Montague and the Girls

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

Frey and His Ladies

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 

Lambs in the Field

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!

Aragorn’s Companions

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.   

Aragorn’s companions:
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

Liam’s Ladies

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

Introducing Strider

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

In a Cloud

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.

Weather Update:
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!