Friday, March 8, 2013

Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival, Inc. Bound

June 4, 2013

New kid on the block:  Cute little girl, huh?
Her name is Dove and she will be going to a new home in September.  She was very tiny at birth and had to be bottle fed the first 24 hours.  Now she is a zippy, feisty little girl who I have to chase.  She thinks it is funny!

May 29, 2013
The weatherman says we could have thunderstorms and wind Friday and Saturday.  Now I need to figure out what to do about taking lambs.  I can't risk getting the canopy tore up with wind and I can't risk my babies getting rained on for two days and drenched.  I guess I can keep an eye to the sky between now and Friday morning.  Who knows what the weather holds.  This is Indiana.

However, come by my booth and check out the white ($10.00 per pound) and black ($15.00 per pound) rovings I have for sale.  Very nice and very clean.  I will also have some yarns and fleeces for sale.  They are last years fleeces and are a bit yellowed from the heat  $7.50 per pound for the Border/BFL fleeces and $13.00 per pound for the Cormo X fleeces.  They clean up very nice and dye well.

May 24, 2013
Whew! I'm now in the process of trying to figure out how many lambs I am taking to Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival, Inc. (  They will be out on the lawn in front of Fitzpatrick Hall.  I know that I'm bringing a minimum of 3 Blue-Faced Leicester (also known as BFL) crosses (other half is Border Leicester crossed with BFL). Whiskers, Lambchop, and Iris all deserve long term loving homes.  Iris and Lambchop are full brother and sister.  Whiskers was born in the mud (read March excerpt below). They have been bottle fed and spoiled by getting lots of attention.  Then there is Ena.... She is half Cormo and her momma is 1/2 Babydoll and 1/2 Finnsheep.  Ena is one of a set of triplets.  She was not told she is a sheep.  I believe she thinks she is a dog as she follows me into the house when I have my arms full.  She craves being petted.  Very cute smiley face.  Then I have some black lambs.  My lambs and fleeces have never been as nice as they are this year.  Maybe it's the wet season with all the green grass, but my February lambs are almost as big as their mommas already.  Their fleeces are growing so fast! Whiskers fleece is already over an inch long and silky soft!  Indigo, my Blue-Faced Leicester ram, has really stamped his babies with coal black noses and the blue skin under their white faces.  At least come by the lamb pen at Hoosier Hills and pet one of the lambs.

Here it is May and lambing is over! My lambs are the nicest this year than they've ever been.  Last fall, I got a new hay supplier.  It is top notch orchard grass for alpacas, but I'm feeding it to everyone.  My ewes didn't look haggard after giving birth and my lambs were well-developed.  In fact I lost 3 15-16 pound lambs due to extended labor.

Have you ever tried to take a picture of a lamb by yourself?  I have some nice lambs I want to get posted, but I either get the back end as the lambs move around or the midsection.  I need to find someone who can help hold the lambs while I snap the pictures of vice versa.  All but one or two lambs are for sale.  I have a bottle lamb named Ena (Cormo X Babydoll/Finn) who most likely will stay here since she is a real pest.  She will only be sold to a long-term home that can pay the extra attention to her that she likes.  As for Whiskers, he is still intact and has a beautiful, silky coat that is already over an inch long and he is only 2 months old.  Both my rams did an exceptional job with the lambs this year.

It's another lamb!  This time a nice sized ram lamb BFL(Blue-Faced Leicester) (about 62.5%) X Border Leicester x BFL.  He has really long legs and when I picked him up to dip his navel seems to be of an appropriate weight.  No pictures at this time as he wanted to lay down as I found him about 15 minutes after his birth and I want Momma and baby to bond before I go messing up the family relationship.

My goal this year is to have a minimal number of bottle babies.  One year when everyone was having 2-4 babies each, I had 12 bottle babies, but I also had 32 lambs out of 14 ewes.  They kept me hopping that year!

Whoa! Another news flash!!! About 11 p.m. one of my ewes, who did not bag up until last night, dropped a set of twins on me in the mud.  She claimed the little girl, but the little boy was delivered in very muddy circumstances and was cold and weak so I am now bottle feeding the first lamb of the year! No pictures yet, but he is a nice sized boy compared to the little girl.  All three born today are BFL x Border Leicester/BFL.  The little guy in the house looks almost gray with his black skin.  Near as I can figure, he is about 75% BFL.

Tail docks today and tetanus for all 3 born yesterday.  These guys grow fast and tails have to be banded early or within a week or so, it is too late.  Pictures will be posted by Monday of these 3.  It is just too muddy to wade out there to do it.  I had mud to the top of my boots and my pants were covered in mud as well.  This is sucky mud, the kind that holds onto the boots.  I hate losing my boot(s) in that kind of mud.  Oh, well.  More rain tomorrow.  I think I'll herd the entire group of ewes here on the west end of the farm down to the east end where the barn will keep the babies warm and dry.  Everyone is happier (including me!) that way.  Babies will be warmer even though Border Leicesters tend to be hardy.  I don't want to lose any lambs this year.  Indigo did a great job of putting lambs on the ground.  3 in one day for a young ram is a great job.

Friday, March 1, 2013

It's a girl!

It's another girl! This little lamb is still learning who momma is and is still wet! I just missed the birth of this little one.  She has a diluted white patch on the top of her head (look just above the ear and you can see a not so black area on her head) but other than that she is all black.  Since so many of my lambs from previous years are turning gray, I believe this one may be also.  First fleece is always black, second fleece is turning and by the third fleece a gorgeous silver.  This little one has a mother with a distinctive name---Polecat! 

This first year Polecat lambed, she did not like her baby one little bit.  So I confined her to a stall and every 4 hours had to pin her to the wall with my knee in her shoulder so 'Lyka' could eat.  My adopted son-in-law came one day to see the lambs and help with the feeding time asked what her name was and I replied I had never named her.  "Well, she is a stinker like a polecat!" and hence the name "Polecat" has stuck ever since.  She is a Shetland/Finn ewe (old style-look at her crooked horns!) and this little lamb's daddy is a registered Cormo.  Think fleece with length and softness.  AWESOME! I love this blend of fleece as it is luxurious!