We had beautiful September lambs, 2016.

We had beautiful September lambs, 2016.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Spring 2017 Shearing is done

Once again we have a nice pile of new fleeces for Spring of 2017. I will be posting photos of available fleeces soon.

We have three bred Romney ewes who will be due the end of March through the end of April. Hopefully we will be getting some color. Nigel is a beautiful grey multi-white Romney ram.  All three of our breeder girls, Meia, Nora and Nadia are white ewes, but color carriers.

We will be doing Spring 2017 breeding for Fall 2017 Romeldale CVM lambs, again. We've got the pairings down on paper and will do the pen relocating in another week or so.  Hoping for some more great color with the Romedales, too.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

2016 is Here

We didn't breed any ewes this past fall. After having deliveries in the bitter cold and spending too many hours in the barn in carhart clothing last February, we are trying spring breeding for fall lambs this year. Because I also have a completely separate career, having lambs born in warmer weather and outdoors, seems to be the way to go.  I know others do fall breeding as well, so we are giving it a try for 2016.  Hopefully we will have better odds than last season as well, when 13 of the 14 lambs born, were rams. Unfortunately, that doesn't make for many starter flocks.

We will be breeding Nigel, our grey and white Romney ram to our three white Romney ewes, Meia, Nora and Nadia - his first season.  Since all the girls are color carriers, we will hopefully get some nice Romney colored lambs, too.

The Romeldale rams will be yearling moorit, out of our favorite ewes and two older rams (which we no longer have).  It will be interesting to see what Colby, Cedrick and Castile, can produce.

Shearing is currently planned for February 20 and 27.  Cleaned and skirted fleeces will be available for sale the beginning of March, 2016.  Be sure to email us at: sunnysilvermaplefarm@yahoo.com, to reserve your fleeces. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Romeldale CVM sheep rams for sale 2015

Write to sunnysilvermaplefarm@yahoo.com for prices and details.

Romeldale CVM Rams For Sale 2015

Have a few really nice black Romeldale CVM rams for sale. Barker is a yearling with fabulous fleece.  4+ inch staple length, very fine, great handle and luster. His mother, Lola, has won lots of prizes at Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival, always first or second in fine fleece division, and top three at Iowa State Fair in fine fleece division.

For some reason we've had a lot of black rams the past two years.  All good natured and easy to handle.

Barker's half-brother, a weanling this year, is showing the same fleece qualities.

Another really nice weanling out of Lobelia has the same fleece characteristics.

There are a few others that would make nice flock breeding rams as well.

Its that time of year.  Email sunnysilvermaplefarm@yahoo.com if you're looking for a nice breeding ram.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

First Lambs 2015

Lobelia, a first time mother, gave birth yesterday to two strapping ram lambs. Their father, Notch, is also a first time parent.  Notch is a moorit ram and his first born was also a moorit ram.  The second is either black or may turn dark grey like his mother.

Both lambs are doing well. This morning their ears were tagged and tail's done.  They also had their first coats put on - the sleeve of a men's medium sweatshirt with leg holes cut out.  They are hunkered down in their stall with mom, a heat lamp, lots of straw and wind protection all around - which they need today! Winter in Iowa isn't letting up at all - even though we've had an occasional break of nice weather.  Wind chills today are currently -3 degrees and the wind is rattling everything that can rattle - gusts up to 40 m.p.h.

We are so lucky to have the old hip-roof barn for our sheep.  The various stalls we've been able to create offer each mother a10x20 foot space of their own, for lambing. The way the lambing is staggered to occur this year, it should work out well to rotate them through their lambing stall and gradually back into the regular flock population.

Next expected delivery - and hopefully today - is Lola.  We will keep everyone posted.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Lamb Wait in Progress

Ewes were sheared this past Thursday and I'm seeing some very nice fleeces again, this year. The eleven fleeces are individually wrapped in sheets and stacked in my home office. I will begin skirting this weekend. We used a new shearer this year and are very pleased with his work and company.  He will be back in April or May, to shear the boys.

The girls all look scrawny and small with their fleece gone.  I am happy to see udders filling up and rounded bellies in everyone.  There were a couple that we weren't sure about and getting past all of the fleece, our wishes are confirmed and we should have five of the girls due in a couple of weeks, three due the middle of March and the remaining young girls - if bred, April or May.

Today we will spread more straw and turn a couple of heat lamps on in case anyone delivers early. Exciting and scary time of year.  Happy for new lambs, but stressful worrying about everything that can go wrong.  We will keep a positive outlook and take each day as it comes.  We are enjoying the unseasonably warm January weather and hope it lasts as the countdown continues.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Count down to lambs

Its getting into the middle of December.  The girls and boys are separated and the countdown begins for spring lambs. What happens in-between, you may ask? Its not just a waiting game.  We still have ewes that need their coats changed out to a larger size - for their (hopefully) growing bellies as well as their growing fleece.  Coat changing can be tricky sometimes.  The older girls are used to the handling.  Once they see us heading for their paddock with a pile of new coats, after a few minutes of catch-me-if-you-can, it quickly turns into okay-I'm-done-running-away-lets-get-this-over-with attitude.  The younger girls, though, and a couple of the older gals with attitude, usually need to be tricked into a smaller space where we play the "catch-me" game a little longer.  But, once everyone is caught, they stand nicely and let us change their coats.

What else needs to done? We need to confirm a shearing date.  Preferably the end of January or beginning of February.  Since we like the shearing done prior to lambing, we really can't go any later than that.  Girls were put with boys the middle of September. Counting down five months from then, my first lambs will likely begin arriving the middle of February - which, as 2014 flies by - isn't too far away.

By the middle of January I will have the birthing stalls set up, which means fresh straw on stand-by, heat lambs hung in various locations, extra heatlamp bulbs stacked in the feed room and making sure we're starting with a clean debris-free area.

Then, the true waiting period begins.  After shearing, I will do middle-of-the-night barn checks.  First-thing-in-the-morning barn checks. Drive-home-for-lunch barn checks. You get the picture.  We keep a close eye on our girls when lambing season is here.

A bonus this year - we hope - is that two of our miniature horses should also be delivering come March and April.  If all goes well, Sunny Silver Maple Farm will be bustling with new life and activity come Spring of 2015.  In the meantime, hope all are warm and healthy and happy as our warm weather slowly slips away into the true depths of winter. Happy Holidays from Sunny Silver Maple Farm.