Saturday, December 2, 2006

Winter is fast approaching and we are moving towards the
winter way of doing things.  All of the ewes have had a
chance to breed and are now in the barn for the winter.  
Lambing should begin the end of January.  We are
evaluating what worked well this past year and we think
the early lambs did better than the late ones.  The
summer conditions are more difficult than the winter and
early spring, and the lamb growth reflected this.  We
started our breeding the last of August and removed the
last ram from clean-up breeding today.  Depending on the
performance of this years lamb crop we may adjust the
breeding for next year.  One of the advantages of Gulf
Coast Sheep is that they will breed in the heat of summer
when many breeds are completely shut down.

We are hoping to get an addition on our barn to
accommodate the increase in our sheep flock and in our
chicken numbers.  In the meantime, our chickens are still
outside, but we have started having lights on to increase
the day length and keep the egg production going.  Our
young pullets are not quite mature and should start laying
in January.

The beef cattle are still out on pasture, but are getting
most of their feed intake from hay and a daily supplement
of beet pulp.  We have two angus yearlings that should
finish out next year and two dairy calves that came with
Tess, our dairy cow.  One of those is her Jersey calf and
the other is a red and white Holstein.  They will be for
2008.

Tess is now giving us  milk for our family and enough for a
few cow shares.  When Black Pearl, our heifer from Tess,
freshens in June we will be able to expand our cow shares.

We are going to try shifting to fall shearing.  This will give
the ewes in the barn more room and should give us better
quality wool.  

Be sure to check out our wool blankets, made from a blend
of our wool, and wool from other small farms, available
now.  Prices are $100 each, and the blankets are all
queen-size. Photos on the sheep and wool page. Contact us
if you would like to order one, or want more information.