Monthly Archives: June 2014

Welcome Flax!

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What a cute little guy!

I decided that I have many situations where a sheep ‘buddy’ would be helpful.

First, I have so few ewes that I only need one ram.  This means that there are times during the year when the ram is by himself.

Second, I don’t breed my ewes while they are lambs.  I wait until they are yearlings.  This means they spend the first winter away from the adult ewes who are with the ram starting in December.

Having a wether is a great way to provide a buddy in each of these circumstances.  I could just select a ram from my own flock and castrate him, but a wether is an opportunity to have a different wool around to play with (since he can neither breed or be bred and therefore does not risk cross breeding in my purebred Coopworth flock).  I thought a lot about what breed I would like to branch out into.  I determined that I would like to have a CVM.  This is a rare breed and helping to maintain or increase their numbers appealed to me.  CVM is also a fine wool breed and this contrasts with the Coopworth which is a long wool breed.  Now I will have within my flock wool that is appropriate for close to my skin and wool that is long, lustrous and appropriate for outerwear, rugs, etc.  CVM stands for California Variegated Mutant which is the natural color variant of the breed Romeldale.

I located this little fella at Hillspring Eco-Farm.  He was born in late February of this year.  Linda, from Hillspring, named him Flax in line with her fabric and fiber theme for naming this year.  The photo above was taken shortly after he arrived on our farm in late May.  He spent about a week on his own and then another week on the other side of the fence from Hemlock, our ram.  They were introduced by being crowded into a pen for about 30 hours where Hemlock couldn’t do any damage as he established that he was boss.  They have since been grazing together amicably and seem to confirm that having a buddy is comforting.

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Summer is upon us

 

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Lambs and grass are both growing – perfect timing!  Micah had a lovely set of twin ewe lambs just a couple days after my last post.  That brings our total to 4 ram lambs and 4 ewe lambs – same as last year, though a different math to get us there.  I weighed everyone just a couple days ago and it is quite amazing how quickly the single ram lambs grow in comparison to the rest, though they are all growing quite well.

Also, all the lambs are white again this year in spite of the fact that I have a natural color ram.  I intend to study this further.  All of my ewes are identified in their registration paperwork as white with natural color heritage, except Noah who is natural color herself.  Both of the rams I have used for breeding have been natural color and yet I still get only white lambs.  I believe this is because white wool was a big priority in the early development of the Coopworth breed in New Zealand.  This probably means that white wool is a dominant trait and it will require patience and persistence to increase the number of natural color sheep in my flock.

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Filed under Farm, Fiber Arts, Natural world, Seasons