Friday, September 13, 2013

Summer 2013 gone by

Oh boy, the summer went by without a peep from me, here.  In May my only baby turned eighteen,

graduated from high school,

and then she and I took off for Colorado to deliver a few sheep to New Mexico finnsheep breeders.  I confess, we took no photos of sheep en route or at delivery-- it was hot, and in the day it took to get there we were simply nervous about it all.

After delivery, we enjoyed the mountains.

Looking west, from Golden Gate State Park west of  Denver
Hiking in the foothills, we found sad evidence of a Flicker's demise
And then, her babies.  We hoped the dad helps
with feeding, too.

Later in summer, as we sold sheep away to different farms, Emily again insisted we put in a big vegetable garden, which I enjoy as well.  To her credit, she is a primo weeder and this year, learned to clean, cut and blanch beans for the freezer, as well.   I think it's because she knew I would not have put in a garden at all...

I'm simplifying, cutting down on all animal chores to get ready to move.  All of my sheep are gone except for a few rams.  We gave the chickens away in August. 

You heard right-- we will sell the little farm on the edge of the prairie next spring, I think--  the best crop I raised here was my daughter, who's grown and gone off to Yale.  Visiting her there will be another adventure-- and at home, I don't want to tend animals, alone, so far from my old friends.

So... we're looking at homes nearer to Minneapolis, giving away 10 years of stuff that's accumulated here...
and now I'm harvesting vegetables while I reminisce on all we have done here.  

If anyone wants a 20 acre farm 40 miles SW of Minneapolis, with fenced pastures, outbuildings, and a pretty nice old farmhouse, give a shout!  We'll tell you all you need to know to keep 'er going.

Friday, May 31, 2013

More Lamb Photos

Lambs were born in late April, and most are reserved --except for 2 Finn ewe lambs and several ram lambs in both Finn and Shetland breeds. 
Minnesota has had gray, wet skies all month, making lamb photography unpleasant.  They're growing fast now, so I'd better get old photos up and new ones, soon .
During this rainy weather, I started a new "group" on Facebook called Finnsheep in America.  Check it out if you are a Facebook time-waster, er, "fan", like me!
Remember to double-click on pictures to see them enlarged.

  This is LRO 25360 Sukka's ram lamb (twin), from my black badgerfaced Stillmeadow ram FBA no. 24898 .  Great wool, great everything. I love both of his parents.  Sukka is FBA no. 25360 .  Obviously, he carries a brown gene.  He's developing beautifully and is friendly. The Stillmeadow ram (we call Toivo) is QR (1/2 scrapie resistant) so this lamb may be, too.

Faithful, friendly Kimi-- TRP 20-- has quad lambs following everywhere.
2 boys, 2 girls, only one girl spoken for.  The lambs' dad was brown-- LRO Lanni, FBA no. 26147 .
3 of four Kimi lambs chillin'.  The ewe lamb at left is Coin, the other two are ram lambs.  All are for sale.

Little Red Oak Anthea, "Annie" the Shetland, with her brown ram and
gulmoget ewe lambs, meet Spot the Finn lamb for the first time.

Annie's lambs, brand new.  The boy is for sale and looks nice.  Sired by River Oaks Ciro.

LRO Nappylainen, Finnsheep, lets Frowsy the ewe lamb nurse. Frowsy is available.  Frowsy (twin) has funny puppy dog fur, which will later be replaced by fine, adult wool.  She had a 1/2 sister like this last year-- whose beauty was that her  wool was SO SOFT and coal black when sold at 5 months, I wished I'd kept her.  Sired by FBA no.  26148 , LRO Sulev.

We gave some stored hay to our shearer.  I thought it was fun to be up in the "attic" of this little barn.
Black Katmoget Shetland son of LittleRedOak Nina & River Oaks Ciro.  He looks
great but has small scurs, indicating one horned and one polled gene. 
Lassi, brown Finn ewe had quads, but only these two made it.  The Bling Brothers, both headed for Missouri.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Shetland and Finnsheep Lambs 2013

WHO are YOU??
Do I need to say "copyright protected"?  Mari's finn ram lambs.  Too precious for words.
 The last lambs were born 8 days ago. Shetland ewe, LittleRedOak Trillium, started the baby boom on April 14, with this big, strong moorit gulmoget ram lamb out of Little Red Oak Scurs-- a brown scurred ram with beautiful wool.  He will need a new home.  He will grow up polled-- no horns.
With all of these pictures, remember you can double click to see them up close.

Our sweetest Shetland ewe, LRO Anthea (Annie) was the last to lamb on April 28, presenting her twins outdoors in the small barnyard near the windbreak trees. Minnesota still had a bit more winter weather for us in April, so all the sheep were held in for a few days. This is the first day of release to the grassy barnyard:

Mari (officially Reese TRP16U) brought her little rams outside.   Both rammies have brown spotted noses.  For those of you who care about sheep color genetics, that means they are Brown spotted sheep wearing white clothing.  They will pass the brown gene on to offspring.  These 3 are mild and sweet. 

Lassi, my original brown Finn Ewe,
had quads again this year, but only  two boys made it, perhaps due to their size and vigor. We had an unusual year, in general, with many RAM lambs, a few preemies, breech births and stillborn.  All of this was very hard on the shepherds, but usually the ewes got a little treasure or two to take care of in the end.
Lassi is brown piebald/HST.  Bred to Stillmeadow738 NY69-0205 (Toivo), a black HST badgerface ram, they created these fabulous boys, a Badger HST (already promised away) and a black piebald.
Next we see a lovely ewe lamb I named Frowsy (for now).  Her wild, puppy dog, glossy fur will later be replaced by nice lambswool, I have learned from past lambs.  However, last year's lamb like this stayed incredibly soft and pitch black.  Frowsy is out of LRO Nappylainen, a Holstein-styled piebald and Sulev, last years' black HST ram with TripleL genetics.  She will likely go to Missouri.


LRO Sukka, brown ewe, produced this handsome HST ram with Toivo.
I had to show you his stylin' jacket before he outgrew it.
Emily needed a picture of herself in her new Yale T-shirt for the student directory.  She chose Kimi
and quads to highlight.  Coin, the ewe lamb with the quarter shaped spot, is behind Kimi;  a ram lamb
behind Coin.   Em has Friendly the ewe lamb in her lap, while the biggest ram lamb sucks on her finger.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Post-Shearing, Pre-Lambing

We had a nice gathering of friends on shearing day last week.  I thought I'd show you the cleaned up flock-- only a dozen sheep this year!  9 Finnsheep total, 3 Shetlands. 

Here are the ewesies when the ordeal was over:
Trillium (Shetland, or S), Sukka, Kimi, Lassi (Finn-F) , Nina, little Shetland in front;  Nappylainen (spotty Finn) Annie (S) and Mari (F)  all pregant as can be. 
Kaia, Kimi's daughter, was hiding behind Lassi, above.

Lassi, Finn girl;  Nina, Shetland
Kimi joins Lassi and Nina.  Sooo big with babies.

Nappylainen, pregnant now, moving to Missouri this summer!
Lanni and Sulev, Finn yearling rams
All 3 Finn rams:  Sulev, Lanni and Toivo, who's 1-2 yrs older.

Oh feed us, please?  We are nice boys.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sheep in Minnesota winter

 Finally, a normal, snowy Minnesota winter--  we begin to worry about the effects of global warming when Minnesota has little snow and 40 degrees all winter, as it did last year.

The Finn and Shetland sheep don't mind the snow and cold, they are built for it.  These Finn girls are mom and daughter: Lassi (right) and Sukka.  It appears they opted to sleep outside and get snow-covered , rather than go into their lean-to for shelter.

  I asked my husband to go outside and take hoarfrost photos on Sunday, and to please photograph the silly ewes walking in a line.  The snow is less than a foot deep, but they will rarely deviate from the path they've trodden from feeder to shelter to fenceline where they hang out with the neighboring rams.  The result was stunning.
 DH and I also discussed selling all the sheep this summer-- which we've considered for some time.  I need a shoulder surgery, and 3 months' rest .  I am quite sure that means no hay bale or water bucket carrying.  I also want to travel in winter.  So... unless something else changes -- always possible-- we will sell off the remaining dozen Finn and Shetlands we have here, as well as the 2 dozen lambs expected to arrive in April.
Keep a watch on this blog if you want more info, and message me to inquire.  This will take a while to get done, but I know some people will have favorites-- as we always have.