Monday, March 22, 2010

Little girls

The gully girls got sheared today. They were still awfully close to the rise; Bronwen got a better "haircut" than Bramble because the shearer changed his technique and "peeled" her fleece back. He said that's the wrong way to shear, but I like the results better - both on the sheep and off! Bramble's fleece had more second cuts, and she has lumps and bumps of fleece left on her. They are both lighter in color than I expected; I wonder if they'll keep this much color or get even lighter (they are both fawn, not Ag). Their beautiful variegated fleeces are both available!

I plan to show Bronwen (second photo) as a yearling at Black Sheep Gathering. I think she's looking good; I hope the judge can tell how nicely she's built under three months' fleece growth!

Yesterday we did indeed get the sheepfold stripped and rebedded (thanks to Rick's and Brian's help), and a lambing suite set up in the corner (where I put the girls without food this morning before shearing). Rick surprised me by purchasing two pony-sized feeders when he went to town; one for the lambing suite (which he modified some) and one for Braveheart (I've been using a hay bag for him). So the fold is ready for lambs - if the ewes would just cooperate! I think Inky is going to lamb first, and given her age, stiffness and high likelihood of having a single (based on ultrasound), I'm keeping a close eye on her. (Oh, who am I kidding? I keep a close eye on ALL of them!) If she does single, I might just have to try milking her. I know Susan, her former owner did, and made cheese. I don't know how to make cheese, though. Hmm, what would I do with sheep's milk?

The rosemary I planted around the ugly green electrical box in the island bed is blooming, and does a good job of hiding the box now.

This is another shot from the same tree featured in Saturday's "Happy first day of spring" post. It is a "feral" cherry of Royal Ann type, for those who were curious.

That's it for now at . . .

11 comments:

Laura said...

I wanna make cheese, and have some stuff for goat cheese. Let me know and I'll come help!!

Lovely girls - don't need another fleece but the darker one is really nice...

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Sugar and Spice and everything NICE! That's was little sheep girls are made of!

Goodwife said...

Well you just tell Miss Inky to cross her legs, cause I voted for Dinah to go first!! Beautiful eeewees, and I'll bet their fleeces are just lovely. :)

MollyBeees said...

Awww! Pretty sheepies! I thought of you this weekend and I snuggled the lambies at the farm. If I owned sheep I'd never get anything else done!

Kara said...

Feta is made with sheep milk actually. The girls are looking good.

susan said...

The cheese I made that one time from Inky's milk was brie. It came out better than the cows milk wheel I made at the same time. It tasted richer and didn't shrink down as much in the mold.

-Susan

Deb W said...

Me? I'm fine. It's Sara who is under the weather. We're just at that in-between, gray, nothing-to-photograph, and nothing-to-talk-about stage between winter and spring.

Rosemary as a perennial! It is strictly an annual here. Your girls are lovely - with and without wool. Really, they appear to have really nice conformation. So you're going to try showing, huh? The Shetland community seems to have mixed feelings about that - but I hope you do well!!!

Michelle said...

I've shown the last couple years, mostly as a marketing tool; I don't expect to be in the ribbons and I'm not. But I've sold both sheep and fleeces/roving as a result of going to the shows. Last year I showed my half-poll boys; since I'm the only one in this area who breeds for polled rams a lot of people don't even know it's possible in Shetlands and I think it's important to educate folks.

As for rosemary, its tough stuff! I don't think you get any colder in KY than we do here; we're certainly farther north.

WeekendFarmer said...

you can drink sheep milk as is...just like your would drink cow milk! It is delicious. Just boil it a little and have it warm.

http://weekendfarmer.blogspot.com/search/label/milk

Did you say ultrasound for the sheep? wow!

I love your sheep enclosure. Its so organized! I think you will call animal control if you saw my set-up : ).

Michelle said...

Thanks for the link, WeekendFarmer! I figured we could drink it, but since we've been on skim milk for decades, it would probably feel like drinking cream - NOT a pleasant thought, believe it or not! Using it for the occasional rich dish I make would probably work best.

Don't be too impressed by the ultrasound; my husband is a horse vet so the machine and know-how are available for free -- IF I can persuade him to use both! We only did it this season because of a ram break-out. If the two ewe lambs had been bred, we were going to make them cycle. Fortunately, they weren't. And of course, while he had the machine out, I really wanted to know what was cooking in the older ewes.

As for all the sheep enclosures, my husband mutters that all he does around here is build "sheep stuff" -- bless him!

Nancy K. said...

Everything looks so CLEAN and GREEN!

My Rosemary is in a pot in my office and looking pretty pathetic. I didn't even know that it would bloom! It's warming up here so maybe I'll start putting it outside during the day...