Thursday, June 28, 2007

Rams to Wethers

This is Twin Brook Nugget's bersugget boy-- that's a color pattern I learned this summer on the shetland markings list, where they say bersugget always goes completely gray in time, but starts out so distinctive.

He's on the EeeeekK!, list of boys about to be wethered next week. It's so hard to think about ending the reproductive career of handsome rams at the outset, but hey, I got 14 ramlings this year! I decided that half will get banded next Thursday when Kelly, the state Scrapie vet tech, comes out to ear tag the lambies. If we've got our hands on 'em for one procedure, I figure, do it all. Hooves, shots, and in this case, testicles. EEEKK.

These little boys were all born in mid April to early May, so they are 10 weeks old or so. Some of the oldest boys are getting "ideas", if you know what I mean.

I intend to band 'em-- I called my vet, who really thought we'd need a bigger bander than he has-- but he called a shepherd friend for advice, and now thinks it's big enough.

Have any of you done this on older lambs, like this? I'm a little worried that a) we'll be all set up and his little bander won't work, and b) if it does, there's a danger of flystrike in wounds the bands make.

So much to learn, so little time.
Well, I have to go out to take more pictures and make more decisions. I did come up with some names for lambs today! Birds and wildflowers prevail in the naming scheme.

Friday, June 22, 2007

June is flying by!

Say, notice that I found the patience to add links to your blogs here-- and if I need to add yours or edit what's there, let me know. I did the blogs of Minnesota folks I knew and Mary Ellen's, because half my sheep came from her Missouri place. . .

Now this is scary: I spent the evening reading about Finnsheep and thought I might like them. Any thoughts, breeders? I like that they are bigger (for both meat and wool markets); prolific (so that one gets more lambs out of fewer ewes, for sale), and the web sites say their wool is nice.

If I want to sell more sheep, I need to post photos of the lovely, friendly shetlands I have, I guess. Well, here's their, ahem, photographer, DH Howard.
My garden's been taking up my time; also, my old Dad has been out here rewiring barns for me-- he's a retired electrician, what an asset!
Those !@#%#@! chickens are taking WAY too much time, as well.

But it's a great life in the country. Today, a new hobby farmer called me to discuss starting a shetland flock, and is coming out Saturday. . . this is promising. . .
Now, I'll get out with my own camera soon and start showing more sheep on this blog.
Happy Friday!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Tiny horn mystery!

Mysterious tiny horns on left twin. Hmmm.
Bluebell and her handsome lads cooling off by the shabby chic shed. I did not say shabby sheep shed!

Our Appy, Bell, and her Quarter friend, Tess, in front of ur neighbor's scenic old farmstead.

Mama Hen hatching out a few more (seven!) chicks.

Hi all,
I told you that horses and poultry would appear here at times!
I was off at 4H kids' camp being a chaperone (Wheeee! 140 kids!) and now I'm back (Wheee!) to my farm and animals. Some of you wrote while I was gone, admiring Starbright's Funny Baby--thank you! I'll find her (and her moorit brother) constellation names soon, promise.

This week, we have new chicks, hatched by Mama Hen, fifty big, fat 7-week-old chicks we bought to raise for dinner and 10 golden chicks we also bought, for egg layers. All of these need me right now more than even the sheep and horses do. But EVERYONE and the little red oak trees need a lot of water in this heat, so that's what I took care of when I came home. And now it's raining! (Yay!)

Now, you sheep detectives, tell me about these ram-boys. They are gray boys, out of my favorite, adorable, big white ewe with the (I swear) double-thick coat of wool, Highland Hollows Bluebell. She is QQ (not scrapie resistant) so I crossed her with my black blettet (bleset?) RR (resistant) ram, Little Red Oak Frazier. So, I want to keep one of these QR boys as a flock sire-- I want that double thick gene in more of my sheep. And I have a favorite, the cutie with a whiter nose and "points"-- but are his horns scurs? I'm putting pictures here. YOU be the judge-- though I think you may tell me it's just too soon to know. Oh, and if both sets of horns turn out fine, you, too, may own a Bluebell son, if you want one. Dibs on little horn guy. . .

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Funny baby

Okay, I said I wouldn't give it away, but here she is-- my contender for funniest -- oops, most unusual --spotted lamb of the year. She is out of Lamb's Farm Starbright and Little Red Oak Dill. You tell me what that head marking is called-- and notice her knee socks and shoes-- and spots on the other feet--

it's that silly white lower lip that cracks me up.

And now, she needs a name. . .

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Meet Little Red Oak Alexander & Abigail

My daughter helps me with these names, and we use associations to help us keep the offspring straight. The memory process goes something like this: "Hmmm, Justalitl Sarah had Little Red Oak Amy with Bluff Country Bravo last year. This year, Amy had (Little Red Oak) Abby and Alex with Minwawe Silver." They are both a lighter moorit and I think it means they'll be the pretty fawn that Grandma Sarah is, and Amy is coming into.

Also, Spot-a-holics, One of these two is for sale! I don't care which one, for $250. Alex is working on becoming musket, we're fairly sure. Abby is solidly (spottedly) moorit. Both look good in all regards. Alex has a white tail (with that curly wispy white fluff the lambs have) and white under his tail-- Abby has a brown, tiny tail.

I'll welcome inquiries at my email or question here, if you like.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Woo Hoo! My first sheep sale!

Oh ta da. . .
I sold my first sheep! A yearling ewe (Lyra, the first lamb born here) with her ewe and ram lamb at her side! From 48 sheep down to 45!

Howard, my husband, and I stood at the perfect, new box stall where we left the little ones and looked in to say goodbye--

Since being sold (or worse) is the usual fate of sheep, it was nice to know that these 3 got to go to a new scary place WITH EACH OTHER. They will be fine, they have great new owners who love their animals. They thought Lyra and lambs were just so cute!

Lyra is black iset, and her lambs are black, too, with white head "splashes". I sold them unregistered as pets, pretty inexpensively-- because I really want to keep fewer sheep over the winter and lambing season, and in my second year of breeding, I have more focused breeding goals. I have a couple of "old timer" sheep who have become pets I couldn't sell-- two are black. That's enough for me, since dyeing fleece for spinning is what I really enjoy.

I have another smaller, more delicate black, yearling ewe with a black ewe lamb at her side I'd like to sell, too. It is Tansy, daughter of Minwawe Panda Bear and Bluff Country Bravo. Tansy's shy, but curious about me at times. Her little daughter is out of a spotted moorit ram, Minwawe Equator, and both girls look great. I think I'd sell this pair for $250.
Oh, in this photo of Tansy & lamb: notice how tall the pasture would be if the fence wasn't there! some of the girls have taken to putting their whole heads through the woven wire squares at top to snack on that good alfalfa!
--Waiting for a stretch of sunshine on the prairie so we can cut that hay & bale it!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Chicklet and her ewe lambs

Pshew! Spotties, spotties everywhere! It's been an exciting year of lambing 27 babies, and the pasture is so colorful with all the little sprites bouncing around. Still, most babies and some of my young ewes will have to find new homes. Email me for a list of colors, genders and (great) prices. I've decided to keep about 1/3 of the sheep I have over winter!

Amy's twins May 30, 2007

Hey Hey, I think I'm warming up to this blog business! So, to show off another too-cute photo: These little darlings are the twin ewe and ram born to Little Red Oak Amy and Minwawe Silver. I'm pretty sure they'll be "modified", as in fawn, their grandma's color. The little ram may be turning musket, too. Don't 'cha think they need some names? Will report back on that.

Friday, June 1, 2007

If November's daughter was April, then April's ram is August, right?

More than anything, I want to work on inserting pictures. So let's try that here. This is the friendliest little ram ever born, just as his mama was as a lamb.
I think he's looking good!