Our day to day understanding of our flock and caring for them.
April 15, 2017
We are putting the ewes in with the rams to be bred today. We are using three rams again this time, Night Train QR, Reuben RR, and Chip QR. They will each be given ten ewes to breed selected by coat and conformation traits. Each ewe will go to the ram which compliments her traits in the best way. We are also keeping diversity in the lambs by using three different rams out of unrelated parents. Lambs will be due October 15th through November 1st, 2017. They will be available in either February or March, since the rams will be removed from the pastures by June 1st.
February 28, 2017
I have not taken the time to keep this post updated. I've been too busy keeping up with the demands of taking care of other important things. To give you a quick summary of where we are now, the weanling ewe lambs have been relocated to Annex 1 with Swatty and Ninja. The weanling ram lambs are now in Annex 2 with Miranda taking care of their security needs. The adult rams have been moved to Annex 3 with Mattie at the helm. The adult ewes have the run of all the pastures near the house and barn along with Royce who deserves a little easier assignment for a while, with the exception of the pond pasture. We apparently have duckweed growing in our pond, so it needs to be treated for that and we don't want any animals in that pasture while we are doing it.
The ewes are recuperating from having their lambs and they are gaining weight rapidly having been given extra rations to prepare them to be re-bred April 1st. We will breed the ewes to three different rams this breeding season and have already studied each individual ewe's conformation, so that we can compliment each one by selecting the best ram for each ewe. We are looking forward to another great breeding outcome next fall.
January 14, 2017
All the lambs have had their 2nd CD&T, have been dewormed at least three times to cover any barber pole worms if any, they have been weaned and separated from momma. They are all eating well and gaining rapidly. All looks good. Have not lost a single lamb out of forty-two of them. The next step will be to separate the boys from the girls and then give all the adults their annual CD&T and worm the ones that need it.
December 4, 2016
Today we will work the second group of lambs. We have divided them into two groups because of their ages. Group two is the youngest group. Group one was done earlier. This time they get their first CD&T vaccinations, they get dewormed and we will band any little boys that look like they won't make the grade as far as being a herd sire. When we worked the older group one, there were three boys that we decided were too wooly. Didn't like their coat texture, so they are out. Those will make nice meat lambs for someone, or maybe for us.
We have already planned our breedings for April 1st. This time we will use Lone Star Night Train, Lone Star Chip, and Lone Star Reuben as our herd sires. This will be the first time we have used Chip and Reuben. Should be interesting to see what we get.
November 1, 2016
We had our last lamb of the season born today. He was a single male that weighed in at 9 lbs. 7 oz. His sire is Lone Star Night Train, so we thought it would be appropriate to name him Freight Train because of his size. That gives us the total count for this lambing season of 42 lambs (21 girls an 21 boys).
October 25, 2016
The total lamb count today is 40. We have 20 girls and 20 boys.
October 18, 2016
The total lamb count today is 35. We have 17 girls and 18 boys.
October 9, 2016
As of today, we have a total of 16 lambs. We have 7 girls and 9 boys.
October 8, 2016
We began our lambing season on September 30th of this year. As of today, we have a total of 11 lambs. We have 6 boys and 5 girls. We'll keep you posted.
August 16, 2016
Nothing exciting happened in July. It was so hot, we didn't work any sheep because we thought it would stress them to be run around and then held in a hot barn. Who am I kidding? It wasn't the sheep, it was us. In the heat of the day, I look out at different times and see the sheep grazing in the blazing sunshine. The only thing that happened in July was my being confined to the hospital for six days due to food poisoning. Our vet asked me if I had done myself in, but I think it was a chicken dish that I had from a Chinese restaurant we frequent. Not anymore. One of my nurses at the hospital said, "I think they fed you a cat." Disgusting as it sounds, that was funny.
In August, things picked up a bit. We sold two rams to two different gentlemen in Louisiana, a ram to a local customer that had purchased sheep from us before and now needed a second ram, a starter flock to a gentleman in Mississippi, and two rams and a wether went to our Pakistan friends for butchering, We are now trying to find transport to Georgia for another ram.
June 22, 2016
Yesterday, all three rams were removed from their pastures of ewes and put back into the ram pasture where they live most of the year. Hopefully, all the ewes are bred. This would mean that lambs are due October 7th through November 21st, 2016.
June 8, 2016
Three rams were put in with ewes for breeding on May 7, 2016. They are Lone Star Legend, Lone Star Night Train and Lone Star Otis. We wanted to use Lone Star Chip this time, but we are having fencing problems, so we didn't have enough pastures to separate another breeding group. We have had so much rain that huge oak trees are literally uprooting and falling over. One sixty foot oak fell in our front yard. About an eighty foot oak fell over two fences which left us short of two pastures while we are cutting those up and repairing the fences. With only myself and Mike to do the work, it seems it is taking forever to get it accomplished. However, we were able to make do with some temporary fencing that is secure enough to house three groups for breeding. On June 25, we will remove the rams and they will go back to their own pastures. The ewes will all be housed together at that point, and it will be so much easier to care for them that way. We will have all the gates open to four pastures that connect, so they can have the run of all four places. Our neighbors tree fell and uprooted our fence in the yard. Literally, it lifted the posts out of the ground and took the fence with them. That was another repair, because my two little dachshunds, Zelda and Dude, could walk right under the fence. Of course, they are vertically challenged, so the fence didn't have to be very far off the ground for them to go under it. Zelda and Dude are black with tan markings. It seems to be a pattern we follow around here with the sheep being tan with black markings.
May 15, 2016
Today we rounded up the four youngest ram lambs. We call them the "train boys", since they were all given train names after their daddy, Lone Star Night Train. They are Lone Star Coal Train (Roscoe), Lone Star Freedom Train (Freedom), Lone Star Love Train, (Lover Boy), and Lone Star Santa Fe. These were the last lambs born this season and they just turned two months old, so they had to get their second CD&T vaccination and they needed to be de-wormed. Now, all lambs have had their shots, and they are up to date on wormings. They all have their farm tags. And all except the "train boys" have their scrapie tags inserted. Those are larger tags and the "train boys" are still small enough that we want to wait to put the tags in their ears so the tags won't weigh their ears down. We'll wait until they are a little older to do that. All lambs have also been DNA tested for scrapie disease.
May 11, 2016
Had the vet make a farm call yesterday to examine three sheep going to Louisiana. He also pulled a blood sample to check the ram for brucellosis. We should get the results back in the next couple of days. Then the vet will make out a health certificate and the sheep will be ready to travel to their new home.
May 10, 2016
We got all the ewes separated into three groups and put with the rams they will be bred to this season. The lambs will be due between October 7th and November 15th. Eight ewes were put with Lone Star Otis, ten ewes each were put with Lone Star Legend and also Lone Star Night Train. We're hoping for some lambs out of those breedings that are as good as the last ones. Some of these breedings are being repeated because we had such nice lambs last season.
May 6, 2016
Today we worked sheep. We had to move sheep, check sheep to see which ones needed to be de-wormed, some needed scrapie tags inserted, some needed their hooves trimmed. We also rotated the sheep on pastures so the grass won't get too far munched down.
Some graduated to the next level, either quality-wise, or age-wise. Four of the rams are old enough and large enough to be put in the same pasture as the adult rams. I am pleased to say that rather than fight, they put their heads down and began grazing on that new spring grass that has been growing while the pasture was resting. We also put four baby rams, just weaned, into the pen with some four month old rams. They needed to be with the boys instead of in the same pasture with the little ewe lambs.
We also pulled out three adult rams, Lone Star Otis, Lone Star Night Train and Lone Star Legend to be used for breeding this season. We trimmed their hooves, brushed them out (they are losing lots of winter wool) and basically made them presentable for the ladies they will be put in with tomorrow for the next six weeks. When we breed them, we like to leave them in with the ewes for six weeks which will cover two cycles since the ewes come into estrus every eighteen to twenty-one days. That way, the ram has ample time to cover all the ewes once, maybe twice before being taken back to the ram pasture.
We were the most impressed with the few yearling rams and seven month old rams that we looked at today. Wow, are they maturing nicely. Hopefully I can get some pictures of them to put on the website for you to see shortly. There was too much to do today to stop and take pictures.
Tomorrow we will sort through the ewes, putting them into three different pastures to be bred to the three different rams. I can't wait to see what we will get out of these breedings. I believe that this group of rams is the best group we have raised. If any of you want to buy a ram, now is the time and these are the ones to pick from. I want to get a good look at some of their pedigrees paired up with our ewes. I'll try to get some pictures of the rams tomorrow if it doesn't take us too long to sort all the ewes.
We also move the dogs along with their particular group of sheep. They miss their sheep when they get sent to another group.
Lone Star Farm | Barbados Blackbelly Sheep