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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Not a good ending to the day ....

Well, I told you's a matter of time when something goes terribly wrong, and I was due. It did tonight. I've been watching Windsprite for a while, her tail at half mast, about ready to lamb. I went into the pen early this evening to talk to her, she didn't look very bright.......a little dull. I went to the barn and got the MFO solution and gave her 20cc. I left for an hour and 15 minutes, to let her rest and see if that perked her up. I was too late.....I found her dead. Yes, in just an hour and 15 minutes she'd gone from walking around, this afternoon she was eating grain and hay with the others. So quick. I hurried and went in, pulled out 2 lambs, both beautiful HST's, a boy and a girl, teeth were white and emerged, both appropriate sized, not big, not small. Both were already gone. I tried to resuscitate, I did noses, pumped chests, tried for gag reflexes. Nothing. Just too dang late. We do try to save them all, we watch them closely, we notice little things. It does happen, we loose one. But we are never ever happy with ourselves because we could have done more, we're sure we could have, if we'd only caught that subtle sign that something was just not right. I'm sorry Windsprite, you were a wonderful girl and I wish you'd stayed years longer with us, rest well in green pastures now.

Cheesecake's new ewe lamb


Check out that one black leg....yowzer!

Reminds me of how some of the women dress in Dancing With The Stars, don't ya think???

Another beautiful lamb!

We are in the middle of an incredible April heatwave here... in the 60's all week and clear, sunny skies. While doing chores this morning I hear that 'I'm going to be a mom' sound eminating from one of the pens. Sure enough, Cheesecake was in labor. As she seemed in no real distress, I just let her finish her work while keeping an eye out from a distance. Flecket on one side, not on the other, 3 full white socks, tail, and Yuglet face markings too! Another HST, sired by Topple!

And yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees, it was a girrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl...........

The count so far?6 girls, 1 boy.........

don't worry, I know I'll get pay-backs sometime in the future but I CAN enjoy it for now!! LOL!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More pics for the day

First, I got a few quick pics of Natalie's new arrival...
guess that's not 'just' a Krunet, is it? More like a Smirslet.....

Flutter and Domonique's ewe lambs out enjoying the day...

Sister's ewe lamb taking a biiiiiiiiiiiig streeeeeeeeeetch!

Update on the preemie....

I tried to hold her up with my left hand while my right held the camera way back so that you could see how small she is for almost 2 weeks old?

On April 15th, we had a preemie born in the unregistered flock to a first time mom. I blogged about her on the 18th. Well, here we are more than a week and a half later, and her teeth are still covered. Yes, they really are. She is so tiny, half the size of any lamb out of the 17 out there right now. Her mother is very devoted to her and she feeds her often. The little black girl is the center of attention from all of the herding students too. When you nuzzle her she tries to suck on your chin ;-) All she has to do is wail for mom and mom is right there, calling up to her to make sure she's alright. Quite a very odd situation, I have no idea why this little lamb is still alive and thriving, even tho she is so very tiny. And what's even more odd (and the thought is scary!), her mom is still as round as if she were still pregnant. Uh oh. Please tell me that she is NOT. I just don't say never and can't anymore when it comes to animals, we'll just go with the flow and see what happens! Oh yes, in case you're thinking what I'm thinking, I have frozen sheep colostrum waiting in the freezer, just in case....

Yes indeed, another girl....

Alaska Natalie just gave birth to a lovely, big, single ewe lamb. Black with a big Krunet, and that lovely white that goes from the Krunet just behind the ears, down the jaw, and underneath to connect. Pretty obvious that Mom doesn't carry spots, sire was Captain Hook, but this girl carries them. That's a good thing. Natalie has lots of Puddleduck and the other 'beginning' names in her pedigree close up - Dailley, Cochran, Maple Ridge. This girl looks like she might turn gray too - very pretty! Photos soon when she's dried and fluffed up .

So far, of the 8 girls Captain's been bred to, 6 have lambed, 5 girls and 1 boy. Sheltering Pines Windsprite is holding out as is Treet. They have a little ways to go tho, so I'm not too concerned. :-)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Just lucky?

Isn't she lovely? She was born a few days ago at Garrett Ramsay's farm in Minneesoatah....Out of the lovely girl I bought last year from Stephen, Sheltering Pines Snow Cloud, a Katmoget, and sired by Wintertime Jazz, also a Katmoget...obviously they carried spots! to my thoughts for the day. It's interesting how we feed our Shetlands. Everyone is different in their methods. I've had an interesting lambing year here, with 4 separate breeding pens to assess how things 'work' shall we say. Lots of 'old timers' have theories.....and many times they are pretty much 'spot on'. Here's one - feed your ewes well and get them well filled out before breeding season. Keep feeding them quite well through breeding season to lambing. You'll increase the numbers of lambs. I had that ability to do so with my unregistered group - we have plenty of low-moisture 2nd cutting bailage round bales this winter so they got them as needed. Those girls are the most 'robust' in condition after lambing I've ever - yes ever - had. Plump for Shetlands. And I had the most twins and even a set of triplets ever! And what is the ratio? Yes, 2 boys to every girl born. At least. It might be close to 3 boys to every 1 ewe lamb now, I need to go double check.

There is an old theory out there that when the supply of food is great, there are many boys born. When it's poor, there are 'replacement' girls born, outnumbering the boys by far, and of course, lower numbers of lambs born overall - more singles than twins.

Ok, let's go over to pen #2. They didn't get grained in the fall, their setup isn't quite as perfect as pen #1 - more of an open shed and the gate not closed at night for additional heat (our gates are covered for the sheds). They also didn't get bailage, since there is not enough room in their setup for a round bale, but instead, 1st cutting grass hay that was not the very best - our summer last year was miserable for hay production and the hay shows it too. So far, 4 of the 6 ewes have lambed. Each with only a single. Body condition is fairly typical although I would say I'd like to have seen a bit more weight on them when we sheared last month! AUGH! Hay was not only at a premium but in short supply, so 'it shows'. BUT, of the 4 lambs born, all were standing up immediately after birth, all were born easily and of very good weight and size, and 3 of the 4 were girls. Hmmmmm.........

Now I have 2 other breeding pens. They are right next to each other. They got grain along with the marginal hay. One is a senior ram, one is a young ram lamb from last year. The senior ram girls are showing pregnancy, the young ram lamb's girls are not. Not really anyways, so far, but perhaps a little udder growth, so late season arrivals at best. In the senior ram's pen, only 1 has lambed so far but it too was a girl. Several others are getting closer to lambing. Time will tell what we end up with there.

So, lambing of the registereds so far is 5 girls have lambed, all were singles, and 4 of the 5 are girls. We'll see how the numbers work out in the end, but perhaps those 'old timers' knew what they were talking about? When you really need the numbers, feed them up.........when you really need replacement ewe lambs, be careful of over-feeding???????????? Hmmmmmmmm.........Just lucky?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wish I'd had the camera....

Just one of those fun moments when I wish I'd had my camera with me. When I went out to Captain's girl's pen to feed this morning, I saw one of my Muscovy ducks in their water tub, splashing and taking a bath in the sheep pen. She hopped out as I walked up and of course all the sheep came running for their morning grain. And all the lambs followed moms at a full run. They stopped dead in their tracks when faced with the Muscovy. I thought perhaps the Muscovy might chase them off, but instead, she hunkered down and all 4 lambs walked up to her carefully, sniffing her all over and checking out just what this duck was! It was funny as all get out! I moved a bit so she'd move, and the lambs all jumped back. Then it was chase the duck/the duck chases us/oh my this is fun!! LOL! We had lamb AND duck races today!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New lambs to come up this spring

Well, good news indeed! A few weeks ago 2 lovely Minwawe girls were born at my friend Mary Ellen's place that will fly fly fly up to Alaska when they're old enough! And, another girl will fly up from Garretts too - just born out of a ewe that I purchased last year with Garrett's help, Sheltering Pines Snow Cloud. You can go look at her on his blog at
Peeps is sending photos of the new girls and I'll post them when they arrive.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More lambs!

Yesterday we had a lovely but simple black ewe lamb with white Krunet born out of Dominique by Captain Hook. Today, we have a wildly colored ewe lamb born out of her daughter, Sister, sired by Captain Hook! She looks Bersugget as there's not much gray back in the pedigrees, but she could be a Shaela or gray -wouldn't that be nice to have a beautiful 'blue' Shaela tho! SO hard to get! We shall see as time goes by!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The most interesting thing happened

Wednesday morning I was greeted by a new lamb out of one of the unregistered younger ewes. The tiniest of black ewe lambs I believe I've ever seen. She was so tiny, perhaps a pound and a half. Maybe 2? Tiny. VERY tiny. Her mother had cleaned her and she was up as the rest exited their night time shelter. Her mother nuzzled her, talked to her quietly, and the tiny thing walked in little steps to follow everyone else. Her mother hung behind with her, the 2 stopping a ways from the door. A long walk for a tiny thing. I kept thinking - goodness, she looks like a preemie - but I didn't check, only determining she was a she and watching as her mom called her over to eat, which she did quite well. Ok, so things are going well and I'll come back later to check. This morning one of the instructors here came out early to work her dogs. She came to the house with a little black lamb in her arms. Oh no I thought! Come to find out, she must have been out all night long, all alone, and she'd found her in the corner. I quickly checked her mouth by sticking my finger in it -oh thank heavens, it wasn't ice cold, it wasn't as warm as it should be but not cold. PHEW. Ok.....warm milk now! So I grabbed milk out of the fridge and warmed it up well. Goats milk of course, and Nigerian Dwarf milk to boot. Since I'm on milk test, I know that right now my milk averages 7.8% butterfat - more than twice the average butterfat content of whole cows milk or large breed goats milk. So, I opened her mouth and put the Pritchard problem, she sucked on it very very well. I finally thought - ok, since you're here in the warm house being held by a kind lady, I'll check those teeth now. Sure enough, the skin was still covering those front teeth! Imagine! This baby was born Wednesday early am, and as of today, Saturday, they STILL had not emerged! Wow........that is one very very young preemie, and I'm pretty shocked that she's made it to tell you the truth! Shortly after that nice warm long drink of milk, she fell fast asleep in the kind woman's arms too... a much needed warm up from both the inside and the outside. It was 32 degrees last night.....perhaps a tribute to the tenacity towards living that the Shetlands possess!

And look who arrived today!

Yeppers, it's a girl! Minwawe Flutter gave birth to a lovely Yuglet girl today, sired by Captain. YAY!

Peep's Mansion!

Look everyone! It's Peep's new Mansion in town! Posting these for Peeps....enjoy!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Photos of Lambs!

So here we go - this first photo is Slipper's ewe lamb sired by Topple the magnificent. Isn't she beautiful?? And just look....she has her mom's rear foot dress spats! YAY!

And look who arrived early this morning? Caribbean had a big single ram lamb waiting for me when I got out at 6am for feeding. Good girl! His sire is Captain Hook. His nose is only half-covered in black, like a thumb print on the lip that missed the nose for the most part. His front legs are also interestingly colored. Maybe he'll have to be named 'Half-Dressed'????

Monday, April 13, 2009

YAY! A Ewe Lamb!

Forgive me, but it's been snowing and a muddy mess here for 3 days, so I need to get those photos!.But, Friday, April 10th, I found a wonderful surprise in one of the sheep pens - a beautiful spotted ewe lamb out of Minwawe Fairy sired by Minwawe Topple. She is a Krunet/Sokket/Smirslet/Yuglet? and sooooo very pretty!
Our first registered lamb of the season, I'll do my best to keep my camera dry and take a quick photo! Yay!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Redoubt volcano woke up again this morning

Our volcano was quiet for a while. We we able to get a bunch of sheep sheared too - one more day and we'll be done for the year! YAY!

Here's this morning's sunrise on the ash plume blew up around 6am....enjoy!