Thursday, February 18, 2016

THIS, Eric Miller.

THIS is why I have sheep.

The last time I had lambs here was a few years ago. I had 12 ewes. 5 were my wool sheep and 7 were hair sheep. I think all but 2 had lambs. They had 22 lambs. 2 died and I had to bottle feed 3 ewe lambs. 1 set of quads, lots of twins and some singles. It was a really cold wet winter too. They started lambing in late Jan. through April.

The hair sheep did pretty good. But the wool sheep got sick a day after lambing. Plus I had several goats that had kids around the same time and some of the does were not doing too good either. I was doing everything I knew to do for them. But they weren't much better. So I called the vet to come out.

The sheep were up front and so were the chickens. First thing the vet said was it wasn't good to have chickens around goats and sheep. After checking the sheep and giving shots, he asked me why I had sheep. I came back with generic answers. But it always stuck with me. Why did I have sheep? During all this, I was ready to sell them all. It was very overwhelming for me. With ewes being sick and so many lambs and goats sick too. I was thankful to have the goat milk though.

I did keep the sheep. But knew I would have to sell some of them because 32 sheep was just way too many for the small amount of pasture I had. So I debated over and over about which sheep to keep. I liked the hair sheep because they were so much hardier than the wool sheep. They never got sick. And never had the worms like the wool sheep did.

But in the end, I decided to sell the hair sheep. I just kept my 5 Finn sheep and their lambs.

And I am so happy I kept these girls. I love them. I never would have thought even 10 years ago that I would have wool sheep. Or be spinning wool from my sheep into yarn. But I think it was in my blood.

So today I took my spinning wheel out to the pasture with my sheep. It was a beautiful day. Even warm. I actually got sunburned! I sat out there and spun wool from Buttercup, one of my younger ewes who I cannot ever pet. She's very skittish. Always has been. But I love her. And her wool is amazingly soft and easy to work with. I just enjoyed being out in the pasture with them on the first really nice day of the year. It was so peaceful, listening to them munch on grass. Then lay in the sun. Just nice.

And when these 3 girls came to me to watch me spin, it made it all worth it. These are my 3 bottle babies.

And this view is amazing too. Here they are, 5 up and 5 down. I thought that was pretty cool.

                                     This is the end result, 197 yards of 2 ply hand spun wool.

So yeah, this is why I have sheep, Eric Miller. Just so you know.

1 comment:

An At Home Daughter said...

After I got angora goats many years back, we hired a shear come out and shear them for us. Goats don't like being flipped on their back to be sheared and will basically fight to death to be released, unlike sheep. The guy even said that goats are harder for him to do for that very reason, but towards the end of shearing he was getting fed up with my goats struggling and told me that "Their bad goats. And bad goats make more bad goats, so they shouldn't be bred". He knew that we were looking for a buck to breed them and it REALLY upset me when he said that.
We never hired him again, and I sheared all my goats with scissors standing in a stanchion after that. I found a buck (Bogart, which I still have to this day) and had lots of babies, and they were not bad goats.
So that's my little story about a crummy comment.