Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2013 - The Year of the Ram

We had three sets of triplets and two sets of twins this year (one stillborn). That’s ten rams & two ewes. Yes, it’s one of thooooose years again. The last time we had a year like this was 2007, the year Blossom was born. She was the *only* ewe out of that year’s crop of lambs. One of the rams is a runt - seriously. For our breed, a three pound lamb is tiny. Other flock members are double to quadruple his birth weight. Little “Tyrion’s” body temperature dropped severely (92.8) after birth so I brought him into the house & put him in a sink of warm water to bring it up. He had a few pretty significant ups & downs through his first few hours, but he made it through, and is now strong, healthy & back in the barn with his siblings. He still gets bottles of lamb milk replacer three times a day, but he is learning to be a sheep out with the flock. Although we miss having him in the house, charging around like a little version of the cartoon Roadrunner in his oversized diapers & onesie, I’m glad he’s able to be out there.
The two keys to getting these little ones off to a good start are colostrum (the “real” stuff from mommy), and keeping body temperature in a normal range (101.5 - 103). That meant going out to the barn & milking Tyrion’s mom, Contessa, and making sure he got that through his first few days. And of course, the colostrum doesn’t digest well if the body temperature is too low. So those are both critical ingredients to having a good outcome. We were especially lucky in that Tyrion had no other complicating factors - no infection or respiratory problems. He’s a little miracle, up to 7.5 lbs now at two+ weeks of age.
We have a lot of spectacular colors & patterns - spots of various shapes & configurations, grays, moorits, chocolates. . . I can hardly wait to see how their little fleeces grow out. And yes, we do plan to show at Black Sheep Gathering this June. By that time, we should be able to assess the quality of their fiber & body structure.
Right now, I’m busily sorting through washed fleeces & getting them off for processing. We should have some roving & yarn available (as well as raw fleeces), for the Wonderful Woollies sale in April. :-) And speaking of Wonderful Woollies, we have a few new farms participating! So there will be more diversity in sheep breeds represented, along with angora (mohair) goat & camelid. And our favorite spindle maker will be here, too! Allan Berry will be here with his hand-carved Turkish spindles & crochet hooks, each a work of art. Save the date - APRIL 13, 2013 (Saturday) 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Hope to see you here!


  1. Hello from Seattle! I just discovered your blog through an ad in last summer's Spin-Off mag. I love the story about Tyrion. This is the first I've heard about Wonderful Woolies. Can you tell me more or direct me to more info?

    1. Wonderful Woollies sale will be at our farm, Spinners Eden, 5740 Mertz Rd., Bellingham WA 98226 on April 13, 2013, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We have several farms participating, with a variety of sheep/goat/camelid fibers. It's a great time to come out & see the lambs & shop for special spinning fibers. More info at: http://www.spinnersedenfarm.com Hope to see you here!

  2. Thanks so much! I will try to make it. Good luck with those sweet little lambs!