Flock Talk – Rams on Frosted Pasture

Rams in frosted pasture 1. Foxfire Fiber

Frost carpeted the pasture this morning, the heaviest of the season so far. This was the view from the kitchen window. We should get above freezing within an hour. If it stays sunny,well then it's a good day for taking down electronet fence.

Tomorrow Andy's coming to trim the rams' toenails. Now that we've had severall hard frosts, it's also time for a final de-worming of the flock, to clean out any intestinal cooties. Although there's still plenty of grass up here by the house at the top of Patten, it might be prudent to move the rams back down to their winter quarters at the farm tomorrow, since I'll have extra help. But that means they'll be burning through hay – and I'd like to hold off as long as possible on that. I'll have to take a look at the long range forecast first.

Rams frosted pasture. Foxfire Fiber

Ordinarily by this time, I've placed my rams in with the ewe flock for April lambs. This year we have "decided" to give ourselves a break from lambing, so the rams and ewes are sitting this season out. I place quotation marks around the word "decided" because I am still conflicted, still wrestling with the question: to lamb or not to lamb?

Cormo sheep ram Teaberry. frosted pasture. Foxfire Fiber

I know what Teaberry, my Cormo ram, has to say. He's been raring to go since early October, fighting with Cilantro (although I think Cillantro is the instegator), chasing the poor wethers around the field. Last year, Teaberry was "unemployed" – we opted instead to run Moorit ram, Chai (third from the right in the second pic) with the ewe flock.

If I were to change my mind about lambing next spring, then tomorrow would be an excellent time to use Andy's help to truck Teaberry down for a visit with his ladies.Let's see, that would put first lambs in mid – late April and we'd be on lamb watch through mid May. Weaning would be late July. Actually, that's pretty similar to how we rolled this year . . . But I've told Mike I've already made up my mind. Does my mind sound made up to you???

Frosted grass close up. Foxfire Fiber
I have 24 hours to think on this and run it by Mike, though I suppose I know where he stands.

In the meantime, the back of my station wagon is loaded up with the last of this year's Sheep Shares. As soon as I finish this post, I'm off to the Shelburne Falls P.O. to ship them.

For those of you who haven't heard, Sheep Shares is our farms yarn and fiber CSA. We have a diverse, amazing, loyal membership from all corners of the globe. I'm always blown away by their transformations of my yarn into finished projects. I thank all of my Sheep Shares yarn & fiber CSA members for sharing this year with me and the flock.

We are now putting the final touches on next year's Sheep Shares CSA program and will announce it both here and on my website by the week's end. Would you like a heads up? It's easy. Click here and sign up for my enews letter (link at bottom of page) to be among the first notified the moment we've opened enrollment.

Or bookmark this blog and check in later this week.

On that note, I bid you a good week!