Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Who stole my clothes?

The goats were sheared on Monday














I think they were glad to get rid of their fleece after all the hot weather we've been having. Of course, now they've been sheared it's cloudy and cool!

A pretty exhausting day - we started at 7 a.m and finally finished sorting everybody out at 10 p.m. The shearer finished at 7.45 p.m - he sheared 78 goats and must have been knackered.

The baby bucks (19 of them) have now been penned in a barn on their own for a couple of weeks while they deal with being weaned, and we can keep an eye on them - long time readers may remember we lost Smiley's brother Pig Pen last year after his first shearing, the result of his developing an odeama. This year, to try and help with the stress, they all got a dose of aconite spray. I've been doing a bit of research into homeopathic remedies for animals and have also bought some apis mel tablets which, amongst other things, is supposed to help with conditions which result in water retention - which is basically what an odeama is. We've heard positive things from other breeders who have used homeopathy to treat their goats, and to be honest if there is a natural remedy I'd far rather try that than pump them full of drugs.

Anyway, fingers crossed they'll all be alright. A couple of the buck kids have got mild odeamas already (difficult to see when they're in full fleece), so they're getting apis mel 3 times a day. The fact that they had odeamas before being sheared was quite a surprise, as we've not encountered this before. It could well be due to the stress caused by the severe heat in recent weeks.

Today is another first for us. We have sold 3 of our does to another breeder and they are going to their new home this evening. They are going to a much smaller flock than ours, and to a very nice home where I know they'll be loved so it's not too much of a wrench, but it will still be strange to watch them go.

We've reached the stage now where we really must control numbers, and only keep the best of the best, so we will be having a bit of a cull at the end of the summer. There's also no way we can add another 19 bucks to what we already have so these kids will gradually be thinned out over the winter. Hopefully there's another Smiley in there somewhere!

I've already cleaned about half of the kid fleece that was sheared. I hope to get the rest done over the next couple of weeks and then it will be sent off to be spun into yarn. I'm planning to get some done as pure kid mohair, and some as a kid/silk mix (very much like Rowan Kidsilk Haze). I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Talking of yarn, I'm finally knitting something that isn't socks!














This is the Waterlily Top from Interweave Knits Spring 06














I've just reached the point where I divide for the front and back, and hope to finish it within the next couple of days. It's an enjoyable knit so far, but let's reserve final judgement until we see how it turns out!

6 Comments:

Anonymous Rose said...

Oohhh...homemade Kidsilk Crack! You have to let us know how it turns out.

2:34 pm  
Blogger Sarah said...

Aww, they look so cute all white and nekkid!

If I was on your side of the pond I'd totally help you out and take a few goats off your hands!

I can't wait to see the yarn from the mill!

5:34 pm  
Blogger aija said...

So cute! The color for your waterlily is great.

7:00 pm  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

It must be so exciting to get yarn from animals you've cared for yourself! Can't wait to see it!

12:31 am  
Blogger mf said...

What you got rid of all the fleece?? Oh NO!! The kids are the best fleeces... I'm working on the same top and the same color too...;o)) Great minds think alike! ;o)

1:52 am  
Blogger Iris said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog Carolyn - we've had a lovely time in the lake district!

Hope things will go smoothly this year after the shearing. The goats look very cute without all their big fleece. ;-) And I can't wait to see the yarn - how exciting!!

9:24 pm  

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