Thursday, May 27, 2010

Expansion in Spring 2010

Sheep Farm has expanded. It is now on it's own parcel and is a satellite of The Fields Sculpture Park. Starting in 2007 Sheep Farm had been located in the western area of the park grounds. During the past year a new piece of land has been developed for this environmental installation. The new location is about 1/4 mile from the park lands. There is a roadside viewing area.
To see Sheep Farm walk or drive to the right along the road in front of the Visitor's Center (County 22), turn left at the next road (Talarico Rd.). Sheep Farm will on the left at the corner of Spook Rock Rd.
Literature, directions and a map are available at The Fields Sculpture Park in the Visitor's Center.

Monday, October 12, 2009

mating season 2009

Rutting or mating season is this time of year at Sheep Farm.

I sold one of my two rams in order to avoid dangerous (and sometimes, deadly) conflicts. I've separated out the Ewe lambs I don't want impregnated. I'm hoping to get five to eight new lambs for Sheep Farm in March.

Wool has been processed and is for sale.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Lambs

Today, marks the beginning of the newest phase of Sheep Farm. The lambs have been born, their eating has stabilized and they are docked and vacinated and castrated where neccesary. All together, three ewes, two wethers and one ram.

Triplets were born on March 12th. The first, a white female was born just as the sun came out after a tremendous ice storm at about 3:15PM. She is named Sunshine. Then the drama started. The second, a black female came out backwards and I needed to remove the placenta quickly before she drowned. She was quite weak and couldn't nurse to get the colostrum from her mom. I put her in a bucket of warm water and dried her briskly with a towel to get her temperature up. At that point a third, a white male arrived easily and the mom concentrated on him and the first. The second was rejected totally, so I fed her colostrum formula directly into her stomach by tube and syringe. She still spends the night in the house and I feed her milk replacer by bottle.

Two days later, the second ewe gave birth outside in 20 degree weather to a white male. After letting her lick and become bonded I brought them into the lambing pens in the barn. Everything has been fine and the lamb is doing well.

A day later a third ewe gave birth in to a white female. The process and results were much the same as the day before.

A forth ewe had already begun a long period of appearing ready to lamb. Her udder was very full and nearly the size of a soccer ball. She seemed healthy and was walking and eating. As the week or more went by her udder turned blue and hard and cold near the bottom. I suspected mastitis and phoned the vet. He concurred but thought it might still turn out O'K. I massaged her udder on a regular basis and it seemed to stabilize. At 5:30 AM on the 28th, she finally gave birth to a stillborn white female that I pulled out to relieve her and make way for the possibility of a second. As I was finally giving up trying to revive the dead one, a second, a black male, came out in the freezing pasture. The mom licked and bonded, but her udder was too low for him to nurse. Adding to the problem, she had two false nipples up high that the weak new lamb went fruitlessly after. I milked her and bottle-fed him to ensure he would get colostrum. After milkings every two hours for 36 hours, I finally got him to nurse directly by lying on the floor of the pen and supporting her udder. In a few days he got strong enough to kneel down and get the lower proper nipples.

Excepting the sad still-born, all is well and they will be back at The Fields Sculpture Park by May. I plan to have a shearing on April 28th, but that date is yet to be finalized. I will update as soon as I know for sure.

I continue to make photographs and footage for a video.

Monday, January 14, 2008

new location for lambing period

Today, 14, Jan 2008, I have moved the sheep from The Fields Sculpture Park to my place for lambing. The sheep will return to the sculpture park in early spring. I will post new photos soon.
Portraits of the sheep are available.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007