn with Linden leading the way, turning around occasionally to make sure we were still coming with her.  Alan followed behind with the flashlight to shine the way for us.

After Linden had a chance to clean off her lambs, we checked them over and gave them their shots.  Two more Rams.  It must be the Year of the Ram!

Lambing Season

April is lambing season.  We bred our ewes last November and the lambs are due anytime between March 29 and May 6th.  It's now Day 20 of Lamb Watch & no lambs yet.  They are showing signs that lambs will come soon, but does that mean today or tomorrow or next week....So we continue the Lamb Watch with anxious anticipation.

 

The pasture grass is growing.  The sheep are enjoying some fresh tender grass to suppliment their diet of dry hay.  They do make the perfect lawn mowers.  The second paddock looks like we took a mower over it, so I've moved the sheep down into the third paddock so they can 'mow' that area now.