Friday, January 28, 2022

Anticipating harvest

As a vegetarian shepherd, I have two 'crops' – fleeces and breeding stock/fiber pets. Breeding stock has had supply chain issues for a number of years now, but this spring looks to break that trend. 😉

Last Sunday I prioritized breeding group maintenance. Round and waddling Bernadette looked like she would be more comfortable in a bigger coat, and Bridget's extremely woolly, wet and messy backside needed trimming. I figured while I was in there, I could evaluate all four of Spot's ladies, so I tied him up (he's a sucker for chin rubs so easy to catch and halter) and went to work. In addition to attending to Bernadette's and Bridget's needs, everyone got their toes trimmed and a photo session. (All fleece shots taken at last rib, mid-side.)

Bernadette in a bigger coat


Bridget's backside trimmed

Blaise, head in bright sunlight


I also bumped bellies and felt for udders. All lambies must have been napping because I could feel or see no movement. Only Bette has the barest beginnings of a bag and a slightly puffy vulva so she may well be the first to lamb, possibly in early March. Bernadette and Bridget look convincingly plump, but Blaise does not. 😕 Nothing to do, though, but wait and see! (Well, I could ask Rick to ultrasound them, or at least Blaise, but the less I say about the burgeoning of my flock, the better.)

I posted the four ewes' fleece shots to Instagram/Facebook, and someone asked if one of them was my ram. Oops, no; I hadn't thought to take a photo of his! So this morning I caught him and remedied that:
Spot's fleece

He was sheared late the year I got him and his rise hit early last spring so his 2021 fleece was too short to sell. It sure is looking good this spring!

The harvest is promising at . . .


Retired Knitter said...

That Bette, looking over her shoulder into the camera as if to say - look at me, aren’t I beautiful!! :-)

Michelle said...

She used to be a "pinball" sheep, but was very cooperative this time. Maybe pregnancy has calmed her!

Tim B. Inman said...

I use wool fleece and linen cloth to make my French Polish rubbers. That's about it for my use of wool. I love the fibers and the feel of wool cloth, but I can't wear it. I get 'scratchy' almost instantly. Merino wool is different. I can wear that. Beautiful fleeces though!

A side not on your veggie world: I'm an old fashioned 'meat and potatoes' guy, but I'd love to include more veg in my meals. Any helps on where to learn about veg dishes an old guy can prepare? A dish of raw lettuce just doesn't cut it for me. Plus, I like to 'grow my own' and I'd love to be able to make better use of the produce.


A :-) said...

Babies!!! I'm so excited!!! And Spot's fleece is so crimpy!!

Michelle said...

Oh Tim, do I have a vegetable resource for you! A website that gathers recipes for every vegetable, A-Z, tested, approved, and improved! I use it often; it's great for utilizing what is seasonably available, as well as windfalls that come my way. Here you go:

Jeanne said...

It was fun to read this update, and the pictures are really great. Spot has lovely fleece! His would be my choice, if I could buy some.

I'm anxious for new babies! I do hope all goes well this year and that you get several lambies.

How is Berlin doing? A picture of her would be nice!

We've had really cold weather this past few days. I don't like night time temps in the 20's. The first morning after that, our hummingbird feeder was rather frozen, so we had to bring it in at night several times, and put it back out early in the morning. We think we have three that are feeding.

Susan said...

Such beautiful fleeces! If I ever decide to go fleece to yarn, I know where to turn.