Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Full Udders

I know everyone is just dying to see this, so here goes.

As I mentioned earlier I'm not milking Baby anymore because she is putting all her energy into making milk. Her thinness alarmed me and so I stopped milking and graining her. It's kind of a catch-22 situation, where if I give her grain to fatten her, it will make her keep producing milk. And that's what I don't want because she won't gain any weight.

Well I did ask the vet at the Ewephoric! web site about this. The Ewephoric! people are where we got Jamie. The answer was that if Baby is on good hay and wormed properly she will eventually dry up and start gaining weight. So that put my mind at ease.

Here you can see Baby's udder is full of milk. It must be a bit uncomfortable. So dry up already!!

And here are just a few before and after photos.

Jamie prior to milking. The left side is done.
And here her right side is done.

Production is slowing down overall. I'm not milking Ewenice anymore either because I was only getting approximately less than one cup for morning and evening milkings. I tried once a day but she appears to be drying up rather quickly. I'm still getting about 1 1/2 cups out of Francine once a day (mornings) so I'm still milking her. 3of4 gives me about 2 cups morning and evening and her mother, Jamie is the top producer with 4 to 5 cups morning and evening. That's not really disappointing at all because these aren't real dairy sheep.

The vet advised that Baby probably wouldn't cycle until she was dried up but the Dorsets, known for "out of season" breeding will probably start cycling again even though they are still lactating. He said I could put the ram with the ewes in September, so that's what I'm going to do. We'll see what happens.

I got my check from the auction yard for the lambs. They didn't all go for the same price, which I figured the smaller ones would get less. But anyway the good news is I got enough, even after the yard took their fees, to buy a couple tons of hay. Of course that money is going in my "secret stash" which I use for dire emergencies (like when we needed cash to buy Clyde) and little trips (like the one my mil and sil's and I are planning for sometime this fall). Or maybe buying a real dairy sheep? I highly recommend having a secret stash. My husband always forgets about it and... Well that's a whole 'nuther subject.

I just know you all wanted to see the back end of a sheep, so there you have it.

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