Shadow Ridge Farm`s Sheep


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October 6, 2014

Posted by JulesPizz on October 6, 2014 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (2)

Working hard to update all 4 of my web sites and my sheep site seems to be on the tail end of getting this project done!

Wow...well...for starters I sold off all of my American Blackbelly sheep. My problem with them was that for the market here everyone who was wanting a butcher animal wanted a 100 pound (or better) hanging weight on a 6 month old lamb...Not gonna happen with this breed! The Blackbelly is a small animal comparatively to wool sheep in the first place and slow to mature as well. Taking animals to the local livestock auctions was a huge losing venture financially as well. I think the hair sheep breeds have just not quite caught on with the meat market buying populatin. I am so hoping that will change!

I ventured into the world of the Dorper breed in late September of 2013. We purchased a 2 year old ram and a year old ewe and 2 young lambs. This experience turned out to be bitter sweet...The 2 lambs were supposed to be ewes. One was a ram. They NEVER grew...and consequently both died a few months later. I didn`t have them necropsied as I knew I wouldn`t be compensated by their breeder anyway. The UP side was that we welcomed a ewe lamb into our world several months later from the pairing of our 2 adults. What a hard way to enter into a new breed but I am hopeful that what I read and studied of their high rate of gain is correct. With this little ewe that seems to be proving true.

After we purchased the Dorpers and sold off the American Blackbellys we purchased several head of Katahdins. One ram and 7 bred ewes. Out of the ewes 5 lambed in early 2014. They were bred by the ram we purchased. I have subsequently sold that ram and am planning to cross breed with the Dorper ram for the upcoming lambing season. Again~hoping for high rate of gain lambs. Pictures to be added soon! I have a handful of crossbred ewes here still~mostly Katahdin and Blackbelly background with a touch of Polypay. My flock numbers 22 head at this writing... Until next blog!

Day After Thanksgiving 2012

Posted by JulesPizz on November 23, 2012 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal with my parents at their house with hubster doing most of the cooking as he loves to do! Now where to start with all the progress reports for over the end of the summer and into the fall with our sheep projects...

Phill built a wonderful new sheep shelter that is super tall so that we can add side shelters to both sides in the future. We still need to close in the ends but the sheep are loving it. They don`t like to be in fully enclosed buildings at any rate so this is working wonderfully. He also enclosed a huge paddock area surrounding the shelter made out of cattle panels. Expensive material but wonderful for protection and safety factors. He put in 2 large metal gates with beautiful treated posts for their entry ways. It looks great!

On lamb count we are up to 35 lambs out of 18 ewes. Several of the ewes have lambed twice this year. We lost a few lambs to coyotes and one young ram (Malone) to ingesting poisonous mushrooms along with selling a few of the flock as well. Total herd number as of today is 35 ewes and 22 rams for a total of 57 head. We were planning to take several of the excess rams to the local sale but plans fell through. Turns out that was a good thing as prices were very low for the head that went through. I am going to concentrate on selling them privately instead along with plans for butchering some for ourselves throughout this upcoming winter. The paddock being built will help considerably with predator losses in our future. I will still be free ranging when weather/climate will permit in the spring again but will be rotating pasture paddocks for the newborns and their mothers.

I am going to add pictures of our new shelter and paddock area soon. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving~Until next time~Jules and the crew

Spring has sprung and summer is running away!

Posted by JulesPizz on August 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

My oh my have I ever gotten behind in all things computer! It is now August 28, 2012 and we have had 30 lambs born up to this date this year from 17 ewes (a few of them having lambed twice in 2012). I am currently trying to get all the new lamb pics added to my 2012 lambs page and have run into a bit of difficulty once again...sigh...At any rate...I hope all of you fellow sheep folks are having a wonderful summer! More soon! Jules and the herd

Happy Valentine`s Day...a day late!

Posted by JulesPizz on February 15, 2012 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Wow...Busy times here on the farm. Seems I am always running behind. Got the taxes finished and in so that is accomplished. We have only 2 more ewes to lamb in the near future (any time now) so that brings our 2012 lamb tally up to 13 newbies now (8 girls and 5 boys). We had 9 born at the end of 2011 so we have a total of 21 little ones (after losing 2 lambs~one still born and 1 lost to a predator) running about the farm now! We had a total of 37 lambs born in 2011...our all time high so far. I am so hoping I get the extras marketed at the proper time...wheeee....Always something happenin` here! :) I am trying to update all my sites so I am going to pop out and go add pics to my pug site. Until next time~Jules

9 new lambs and more to come...Dec. 17, 2011

Posted by JulesPizz on December 17, 2011 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

If my calculations are right we should be greeting a few more new lambs this coming week. We have 9 newbies out of 7 ewes as of December 7, 2011. Two sets of twins, 5 girls and 4 boys of which one girl is a Painted Desert with the remaining 4 girls being ABB and 2 PD boys with 2 ABB. All are doing well as are their mothers and all are thriving. Thank goodness our weather is being on the tame side for this time of the year as well which really helps with my moral when out doing the watering and general chores!

Gearing up for 2012 and hoping all my fellow farm friends are doing well!!! Until the next updates~Jules

Round 2 of lambing! October 28, 2011

Posted by JulesPizz on October 28, 2011 at 3:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I was greeted this morning to my Beauty (ABB ewe) having given birth to a beautiful and large healthy ABB baby girl. I put her first pic on the 2011 lambs page. I was surprised as I thought Beauty wasn`t due until next month but I was obviously wrong.

I am expecting several more ewes to lamb at any time. I have to get them moved into their winter quarters soon also as the coyote threat is still alive and real...unfortunately! No recent losses but having ewes due and still on free range does not make for good security at all. More soon!

Important info on proper definitiins between ABB and BBB

Posted by JulesPizz on September 30, 2011 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Many many thanks to Carol Elkins- secretary of the Barbados Blackbelly Sheep Association, International or BBSAI for enlightening me of the error of my ways. I am guilty guilty guilty of using the wrong name for the very variety of sheep I raise (other than my crossbreeds with my polypay and now Katahdins as well). I have continuously refered to my American Blackbelly sheep with the inclusion of Barbados in their description/name when in fact they are no such critter. Please refer to my home page and my "In the beginning" page and the new links I have posted to my links page to clear up the misunderstanding in the term(s). Paint me embarrassed for my faux pas! I knew that my original flock was American Blackbelly but I kept including Barbados in the name and it doesn`t belong there. I literally had to go through most every single page of my web site here to correct that error. I probably still have the error in some of the content-specifically in my blog entries which I am not going to go back and correct as it would be too many of them at this point in time- but I will be using the correct names from now on as I go along. I am sorry for possibly confusing folks! I really want to emphasize my thanks to Carol Elkins for her patience in educating me to this error. I have included her personal farm link on my links page as well and I highly recommend you all to visit her very informative site. 

On another note~we still have not eradicated the coyote issue and in fact lost yet one more ewe to what we are sure was the coyote(s) this past week. She was an adult to boot which is even more threatening as it proves how bold this creature has become...or desperate? More stealthy? I am so wanting to put an end to those losses! Working on it but it is a matter of being in the right place at the right time more than anything with free ranging animals :( 

I am gearing up for another round of lambing that is due to happen at any time now with a couple of our ewes...Check back for more updates and pics often and don`t forget to check out all the new links I have added to my links page! Until next blog~Jules    

Latest updates

Posted by JulesPizz on July 31, 2011 at 4:03 PM Comments comments (0)

wow...I am behind once again. OK...on the lambing count we have had 28 lambs born to 16 ewes as of July of 2011. Losses have been heavy due to a severe coyote issue amongst other various things that can and do go wrong on farmsteads but the predator coyote has been the worst of the worst. We have a very large (we believe to be male) coyote that may or may not be some sort of a hybrid as he is unusually large for your average coyote. Although hubster has had several different opportunities to get a shot off at him so far all attempts have failed. He was either in the wrong position (too dangerous IE neighbors being in the sites of the gun) or he was on a dead run. The number of living lambs now stands at 15-7 girls and 8 boys as of July 31, 2011.

On a lighter better note~we had the great pleasure of meeting a couple from Washington state that we negotiated with for the sale of our beloved Barbados ram "Ring" in June. Ring left our farm to live with Denny and Cindy Brune on June 22, 2011. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank them both for the wonderful updates they have been supplying me with and for the meticulous great care they are following with making Ring a comfortable wonderful new home. I am so looking forward to seeing him sire many wonderful new get for them in the very near future of the development of their sheep endeavors on their farm. THANK YOU Brunes!!!

We are expecting a second crop of lambs to start arriving some time in November. Hopefully...we will have this coyote situation resolved by then. We lost several geese also but to a second coyote we believe to be a female judging by her smaller size and demeanor. More updates soon!

11 ewes have now lambed

Posted by JulesPizz on March 22, 2011 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Spring has sprung as of the calendar date anyway! We had the Super moon on Sunday night and I got to enjoy it a LOT as I was outside with Sandy for many hours helping her through a difficult triplet lambing episode. She had a still born baby calico girl first followed by a calco boy and the third baby was a Barbados marked girl. The third baby was very weak and Sandy was pretty exhausted by the end of the lambing so I decided to take the girl into the house to bottle raise. The calico boy was standing and nursing when I went in. I checked them every hour up to 6 AM whereupon I took an hour`s nap. Everyone is doing well today~the 22nd of March. I have named the boy Moon River (both for the Super moon and for the rivers of spring run off water we have roiling all over our place right now.) I named my little girl Angel as the timing of her birth was the anniversary of my baby sister`s passing 7 years ago...bittersweet... 

I have 6 more ewes to go and then Maggie should lamb again sometime in late July or early August. My bottle babies stand at 2 now with Bizzy boy (Maggie`s boy) growing like a weed. I am hoping that I can put his new "sister" in a play pen outside together as soon as weather permits for short periods of time together. Hopefully they will acclimate more to each other and less to me that way. Mean time~they are doing well and easier on me than I thought bottle babies would be :) Until next blog all~Jules

Seven ewes have now lambed...

Posted by JulesPizz on March 8, 2011 at 3:53 PM Comments comments (0)

On the 24rth of February our Maggie lambed for her first time. Unfortunately, this happened during the worst blizzard we have had all winter. She had twins~a boy and a girl but she had them out in the open instead of in her shelter. I found the twins in time to bring them inside and dry them completely but it wasn`t in time to save the little girl. I am bottle feeding the boy and he is gaining daily. I was able to purchase colostrum and lamb milk replacer from Mary`s Feed and it is agreeing with him so so far so good!

Freckles followed in Maggie`s footsteps a few days later on Feb. 28, 2011 with a singleton HUGE calico baby boy. He too is doing great.

Cookie lambed on March 7, 2011 bringing us 2 more Black Belly baby boys. All their pics are on the 2011 lambs page. I also added a video of some of the lambs playing on a round hay bale so if you have time...enjoy by clicking on the video page. Until next blog all...Jules Pizz and the crew here.