Friday, April 22, 2011

Goats are all Delivered

Barbara's daughter had twin bucks on Wednesday and Barbara herself had twin does late this afternoon. She is my oldest doe and I was a little worried since she gave me Chinless last year, but she did all of the work herself and the babies appear to be healthy.

No red kids this year, but I have plenty of fleeces in that color from previous years, so it is OK. The silver buck gave me mostly bucks, one silver buck and the rest are all going to be shades of black and charcoal. Some have very cute faces and their moms are easy to pick out.

A friend has encouraged me to enter some pieces in a competition, so I rephotographed the blanket above, since I have so many pictures that I could not find the one that I took years ago. They are looking for more entries. They have to be made from any natural fiber. Their website is, if you are interested in entering something. A sampling of yarns spun over the last week. The green is going into the knitted landscape that I am making on the size 35 needles. It is turning out well. It will be wider than the last one and could be used as a rug.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mother of the Year Award: Sweet

Danny sheared the rest of the sheep and goats last Monday. I have decided to name the Merino ewe "Meri." Still trying to decide on the ram. This is Meri getting her first haircut. Her fleece is pictured below. It is the best fleece of all, with the ram coming in a close second.

In terms of statistics, 78 animals were shorn. The heaviest fleeces were: the Merino ram - 17.5 pounds, the Merino ewe and Mound, the Rambouillet, came in at 15.5 pounds each. The Merino will produce more yarn, since the Rambouillet is gorgeous, but coarser.

The kids are starting to assert their independence and developing personalities. All of the colored kids are black so far and the buck gave me lots of bucks. I have two more goats to deliver and expect that their babies will also be black.

Sweet has won the "Mother of the Year" award. She gave me triplets and had all of them up and drinking by the time I came back out last Thursday afternoon to check on her. Two does and a buck. I am excited, because she has always had the kids with the best fleeces. This is her first set of triplets and all are thriving.

The goat moms are very patient. The kid jumping on this mom is not her baby.

Pearl gave me triplet ewes yesterday afternoon. I considered her as a possible mother of the year, till I went out and found the smallest lamb too weak to get up. They have all been drinking or at least under her on her teats. I tried milking her and could not get any out, so they are sucking her dry. Since the largest one is really heavy, I figure the rest are not getting enough. I brought colostrum that I had saved from last year out and the smaller two inhaled it. I am glad they suck without having to be coaxed. I gave Pearl lots of grain and water, so I hope she fills up. Otherwise, I have two really cute bottle babies!

Someone asked for lamb photos. You would not believe how hard it is to get front facing photos of the babies. Their moms head the other way when they see me coming. I don't think backside pictures would be cute.

Cheryl came last week and claimed the rug. Hopefully, she will get lots of use out of it. She came with the TUSD school group that took the first tour.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tucson Spring Shearing Winner

The raffle earned $81 for the Casa Maria Kitchen in Tucson, despite the poor turnout. Rain in Arizona in April is rare, but we got it. The turnout for the first tour was pretty good and Danny was able to shear the sheep in the barn. He will finish shearing tomorrow morning, so anyone who wants may come out about 9:30 to watch. The shop will be open. The winner of the rug is Cheryl Walling. She has till next Saturday to contact me and say that she is coming to collect it. If I do not hear from her, another name will be pulled. Hopefully, she or a friend checks my blog, since that is how I posted that I will announce the winner. In other news, I lost Spindle, the baby alpaca that was born late January. She was bit by a rattlesnake and too young and small to survive. We have seen lots of rattlesnakes this year and some unseen killed my Black Sheep Cup last month and now this baby. Do be careful when you go outside. We have had them in the backyard twice and under the orange tree outside the shop recently. It has really depressed me.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Time to move on

I have been doing the 4th Avenue Street Fair for several years and I think this is my ninth or 11th time. Either my standards and expectations have really increased, or the street fair has really dropped theirs, but I find it to be more of a carnival that an art festival. I have decided that this will be my last show there. It is really hot, which explains why all of my friends have stayed away, but it does not help to watch people walk the street in a daze - heat or alcohol related and know that there are babies being born at home and so much else I could be doing. I am trying to look at it as advertising for my wool festival next weekend, but it is rather an expensive thought, since I have not even made my booth fee, which has never happened before. Neither have any of the booths either side of me. Only the food, drink, hat, and trinket vendors are doing much. It is sad, but I think the 4th Avenue no longer fits my needs, so I am moving on!