Chalk it up to education, my mother always says when things don't go as planned. Seems we are always learning new things around here. Just when you think you have it all worked out on the farm mother nature throws you another curve ball. This year I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about internal parasites related to sheep.
So from the lessons of this year we will make a few changes for next year. We will have less lambs for sure, that has many added benefits including more time with each lamb so in the end they will all be more friendly. We have less animals in total, lower stocking rate equals less parasites. We will put newly weaned lambs on "clean" pasture, that is a different paddock than the moms were on and hopefully not as contaminated. We may also have our lambing a bit later in the season so the pastures are dryer, something mother nature will have to help us with too. And we will monitor very closely. Certainly I will always have more to learn, but isn't that one of the joys of life!
Monday, July 25, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Back from the Black Sheep Gathering. Every year I think how lucky we are to have such a fine fiber fair in our own town, just minutes from our house. It was busy this year, showing sheep, fleeces, fiber creations and participating in the spinners' lead. Tom also presented his first "handcrafted by Tom" spinning wheel! He has been apprenticing with Magnus Drudik, driving to Salem once a week for the past 6 months. And now he has something to show for all that work. It created quite a stir at the show and we spent lots of time retelling the story. At one point, as my sentences no longer were making any sense, I suggested that he just put that wheel back in the car.
People are asking how we "did" at the show. Well I can say our sheep placed middle of the road in a class of a lot of very fine Shetlands. Competition is tough and I guess the judge didn't find anything we had particularly exceptional (of course I beg to differ!). But we did do well in the wool show, placing 2nd and 3rd in the mature Shetland. Julia and Strudel came through for us. I got a blue ribbon on my felted vest and lots of positive feedback from my strut through the spinners' lead.