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NEWS FLASH: We entered one fleece in the 2012 MD Sheep & Wool Festival Fleece Show and won SECOND PLACE! The fleece was from 4 year old Deer Run Aria, a "blue" daughter of Mountain Vewe Daryl and out of Turtle Creek Octavia. I was very proud of Aria, since she grew that beautiful fleece while also growing twin lambs. We kept her ram lamb.
DEER RUN COOPWORTHS GO TO COLLEGE
Last fall, the resident Shepherd at Warren Wilson College, a private four-year work college in Asheville, NC contacted us about adding Coopworths to the college farm. Warren Wilson is known
for its curriculum of work, academics, and service, called "the Triad," which requires every student to work an on-campus job, perform at least one hundred hours of community service over four years and complete a requisite course of academic work in order to graduate.
The Shepherd said that the college has hogs, cattle, and Katadin (a hair breed) sheep, and wanted to add a dual purpose breed for the fiber arts students.
We had been recommended by a friend of his who had purchased Deer Run sheep years ago. We suggested a 4 year old ewe and 3 ewe lambs. The sheep were exposed to several different rams here, and the college shepherd came and picked up the ewes last month.
The sheep will soon be shorn, and the fiberarts students will have some lovely Coopworth wool to play with, and this spring they will have a new crop of Coopworth lambs bouncing in their pastures! We thank the College for selecting Deer Run Farm Coopworths as the foundation for their Coopworth flock, and wish them great success.
We brought home a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) pup! You can read about our adventures with "Bob", our new Karakachan Livestock Guardian Dog pup, at The Puppy Diaries.
Our new ram, Carli, from Silver Creek Lambscapes in Oregon arrived June 10- We are so excited that Maria allowed us to purchase this outstanding young Coopworth ram!
Silver Creek Carli
Born 12-27-06, Carli ranked #3 out of 250 ram lambs based on 30, 60, and 120 day weights, wool weights, and consideration for birth ranking and overall structure and wool quality. As a yearling in 2008, Carli won Reserve Champion in the All Other Breeds Wool Division at the Oregon State Fair.
We will again participate in the ACR booth at the MD Sheep and Wool Festival this year, but the booth has been moved. See The American Coopworth Registry for more info.
The quads born April 2nd are doing well. We set up a “lamb bar” so they can self feed. The lamb bar is made from a 5 gal. plastic bucket and nipple assembly from Premier 1. I have been filling it with a whole cow’s milk- milk replacer recipe. 1 qt. whole milk, 3 oz evaporated milk, 1T powdered buttermilk (I used cultured buttermilk from my grocery store). Mix, refrigerate. You feed this cold to prevent gorging, put a jug of ice or bag of ice cubes inside to keep it cold longer in hot water. Goat’s milk would be better, but we have had no scours this year feeding the cow’s milk- perhaps because this is just a supplement, the quads are also nursing mom, and all are finally out on pasture.
I have also set up a creep feeder in the corner of the barn- made from a hog panel with a few horizontal bars removed. I put soybean meal in the creep feeder at first, am now transitioning to a locally mixed “lamb starter” feed. We don’t usually set up a creep feeder, but with the quads and a set of twins out of a 12 month old ewe, I want to help those moms feed their lambs. We were finally able to turn the ewes and lambs out to pasture last weekend, so that will help the moms a lot. Still feeding some grain, as the ewes are in peak production time with 4-6 week old lambs.
Our 4 year old ewe, "Hatchtown Louise" gave birth to quads- 3boys and a girl- on Thursday evening, April the 2nd. I popped out to the barn to check on her before I left for a meeting, and there lay a new born lamb in a puddle behind her! I grabbed a towel, ran in the pen and cleared his nose and brought him around so mom could clean him off. After changing out of my "going to town clothes" and calling to tell the club president that I would not be making it, I went back and helped Louise deliver 3 more babies (one was rear first with a leg back, I straightened the leg and pulled). We are supplementing the babies, but Louise is being a great mom, and nursing all four!
It has been a while since I've entered an update in our "News" page! Last fall we purchased French Hill Baritone, a blue ram from Maine by way of Connecticut. We had purchased 2 ewes sired by Baritone from Regina Malsbury several years ago, and liked the fleeces on them. Baritone was bred to a group of ewes, who will start lambing any day!
Our first lamb of 2009 was a single white ram out of Marta, sired by Obsidian. The same day, Cora had trips, 2 white rams and a black ewe, also by Obsidian (that is Cora pictured above- her black lamb is behind her). A few days later, we woke to find a set of blue trips with Octavia, and blue twins out of Beatrice...all by Hatch.
Congratulations to Alex B. of NJ, who won first place Longwool fleece, and best 4-H fleece at the 2008 MD Sheep and Wool Festival Fleece Show with the fleece of his silver/blue ewe, Deer Run Daphne! Daphnie is sired by Hatch and out of Delilia, who won the Coopworth fleece class at MD a few years ago!
We have had a busy summer. Callum and I showed some sheep at our small local Fair- he won a first place showmanship ribbon with his "market lamb", Bethany, a Coopworth X Bluefaced Leicester...several commercial breeders told us she was a nice looking ewe lamb! (photo at right, Cal & Bethany are on the right) I showed a natural colored ram lamb, Dougal (who is for sale). The judge thought he was well grown for a late April lamb, especially when I told her he was a twin raised on pasture...she liked the consistency of his fleece, too. He received a first place and Champion ribbons, but it really does not count, as he was the only ram in the class!
After the fair, we moved our daughter to Boston, and then went to ME to spend a few days with some of our ACR friends. We brought home a new natural colored quadruplet ram, Mountain Vewe Daryl (photo at left), who has Mountain Vewe and Hidden Valley bloodlines, and an aged white ewe, Mountain Vewe Pearl, who has the older Mountain Vewe New Zealand and Australia AI Coopworth bloodlines that I like.
Speaking of shows, I want to congratulate the Byrnes boys of NJ, who have been doing very well this summer with their Deer Run yearling ewes...and they HAVE had some competition!
ACR Booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival!
We participated in the ACR booth at the MD Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend. I had made the locker hooked banner pictured on the left, and Pam and Nina made the vertical felt banner pictured on the right. We were set up in the t-shirt building, and sold Coopworth fleeces, roving, yarn, pelts, my locker hook kits, and cards all supplied by Coopworth breeders. It was fun and hectic at times...we plan to do it again next year, so if you come to "Maryland", be sure to stop and say Hi!
Delilia & twin rams (one is already sold)
We finished lambing on 4/27 with Delilia giving us twin blue ram lambs by Hatch.
All 6 of the first time moms had singles this year, 5 ewes had twins, and we had 2 sets of triplets (Hannah gave me a ewe lamb-along with 2 rams, this year!). We have quite a few white lambs- Whitman's babies are large boned with wonderful fleece, but I didn't expect any color from his "Wild n Woolly" bloodlines- and I didn't get it! Little Stanton, at only 5 months of age, fathered 2 white ram lambs out of 2 different yearlings. Stanton is really growing, and I love his fleece...I think he is going to be something special, and I am already looking forward to next year!
Some of the lambs are reserved, so as soon as we see who wants what, I'll put some photos and information on the "for sale" page. Here are a couple of pictures of the sheep enjoying the lush spring pasture.
Hatchtown Hannah and trips on left
Thea's trips on right
We started the lambing season on a sad note this year. Last week I went out to the barn for the morning feeding and found Hatchtown Tillie on her back in the barn with a lamb's head hanging out of her. I pulled the lamb, but could not resuscitate him. I weighed him, and he weighed 16.5 lbs!
This was Tillie’s first lambing. She is a two-year old- one of the group of sheep that we purchased from New England last year. I was very disappointed to have lost her lamb. One always questions what could have been done to prevent the loss. Perhaps I had overfed her- we have been forced to feed less than top quality hay the past few years,
and I have supplemented with about 1 lb. of whole corn and 1/10 of a pound of soybean meal for the past 6 weeks. This was probably too much feed for a nearly full grown ewe carrying a single. Tillie tried to mother her dead baby, and cried for him for a few days, but she has recovered, and we have hope that next year she will have healthy twins.
On a brighter note, one of our old ladies, 8 year old Deer Run Thea, lambed right on schedule on 2-21 with triplets- 2 ewes and a ram, sired by Whitman. Thea is a great example of a hard working Coopworth ewe. She is medium sized, has had 19 lambs in 7 years, always a wonderful mom, and shears about 9-10 lbs of wool per year.
Deer Run Thea and trips
Here is a recent photo of our girl, Blackthorn's Ilse of Deer Run at about 18 months of age.
Below is a photo of Deer Run Stanton, one of the triplet lambs born last June out of Mountain Vewe Martha (see June 2006, below). He is a nice looking ram lamb, and I put him with a couple of ewe lambs last November. I don't know if he bred any of them, but I sure hope so!
Deer Run Stanton at 3 months.
Breeding season is finished for this year. We have a total of 15 ewes bred to Hatchtown Hatch, Silver Creek Obsidian, Deer Run Whitman, and perhaps Deer Run Stanton. We are getting reservations for lambs already, so contact us soon if you are interested. You can see photos of our rams on the "stock for sale" page.
It doesn't look like the yearling ewes that we purchased in Jan. are going to lamb this summer, but Regina told me that Hidden Valley Stilton, who was placed in the trailer with Martha, was very interested in her...looks like they became good friends, as Martha delivered triplets on June 11th!
Mountain Vewe Martha and triplets.
One of Hatchtown Hannah's '06 ram lamb twins by "Hatch".
Here is a photo of a pair of twins wearing "jackets" made from the lower legs of my son's old sweatpants. The elastic on the leg is around the neck, and I cut holes for the front legs. These can work great for weak lambs born in very cold weather, but since they are cotton, and dry from the outside in (rather than wicking moisture away from the skin, as wool does), I would not put them on lambs that will be outside in the rain.
Well, lambing started on March 6 when our 3/4 Bluefaced Leicester ewe, Ethnie, gave birth to white twin ewe lambs sired by "Sid".
Ethnie's ewe lamb
The next day, Delilia presented us with 2 silver/blue and one black triplet ewe lambs sired by "Hatch"..
On Saturday, Wynona lambed with twin ewe lambs- one white, one black, and about 2 hours later, her mom, Silvia, lambed with twin white ewe lambs! Wynona's lambs are by "Sid", and Silvia's are by Whitman.
2006 ewe lambs
We finally had our first ram lambs on 3/15 when Selene had white twin rams by Whitman. The next day, Hannah gave birth to twin silver/blue ram lambs by "Hatch".
Six ewes down and 16 to go!
Thanks to a new ACR member who was making the trip to New England from West Virginia, we were able to purchase 4 ewes from Jim and Pam Child's Hatchtown Farm in Maine (including a daughter of Toula, the 2nd place Coopworth fleece at the 2005 MD Sheep and Wool Festival), 2 ewes from Regina Malsbury's Turtle Creek Farm in Conneticut, and 1 ewe from Marianne Dube's Mountain Vewe Farm in Vermont. These ewes bring some new blood to the Mid-Atlantic region! The ewes were open, and are in with Silver Creek Obsidian, our new ram from Oregon. If it isn't too late in the season, we will have some summer lambs from them, which I probably won't want to part with!.
Hatchtown and Turtle Creek lambs
Ilse and lambs say "Hi"
Silver Creek Obsidian
Mountain Vewe Martha
All of the ewes have been with their rams since early October. We have 4 breeding groups this year!
Hatchtown Hatch is with Delilia and Hannah. He has given us some really nice natural colored lambs from these ewes in the past, but only one of them was a ewe lamb...a triplet out of Delilia, which I have kept. I'm hoping to get some more ewe lambs to keep this time!
Silver Creek Obsidian, our new ram from Oregon is with 7 ewes, including the Bluefaced Leicester crosses. He is wearing a "marking harness" and has marked all his girls!
Whitman, our white "Wild 'n Wooly" ram is with 2 nice white ewes.
We re-purchased a ram, Deer Run Wyn (triplet brother to Wynona, below- sired by a Wild 'n Wooly ram and out of a daughter of our NZ AI ram, Hidden Valley Fergus) along with 2 white "Hatch" daughters and their 2 blue "Pepper" '05 ewe lambs. We had sold Wyn and the bred ewes last winter, but the owner was moving, and couldn't take them along.
at left is a photo of them. I have Wyn for sale, and the natural colored ewes may be for sale as yearlings next summer.
This has been a busy week! On Tuesday, I meet JoAnn M. in Harrisonburg, VA to get our new ram lamb, Silver Creek Obsidian. JoAnn was hauling sheep from Oregon, where "Sid" was born, to "The Big E" show in MA, and went out of her way to meet me!
On Friday, Jim and I drove to the Charleston, WV area to pick up our new German Shepherd puppy, Ilse. On the way, we dropped 2 lambs with Deb M. near Glenville, WV. JoAnn will be picking the lambs up at the end of the month on her way back home, and drop them off with their new owner, Lorna Jean B. in Blair, NE. As far as I know, these will be the first Coops in Nebraska!
Silver Creek Obsidian above
Blackthorn's Ilse of Deer Run at right
The weather has turned warm, the grass and the lambs have shot up. This is a relaxing time of year for the sheep. They spend the hottest part of the day lounging in the shade, going out to graze in the evening and mornings...probably all night, too. We do not close our sheep up at night, and so far have not had trouble with coyotes here. We keep the rams with the ewes until mid August, when we separate them to prevent accidental breedings.
Coopworths are seasonal breeders...a trait that I very much appreciate!
Here is a photo of the yearling "Wynona" with her 2 month old twins. Haven't they grown!
Well, spring is here, and our Coopworths have been especially prolific this year!
Above is a photo of 13 month old Deer Run Wynona with her twin lambs. (Those darn ear tags make the newborn's ears droop for a few days, but they do come up!) Wynona is a triplet out of Deer Run Silvia, a daughter of our NZ AI ram, Fergus, and sired by a Wild 'n Wooly ram belonging to Hope Yankey. The sire of the lambs is Wickecheoke Pepper. We purchased Pepper and his half brother, Tyler, last fall. They are decended from the Coopworths imported by Linda Berry-Walker in 1980. For photos and more info on the Wickecheoke sheep, see below.
Another yearling with twins! This is Deer Run Fiona, a Coop X Bluefaced Leicester ewe. Her lambs are also by Wickecheoke Pepper.
We recieved a call from Brenda Spingarn in New Jersey, saying that she wanted to sell the last of her sheep, as she no longer had time for them. Brenda had bought her original Coopworths from Linda Berry-Walker's Woodsedge flock, and kept the genetics pure. We started contacting other Coopworth breeders to see if we could save these important bloodlines. Several aged ewes were purchased by Reginia Malsbury of CT, and Jim and I made the 6 hour drive up to purchase Brenda's rams. We used Pepper on some of our ewes, and he will be for sale in 2005.
Brenda says goodbye to her boys.
Wickecheoke Tyler (left) and Wickecheoke Pepper