Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gulf Coast Lamb Update

We're back on track: today, after the big weekend storms blew through Texas and states north, the weather was gorgeous again. And the pens and pastures were drying out enough that I was able to enjoy the chores again. I had the added delight of coming home from a meeting at church to find that Ted and Emma and a couple of her friends had let the chickens out, fed the lambs, and moved their pen to clean grass. I was thrilled. After yesterday's malaise stunted my joy and productivity, this all was a great boon.

I had a gem in my e-mail inbox today, too -- our friend Kim down in Bedias sent this update on the lambs today:
"Greetings,

I thought I would let you know how your lambs are doing. Mordecai is gorgeous, large, beefy with a lovely coat. He stands so proud, showing himself off. Makes me sad that he is [wethered]. He is almost as large as his momma.

Ezra is doing well, Millie has had no problems nursing, even with her leg. Her leg has the splint off now and she is walking with a minimum limp. He is growing well, and he too has a wonderful fleece.

Eli is small. It looks like Belle went dry early, but both her lambs are eating pellets and grass. We tried to bottle feed both twins, when we realized her bag was getting smaller. Eli fought so hard, he choked himself. A couple of rounds of that and we quit trying. I wanted to help him, not kill him. However, I have had small lambs before, they still grow full size, they just take a little longer to get there. His twin, Bonnie took the bottle for a while, then quit. Now all the flock is together again and she sees Dinah and Dorothy with their bottle, she wants one too. Eli is the best lamb for getting under the ewes and getting at the pellets. The ewes want them for themselves, but he gets his share and more, everytime.

We are looking forward to seeing you again, May 9th.
Bright Blessings,
Kim"

It occurs to me that May 9 is only 3 weeks away. That's the day we take a borrowed trailer down to Bedias to pick up the three boys. Holy cow. Before we know it, there will be a whole (small) flock of Gulf Coast Native sheep here! How cool that the little guys have done so well down in Bedias after that horrible dog attack. The fleeces on my two bottle babes are really, really soft; I am very excited about how they'll be next year when we shear them.

Ted and I talked today about how to put together a workable fiber washing set-up, so we can save a little on the processing costs. It would be awesome to send washed fiber to the mill. This setup may consist of a hose run from the utility sink in the laundry room out to the backyard, to get hot water to some bins set on a low table to wash the fiber. I told him I'd like to keep an eye out for a garage-sale washing machine to have something to spin out the fleeces between wash and rinse bins. Then we can set up the skirting tables to dry the fleece.

It's the looming sheep shearing that has me really concentrating on getting our fiber cleaned up and outta here, off to Spinderellas, our fabulous processor. Because the sooner the fiber goes out, the sooner it comes back!

So if you're cruising Craig's List or driving by garage sales in good neighborhoods, keep me in mind! (Our shopping list: Washer, big plastic bins, low table, light saw horses, margarita machine... oops, um, just kidding.)

3 comments:

  1. Woohooo - margarita machine :-D Most folks don't realize that that is such an important element in the fiber washing experience!

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  2. Sorta makes the job go by more quickly, eh CrazySheepLady?

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  3. LOL. I'll bring the margarita machine. Seriously, though, I'll keep my eyes and ears open for a used washer. Wouldn't that be a great help!!!

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