Anna, my babydoll lamb and the coloured ram Babydoll born last spring are going to a new home to get married next year after their long engagement. I will sorely miss my little Anna, my banner sheep. She was not my first bottle baby, but she was the first who won my heart to the extent that she did. Who could not love little Anna. She is bred this year and is going to have a little baby herself, so she no longer needs me. It is hard to let her go, but I cannot keep everyone.
Red, my favourite Icelandic ewe, and Thor, the feisty little ram with so much personality and spunk are also sold and are going to a new home when Red's lambs are weaned at three months. Red has been a great girl, always reliable and a super mother usually with twins, but she has never produced a red baby, like herself. Thor is a beautiful grey with a bit of black and white and even brown. There are names for the Icelandic colours, like the Shetlands, but man, it is hard to keep track of all of them. I will miss both of these beautiful sheep, but will have the lambs. If Red has ewe lambs, they will stay and be bred Shetland or Jacob in the future. I also need to cut down on the numbers of rams that I am supporting.
I am hoping to sell some of my meat ewes. Tunis can stay, but she has three daughters now who will have some lambs this year. Tunis always twins, so I suspect the daughters will as well. They are half Blue Faced Leicester and have really beautiful fleece. I would like to keep only one Tunis, sell one pure Tunis ewe and one BFL Tunis ewe. I have not advertised these gorgeous girls yet.
Today, two young men came to help treat the sheep and goats for keds, those terrible wingless flies that look like ticks and suck the blood of the sheep making them terribly itchy and uncomfortable. The boys will be back in 2 weeks to do a second treatment and after shearing the sheep will also be treated with a pesticide. Hopefully the barns will be thawed enough to clean out then too, because those nasty bugs can hide in the hay and reinfect the sheep. It only takes one.
New straw bedding was added to the rams hut and the barn for the ewes and the goat barn, plus the goose and duck house. The temperature really rose today and it was plus 4 when we were working, but the last few nights it is was frigid cold and we are expecting cold wet weather all the next two weeks. Maybe spring will start to think about coming after that, though March often brings one last gigantic snow storm and some cold weather.
There are not days off on the farm. The Morman boys did my watering and fed some of the animals on Thursday when I had to attend the teacher's conference in Edmonton and I am grateful for that. If I get these new fellows trained well, they might take care of the animals if I have to leave, only they do cost me $20 per hour each. Today they did very well and were worth their salt, so I was glad they came and helped. Some things are just too difficult to do alone.
It was a busy sheepy day today and I was going to make some hemp soap tonight. Instead I had a nice hot bath in the antique clawfoot tub and plan to go to bed early again. I am feeling content, happy, grateful and at peace with the world.I wish for you the same. Life really is so great.