Saturday, March 21, 2009

Contented ewes drowsing in the sun.

Last weekend, it was so nice out I just sat out in the paddock with the ewe flock. The sun was warm, and the ewes had a belly full of afternoon hay. Lambing hasn't started yet, so it was a perfect time to enjoy the calm before the storm with my girls.
BabyBee, my only Gallifrey daughter left, lies stretched out on her side. It always scares me for a second to see them do this, I have to look and make sure they are breathing, lol!
Queen Anne still browsing on hay. She'll have Hickory's lambs, as Ock did not settle her. Finger's crossed for two exceptional white ewe lambs!

Niobe is nice and wide. I hope she'll twin this year. Niobe will be for sale this year after lambing. I'm just not sure she carries polled, as she throws ram lambs that grow larger scurs. I hope to keep one more ewe lamb out of her.

"Do you have any corn in your pocket for me?"

Pretty little Josie (UTS Silvio X Lil'Country Josephine). I had this smirslet mioget ewe lamb on the truck to ship to market last summer, then had second thoughts about culling her. I took her off the truck and released her back into the pasture.
She's got her dame's heavy tail, but darn it, I can't bring myself to cull her just for that. I think she deserves a chance to see if she can't produce a lamb someday with a nicer tail. Josie was left open this year, she is nowhere near the generally accepted 55 lbs to be bred as a lamb.

Justalit'l Grace relaxes in the sun. Grace is 8 years old this year, and will be going to a new home this summer after weaning her lambs. She is the last of my Dixen daughters. I have her ewe lamb from last year by Octavian, and I'm hoping for another ewe lamb to retain. She is bred to Eragon.

Chamois (Silvio X Cleopatra) enjoying the lazy afternoon. This smirslet fawn kat was also left open.

Adriana is one of my spotted ewes. Her quality isn't the best. She is typical of the quality of spotted ewes 5-6 years ago, with coarser fleece, cowhocks, and a heavy wooly tail. I want her spots, and her brown base color. Her dame was also a favorite of mine, so for that silly reason I also would like to keep her genetics in my flock.
I'm going to see if I can't coax something nice out of her, then I'll probably sell her into a pet home.

Big ol' waddling hippo of a Clun Forest ewe, with a belly full of mule. My Cluns are getting nice big bags, and they bred very quickly to Nightwatch the minute I put them in their breeding pens last fall. A breeder told me that the Cluns start cycling earlier than Shetlands, so these girls will probably start lambing first.

Alice also approaches to see if I have any corn. The Cluns are confident and curious.

BabyBee finally rouses and gives me a nice pose to photograph. BabyBee is out of Netty, one of my favorite ewes. She really got the best of both of her parents, and although she isn't perfect herself (she has modest cowhocks) she has given me some of my very best lambs.
I'm hoping to retain some ram lambs this year that I suspect to be full polls. I'd like 2-3 ram lambs from both Eragon, Bearclaw, and Silvio before I move them on to new homes. I suspect both Hickory and Pompey to be full polls, so they will be staying.
I know I have to sell some of my ewes this year. I would like 2-3 keeper lambs out of my exceptional Shelteringpines pp ewes before moving them on to new homes. That may take a year or so. Other than that, I'll just have to play it by ear. I'm trying not to think that far ahead as of right now. :)


Kara said...

Nice pictures Juliann. Your flock is lovely and it is great how you always give such thought toward your future goals. It is good for us newbies to learn from and help us remember to keep our goals in mind. Thanks for sharing.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

My Brava has a very wooly tail and started out with an iffy bite, which has since resolved itself just fine. She is carrying her first lambs; I figure I see what she produces from Franjean this year and then Braveheart (who put nice tails on all his lambs) next year to determine if she is a keeper or not.