Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lamb Watch

I'm (kind of) on lamb watch, hoping that at least one of two possibly pregnant ewes is getting ready to have lambs.

Normally I would know but Jacy, a young white Classic Cheviot was in with Wee Mad Arthur for almost 5 weeks and though I never saw any breeding activity, odds are she should be bred. However, she's a first-timer and a naturally zaftig girl, so she might not have ovulated. So is she or isn't she? She's huge but all that bulk could be fat!

The other possibility is Wren, one of my favorite sheep. I saw her bred (many times) but she passed her due date last Thursday and has no udder development, so she probably doesn't have lambs on board. I'll keep her in the preggo pen until this coming Thursday just in case. Hope springs eternal.

I'm hoping for at least one more lamb as our one Classic Cheviot lamb to date (Wolf Moon Gunnar Woolenbrau, pictured above) is going to Lisa Piccolo in Oklahoma and he'll need a friend. My old ewe, Baannie, is due in July, so her lamb could be little Gunnar's friend but there would be a huge gap in their ages.

Our Classic Cheviots are also registered with the Miniature Cheviot registry. We also have a geriatric Wiltshire Horn cross ewe (Angel), a Dorper-Katahdin wether (Mopple of The Mopple Chronicles fame), a Scottish Blackface ram (Othello), and two Scottish Blackface-Classic Cheviot whoops! lambs (Ronnie and Zora) created when Othello got out with the main flock last November.

Sheep are my primary passion, along with goats, so I fully enjoyed writing The Backyard Goat and The Backyard Sheep for Storey Publishing. The Backyard Sheep will be released next spring.

Homegrown Pork is less fun because I don't like thinking of animals as meat but it's a necessary work. Gajillions of people who never thought of raising their own food are doing it now and that includes raising a backyard pig for pork. Homegrown Pork will show readers how to do it humanely. It also covers what to do with all that meat. It incorporates dozens of old recipes from the mid-1800s to early 1900s, when most country people raised and processed their own pigs. That part has been lots of fun researching. I think it will be a good book!

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