About Goody Johnson

A goodwife and almost young mother.

Quick updates

  1. The King is dead.  Bucky went off to freezer camp in late April.  He’d gotten crankier in late middle age and was hassling everyone.  Clovis followed two weeks later.  I will get around to the pictures later this week hopefully.
  2. Life finds a way.  Zuko IV was castrated last fall, but somehow, against all odds, he regrew a testicle.  It’s small, has a bit of scarring, and is totally functional.  Oopsie.  Now he’s a possible candidate for the surprise lambs we thought we might have narrowly averted.
  3. Speaking of which, his dam, Brunhilde, dropped surprise twins Sunday evening while we were enjoying the nice weather.  The likely possibles include her own son and her half-brother.  It’s just a little Wagnerian.  They are a large black ram who is a little slow on the uptake and a vigorous but tiny little brown ewe who is simply adorable.  Pictures also to follow later this week just as hopefully.
  4. Faux Cow fell victim to predation.  Coyotes and black bears have been partying it up in our way way back.  We had gotten her back into good health and she was getting hearty and lanky like her dam, Dottie was in youth.  Oh well.
  5. We have a lot of yard work to do, the grass is going hog wild.  And we discovered the barn is too damp to store feed or pellets in sacks, so we’ll have to switch over to the garage for those.
  6. Icelandic rams are delicious at 4 years of age.  Tough, but flavorful without greasiness or bitterness.  Slow cooking them gives a really delightful repast. Honestly comparable to standard sheep breeds’ 18 month hoggetts. We had butchering help from a friendly local down the road and we sent him off with some mutton, which was turned into burger and was excellent, delicious, great in omelettes.  This made us relax about future slaughters of the older animals as they age.
  7. The kids are really taking to chores and starting to develop the general habit of tidying up before bedtime and after dinner.

That’s all for now.

 

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Lost Little Lovely

Something pushed part of the fence down and took our smallest ewe lamb Lovely with it.  There have been some teenaged black bears and whatnot running around.  It’s hard to say what happened.  We looked for any traces of her, but there was no sign on our land or the neighbors bordering us.

 

The rest of the girls are fine and boys were in a separate paddock.  I’ll have to record her as a probable predation loss.

We’ve had a lot of health issues, and scaled our flock down.  We have about a dozen total between girls and guys, plus a healthy wether in Zuko 4.  The land can support them even if we don’t get around to eating the rams this year.

Preliminary plans are to shear in a couple of months.  Should be interesting.

I was born yesterday, mega sheep update

13987409_1220353764655454_1601393727707132599_oThis black badgerface ram lamb being petted by a mysterious stranger is Zuko IV, out of Brunhilde.  She had him Sunday afternoon right before my eyes.  She is going to be our first ewe cull for conformation defects, her teats are located in very poor positions for nursing lambs, equivalent to under the arms.  Her little guy is cheerful and of hearty spirits, but totally unable to figure out suckling.  He has the strength, but not the instinct.  She was one of the unexpected lambings.

 

So was Ripley.  Hers was sadder.  She miscarried 8/4/16.  (GRAPHIC FETUS PICTURE BELOW)

 

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So we are at 15 lambs delivered of 9 ewes and 13 live lambs, of which one is currently a bottle lamb.  9 live males, 4 live females and sex indeterminate of the miscarriage.  Still waiting on Toph and Katara to give us a sign they got pregnant.  Nothing yet.

We got enough fencing in place to keep the yearling rams from roaming.  And roam and roam they did, apparently in the wild it is normal for young unbred rams to find a little pasture away from the herd Rocky-style and train (via eating lots, the sheep version of lifting big and posting gains) to take down the Big Ram.  So that is what Clovis and Zuko II were doing when they kept busting out of the fencing.  But now they’re stuck in our roughly 4 acre pasture, until we can send them to freezer camp.

We met several neighbors, who were pretty cool about things and have really nice pastures, at that.

We are done with breeding for the next few years and will just focus on fiber.  We will probably just eat and/or sell all the rams.

 

 

 

Lambing tally 2016 by ewe mother

Shaft’s second breeding of the ewes has yielded the following lambs.  We’ve named them all.

Goldie: boy/boy both moorits (Wolverine and Cyclops)

Badgerface: boy/girl, spotted girl (Faux Cow), moorit boy (Strop Boy)

Grey: surviving girl is solid moorit and named Newt

Black N Tan: boy/girl, both dark moorits (Dark is the boy and Lovely is the girl)

Azula: boy, moorit (Pedicure)

Dottie: boy/girl, like Badgerface, a moorit boy and spotted girl (Camo is the boy and Saddleback is the girl)

Lisa: boy/boy, black badgerface (Zuko 3, very similar coloring),  and moorit (Gambit)

The fencing has been progressing and the sheep can get to almost everything within our property line.  They are pretty happy.

Also, I saw a fawn today on the other side of the fence up the mountain.

She’s gone to lamb heaven

The ewe who got sick with what was probably a very rapid E coli infection from being born in dirt is dead now.  She had a seizure and it was over.

 

So no baker’s dozen for us.  But we have a leaping, frolicking dozen lambs remaining, 8 boys, 4 girls.