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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2009 :  07:44:45 AM  Show Profile
Well, glad he's getting something to eat. I like the stanchion we have for those reluctant mothers. I've only used it twice and bought it used from a sheep friend who went out of business but it works like a charm. It's the same width as the jugs so I take out the front panel/gate of the jug and put it in there and lock the ewes head in the head gate. She can still eat and drink out in the alleyway but she can't move and get away from the lamb who is trying to learn to eat. It allows her to slide her head up and down so she can lay down and get up, etc. It usually only takes a day or so and I let her loose to see how she's adjusting.

I feel so bad for the lambs when the mother acts like that...they just wanna have a good mama and don't understand the treatment they are getting and get skittish fast if she starts stomping around and butting.

We are all having our own issues, Sarita so don't feel alone. I have a few ewes who are not milking well even for twins as they've lost half of their udder production and a few lambs are looking "hunchy". I've got 2 on a bottle just supplementing them and another I can't seem to catch. The ewes are getting culled this year but in the meantime gotta make sure the lambs are doing well.

You know, I've been hoarding/storing colostrum from the single ewes most years but in the beginning used the "fake" colostrum and haven't seen a huge difference. I never have the orphans/supplemented lambs grow out like the mother-fed ones ever. They just don't learn to eat right or something and don't seem to ruminate as quickly as mother-fed lambs.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2009 :  10:32:15 AM  Show Profile
I could sure use some advice on getting the vegetation out of my fleeces. My sheep got into some burrs this spring (first time for everything I suppose) but they tend to have a lot of misc. stuff in them always. My kids bought me some Viking combs for Christmas but I haven't had time to try them out. Any advice on how to use them? I know Paradise Fibers has a video on U-Tube but I have dial-up so it's impossible to watch. This is only my second year with sheep. My friend who also has Shetlands sent some of her wool out last year for prep but it came back a mess - with little knots in the fiber. I'm not even sure which parts to skirt off other than the part with poop in it. Laugh at me if you will, but I am a fleece prep novice! Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Sheri
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2009 :  1:41:31 PM  Show Profile
Sheri - don't fret. Sorry I didn't answer your question earlier. I did see it and forgot.

I learned how to skirt a fleece from another sheep friend who spins. We all have to start somewhere and that's usually the beginning. The "pills" that your friend got back could be from a break in the fiber from stress/nutrition change or maybe the mill didn't know what they were doing.

I have Viking combs and they work well and make a nice spinning fiber. I took a class at the Shepherd's Extravaganza on how to comb and it helped a lot. Combing should remove most of the VM...way better than carding does for longer locks.

Picking out VM in raw fleeces is painstakingly tedious and I hate doing it. I have enough sheep that I usually just rip the bad parts out and toss it in the "tag pile" (tags are poopy parts). If you don't pick it out pretty well some will come out in the washing but sometimes it just makes a big mess too. To prevent VM in the first place, you need to think about your feeding situation. Now, we are going to get some different opinions here but we find feeding on the ground (hay, that is) is the best to keep the fleeces clean. I have feeders and they just are a big fat mess especially the head/neck/chest/back area gets full of VM when you're feeding alfalfa. Grass hay usually isn't so bad. Grain of course is best in a feeder but they'll pick that clean and not waste an ounce of that!

Do you have a place to spread out the fleece Sheri? I use 2 sawhorses, 2 long 2x6's for support and a piece of plastic white lattice to skirt mine. I hang the lattice on my garage wall on 2 nails when not in use. Spread that fleece out on something that has some sort of holes in it, so when you give parts of it a shake the VM will fall through to the floor. I put mine fleece sheared side down (tips up) and just start working my way around it, ripping off the tags first and any really VM'd parts and look for second cuts (those will cause pills in the processed fiber badly...forgot about that earlier in this post) and work them over good. Grab parts of the fleece and give it a shake so any VM or second cuts fall through.

There's a start. With all of the books and videos out there about spinning I would imagine there has got to be a good one available on how to go from sheep to shawl? Grace will know.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2009 :  8:12:13 PM  Show Profile
Sheri,don't be afraid to skirt, you may think you are saving but in the long run if the heavy VM areas mix in with your cleaner wool, then you have wasted both. I take the really clean wool and put it in one basket, then the questionable in another that way I am not mixing. I washed them separately. I have about hundred nylon bags that you wash lingerie in that zips. I don't ever agitate while washing but each time that I have washed or rinsed, I pull the wool out of the bag and shake it good. Lots of VM will fall out of the wool. By the time the wool has been in 3 cycles of cleaning and rinsing, it is pretty clean. Also burrs will come out easier from wet wool. (Sheep can be in a hundred acre pasture with one burr plant and come out with burrs in their fleece.) When I walk in the pasture, I keep an eye out for burrs, I chopped them off and then I pour about a cup of mineral on the stub...sometimes it works and sometimes I have to attack it again. The mineral or salt is safe for the sheep. Also if you can clip your pastures before the plants go to seed.
I have tried the different feeders for hay, I have purchased the small bales just to put in those feeders and always had so much vm on the neck (WHICH I SKIRT OUT) until this year when my husband rolled out hay for the cows and the sheep got into it, I noticed that they didn't have as much vm so that is how we feed now. I am like Jami, I know they say not to feed sheep on the ground but when the temps are freezing and if you roll it out in different places and the sheep leave the larger stemmy stuff and they lay on it which prevents them from laying in dirt or mud...it just worked good for us this year.
When you are shaking the wool, lots of times the second cuts that you missed while skirting will fall out too. I have a large picker that I swing back and forth that also helps get the wool cleaner and ready for carding. Also the pills can be caused from sunburnt tips on some sheep. As you skirt the wool take a stable of wool and pull on it up by your ear, hear the snap, it is ok but if it breaks, turn this wool into pincushion stuffing.
I also throw out the belly wool. Even though I know I could spin some very fine yarn with it....I have found that to be a very hard task and more trouble than it is worth.
Sheri, prevention of vm is the best bet.
Sarita in Mo.

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2009 :  07:42:49 AM  Show Profile
Grace, do you have a picker too? I might have to look into getting one of those. Sarita, tell me about yours please...brand, etc.

Thanks.
Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2009 :  07:57:35 AM  Show Profile
Thank you for your advice. I have been spreading the fleeces out on the picnic table outside to pick the debris out. Is there a good place to purchase the lingerie bags from? I think I have been afraid of wasting too much of the wool. I will have to be more aggressive with my skirting. What is the best temperature to wash the wool in and what detergent - what about the wool scour soap I have seen advertised, has anyone tried that? How do you spread it out to dry? The gal I bought my sheep from has a picker and said that on the shetland fleece it wanted to make knots just like in the wool she had sent out. She thought perhaps that was the problem with what the mill did. One lady that I spoke to that does processing said it was because the equipment he had couldn't handle the length of the shetland. Either way, I really can't afford to send it out so I have to learn how to do this myself. I guess I just don't want to make a mess of it.

Sheri
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2009 :  08:44:59 AM  Show Profile
Hi gals - sorry for the delay but we have warm weather and trying to get outside work done before the weather gets bad again this weekend.

The picker I have is the Large Triple Picker from Patrick Green. VM is the worst part of working fleece. My animals got really messy during this last storm - VM in the fleece but you just learn to work with it. The ladies are right with all their advise but I will throw in a few things of my own. First, for every minute you spend in prep on the fleece before shearing will save you hours at the processing tables. Next, not all mills know what they are doing - most will not take the time to do it right so really understand the contract and if someone is not will to do it right please make sure you have some way to get money back. Above all just breathe - when I am stressed I have no patience for working with a messy fleece, those fleeces I wait till I am in the right frame of mind because otherwise it may hit the trash. BREATHE!!!

Good luck and have fun.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2009 :  12:40:40 PM  Show Profile
A picker certainly isn't necessary Sheri. I've been processing my own wool for a while without one...but I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice!!

And small net laundry bags are available at our local dollar store, 2 for $1. I don't use the bags for raw wool but I do use them for felting knitted items.

On what soap to use, I used to use Orvus but then some mills didn't want it washed in Orvus and would rewash it if it was prewashed in it. I don't know the reasoning...again, Grace is much more knowledgeable than I am. Now I use any cheap liquid laundry detergent to wash my wool and I use the warmest water my hands can stand, almost too hot to handle. I use 5 gallon buckets outside. I let my wool just sit and soak in the first one with soap/detergent suds (no agitation of course) until the water cools a teensy bit, take it out and put it in another bucket with the same temperature rinse water and repeat it until the water is clear. It usually takes about 3 soaks and it's clean. I am like Grace where I pick out the VM before I wash it. Then I lay it out to dry on racks my DH built out of 2x4 frames with chicken wire over the top. I have heard not to dry in the sun but that's exactly what I do is dry it in the sun.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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twzlrwho
True Blue Farmgirl

199 Posts

christina
dewitt va
USA
199 Posts

Posted - Apr 24 2009 :  3:06:46 PM  Show Profile
This is just a shot in the dark but couldn't you use a little benadryl to dry the lambs lungs out? I have heard of this for puppies and a few other animals so maybe it could work for your little fellow. I of course am a newbie and it's just a guess. Is this a good idea or is benadryl bad for lambs?

Another question if I may. What kind (if any) of fowl can you keep goats with? I know they both have worm issues but if properly wormed is it possible? I will have ducks and turkeys soon and was just wondering about biosecurity.

Thanks in advance.

Grace, I am glad to finally see some nice weather come your way. I know you needed it.

Congrats everyone on their babies.

Christina


Work like you don't have to, love like you've never been hurt, and dance like nobody is watching :)
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 25 2009 :  1:29:34 PM  Show Profile
I have not used benedryl on the sheep, I will have to talk to my vet. Jami or Grace, have you? I use anti diarrhea meds for people on my sheep and cows. The lamb's lungs cleared. I literally held his mother so he could suck for 2 days. She was such a silly nilly willy that at times she couldn't let down her milk. He got the colostum that he needed so we are bottling now and is his mother ever a happy ewe! She doesn't want anywhere around him...she will not be here next lambing season!
I use dawn dish detergent to wash my wool, just the plain kind, no lotions or bleach added.
I also have the triple picker, and I don't use it on the longer fleeces. In fact, I am not one to use it much unless the fleece has lots of vm that I am trying to get rid of.
I just buy the cheap lingerie bags at dollar stores and Walmart.
I like to skirt my fleece, then put small sections in the lingerie bags. I first use very warm water with about a 1/4 c dawn stirred into the water, not added while I am filling the bucket, too many bubbles. I just lay the lingerie bag of wool on top of the water and let it sink, sometimes I take a wooden spoon but I don't touch the wool very much. I let my 5 gal buckets sit for about 10 minutes, then I gentley lift the bags back out of the water and let as much of the dirty water as possible drain out of the bag. I have a medal picnic table that has small holes that I lay the bags on to drain more. The next time I fill the buckets with water that is almost boiling, 160- 180 degrees and again I stir in the Dawn and let the bags of wool sink in the hot water. I again take the bags out and let drain on the table. I open each bag, shake the wool and pick out any vm that I can, and gently work the locks of wool, put it back in the bags and repeat. I do put the last washed bags in an older washer that has a spin cycle and let it spin...I never let the water run on top of my wool or let it agitate. I open the bags again and shake, back into the bags. I fill the washer with hot rinse water and again let the bags just sink down into the water, sit about 10 minutes and put it on the spin cycle to spin out all the water. If the wool feels clean I take it out of the bags, again shaking it and pulling it apart alittle and then put I put it on the racks my hubby made me that are a frame the size of a door with wire stretched across them then I take another rack and put it on top of the wool and secure with clamps. Since I spun most of the moisture out of the wool, it drys quickly. I am always taking the top frame off every little bit and picking the wool up and shaking it and pulling on it alittle and gently turning it so that the wool will dry evenly. Shetland wool is not as oily as the corridales so sometimes I can get away with just washing a couple of times in the Dawn. Most Shetland has a double coat and I have pulled some of the courser hair out and separated before spinning. The fine wool will pill if you break it, or card it short. I have spun a couple of shetland fleeces without carding at all, just taking my fingers and pulling it as I spun it. I always ask the processor if they have spun shetland and if I can see samples.


www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 25 2009 :  3:04:59 PM  Show Profile
Sarita thank you so much for your help. The weather here is very unsettled so I haven't been able to spread the fleeces out to do anything with them yet. I will have to go to town to get some soap and lingerie bags before I can proceed with any washing. I guess I will just jump in and hope for the best. What kind of wire did you use on your drying racks? I thought about plastic screening like you'd use in window screens so there wouldn't be any risk of the wire marking the wool. I assume that you are drying the wool outside. Will it hurt it if it is in the sun? Any advice on using the Viking combs? Will they work better than the hand cards with the Shetland fleece? Thanks again.

Sheri
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  03:53:24 AM  Show Profile
Sherri, I use chicken wire so that the vm can fall through. I dry my wool outside, upstairs in my studio, on the patio...just depends on the weather. Actually I like sunny warm windy days. I have the wool between the two screens and I sit it out in the wind and that also helps get rid of vm.
I don't own any Viking combs but yes they will work better on the longer stables. For the finer wool that is shorter, I use my carders.
Grace, are you getting nasty weather again?
I started working up my flower beds yesterday and so I was moving good rich dirt out of my compost...another benefit of my lambys...all my sheep bedding and barn cleanings go into my compost as well as any kitchen scraps. The big old fat worms were really on holiday in the pile. I always keep two piles going, one fresh and one that has sit at least 6 months that I use in flower beds and the garden. Every year in the fall I take the dirt and straw and put it under our fruit trees to help them winter and to fertilize.

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  07:58:58 AM  Show Profile
Hi Ladies

Sunday I cleaned out the chicken coop top to bottom ant the girls where thrilled. I too have big compost bins which use the bedding of all my sweet ones to create great dark comnpost. In fact, the hens found one of the compost bins and decided it was their mission to go worm hunting. Those girls ate till I thought they where going to burst.

Your right I am back into snow 4 inches so far and it is still coming down like gang busters. Spring in Colorado is interesting - I had cleaned up all my outside planters Saturday but I normally do not transplant my seedlings till after Mother's Day just because of the weather.

Saturday I sent the new goat babies outside to play and boy did they have fun. Is everyone done with their lambing and kidding yet? it is amazing to see the difference in sizes from my first round of babies to this last. The oldest babies are almost as big as their mothers. They are playing too rough with the newest one's so I have to keep them separated unless I am out there. I am still trying to get pictures but if it is not the weather it is lack of time. I promise to get some up soon. Well, outside in the snow I go AGAIN - I must admit I am getting tired of this...

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  08:11:25 AM  Show Profile
Sarita, nice detailed explanation on the washing technique. That should get Sherri started nicely. I too use chicken wire over the frames my DH built.

Grace, we are all done lambing and yes, the size differences and ages are interesting. We're out on pasture now for a few hours each day and the older lambs are "packing" and playing and the younger ones stick by mama if they can keep up with her grazing and nap a lot in the field. I have started worming the ewes that are looking milked down, just the triplet mothers mostly and a few random ewes. It's rather interesting which of my ewes look great and which ones look a bit haggard. They all looked great prior to lambing. Wish the grass would come on a bit quicker but we too are having the ebb and flow of cool/warm weather and it's a day to day thing. Froze last night again. I won't be putting my final plantings out in the garden until Mother's Day either.

On the Viking combs, I wonder if someone has a demo on U-tube? It's not hard by any means but there is a knack to it.

Well, I gotta get busy girls. Have a great day. Sarita, I still need to send you the lamb coat pattern...I'll get to it soon. I was in a meeting all Saturday with the sheep producers and a yesterday took a trip to Costco so the weekend was shot.
Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  09:15:42 AM  Show Profile
Jami, no big hurry about the lamb's coat pattern. I am certain that we are past the freezing weather here. I do need to find a pattern for covers to protect the wool. The apple trees are in full bloom...wish you could catch a whiff of that...mmmm! I planted some new bushes and 2 new sweet cherry trees yesterday. Grandson and family came in last night for his 14th birthday party...he doesn't want a cake, he wants me to make him a peach pie from our home grown peaches. He ate 3 slices!
The grass is getting there. I am still waiting on 3 ewes to lamb. Jami, the babies do grow so fast. They are nipping at the tender green grass beside their mothers already!
Grace, I can see your hens in that compost! I love to watch an old hen when she is busy and when she has new babies. We got rain last night and it is cloudy here and not as warm today. The wind has blown so hard the last few days. In fact our satalite TV isn't working this morning so I had to get the weather on the computer.
Jami, I wish we had an active sheep producers group here, did the meeting go well? Are there other sheep producers from Missouri that read this? I would really like to hear from you and find out the different breeds of sheep in this area.
Sheri, Jami is right about the Viking combs, there is a knack to using them, try to attend a local spinning group or wool show to watch them or try to find someone that uses them to watch them. Also, Sheri, it is very important that you get your wool clean the first time. If you don't get the lanolin out good and you store it for a few months, it is a gummy mess and it will require lots of work trying to recover it (if you can). When you do get it clean and dry, it is better to store in paper or cardboard where it can breath and the moths won't bother it so bad. I try to store with a little sack of lavender, smells good and the moths won't bother it as bad. Knock on wood...my yarn or wool doesn't sit that long. I use lots of yarn weaving and I sell the extra to other spinners and knitters.
I planted radish,carrots,lettuce, peas, beets, and lots of onions in March and they weathered the cold and snow and looking good. Peas are about 3-4 inches tall. I will plant the other garden in the next week or so. We had to mow the lawn this last week...I think Spring is here in Missouri...
Sarita




www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  10:57:40 AM  Show Profile
Again thank you for all your advice. Sorry to hear you're getting snow again Grace. We are having colder than normal here this week and could get a light snow during the night. I need these temps to warm up so my heating season will end!! My blackberries and raspberries keep getting nipped by frost this is getting ridiculous - especially since its cloudy and chilly but no rain to speak of - I had to turn on the outside water and water my strawberries they were so dry. I will have to try to locate someone to show me how to use the Viking combs - I know there is a demo on U-tube but my dial up is so slow it's impossible to watch. That is a drawback to rural living - good old dial up. I wish spring would quit joking around and settle in here.

Sheri
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kristin sherrill
True Blue Farmgirl

11303 Posts

kristin
chickamauga ga
USA
11303 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  1:47:29 PM  Show Profile
As of Sunday, we are done!!! Out of 6 does we have 13 kids. 11 bucklings and 2 doelings. Am I the only one here that has milk goats?

I have dial-up too, Sheri. I get so irritated when I can't see videos. We did just get the fiber optics put in up the road from us and the phone co. is checking to see if it's up to our house yet. So one day soon. Then I will be able to put pictures on here, too!

And I just got 2 ripe strawberries awhile ago! They are the best, those first ones.

Grace, I hope your snowy days are over.

Kris

Life is what you make it. Always has been. Always will be.
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  2:01:33 PM  Show Profile
Sarita, I have a pattern for adult sheep covers too. I'll make copies of it and send it along with the lamb coat pattern. The sheep producers here are pretty active but I am state exec for our state organization which in turn belongs to ASI (national organization) so those board meetings are quarterly and an all-day affair. Great group of people though. It is an asset to have an active group to keep all producers on top of laws, health issues and marketing, etc. Networking at its best.

Yeah, Kristin is finished now too! You had a big difference in boys to girls. Sometimes our different breeds will do that but every year no matter what, we end up with a 50/50 overall split of boys to girls. It's really interesting.

I am with Sarita on the Viking combs. If there are any spin-ins around your area, just bite the bullet and go and take your combs and get some advice there. I took a class and it sure helped me when I was a newbie.

Sheri, where is Elk? Up by Republic or NE WA? I'm in Ellensburg. If you ever get through here I could show you how to use the combs.

Grace, I laughed about your compost pile. We too compost horse manure and sheep doo and my garden is full of worms. It's funny, some days we're watering everything and other days we hope it doesn't freeze! It's a rollercoaster. Sarita, in thinking of your apple blossoms it reminded me that the Apple Blossom Festival in Wenatchee (over the hill from us) is going on now and I wonder if the trees cooperated with the festival...they are usually in full bloom but this year I don't know.

Jami in WA



Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  4:36:05 PM  Show Profile
Jami, what fabric do you make your coats out of? It ended up being rainy and cool today...spoke too soon!

Sarita

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  5:34:23 PM  Show Profile
I put up a picture of my drying rack on my blog, it is not the best picture but it will give you an idea what my drying racks looks like. These racks are also my skirting tables that I set on saw horses. (By the way, I usually don't lean it up against the Old M, my husband's tractor that he used when he was a boy that is waiting to be restored...after the old John Deere gets finished!

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 27 2009 :  9:33:24 PM  Show Profile
Jami, Elk is half way between Spokane and Newport off of Hwy 2 about 8 miles. Sarita, Thanks for posting the pics of the drying/skirting racks it was just about what I had pictured. I'll have to get some chicken wire and build some. The wind here today was COLD. I am so tired of this. They are predicting at least three more days of this before any kind of warm up. My friend that has a green house traded me some beautiful potted salad greens, baby bok choy, chard, dill - yum. She has been hardening them off on her porch but it's so chilly this evening I hope they don't freeze out on my porch. Tomorrow I'm back to transplanting tomatoes into pots from the ponys. Always the busy season.

Sheri
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2009 :  07:26:09 AM  Show Profile
Sarita, I have tried a few fabrics for coats but remember, I bailed on using those years ago with our coyote problems and such, I just worried and fretted that the coats would be easy "handles" for the coyotes to take a ewe down.

I have used canvas material (not super stiff) but I got some Cordura from Seattle Fabrics (outdoor fabric store...it's not outside but the fabrics are meant for outdoor living, etc.) and it worked well but was expensive. The pattern I have is from a gal in Oregon who raises Romneys I think and she prefers a cotton canvas as it breathes but it also will rip easier than the Cordura.

Sheri, I figured you were over "there" somewhere north of Spokane but wasn't sure. There are probably lots of spinners over there and fiber artists. I know of a gal near Newport that you might know. Her name is Kamiah and her DH is a shearer (I won't put last names here but her name is unique enough, you'd know her if I mention her first name). I wonder if she knows how to use combs?? She has a few Shetlands I know because I bought some roving from her at a fundraising auction once.

Sarita, your dryer racks look a lot like mine but now I might ask DH to fix mine up to sandwich the fleece in between like that. Now I just have the single layer...lays flat on the ground and sometimes I chase fleece in the wind blowing away but I do put it up against the dog's chain link fence so it doesn't go far.

I'll catch up with ya'll later.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 28 2009 :  7:13:10 PM  Show Profile
Kris, way to go, wish I was done lambing. I would love to have a couple of milk goats but my husband was raised on a milking farm and he absolutely forbids me to have anything that requires milking...I think he missed alots of functions when he was a kid. They could never go on vacations or even go to the fair. His folks sold out after he and I got married and they got a camper and stayed gone for a week at a time.
Jami, I have worried about the ewes getting caught in fences with the coats and the coyotes too. I also think about all the trouble of changing sizes and monitoring the wool and skin under the coats. (as a spinner, I think that the ladies that spun years ago did not have a perfect fleece but the wool sells at a much higher price raw. Or is it worth all the work and cost of the coats needed?) Ohs with me, what is a sheep lady to do! HEE HEE I am a bit giddy tonight...being a school nurse and dealing with teachers and students and parents concerned with the Swine Flu today has taken everything out of me. We have a community meeting tomorrow with some state people to work out a emergency plan for our community in case this thing gets bad.
Oh, my drying racks also are light weight so when I get in a situation where I have to pen up and catch a ewe in an area without pens, I use my racks and wire them together to make a make a make-shift pen...works like a charm.
Sheri, hope you can find someone to help you with the combs.
Grace, are you getting rain or more snow? We are in the rain off and on for the next week. Had flood water over the highway this morning and I had to drive an extra 24 miles to work and back today.
I may get to finish lambing this week...hope this goes well and all the girls do well. Lambs are bouncing everywhere and tonight they were racing in the east lot. I enjoy just watching and laughing!
Sarita in Mo.

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Contentment is the crown jewel of a happy life.
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  08:02:12 AM  Show Profile
I wanted to get a pygmy goat because they are so darned cute but DH said "no more species!" meaning different fencing needs and feed needs, etc. than our current lot of critters. Milking is definitely something you have to do day in-day out so I don't blame your DH for not wanting to live that life again.

Jami in WA

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 29 2009 :  09:13:05 AM  Show Profile
Jami
My grandson had those and one was always getting his head stuck in the fence!!!!!!! This would then upset the others.
Rae

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31
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