I read lots of recommendations encouraging LGD's....I thought I would write about our experiences (and mistakes) not to hinder but to continue to share because I sure read a lot from other folks!
Spring time is certainly the busiest time for us- we lamb and shear all around the same time! Making sure all goes well with lambing as well as managing all the lambs, tagging, vaccinating and keeping accurate records make April pretty busy. Since lambing is the biggest stress on an otherwise healthy ewe, we try to shear right around lambing because stress can create weakness in the fiber, so the ideal time for that weakness would be when you shear because you are cutting it anyway! I am always excited for shearing but relived when it is over because it can be a lot of work to organize. Sheep have to be penned up the night before and they must be dry. When are sheep are finally naked, that means I am skirting, photographing and storing fleeces!
I tend to get pretty excited about books. Although The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes was published in 2009, I just found this excerpt on the TwistCollective.com! In The Softness Myth, Clara talks about some of my favorite things: selecting respective fibers for projects, measuring softness and defining micron counts. She even encourages knitters to seek out other breeds beside just Merino, comparing the loss of these other breeds to heirloom seeds! Very brilliant and inspiring. I enjoy thinking that there is a purpose for every type of fiber out there. Don't know how I missed this book in 2009, but I just ordered it!
The article linked is reprinted from The Knitter's Book of Wool by Clara Parkes. Copyright (c) 2009.
It is finally starting to feel like spring in the mountains! Daffodils are blooming, and we have a few lambs on the ground. There are always those amazing ewes who are the first to be bred, never have lambing problems and always have consistently good-looking set of twins, such as one of my white Romeldales #1070 (pictured here talkin' to her babies). Gotta' love her! In the past she has usually had two white lambs, but this year she threw a white and a dark! Yes, she loves them just the same :)
Lambing season always reminds me why I keep some ewes around, and question others! It doesn't matter how nice a fleece a ewe has if she is a basket case mother. This makes taking lambing notes very worth while, and is imperative if you are keeping breeding records for registering livestock. To accomplish this, I love my rite in the rain pocket book, shown below. If your record with a pencil it is waterproof (or lamb-goo-proof)! They have a line of notebooks specifically for livestock. Sadly enough, they are geared more for the Beef/Dairy industry, but they suite my purposes just fine! At home I back it up to my excel records just in case I put my put my pocket book somewhere extra safe (which is code for I can't find it). You can check the notebooks out via the link below.
Another cute little lambie!
As lambing season approaches, ewes in various leased/rented pastures around the north state have to come home to lamb under our watchful eyes. With the window of opportunity to bring this trailer load of gals home quickly closing, we observed the weather for this week as "rain" and "snow showers!" Driving down the mountain with a livestock trailer pushing you around is always daunting, even when not faced with the possibility of snow; and when it comes to moving sheep, there are always those nightmare days where nothing goes right. Luckily today went fairly well despite the constant rain. Some thank-yous are in order:
This is just the type of wisecrack I imagine my border collie "Widget" is thinking when she is helping me. I jut had to buy them from Popdoggie's shop on Etsy. Various dog breeds are represented, with other statements like "I ate it." and "If you leave, I will eat this house." The chaos of my life summed up to a refrigerator magnet. Brilliant!