Thursday, February 28, 2013

Preparing For Lambs- Crutching

It has been a long week and yet, it still seems to be getting longer. Remember that flu that I told you about? Well, my son woke up with a fever this morning. My poor boy got it! I thought we were all on the mend since it's been about 4 days since the rest of us recovered. Ahem...wrong!  The incubation period of this flu must be quite long. I'm still hopeful that Leah won't get it. Nothin' wrong with a little  hope. Or a lot.

Farm life never stops. Sickness may sweep through your house and yet the animals still need to eat (heck, we need to eat), gardens still need to be planted, and life goes on. We have almost completed our chicken coop and it is going to be great. Not one of those fancy shmancy coop's that you see on Pinterest like this one or this one.  My hubby and I plan on having a mobile coop someday...maybe you'll see this around someday.  Our coop-to-be  is lovely nonetheless and I am thankful to finally see it come to fruition. More on this later.

Where was I...


Currently, there are six ewes and one ram residing here at the Shepherd's farm. I am PRAYING that this number will increase in a few months. We need us some babies! Seriously, I like my sheep and all, but I like to have lamb for dinner too. Everything here serves a purpose and it all isn't  just here for enjoyment, even though we do get our fair share of the latter around this joint.

Wow, can I even type one sentence without going off on a rabbit trail?

1 feb 2013 156 tsf copy 1

There are many ways that we are preparing for lambs and one just so happens to have a unique name. Crutching. Aren't you so glad you can add this to your vocabulary? I know, your welcome.

Three out of our six ewes have a TON of wool and there was no way for us to see if they were bagging up, so I made a call to our shearer and had him come our way. He came out a few days ago and crutched our sheep. If your wondering what that means I'll do my best to explain. Crutching is when you have the belly, the front of the back legs, and the area around the sheep's bum shorn. The purpose is to make it easier to see if the ewe is bagging up, if she's going into labor, and it makes it MUCH easier for the new lamb to get to the teat. If you'd like a better explanation go here.

I love it when our shearer comes over. He is such a wealth of information and he's also pretty funny..and talkative. I always need to plan on an extra half hour of conversing once the real work's been done. We also go way back. I raised sheep growing up (read more about it here) and was actively involved in 4-H. Tim (our shearer) and his family were in 4-H too and so we've known each other for a long time. Nothin' like sheep to bring people together.

Crotching Collage

I loved getting to be in the barn. The smell of hay, lanolin, and dust permeated the air. It almost feels like a mini-vacation when I retreat to this coveted place. Lately, I've been too busy to come here let alone get outside. The dirt and hay covered floors with the years of age and spiders webs hanging from the beams are a delight to this country girl's senses.

Listen to the rhythmic sound of the shears, imagine the scent of lanolin, straw, and dust, and if you dream of living on a farm one have this to look forward to.

That is, if you want to have sheep.


  1. I do I do want sheep. Sounds like a lot of fun to me. Good luck with the future lambs. You may have posted it someplace else, but I was wondering what kind of sheep you have and if you like the breed? Thanks.

  2. By the way, I feel for you on the sickness front. We had the flu pass through our house not once but twice. No fun at all.

  3. We currently raise Scottish Blackface Sheep. They've been great so far, but are VERY clever. If you don't have good fences, they'll figure that out real fast! I grew up raising hampshires, but I wanted to try something new this time. So far we like them and we figure we'll breed them a few times to see if we'll continue.


Have a seat, enjoy the conversation, and welcome to the farm.