Friday, September 25, 2009

Last of the lambs leaving. . .

...At least I think so! Tara, from Wisconsin, is sending her husband and son to pick up these 3 girls tomorrow to begin her new flock. She's taking one of the little rams I showed you on the last post, too-- and has another at home for genetic diversity. I think it's great that I had a white, a black and a brown ewe left for her. The katmoget ewe lamb, January, is going "up north" to Sabrina Wille on Sunday. She and I are both breeding for polled stock, and we're trading ewe lambs and a ram lamb, each, to increase the blood lines in our future polled flocks!

Dang, that sets my voluntary scrapie program status back, as Sabrina's not enrolled in it, and I'll start with a new date on Sunday. I decided it didn't matter that much to me; I think people appreciate knowing your flock is monitored for health, but most shepherds aren't in that program anyway. I'll be happy to meet her little Niav and White Pines Parker, a scurred yearling ram of hers. The fleece photos I've seen on both look great! Sabrina's blog (among the favorites I list here) is Boston Lake Farm, in case you are interested in looking at her pictures. Niav and Parker are in there. (I sound a little excited, don't I?)

Here's a blogger quandary: so, having now figured out how to show my fave blogs at the right, with info as to when those folks update a post, why isn't it working?
I've been seeing the same posts listed by name and time for several days. In reality, I go to their blogs and see that they've written several new posts! It doesn't show on my blog-roll that they've changed.

Stuck in time. (no one wants to be. . . )
I must be tired. Good night!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ducky updated, etc.

Just a few weeks later, she's a teenager! And definitely a she, not a drake.
Her grownup voice came to her-- instead of infantile peeps, she quacks-- and drakes don't quack, DUCKS do.
Mama hen is still acting like a mama to her.
These are the gi-normous pumpkins I planted in my lambing barn yard. The first five got eaten by Lily and Poppy the naughty bored twins who were quarantined in that yard after their county fair adventure. (Did I mention that they came home coughing from that fair? It never fails-- it makes me want to keep 'em all at home!)
Anyway, we threw the five pumpkins to the big sheep flock, and now these next five are big-- but will they ripen this month?

Here's some little ramlings who're quarantined by the pumpkins this week. They are all horned boys who are looking for homes; I think one or two is about to get lucky!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Little brown rams & Easter Lily

Remember Lily the orphan twin? She regards this mounting block as her little home, I swear. I had to get a snap so I'd always remember. When she was tinier, she slept UNDER it.

Handsome horned ram lamb and his polled cousin, Little Red Oak Ash.
I think Ash will be going to a breeder who wants polled rams; I'm afraid April's horned boy will go "on the truck" in a few weeks. Sigh.

Not a terribly flattering picture of Ash--

And here he is, wondering if he really wants to walk away.
He just wants to be petted, always.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back from Jefferson, micron counts

At the WI Sheep and wool festival, I took spinning and felting classes with my friend; looked at other people's Shetlands in pens and in the show ring; felt and saw the soooffffttt fleeces in the judging area (way to go, Champion Shetland fleece Tori Gygi); looked at the Other Breeds of sheep there (NO FINNS, darn it)and had a nice dinner out with Shetland people and their friends.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see much of Shetland show judging-- I thought it started earlier, but no, Noon; my second class was at 1pm.

This is a felted bag I made at my Friday class-- it got a little wild. The brown and white locks are from my own sheep; I do not have blue mohair animals!
It was quite fun to wet felt this bag and get it done in one workshop. The teacher, Mary Wallace, and other students were all so funny and kind.
It was a wonderful, three-day weekend, talking wool, sheep, felting, spinning, everything with many, many different nice, knowledgeable folks.
I got home and found fleece micron reports from Texas A&M on 8 sheepies I'd caught and sampled.
I have not been "into" this in the past-- it's just more work-- but it seems so many breeders are measuring fleece samples now, and a few asked about some of my lambs.
No great surprises, but the reports were still interesting.
Six of seven lambs were in the mid 20s, good-- my one older ewe sampled was 30 or 31?, and the one lamb I KNEW felt NOT Soft came in at 30-- while her twin was 24. So now I know that SHE goes to the pet home that wanted a lamb, and her twin stays here.
We're talking about Smudge, of Splash and Smudge, LRO Catnip's April or May lambs. Nice little brown girls, both, but Smudge is friendlier.
Good thing a pet home came up over the weekend at the local University of MN Small Farm Expo we exhibited sheep at.

(This is wool from my own Yarrow)

Will someone email me to tell me how to add to Blogger the "links to posts I like" item IN ORDER Of RECENT activity? I really want that, and spent a LOT of time trying to figure it out today.

Now, there are a million tomatoes and peppers that need attention in my kitchen!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fairs and more fairs

I'm going off to the WI Sheep and Wool festival in Jefferson this weekend. I'll drive with my spinner friend, Angie, take some fiber classes, look at other people's sheep and visit with shepherds. It should be fun.
My family is staying here, and will bring lambs and ewes to a University of MN Extension offering "Small Farm and Rural Living Expo" at a fairgrounds nearby. I would have LOVED to stay here to show off our sheep in their Aisle of Breeds, but we were asked to bring the Shetlands AFTER I'd signed up for the Jefferson classes.
That's alright, others in the family know a great deal about the sheep and can promote them well.
I only feel sorry for them loading sheep without me.

I leave you with pictures of our Carver County Fair in early August:
Do you see that little Shetland among the (not gigantic)Southdowns?

My daughter took champion in Lamb Lead. This younger fellow was very cute with his sporting hat and the sheep's tie!

Piggies in repose.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Birds to Market

Actually, to the processors in Hector, MN. I'd heard of the Hector chicken processor, but I hadn't had 50 birds (their minimum) and a date reserved with them, until this year's batch of birds.
So on Tuesday, we loaded 50 nice, 8-week-old cornish-rock-cross roosters into the bed of the trusty Ford Ranger farm truck (with topper).
It was a chilly morning: the birds crouched together for warmth and moral support as they took the 43 mile drive down Hwy. 212. They steamed up the windows--
and I'll spare you the events that took place at the business we arrived at.
Today I picked up 50 frozen, packaged chickens and ran them 43 miles back home again, to grace our supper table all winter long (as well as that of a few friends and relatives).
I arrived in Norwood Young America a little late for my 2pm haircut, but the funniest thing happened: after chatting in the salon chair with the stylist about why I was late -- she said she'd love to have 2 chickens as pay for the haircut!