Monday, June 27, 2016

Adding Sheep to the Flock



Our flock has been increased by five. A couple of weeks ago, we purchased a group of  Border Leicester ewes. They came from a homestead that had added sheep, but after a barn fire, they decided to sell.

Upon inspection, they were found to be overdue for shearing, and body condition was poor. Even so, they didn't appear to have any health problems.




When bringing new sheep to the farm, their first stop is a stall in the barn.

Day one, we leave them alone, as they can be a little stressed from the move.

Day two, Shearing! We decided to shear them ourselves. They were pretty calm about it, so we were able to get all of them done in one morning. The fleeces were overgrown and matted, but even in that condition, I could tell they have gorgeous wool. I am looking forward to next years fleeces.

We checked feet, the hooves were in good shape and didn't need any trimming.

They were given a dose of dewormer, and were immunized.

Week two, the ewes were moved into the barnyard, where they have free choice hay and a little grain to get their body condition to where it should be.




Within the next week they will be moved to the  pasture with the other sheep.

They are really nice looking ewes, and should be a nice addition to the flock.


 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #57







Welcome to the Hop!


So hard to believe we are into the summer months already.

What has you busy this time of year?

Looking forward to you post!

Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead 

Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 

 (Most Clicked on Post)

Finding Your Simple


My Featured Post




Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.




 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png




Thursday, June 16, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Hop #56



Welcome to the Hop!

The first cut of hay is in the barn, lambs are growing and some have found new homes, and I am still working through the wool that I have bagged up in the mill.

What has you busy this time of year?

Looking forward to you post!


Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead 

Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 


 (Most Clicked on Post)


Keep your red spices in the freezer for maximum freshness.


My Featured Post 

Raising Beef Cattle


Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.








 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png



Monday, June 13, 2016

Sheep need a Shepherd





When you raise livestock whether it be sheep, goats, chickens etc. you will have losses. It is just part of the farming experience. It has been part of ours, raising sheep.  But, one thing that has not been our experience is the idea that sheep are just looking for a reason to die. 

If I had a dollar for every time that I heard that... (I could buy more sheep :) )

I think sheep are amazing animals but I do not think they are for everyone. They do need some basic care. 

If you plan on raising sheep here is a list of some of their basic needs


1. Sheep need sheared. Unless they are hair sheep, you need to plan on shearing them yearly. Sheep do not "shed' their annual wool clip and can become quite miserable when they are not sheared. The wool gets matted, heavy and in my opinion, the sheep can lose body condition. 


2. Sheep eat grass. If grass is not available they need quality hay. If you cannot find quality hay, plan on supplementing that lesser quality hay with grain. We plan on 5 pounds of hay a day, but that can vary depending on size of sheep and cold weather.  Our sheep are on pasture 12 months a year, our pastures are not anything special but the sheep manage to stay in good condition through the spring and summer months. When there is no grass we feed quality hay. Our sheep very seldom get grain, but we have added it to their diet, when needed.


3. Clean water. Sometimes in the winter that can be a challenge, breaking ice out of the water buckets, can be a daily chore. Watering time, has become our time to check on the sheep daily, a reason we do not have automatic waterers. (not that they are a bad thing)


4. Salt and Minerals. There is a mix you can buy at the local farm store, made just for sheep. Not any salt and mineral mix will do. Some are actually toxic to sheep as they can have too much copper added. It should be fed free choice.


5. Protection. Sheep can do really well without a shelter, our pastures have natural windbreaks and areas of shade. Very seldom do we need to bring them into the barn. They do need protection against predators, so if they are raised on pasture, good fencing is a must. When we bought our first sheep, we put them out in portable fencing during the day and brought them into the barn at night. 


6. A parasite program. As with other livestock, sheep can become infested with internal or external parasites. Some sheep are more resistant to parasites, but all sheep can get them. Sheep will die if they are not controlled. Vets, are usually willing to do fecal samples at a reasonable cost, so you can keep an eye on their parasite load. 


7. A shepherd. Our sheep are not pets, they roam the pastures, and are not handled on a daily basis. They do a great job converting grass to meat and wool. But even though we are pretty hands off, that does not mean they are ignored. They need to be watched and cared for. After raising them for many years, we can usually tell when something is not quite right and take care of a problem right away. We still have losses, that is part of shepherding, but we can keep them to a minimum with just a little care.


This is just a basic list, something to think about if you are considering sheep. 


 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png



Thursday, June 9, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop #55


Welcome to the Hop!

What has you busy this time of year?
The hay is cut, now we are just hoping it will dry and get baled before it rains!

Looking forward to you post!


Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead 

Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 


Featured Post (Most Clicked on Post)


How to save money by eliminating budget busters. We all have pesky leaks in our budgets that stop us from achieving our true goals in life. Here is real help with step by step directions for eliminating those budget busters. Totally free.




Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.


 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Our Simple Homestead Hop #54






Welcome to the Hop!

What has you busy this time of year?
We are hoping to get our first cut of hay this week. I need to clean out the garden beds and start planting. I it just hard to believe it is June already....we are getting behind.
Looking forward to you post!


Tracy
Sandra
Sandra at ClearwaterFarm
Facebook - Pinterest Instagram -Google+
Nancy 
Kathi 

Our Simple Homestead 

Blog Hop- Co-Host
LeeAnn & Alex 




Congratulations!
We look forward to seeing what you have to share this week!  If you would like to be featured in the future, be sure to link back to the hop. We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured bloggers this week.

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Family friendly posts only!-No links to blog hops or posts dedicated to advertising products.-Please share posts that you haven’t linked up previously to keep the hop fresh.-Please visit other bloggers and let them know you found them here!-If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on any host’s blog... in your post, side bar, or blog hop page) with the button or a text link!-Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business.-Only share content and photos that you have created or have permission to share.-By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post and share one photo if you are featured.
 Please note: Posts that don’t follow these few little guidelines will be removed.





Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Shearing Your Own Sheep





We hire a sheep shearer to come and shear our sheep every year. But there are times when we have to shear a sheep.

This past weekend we purchased two ewes, who had not been sheared this year. Shearing sheep is not my favorite thing to do, but we have done it and can manage a couple of ewes.

To shear your own sheep you need shears. We have several types, some are better for clipping show lambs, but we do have shears that work for shearing a sheep in full fleece. There are hand shears as well, that are a cheaper alternative to buying shears, but are more of a workout for your hands.

We have a sheep stand that gets used when we are shearing show lambs. They are "trained" to the stand. These two ewes are more like our sheep in the pasture, they were NOT going to just stand there and let us remove their wool without some serious protest. So, we pulled out a tarp and on their bottoms they went.

Mike has taken a sheep shearing class, we have watched our shearer for years but that doesn't qualify us as a sheep shearers. One thing you learn really quick as you are trying to shear your own,  it is harder than it looks.

The first ewe we did was the yearling who had never been sheared before. Why not pick the most challenging one first? There were three of us, we could handle it!  When you place a sheep on their bottom, somethings happens-they sit there! They stop fighting, moving, and trying to flee.  The challenge is to keep them there and shear at the same time. As I mentioned before, there were three of us, so it wasn't as challenging as it would be for one person, with not much experience working on their own.

We  She survived her first shearing


What takes our shearer 3 minutes, took us about 20. Her wool clip was very long and it was not easy to get through. The second ewe had a much lighter fleece, and it only took us about 10 minutes.

Lovely BFL/BL locks


What are the pros of shearing your own sheep?

If you only have a few sheep, it can be difficult to find a shearer willing to come out and shear your sheep.

If you plan on keeping your wool, you can take your time and make sure there are no second cuts etc. Shearers are not always concerned about the wool clip.

You don't have to pay a shearer. You will have to buy the equipment to do you own, but if you decide on hand shearers, the investment is minimal.

You can work around your own schedule, working on one or two sheep at a time.

Cons?

Unless you are as good as the sheep shearer, it takes a lot more time.

I find it is more stressful on the sheep when we do it. There is a art to moving the sheep as you are shearing to keeps them calm.

It does cost money to hire a sheep shearer, but I think it is worth every penny.

7 Year old gave us a much easier time of it.



If you have a desire to shear sheep, practice makes perfect! There are classes you can take, and videos you can watch. You may even get good enough to make money on the side, shearing for others.

I will continue to hire a sheep shearer every year,  but it is a job that we have to do ourselves, on occasion



 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png


Related Post

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...