With the help of some relatives, one of the ram lambs, Bart, was finally slaughtered, skinned and broken down over the holiday weekend. It didn’t take very long and we now have some Icelandic lamb in the freezer. We should have Scottie and Dingus taken care of in the next week or so.
As for breeding, all the adult ewes are finally in with Shaft and hopefully everyone gets pregnant. Due to the ewes’ cycling not being synchronized, they’ll be in there until January, or when they show conclusive signs of pregnancy, whichever comes first. So we are going to have May lambs, which means April spring shearing.
Bart was a light yield, about 15lbs of finished cuts including the organs we kept. That is a hanging weight somewhere past 20lbs, but not much past. He weighed more before the weather got colder, but he was in fact weaker than Scottie and Dingus and lost some weight the last month. Dingus has inherited excellent parasite resistance, as he was stunted but has a well formed, meaty frame. He is smaller physically than Bart’s rangier, lankier frame, but will give more meat. So that’s good.
My husband feels pretty good about his ability to slaughter sheep going forward. Bart was stunned unconscious and then had his throat slit. It all went very quickly. The cold weather has helped a lot.
Now that Thanksgiving festivities are over (we celebrated with friends and family and it went pretty well and was delicious), I have to get back to the fiber prep. Speaking of weight gain, we have a baby that went from 16 to 17lbs over the course of Thanksgiving week. And still waiting to hit three months old. I guess he’s taking lessons from the lambs.