Category: Hard truth

Lambs Arrive

We’ve been preparing for lambs over the last few days. Ever-rounder ewes have warned us that it’s time to plan. These are some of our most ostentatiously pregnant ewes: We started by placing our order from Premier 1 Supplies. We bought fresh new bottles and nipples for the inevitable bottle lambs, smore syringes and needles, and a can of colostrum replacer. We like to … Read More Lambs Arrive

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Lamb Open House – Y/N in 2021?

No matter how much I pet them, my sheep crave attention. I have several who will stop at nothing for shoulder-scritches, up to and including the yearling ewe from my last blog post who now will try to stand on your chest for attention. Needless to say, but we are training her not to do that. We have a little over a month of … Read More Lamb Open House – Y/N in 2021?

Sheep Behaving Badly

I have some entertaining pictures of recent sheep activity. After 45 days in the barn, the ewes express their restlessness with weird stunts. Activity #1 – Fighting BFL 129 Amelia and Border Leicester 1736 go head to head, with our resident ram lamb goading them on. Sheep flocks have a hierarchy, and apparently these girls do not agree about where they stand in the … Read More Sheep Behaving Badly

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Running of the Rams

I felt grateful for a morning full of sunshine this morning. We’re well past our first frost and we know that snow is right around the corner, so it wasn’t surprising to step out to 35F temperatures and a crisp wind. I usually get started by filling the water tank in the bucket of the tractor. We recently replaced our old Ford with a … Read More Running of the Rams

Pregnancy Checks and some Updates

With temperatures in the low single digits today, we are surely in the thick of winter.  Last week, we finally received the replacement barn-ends that we ordered after the back of the barn tore in half during the Halloween storm.  Unfortunately, Matt and I concluded that we won’t actually complete the repairs until spring.  Neither of us want to battle stiff, uncooperative materials in … Read More Pregnancy Checks and some Updates

Two Old Women

I’ve been sharing a series of pictures of ewes in the flock to help show people the individuals in the web of stories in the flock.  I am enjoying sharing these images – I want people to know how we see our ewes as singular beings with their own personalities. We have two ewes who are a little extra-special, though. Their names are K … Read More Two Old Women

Our Bountiful Wild Harvest

At Cloverworks Farm, we raise lamb as an enterprise plus chicken and ducks for our own use.  We also have some wild foods on the farm – you may recall that a few months ago, we were hastily picking a variety of berries.  Now is the harvest time for our apples, crabapples and rosehips. We are overrun with apples this year.  In all seriousness, … Read More Our Bountiful Wild Harvest

Lamb Enterprise Calculator

I recently read a conversation on the Vermont Sheep and Goat Association listserv on the topic of calculating a profitable lamb production enterprise.  Some producers hadn’t calculated their production costs, while others weren’t sure what market prices looked like. For our lamb enterprise, I calculated our cost of production and then did a bit of research on comparable products.  Comparable products are lamb produced … Read More Lamb Enterprise Calculator

Lamb Frustration

This year, I have a few naughty lambs. Border Leicester #125, who is a really pretty ewe lamb, and her sidekick Border Leicester #151 persistently wiggle their way out of our electric fencing.  Sometimes, Border Leicester #122 joins in. For a while, it really was my fault.  We only had a 1 joule charger on a large amount of fence, and the charge simply … Read More Lamb Frustration

Summer Arrives

Summer arrives to find the bobolinks have fledged from our neighbor’s hayfield.   Three streaky brown birds making little plink calls were flitting and bouncing around the pasture I set up for the sheep.  I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide habitat to this struggling species. We are so close to weaning time.  I know the ewes are ready to send their lambs off on their … Read More Summer Arrives

The Reality of Yarn

Don’t get me wrong.  Playing with yarn gives me great joy.  I love the texture, the sheepy scent, the slight dust of it.  I love the whole sensory experience and I am always happy to have more yarn. This year, instead of having our yarn made into pre-measured skeins at the mill, we elected to have it delivered on huge cones to be made … Read More The Reality of Yarn

Goslings Arrive

We have goslings! The geese sat patiently on their eggs for most of April.  One goose set herself up beneath some haying equipment, allowing us to leave her generally alone.  Approaching the tarp-covered implement would invariably elicit a hiss. The second goose laid her eggs in the ram barn, right next to the rams who still needed regular feeding.  So she honked, hissed and … Read More Goslings Arrive