March 14, 2005
Today I continued to shear sheep. I sheared my largest and most uncooperative ones today. Lucy is my oldest sheep but is a hellion on the shearing stand. Reuben is huge and although not a fighter is tough to catch and put on the stand. Jethro is our California Red pictured above. He’s the strongest, and it took all of my strength to get him on the shearing stand only to have him knock himself and the stand over slightly more than halfway through shearing. You can see in the photo where his shearing job quality changes. I finished with hand shears and him tied to a gate. My back hurts and I’m wore out!
March 16th, 2005
It was stormy, rainy and windy today so sheep shearing was out! I sheared my fuzzy lop rabbit Skeeter instead. This photo is when I was halfway done- she looks kinda funny. I also brushed the cashmere off the goats. Finally I skirted, weighed and photographed the sheep’s fleeces I did manage to shear.
I’m waiting for the weather to clear so I can shear more.
Today I tattooed our three Nigerian Dwarf kids. They’re now 2 months old. They were given their shots and their hooves were trimmed too. This is just after I put them back with their mother. They’re a little freaked out. They are for sale so they need to be ready. There’s more information about them you can get to by clicking on the photo.
I also dug some of the pasture ditches- trying to keep the water flowing and off our fields. It’s another never ending task here.
Another day of fencing! We have had to repair the back fence line- mostly because we had initially used old fencing material that then sagged and because the Highland cows like to rub their necks and heads on the tops of it. This time we’re using new fencing material (woven wire) and are going to put an electric line across the top. We finished the back line today on a crummy wet, cold, windy day. You can see that the dogs are helping quite a bit!
They actually do help keep the coyotes at bay. They bark at night when they hear them and as far as we know we haven’t had a coyote on the property- just at the neighbors. We also try to have good fencing, and we have guard animals- llamas and donkeys. Actually the Highland cow is a guard to- she takes off after any canine. We have a perimeter that the dogs can explore and get their scent on, but they know not to go in the pastures, and they respect that!
March 23rd, 2005I spent the day shearing sheep. I got four more fleeces sheared, sets of hooves trimmed, worming medication given and immunizations given. I’m exhausted again.The farrier didn’t arive to trim the donkeys hooves. I had them all ready for her too. I starting getting a garden bed ready to plant peas as soon as I get a chance. Everything with the animals needs to get done first because in 3 weeks 7 ewes will start lambing and 3 does will start kidding. Cally looks like she’s already to pop!
March 31, 2005
I finished shearing the sheep today- almost 30 of them! I finished with a bang with the rams. They are the most aggravating creatures. They move while you try to shear them and then they ram each other when they’re done- trying to re-establish dominance since they’re smaller without their fleeces. They do make nice wool though and nice lambs too.
I mailed off 6 fleeces that I sold this afternoon. I sure hope everyone is happy with that they’re getting. I think they’re very nice wool.
Today I fed the animals as usual, but now I can start rotating the sheep and cows in the fields as the grass is starting to grow enough. I got things ready for rabbit kits to be born this weekend- got the nest box ready.
The ground is finally dry enough to plant! I planted peas and onions finally after turning over the soil in one of the beds. Hopefully if it doesn’t rain too much I’ll be able to plant more this weekend!
Finally I sorted all the fleeces and got them ready to be mailed to the processing mill. They’ll wash, pick out the hay bits, and card the wool into rovings for spinning. I’m sending off 28# of wool for this and will be getting back rovings in 5 different colors. I’ll be excited when they get back from the mill.