Saturday, April 25, 2015

Shearing Big Mama

And what a big mama she is.  Big Mama is about 200lbs of ewe, lol.  She was super patient with me, but even so I could not finish her in one go.  I got most of her sheared and one hoof trimmed. I will eventually be doing a shearing video for beginners since all you see on youtube is professionals shearing a sheep in 5 minutes, they don't really explain how you experience it the first time, what you feel, how the sheep reacts when you get close to cutting her skin, by the way I did not cut her once only braised her in one tiny spot in the beginning, how to prevent cutting your sheep and shear successfully, even if its slowly the first time.  It took me a couple hours to get her mostly done, but it was an enjoyable experience.  Here is the before and after for now,  I will finish her Tuesday evening or on Wednesday when I have time without the kids.
 After: she looks like she has mange.  lol
 The other side of after.  I think I did a pretty good job.  :) She does have this odd patch on her withers, full of dirt and lots of lanolin in that area, not sure what that is about.  Maybe she was using a feeder when she rubbed her withers every time on it, got dirt and hay in it, not sure.  I need to make a wool cover for her, eventually.  It will keep her wool nice until next shearing in a year.
At least she still likes me.  :)
Her wool,  I will clean it up and use it for either pillow stuffing or for quilt batting.  Warmest quilt I will make if I do.  :)  All wool can be used for something even if its not quality for knitting, weaving or crocheting with, this is good quality stuffing for stuffed animals, felt, you name it.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Getting Ready to Shear Big Mama

I ordered some shears from a company called SpringWater Animal Supply.  This is the first time using hand shears, well, ones made for sheep.  I've used fiskers shears for shearing my angora goats.  They work well, but I wanted to try my hand at real shears and since they don't cost an arm and a leg, really affordable actually, I thought I'd go for it.  One word of caution though when ordering from a company with something super sharp, to remind them to wrap those sharp pointed shears so they don't escape their confines of the box.  :)  Here is my experience with getting shears in the mail.  I also wanted to post them here so I could put a link to my picture in an e-mail to the co. so they know what happened and so they can prevent it in the future. :)  And they were securely stuck in this position, so even if they tried to push them back in, they would have had a really tough time since they were stuck against the other side of the box.

Friday, April 10, 2015


Picked up two Suffolk ewes today.  Big Mama is up front and Emerald in back getting sniffed by one of the ram lambs. :)  Big Mama is a pure bred Suffolk and Emerald is a Suffolk/Barbados hair sheep.  :)  Tried to keep the lambs separate, but they thought they were mommy and escaped into the pen with the ewes.  All are very happy, so there you go.  :)

I am totally thinking this is a sign though that this is what I am meant to do, this path.  In 2010 we started naming things by the alphabet.  2010 was the "A" year.  Big Mama was born in the "B" year and Emerald was born last year in the "E" year!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lambies and Kids, Oh my!

 Maggie on top of the wood chip pile. 
 Cute little ram lambs.  :D
 Kids and our hay for the lambies (some would say we are being white trash for having hay on our front porch, but I say its all part of farming and convenience.  :)).
My handy dandy electric fence checker so I can stop touching it to make sure its on.  lol  So nice.  No more shock therapy for me.  lol

Friday, April 3, 2015


I brought home two Suffolk ram lambs today.  One will become our breeder ram and the other will be for eating.  I want to know if there is a difference in taste, tenderness and quantity (if there really is more muscling since he will still be intact until harvest time.)  :)
Our duck adventures have started, so now we begin our sheep adventures.  Then we will move our duck and sheep adventures this summer to the farm I'm moving onto.  So exciting!! :D

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our New Ducks

 We got some Muscovy ducks for laying eggs. They look a little ratty, but we are just going through mud season here and they are molting.  Plus, the females that we got were with A LOT of males so there backs are a little roughed up.  I haven't had a Muscovy since I was a kid and the one we had would chase you because he just wanted to be near you and nibble you.  He really liked my mom because she saved him when he was half frozen when he was a duckling.  Fun memories.  We did have a female too, but she flew away.  These guys will be in the chicken tractor so no flying away for them.  :)
 Sarah loves the new ducks.  :)
 Our female ducks.  We really got lucky on the colors.  It's hard to tell, but the one on the far left is like a lavendar and white, then a brown and white, black and white and then mostly white one in front.
We got 3 males because they were a deal.  I'm thinking the largest white will find a new home. We really don't need 3 males for 4 females.  All of them are really laid back and friendly.  :)  Looking forward to eggs for eating AND hatching.  We'll need more layers.  :)