It’s been a busy fall season at the farm, and this is the fall update 2011. After taking most of the summer “off” (due to our decision not to breed last fall) we have been to a slew of fiber shows. The Tunbridge World’s Fair was a great success despite the impact of Hurricane Irene.
With pouring rain outside as we go from winter into spring, it’s time for another farm update. After the fall shows and shearing were completed, we settled in for Winter. We had already decided not to breed this year, given the economy and a lack of interest in breeding stock, so there was no ram
Shearing Day is an exciting and busy event on the farm. We get to harvest beautiful fiber, and it is an ideal time to check each animal closely and administer health treatments such as vaccines and hoof trimming. This is an also opportunity to take photos for the breed registry and for our own records.
After weeks of preparation, and what felt like eons of waiting, our first lamb arrived on March 31, 2010, in the wee small hours of the morning. We knew the lambs could be born anytime after March 25, but weren’t sure exactly when they would show up. Zinnia, one of our four “first-timers” delivered all
In anticipation of our first yeaning (birthing season) I purchased some lambing supplies which arrived a few days ago. With an “unimproved” or heritage breed such as the Navajo-Churro, lambing should be easy with no assistance required from the shepherds. A good ewe will give birth on her own and clean and claim her lambs
Lambing has been on my mind a lot lately as we prepare for the next phase of our shepherding adventure. Keeping adolescent and adult sheep has, thus far, been easy and fun. Even locating, selecting, and bringing in a breeding ram has been a relatively straightforward experience. We anticipate that raising our own lambs from
Blaze, our first ram, is a two year old Navajo-Churro ram that we purchased from Orion Rising Farm in South Royalton, VT. When we were first looking for eligible bachelors for our ewes, he caught our eye with his beautiful and well-balanced rack. After the sheep were shorn in October, we were able to get
In October, I closed the last journal entry by wondering how we—and the animals—would do once winter set in. Our summer and autumn experiences were great, but once there was snow on the ground, how were we all going to adapt our routines? I’m pleased to report that the state of the flock is excellent!
All the animals and the farmers now seem to be settling in to their various roles. The llamas know their routine and the sheep theirs. At first we had to plan how we were going to trick the llamas into going to the barn when we wanted. Now we can get them to go to
As you might recall, when we first got our sheep we didn’t begin with our true starter flock. We had selected two ewes and four ewe lambs, but two of the lambs were not weaned yet, so we found ourselves in a temporary situation: Aretha and her two lambs (one ewe, one ram) would stay