I realize I have to be more diligent about rotating the sheep within the tight confines of my small farm. On the Fourth, when the sheep were finally sheared, Flora very conveniently deposited a nice pile of sheep beans on the shearer's foot. Those were sent off to the vet for analysis, as I thought she showed signs of being wormy. Right-o. The results came back and she's loaded, so I'll drench her tonight (with Kay's help) and tackle the rest on an as-caught basis. Poor old dear. I wonder if there is a female shepherd out there that does all this stuff solo. If so, she must be strong as an ox and a LOT younger than I.
I am going to have to come up with more marketing ideas, it seems, as it's necessary to reduce the sheep population by almost half before winter. Acacia (one of Flora's ewe lamb twins) is going to Heartsease Farm in Dansville the weekend after next, so that leaves three more to go: Hazel (Flora's other ewe twin), Banyan and Hickory (Cocoa's ram/ewe twins). Actually, either Banyan or Juniper can go - both are moorit mouflon soon-to-be-wethers (Banyan's on his way there, Juni's time is nigh). Juni is growing an impressive set of horns, though, and that is usually a deal-breaker, even though he is the sweetest little guy. They are all beautiful lambs and will make a wonderful addition to someones fiber flock. I am keeping Linden because a) he is sweet and b) he is a white soon-to-be wether. I think most people are looking for color in their flock.
The Red Rangers have their date with destiny next Tuesday. They are going late, as I would have rather had them smaller -- I swear they are small turkey-sized.* I have nothing but good things to say about them, though. They grew well, are calm, lovely birds and forage well. That will be one less chore, so it's all good.
Next Monday, Linden gets banded and we check to see if Juni has grown enough. That will be a relief to have done, as I do not want any surprises this spring. Lambs are not in the plans for this farm for a while.
I have been slowly working on skirting all of Flora's fleeces and have a good amount of fleece ready for the fiber mill. We are going to be up in the area on Tuesday, so I will bring it along and drop it off for processing. Apparently, they are not fast on the return, which is fine with me, as I would rather deal with wool in the fall. And it will give me an idea of how well they turn it out. I have a large assortment of fleece (fleeces?) but I want to keep a couple to wash, card and spin myself. I am determined to learn to spin this winter. Now that the Boyz are only mildly insane, I might be able to work on it without dealing with flying cats tangling up my yarn.
Grendal, my female Muscovy, and Alfie the Pekin drake are in the market for a new home. They are too disruptive and need to go elsewhere. I will have to think about Puff's happiness, which will probably have to include a small drake of some type. She, apparently, cannot live without a man. My sister is graciously house sitting for me while I take Acacia to Dansville. She and her husband will take their four little pullets home with them when they leave. So it looks like I am on track for meeting my downsizing goals.
*It seems the freezer, after a thorough defrosting and two-day rest, is coming back to life! Woot!!