Pedicures for ewe…

It’s that time of year again when all 4-legged creatures get their bi-annual pedicure.

Danika getting her hooves all trimmed up.

We also check eye-lid coloring (FAMACHA) and check  body conditioning score and just general overall health of everyone.

Louise’s turn…

Sawyer helping hold down a wiggly one…

The weather was a balmy 30 degrees, but the wind was not blowing!  We were able to get through about 50 mature ewes in about 2 and a half or 3 hours.  We just recently purchased the deck chair to help hold the sheep and it was worth every penny!  Normally Sawyer or my husband have to wrestle them into a sitting position and try to hang onto the sheep and trim hooves, all the while they are wiggling out of position, kicking them in the face, etc… The day use to end with us being pretty tired , beat-up and with sore backs.  Now it’s just a matter of backing the sheep up into the chair, making sure not to get their legs stuck and getting to work, then pulling them out and turning them out into the next pen.

Some of the ewes waiting their turn…

No Farms
No Food

These girls are not getting all dolled up for nothing…

2012 Icelandic Rams and Herd Sires.

Sixty-five lucky ewes and ewe lambs will be paired up with the above Icelandic Rams for our 2013 lamb crop.  We have some outstanding rams this year!  One of my favorites is Dodge.

Dodge, ram.

Dodge is a beautiful horned moorit ram.  He has the most beautiful, thick, soft fleece along with wonderful conformation and a calm disposition.  He always lets me walk up to him and run my fingers through his wool and he *loves* to be scratched under the chin and on the rump.

New rams.

We also have some gorgeous ram lambs that we are excited to be using for the first time this year.  We have some first generation AI rams that will be introducing new bloodlines to our flock.  The last couple of years, along with this year we have been involved in importing semen from Iceland from some of their best Icelandic rams.  We are actually awaiting this year’s tanker with 25 rare, frozen straws of ram semen to arrive on Tuesday via FedEx.

We also spent all day Saturday moving sheep shelters and making 9 different breeding pens, plus a pen to hold a couple of little ewe lambs that won’t be bred this year, another pen for the rams that aren’t being used this year and another pen to put the calves in.  We also did a little tractor work and filled in some holes in the pasture that the LGD’s dug and did a little harrowing…

Harrowing away…

Part of the flock enjoying the 18 degree day on Saturday.

We ended the evening feeding. I love to watch some of the ewes chase the pickup around the field as we throw flakes of hay out. They eat a quick nibble of each on then race on to the next flake and try it out real quick too!

Let the 143 day countdown begin! Woohoo!!

 

Homestead Barn Hop #87

The Chicken Chick

Macro Monday

You Capture

and

Mosaic Monday

 

Hanging out with ewe…

Rosemary

We are about a week out from seeing our first lambs arrive.  Excited doesn’t even begin to describe how I am feeling.  I think this season is one of my favorites, ranking up there with all major holidays.  😉

Very large Audrad, pregnant with AI babies. Sire is Raftur from Iceland!

This fall we imported semen from Iceland to inseminate some of the ewes with.  I am not sure how successful we were but we definitely had a couple catch, which is very exciting!

Esja checking out the hen.

It was quite funny watching Esja interact with this hen.  She would let the hen pick little pieces of hay off of her and wag her tail the whole time.  🙂

Red heads!

Dugur made sure everyone was behaving themselves and would come and check things out every couple of minutes…

Dugur watching...

I love the pattern of the Silver Laced Wyandotte!  So dainty looking.

Silver Laced Wyandotte

Lukka is another ewe in the AI group.  We are hoping she caught with a Grabotni straw.

Lukka, is she carrying Grabotni babies?

Hen nesting in one of the ewe sheds...

Dyr, the ewe matriarch decided to stick her head in and see what I was up to.

Dyr, the matriarch.

Getting a drink.

Uma is another ewe that looks like she caught with AI.  Yeah!

Dyr (in front) and Uma.

Pretty Sybil was taking a bit of a rest…

Sybil, resting.

Druna is expecting her first lamb this spring.

A one winter ewe, Druna.

Esja, is another hopeful…in the AI category.  She looks as if she could be carrying Bogi babies!

A bit of a belly on Esja.

The rain started up so these two took shelter and I took that as my cue to head back to the house!

Hiding out~ Drifa and Alita.

Linking up with…

Homestead Barn Hop #55