Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fall to Lambing

Hello All!
Hope you had an amazing Christmas!

I guess I've been holding out on posting for fair pictures but there have been many complications. Maybe I'll have some by next fair season. ;-)

We're only a month away from lambing, but the barn is pretty quiet right now. These are the lovely slow days. :-) Unfortunately most of our pastures are flooded and the sheep are spending the days indoors....getting very plump on hay. But their all healthy and chubby and we're looking forward to lambing.

We used four rams this year, which is a record for us.

AV Louis is our old standby. He's eight this year and we've had him since he was a yearling.

We don't have the paperwork on him, but he's from a wonderful Katahdin flock and really puts muscling on those babies. We've also been very pleased with out his daughters raise their young (milk supply, number, mothering). So even though we have two fully registered and one recorded ram this year, we used him anyways.

The only big issue I have with Louis is the fact that his lambs take awhile to mature. They don't reach full size until at least 18 months. Not something you really want when your raising sheep for lamb!
So I crossed him with Maggie, our dairy ewe. Her lambs had extremely quick growth this year. KRK Mercy was also crossed with Louis. I haven't worked with her line before and this is her first lambing. It will be exciting to see what we get!

DWB 14M Leipzig is the only ram lamb we kept around from 2010. He's out of triplets from Maggie crossed with KRK 977 Johann (both parents triplets as well). Maggie raised them well...very fat and healthy. I've only had two ewes that have had any question with their milking ability.
CKN 1104 Amelia just doesn't get quick growth on her lambs. I'm not sure how much of this is just Louis slow moving genetics or her bad milk supply but she always seems pretty empty. She also has an extremely nice shedding coat which should help out in those lambs 1/4 woolieness.
KRK 42 Rosalind could not support triplets last year. She's nearly eight so I'll cut her some slack, but I wanted to try this cross anyways to see if we could get some better milk in those babies.

KRK 977 Johann is amazing. He's a triplet and huge. Nearly all our 2010 lambs are from him and we've been extremely pleased.
We crossed him with DWB 10M Dotty, DWB 10P Hagar, 002 Ophelia, and VJ 4025 Athens. Except for Athens, who is six, all these are yearlings. It will be very interesting to see what we get.

KRK 1068 Judah Ben-Hur is our new 2010 KRK ram. He's also out of triplets and had an amazing weaning weight. We haven't been disappointed in him at all and we're really looking forward to his babies.
He was crossed with CKN 321 Aravis, DWB 10A Parsley, and 003 Juliet.

That's a total of eleven ewes with four yearlings (three of which are untried). We're very excited. With all the Christmas craze I hardly feel up to lambing. I have a month to sleep, right? :-)

Besides four rams and eleven ewes we have six growing ewe lambs and one doeling still around. I'm very happy with the lambs-- Florence, Paris, Venice, Vienna, Geneva, Texas, and Verona-- all Johann daughters.
It's good to have a goat still around too...but she is for sale, if you know anyone who needs one. ;-)

Hopefully I'll get some current pictures soon. You may at least be amused by our flooded pasture. :-P

Thanks for reading,
Drowsy Waters Farm