|The road back to Vatn from Hestur|
Now I am positive a day has gone missing because I cannot keep track of what days are anymore. It seems that I have brought back Hestur's lamb outbreak because as soon as I was back, there were 5 ewes going one after the other. And they all had huge rams with huge horns, so the moms had a lot of trouble in labor so I had to help. All of their second lambs were fine, mostly girls except for one ram that decided to come out with only a head (another thing I brought back from Hestur apparently). All of these sheep were kept in a large outside pen so everytime I brought one ewe inside and helped her, I go back outside to check on another I knew was in labor and I see a completely different ewe start.
|Here is the outside pen where every-sheep is just hanging out, you can see how difficult it would be to catch a ewe in labor among this bunch|
|After I helped one ewe give birth, the baby plopped into a puddle of blood and splashed on my face, I thought I wiped it all but Maria came into the barn and started laughing at my ax murder appearance.|
That was day 6, day 7 was also very busy but I was out of commission with a stomach bug. I spent all day in bed because something didn't agree with me, and it was any strange Icelandic food, we've been having pretty normal meals. I'm not sure what it was but I'm better now, no more stomach issues! When I went back out to the barn today day 8, I looked through the lambing book and there were a bunch that lambed yesterday too. We are finally picking up the pace.
I was talking to Maria about some of the color patterns that some of the lambs have and she said that colored lambs aren't worth as much as the white ones. That has everything to do with the fleeces. Here there is no market for fleeces for independent hand-spinners and if there were hand-spinners, they probably have their own sheep. All the fleeces get sold to factory businesses to make sweaters and other wool products. A lot of which are bought by tourists and tourists want bright colors, not the beautiful natural colors like in the States. The States have a similar ebb and flow of fleece demand because some years white fleeces are very popular for spinners to dye and some years, like right now, spinners really want the natural colored fleeces because they are so beautiful on their own. Maria really likes all the colored sheep, especially the mouflon coloring. When I was at Hestur I saw a few sheep that were badgerface with black bellies and tan backs, basically the opposite of mouflon. They were so cool looking and their colors were so interesting, I had never seen one in person and now I want one for myself. Another thing I learned is this tan color is actually from a white sheep, it is called Phaeomelanin. Its not exactly a color pattern as its carried on the white gene but it means that a white sheep has tan fibers, like our Hawaii and Hawaii's Girl at Witter. Some sheep can have enough Phaeomelanin to look like a spotted moorit but lighter.
|A black badgerface from the back|
|And this is her face! super pretty|