Every year the shepherdesses work on the breeding ewe worksheet separately without discussing our breeding philosophy for the year, then compare our results. This year, as usual, we were very close in our decisions, only differing in one choice.
Along with the new girls, Sadie and Sarah (pictured above), there are several families included in Montague’s group – Serenity and her daughters Harmony and Thalia (one of the three Graces); Maibh (may+v) and her daughters Maire (my+ra) and Matilda; Dolly and her daughters Dahlia, Daisy and Darah (house of the shepherd). Although some are crosses, all were chosen for their strong Border Leicester bloodlines and to build upon their physical strengths and fleece quality. We are very excited about breeding season and, of course, we’re already dreaming about next year’s lambs.
Dahlia ~ daughter of Dolly, grand-daughter of Rosey
Despite his busy schedule (twenty-three ladies in his breeding group), Frey found some time to enjoy the sunshine – as we all were on Sunday after a hectic Saturday finishing breeding preparations and moving sheep.
Frey is in with a beautiful, diverse group of longwool ladies with lovely wool locks – Romney crosses, Coopworth crosses, Border Leicester crosses. With their bloodlines and his Finn – Teeswater lines, we’re hoping that next year’s lambs will be healthy and strong and produce another beautiful crop of wool.
It is such a joy researching each ewe’s line while making breeding group decisions… traveling back through the history of the flock… remembering special sheep with such fondness. We’re sometimes surprised by little things that have slipped our minds in the busyness of day to day farm chores. There are exclamations of “Oh my, Dahlia and Daisy are Dolly’s daughters and Rosey’s grand-daughters!” Soft, curly fleeces are examined and admired. Truly, truly each season on the farm has so many little rewards.
Jill ~ Romney cross, now the matriarch of the flock at 10 years old
Frey or Freyr ~ the ruler of peace and fertility, rain and sunshine
We’d like to introduce the ‘New Mister’ in the flock – Frey (Anglo-Saxon God of Fertility). He is a Teeswater – Finn cross. We are so excited about those beautiful, curly Teeswater locks, but kind of hoping the Finn prolificacy doesn’t come through too strongly 🙂
It was a busy weekend full of fence building, jug mucking, pasture walking and a whole lot of watching spring unfold before our very eyes. We built a new paddock and moved the first four lambs and their mamas in, along with Liam. He is kind of overwhelmed by the small, noisy creatures, but has been very patient.
Only one new lamb so far today. Little Miss 1307 was born about 4 a.m. out of Maibh and Aragorn and weighed 13 lbs 8 ozs. She is a beauty.
To say the least, there is a whole lot of excitement going on!
And finally, today brings us back to the barnyard and to Aragorn, our four-year-old Border Leicester ram. He has great bloodlines and throws a wonderful lamb with a long top and beautiful wool. Almost 75% of his offspring were twins last spring.
Four breeding groups this fall… excitement is in the air… and only about 147 days to go before the first lamb hits the ground this spring.
604 Sweet Pea Lincoln-Coopworth-Wensleydale
612 Princess Border Leicester-Coopworth-Wensleydale
616 Rosey Border Leicester-Coopworth-Wensleydale
716 Harmonia Coopworth-Border Leicester-Wensleydale
720 Cassidy Coopworth-Border Leicester-Cotswald-Wensleydale
801 Patience Border Leicester-Coopworth-Wensleydale
817 Dierdre Coopworth-Border Leicester-Blue-faced Leicester-Wensleydale
906 Lucy Romney-Coopworth-Wensleydale
914 Bertha Coopworth-Border Leicester-Cotswald-Wensleydale
919 Serenity Border Leicester
1002 Maibh Border Leicester-Coopworth-Wensleydale
1134 Branna Coopworth-Blue-faced Leicester-Border Leicester-Cotswald
Today brings us to the back pasture and Liam’s lovely group of ladies. Our gentle giant wethers, Moe and Larry, are hanging out back here also. This group of ladies was kind enough to pose for individual shots.
613 Hebe Coopworth-Border Leicester-Wensleydale
922 Funella Coopworth-Border Leicester-Blue-faced Leicester
722 Jill Romney-Coopworth-Wensleydale
711 Daisy Lincoln-Coopworth-Wensleydale
1108 Kiera Border Leicester-Coopworth-Wensleydale
We are very pleased to introduce you to Strider, the ram lamb formerly known as Mister 1225. He is out of Serenity and Aragorn; a pure Border Leicester. He has been wormed only once, at weaning, and has an exceptional health record. He is a twin, and both he and his sister have an excellent growth rate. We have him in with four ewes, and we may sell him next summer as a proven ram.
The lovely ladies in Strider’s group are
41 Hera Coopworth-Border Leicester
821 Siar Border Leicester-Cotswald-Coopworth-Wensleydale
910 Julie Coopworth-Border Leicester-Blue-faced Leicester
930 Havva Coopworth-Border Leicester-Blue-faced Leicester-Wensleydale
The fog that began Saturday evening, was still clinging to the ground all day yesterday. It was very surreal, kind of (what we imagine it would be) like walking around inside a cloud. Although it wasn’t raining, you could not help but be drenched from the fine mist that constantly surrounded you. In spite of chill in the air, it was really quite beautiful.
Rain began during the night, and we now have been issued a blizzard warning from 6 p.m. tonight through 6 p.m. Tuesday, with the worst of it coming around midnight. Most of the leaves are now off the trees, so we’re just hoping the lights stay on. Stay safe everyone!
Although it seems to be hard to capture these moments of camaraderie… they are both so spoiled if they see you near the fence they come running… Liam and Samson have developed a mututal respect. It is neat to watch them in the field, spending time in the same area, respecting each other’s boundaries but obviously enjoying each other’s company.
Forgive us for continuing to share the same fence-line, but this view never gets old… it is forever-changing… with the farm schedule… with the seasons
Joining Life According to Jan and Jer for Friday’s Fences