Archive for the 'Advice' Category

Other spellings

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

I’m not certain why, but there are different spellings floating around.  I always use Navajo-Churro which is what the breed association uses but you might also find Navaho and Churra out in print.  And don’t forget that a ‘churro’ can also be a doughnut-like pastry or even a sausage in places.

Whichever, enjoy!!

Lamb recipe

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Received earlier today:
Hi Marian
I made a leg of lamb with a piece of meat you sold us last fall, and I want to pass on the (simple) recipe I used.
After defrosting the leg in the refrigerator for a day, I removed the meat and cut little 1″ slits at various places and inserted peeled garlic cloves in the holes. I rubbed the meat with olive oil and then applied salt, pepper and a little paprika. I let the meat come to room temperature and then placed it uncovered in a glass baking dish at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Using the 25-minutes-per pound assumption I roasted the meat for about 2 hours, checking the temperature at the 1-hour 45-min mark. It needed the whole two hours before the juices
ran clear, even though the interior temp was well above the 130-135 for medium rare. I removed the meat from the oven and covered it with aluminum foil for 15 mins. While the meat was resting I moved the drippings to a sauce pan, heated it and made a delicious gravy with the drippings, 1 tablespoon flour, and 6 ounces of my homemade porter beer. Served the meat with some roasted parsnip chips and snow peas. DELICIOUS! Thanks to Land & Lamb, not the recipe!
ps: Rick I also cover the lamb (once the garlic is inserted) with a generous past of Dijon mustard….!!

lambing supplies

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Here is what I keep on hand for the just-in-case times that occur from year to year:

In the freezer I have Merrick’s Super Lamb instant milk replacer as well as colostrum which I get from a neighboring organic dairy farm.

Among other items in my lambing-time bucket I have up-to-the-shoulder OB gloves and OB gel so I can always have a clean, slippery hand if I need to straighten-out an unborn lamb (still in the uterus) .  These are available from most livestock supply catalogs .   I also keep   Betadine scrub in a squeeze bottle which could be used with warm water and a soft cloth if there is a prolapse (after the lambs are weaned I’d cull that ewe but that’s my management).

For the every-lamb needs:  nutri-drench (a brownish vitamin & mineral goo that I give from a pump-bottle), sharp scissors and chlorhexadine in a teat-dipper (livestock supply catalog again) for cutting and dipping the lamb’s umbilical cord.  [I don’t use 7% iodine solution because it ‘burns,’ but that is my management practice and other opinions differ.]

weak lambs

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

Twin lambs that don’t seem to be thriving like the others?  If the ewe’s udder looks okay, my guess is the ewe— for some reason— isn’t making enough milk.  So I worm the ewe, give the lambs some extra lamb vitamins, and offer them “warm” sheep-milk-replacer.  By ‘warm’ I mean neutral to my wrist.  Dried sheep-milk-replacer (I use Merrick Super Lamb) is something I keep on hand (a 5-pound tub in my big freezer from year to year) for the just-in-case times.  If I can entice the lamb(s) to suck on the bottle then this will supplement what they’re getting form Mom.  I always leave lambs in with the flock so they learn to be ‘sheep’ but a little extra milk can only help them be thrive.  [Note: I will transition them to liking cold milk later on, just because it is easier for me.  For now though warm is most like Mom.]

New lambs

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

All of our 2009 lambs are now born and looking great.  If the sun stays out photos will be posted on the Land & Lamb web site.  Colors include brown, badgers and one ‘reverse badger,’ totally black and several ‘Two Grey Hills’ black.  They’re rushing around  and growing and ever so cute as they begin to eat hay.

Shearing nutrition

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

This Spring was weather-lucky: with rain the night before (the sheep were locked inside & thus dry) the weather was warming. But it is still early March so I have whole corn on hand to give them extra fat/energy. It is easy, they love it and it gives them a boost (and my neighbor sheared only 5 days earlier and his sheep faced a ten-below-zero night … time for whole corn!!

No shearer and lambs due??

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

With longer wool breeds (like churros) ‘crupping’ your ewes is one solution. Take a scissors and [with someone strong holding the ewe tightly] carefully cut the dangle-y long wool near the udder. What you want to achieve is to give the newborn lamb(s) an unobstructed path to the udder. When they’re first born and staggering under instinct-only, you want zero obstructions for them. They need to suck on a teat-filled-with-milk and not suck on wool thinking they’re in the right place
clear?

Spring shots?

Friday, February 6th, 2009

My philosophy is not to bother the sheep more then needed.  Thus I vaccinate everyone each Spring with CD-T when the shearer is here (note: I shear 2-3 weeks before the lambs are due).  This provides some protection to the lambs through the placenta/milk.

I vaccinate the lambs roughly at 5 weeks and 7 weeks of age and then they are good for a year, needing only rabies later on.

Normally, I worm the ewes the day they lamb— when I do ear-tags and tail dockings (day #1 of the lambs’ life).  Then I leave them alone for a day or two, just hay and clean water.  Everyone gets acquainted then out they go into the big [bad] world.

COLD WEATHER

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

This morning was minus 16 at 7 a.m. — cold even for sheep! Knowing the forecast, I gave them some whole corn in addition to their supper-hay. Navajo-Churro sheep don’t need grain or corn but minus 16 is COLD (and tonight should be even colder) and the energy from the corn oil along with the roughage increases the benefit.

Feeders

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Trying to keep my fleece free of loose hay— and after years and years (and years) of building a new feeder every year to that end— I believe a permutation of the Premier Sheep Co design is the best, easiest, cheapest for flocks of 10+.

Premier sells the wire panels (I think no sheep need anything other than their 4″ by 4″ grid) and you supply the lumber and labor.  My only change is a solid plywood panel at the front top edge so no hay can spill down.

Build them 8 ft or 12 ft or even 16 ft (very heavy to move) long, as dividers, along a wall, stand-alone