Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Clementine

Clementine was the first of our yearlings to lamb this year. She is daughter to Chloe and sister of Clara. And like her mom and her sister she is an easy lamber and had twins as a yearling!
I knew she carried color genetics but I am super happy to have two more black lambs, and one is a ewe lamb. Clementine is half Royal White hair sheep and half Coopworth and her fleece was pretty nice considering. Her lambs are 75% Coopworth and the ewe lamb's fleece feels like a nice Coopworth fleece. The ram lamb's fleece feels more like our mixed lamb fleece. I was hoping to get at least one ewe lamb from this year's crop to keep. Hopefully this little ewe lamb will continue to grow into a good replacement sheep for us. We'll see what the last two yearlings give us in the coming weeks.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Flax Plot

Thursday was spent in the garden. The pound of "Lisette" flax seeds I bought from Landis Valley Farm went into the approx 150 square foot plot.
Since it is hard to weed flax once it gets more than a few inches tall I wanted to reduce the weed seed load as much as possible in this area. Over the last two weeks I hoed it four times in hopes that a large number of weed seeds would germinate and then be butchered. This is my first planting of flax and it will be interesting to see how this progresses.


Thursday, April 13, 2017

Steel City Fiber Festival

I set up a booth at a local (30 min away) fiber festival last weekend. I took yarn, roving and three spinning wheels. Two of the wheels sold and I sold a decent amount of yarn and roving. All in all a pretty good weekend. And I am pleased with how the booth turned out.
I demonstrated spinning on a great wheel (that I then sold) even though I am still learning myself. The public was great to talk with. And the other vendors were very interesting. I let a few vendors try out the great wheel; amazing how many people have a hidden desire to try one. Next up, MD Sheep and Wool with the American Coopworth Registry booth.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Learning to Flock


Basement Floor

The contractor came today and set up to pour the basement floor today. They framed out the area for the stone section for the root cellar and leveled off the dirt floor, then installed plastic. Tomorrow they are back to pour the concrete. It's been a long time coming and we will be very happy to say good-bye to the old dirt floor in that section of the basement.
The cats aren't too happy about the work going on in the basement. They get fed in the basement and their litter boxes are down there. Their little kitty door is blocked off and their bowls and one litter box is upstairs. They caught on to using the litter box but were more upset about getting fed upstairs. Well kitties, only one more day.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Way To Go Hazel!

I was so worried about Hazel's lambing after the mess with Ruthie. Thankfully, she did it all on her own about 10 minutes before I went out Tuesday morning to give the bottle lambs their 5AM feeding.
 Two beautiful ram lambs! Apart from the white on the tips of their ears and a little on their faces they are completely black. Such beautiful fleeces they will have. But what to do with all these boys!


Monday, March 6, 2017

A New Creep

Alan built a creep the first year we had lambs, but we rapidly outgrew its approximately 12 square feet size. Last year I used the long side of the creep in front of the door to the smaller stall. That worked great, but we lambed nearly a month later and it never got too cold at night necessitating the doors needing to be closed. This year we have had some frigid nights in the teens with the winds blowing right in the doors. We needed to come up with a creep plan that would allow the doors to be closed and still let the lambs come and go in the creep.
We were able to use some of the support structure on the barn wall from the old creep set up, a gate that I needed to move anyway, and the end panel for the original creep. The lambs are figuring it out. The older ones are happy to be able to eat grain without having to jostle with the big ewes.The lambs now have 32 square feet to get away from the commotion of the ewes and eat in peace.