Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pure Breeding Group

Everest (the teaser boy) went in yesterday and in about 10 days the real rams go in.

Sommarang Gilroy-linebred on Greyling. Nice horns and conformation. He is black, fine fleeced (more on the matte side) and carries spots, he will get:

PS23 Dingdong-fawn, silky double coat ewe who may carry spots
PS23 Eastwind-emsket HST, silky double coat
UTS Aran-sheala, very soft fleece
UTS Jelly Drop-emsket, silky double coat ewe who may carry spots
PS23 Funzie-grey katmoget (F1 Jings), very fine and crimpy fleece; horned
PS23 Gloria-white, fine, silky and crimpy
PS23 Glitter-white, fine, silky and crimpy ewe who may carry spots
PS23 Edelwiess-musket katmoget, very silky and wavy, throws extremly fine fleeced lambs
PS23 Daysong-grey katmoget, med. fine and crimpy ewe who may carry spots and modified

PS23 Craigrothie-F1 Skeld. He is white with a pearly, silky, soft fleece. He has aberrant horns and has thrown polled rams. He may get (if I have space):

Sabbath Farm Fontyen -fawn katmoget, med. fine and crimpy; horned (if I don't use Craigrothie she will go to Hector)
Sheepy Hollow Sienna-moorit, very fine, silky and crimpy; horned (she will go to Gilroy if I don't use C.)

PS23 Hector-F1 Jings. White very fine, crimpy, silky, very soft fleece. This ram has a wild streak and is very aloof. He has great conformation and is fineboned with nice horns. He will be getting:

PS23 Flourance-white with a soft, silky, wavy fleece. She is a very petite ewe and may be for sale next year.

PS23 Goldenrod-musket (who I think is also mioget), very soft, silky and crimpy fleece. Nice size on this girl.

PS23 Humphry-F2 Jings. Fawn katmoget with color. Very soft, crimpy and cushy fleece. Nice horns. This little guy is calm. He will be getting:

Sabbath Farm Silvia-grey, silky fleece
PS23 Gardenia-grey gulmoget/katmoget, very silky and very soft fleece. Milky ewe line.
PS23 Easterlilly-white, fine and crimpy fleece

PS23 Huckelberry-F1 Ram (Black) med. dark grey katmoget. Crimpy, silky and fine fleece. Nice horns. This boy is very tame and friendly. He will be getting:

Sabbath Farm Swan- musket, silky fleece. Milky ewe line.
PS23 Ferndale-(F1 Gordon) black/sheala. Crimpy, dense, med. fine fleece
PS23 Forsythia- light grey, very fine and crimpy fleece.





These are the girls about a month ago. Everyone has coats on now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crossing Group

The Corriedale and Coopworth rams went in on Mon. so in five months I'll have lambs!

The ewes are all on the hay field near St. Nazianz


The girls who are getting crossbred are:

14 commercial ewes (7 Coopworth X Shetland, 3 Merino X Shetland, 2 BFL X Shetland, 1 Corriedale X BF/Shetland and 1 Shetland X Corriedale/Dorset)

21 Shetland ewes:
Longshadow Amber-musket
UnderTheSon Claremori-fawn
UnderTheSon Hopi-dark brown
PS23 Dove-white
Windswept Lime-white
PS23 Elm-light grey
PS23 ElyCathedral-fawn katmoget
PS23 Emrald-grey katmoget
PS23 Early Spring-mioget
PS23 Evening Primrose-black gulmoget
PS23 Essex-moorit
PS23 Finch-white
PS23 Fairlie-fawn
PS23 Fiona-black
PS23 Gloxinia-musket
PS23 Grettle-white
PS23 Gwendolyn-musket
PS23 Gloss-white
PS23 Gem-black gumoget
PS23 Ginger-musket
PS23 Gentian-black


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ewe lambs and fleece shots


Keeper ewe lambs-I have nine on the keep list. One black, two moorits, two grey katmogets, two whites, and two fawn katmogets. I had another black that I was going to keep, but am not sure I like her fleece. If I do change my mind again then it will be ten lambs.

Update on the sick ewe lamb: she is not any worse, but not really any better. She still eats and the vet thinks she may have had pneumonia (sometimes they get a "mini stroke") and the two things may or may not be related.

Hollyhock's fleece. She is out of PS23 Eastwind and PS23 Campbell, F1 Jericho. (Darker in real life)
This fleece is Hyacinth's, the grey katmoget out of PS23 Fiona and PS23 Campbell, F1 Jericho.
This fleece is Hummingbird's, the black ewe lamb out of PS23 Ferndale, F1 Gordon X PS23 Campbell, F1 Jericho (Black not modified in real life)
This is Harmony's fleece. She is out of PS23 Edelweiss and PS23 Fife, F1 Orion. She is a horned fawn fatmoget and is the finest fleeced lamb this year.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sheep...

Yesterday my only AI ewe lamb got sick. (I only noticed something was wrong with her when she tried walking and a lamb smaller than her butted her and sent her head over heals and then she didn't get up.) She has some weird sickness. She is not acting droopy or grinding her teeth like the typical sick sheep. She had a slight temp. and is having trouble walking especially on her front legs. Her front legs just seem to give out on her and she has trouble standing up. She also twists her head in a funny way. The vet (Joe who is really good with sheep and actually looks things up) said to put her on LA 200, banamine and Vit B. He said she could have meningitis or polio and that sometimes plain old pneumonia can cause thiamine (B) deficiency.

I hope she makes it as she is an AI (Skeld) ewe lamb and is a good sized twin out of a 9 year old (Sabbath Farm Swan) ewe who is very milky. Fingers crossed!

Today I had a failed attempt to sort the sheep who are on the hay field down the road. After spending 3 hours trying to sort sheep and then having lambs hopping over the hog panel it gets very frustrating. I got one group home and then just let every one out, as it was quite dark out, of the holding pen and will just sort them at home and bring the ewes who will be crossbred back.

I guess the bonus is I get to look at the purebreeding Shetland candidates more closely in a nice holding pen.

This year I am going to put the 35ish ewes who are going to have cross lambs with the rams (yes, both the Corriedale and the Coopworth rams will go in) I can tell the difference between the two crosses and even if I couldn't it doesn't matter as the lambs won't get registered. I sold my white Coopwrth ram and bought another so I don't need to worry about the Coopworth cross ewes this year. Maybe next year I'll buy more temp. fencing so I can have two or three crossing groups.

Then the 16-20 Shetlands who will have pure lambs and the 11 Angora does will be bred for May lambs/kids. (I had 10 does and then helped a friend with shearing and come home with another doe {and a black CAGBA buck kid} ! The doe is an AAGBA white with a super nice fleece. She is about 6 and still has fine neck mohair and great locks-she is nicer than the OR does and even the TX doe. The only reason she was for sale is because the has only half a working udder and Kris can't handle bottle babies right now.)

Now to get the sheep home sort them. Get the crossing ewes back, and then sort and pick out the lambs who will go to market vs. stay for replacements....

Friday, September 23, 2011

Keeper Ram Lambs and bucks

I sent in papers for these ram lambs to be registered. I forgot what names I put down.
This guy is a twin out of PS23 Fairlight, an F1 Jings and Sheepy Hollow Sienna. He weighed 53#.
Perfect tail-it's flat too! Mid side fleece.
Fleece towards rump.
This white ram lamb is a twin out of Drum Jings and PS23 Forsythia, an F2 Greyling. He weighed 53#. His fleece is very soft and silky. (I couldn't catch him as he is shy.)
This guy is a triplet, raised as a twin by a nine year old ewe. He weighed 62#. (As much as a single ram lamb that I have!) His sire is Drum Ram (aka Black) and dam is Sabbbath Farm Fonteyn.His fleece...I like the color and crimp.This guy is also friendly.
Buck kid out of Belle, a color carrier white and Caspian a faded red who got culled last year (due to attitude.) I'm going to see what he looks like next fall. This is a very fine fleeced yearling buck out of Danburry (the AAGBA TX boy) and China, a black. He is a very pale red and should throw fine fleeced colored kids. I wasn't going to use him as he is related to all of my does, but I think I'm going to do some linebreeding anyways-I really want color!!! I am going to buy a black buck kid, but I've never had a kid breed. (So many of the colored goats available have poor quality, kempy fleeces. I was actually told at the sheep and wool festival that some mohair I was selling as "rug grade" was nicer than some other breeder's good stuff.) This guy will be for sale after I use him. He will be registered so I need to think of a name for him. He was born in the "G"year.
This ram lamb is a twin out of PS23 Campbell, and F1 Jericho and PS23 Ferndale, an F1 Gordon. He is the biggest ram lamb at 67#. His fleece is med. fine and crimpy. He is for sale for $250.Tail shot.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lamb weights

I finally ordered a scale! I had been planning on ordering one for several years now and decided last winter that I was going to get one this summer after trying to weigh lambs and ending up in muck with the lamb running away. I got the same one as Theresa Gygi, but without the cage as the cage was an extra $600. I just cut some hog panels and made my own cage. The scale arrived yesterday morning and (I had been planning to vaccinate and deworm ) I used the scale yesterday afternoon to weight all of the lambs and kids. (I have been weighing my lambs and kids at weaning with a bathroom scale for several years, but this is more accurate and much less back breaking!)

Coopworth X Shetland 30 lambs 60.50# ave. (colored Coop X Shet 12 lambs 52.83# ave., white Coop X Shet 18 lambs 62.22# ave.)

Corriedale X Shetland 10 lambs 66.60# ave.

purebred Shetland 29 lambs 52.13# ave.

Angoras 12 kids 38.4# ave.

All 84 lambs and kids 55.04# ave.

I weighed two Shetland cross yearlings and they were both around 120#. The one yearling Angora doe was 65# (and probably 6-8# is mohair!) I did not weigh any of my rams, ewes or Shetland yearlings. Just not enough time... it was almost dark by the time I got to the last lamb.

Interesting thing is last year I did not like the Corriedale crosses, they were small and I did not like the fleece. This year's ones are by the same sire, but most are whites. All of last year's were colored.

The Coopworth X lambs do have a different "look" than the Corrie X lambs. The Corrie X lambs are leaner and taller.

On another note. I have been thinking, the UK judges mentioned that a Shetland ewe who does not meet the standard is placed in a conservation grazing flock. The sheep are all bred to flockbook Reg. rams and after 3 generations (or was it 5?) the offspring are allowed to be registered.

So if we have a Shetland ewe who would not meet the standard/pass inspection (say her fleece falls of a bit or her tail needs improvement) and we get a stunning ram lamb out of her perhaps we should still send him to market as he may have a higher chance of passing on low quality sheep than one who is out of a line who has been bred to good rams without flaw for several generations.

I know I have gotten nice crimpy/med.crimpy fleeces out of a more double coated type ewe to a single coated ram in one generation and I have also fixed tails in one generation. I wonder if those lambs are more likely to revert back to the more double coated fleece or poor tail than a ewe who's sire, grand sire and great grand sire all were "perfect"sheep.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fun At WI Sheep and Wool


I had a great time at the WI Sheep and Wool Festival. The Shetland breeders had a potluck by a campfire and I got to meet several other Shetland breeders. It was also nice to be able to meet and talk to the two UK judges Kate Sharp and Alan Hill. Theresa Gygi has a lovely write up about the show and some of the talks on her blog .

A couple non-Shetland related things that Kate mentioned are all the rules and regulations in the UK. It is illegal to pick up a sheep to put it in a car or truck and open/soft top trailers are also illegal. The sheep have to have ramps to walk on but the ramps can't be too steep for loading on a trailer. It is illegal to hold or pull a ram by it's horns. Each animal needs to be tracked and if one has more than 10 chickens they also have to be in a government program.

This hansom boy came home with me. Right now he is hanging out with the boys, but he will get a nice group of girls this fall. Sommerang Gilroy is a fine fleeced black ram who can throw spotted lambs. Thanks Corinne!
http://www.mtn-niche.net/NASSA/nassa_pedigree.php?pregno=S29861


I entered 5 fleeces in the show this year. I showed a colored Shetland lamb fleece that did not place, a white lamb that got a fourth place and Fairlight's fleece got a third. The other two fleeces were crossbred fleeces and one, a white Shetland X Coopworth, did not place (it had gotten Champion at Greencastle) and the other, a variegated charcoal Shetland/BFL X Corriedale) got a second at both WI Sheep and Wool and Greencastle.






Saturday, September 3, 2011

WI Sheep and Wool

WI Sheep and Wool festival is next Fri, Sat and Sun. http://www.wisconsinsheepandwoolfestival.com I have a booth there this year and will be selling on Fri and Sat. I have a friend who has a hand-spinner flock and will be using the booth space on Sun.

I have a lot to do before then! My lambs and yearlings are on "vacation" and need to come home before Sheep and Wool. There return is scheduled for Mon.

There is an English man who had some grass/alfalfa he wanted grazed off so that is where they are. Paul, the English man had been a sheep farmer in Kent, England. He had 1000 Romney ewes (add in the lambs, ram and yearlings and the No. would be around 3000.)

I have some last minuet dyeing to do and the general "set up enough fence for the sheep while I'll be gone" and packing to do.

I am showing several fleeces this year and am quite excited ad the Shetland fleeces will be judged from a UK Shetland judge. The Shetland sheep this year also will be judged by the UK judge. I am not showing sheep as it is to hectic to do both a booth and show.

See you at WI Sheep and Wool!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Random Updates

So far this summer has been very hot and humid. The first hot day we lost 7 (20%) of our butcher chickens-they just can't take the heat. The next day I found a dead goat. The doe, Belle, had been sick two other times (one time it was bloat) so it was not too surprising. (Also lost a sickly lamb. The lamb had never been "right" since day one.) This heat really will take out any sickly animals! So far everyone else is doing ok.

I found this guy in the pasture the other day. He is as big a dinner plate. Unfortunately he was dead (and had been for some time as he did not smell.) Poor guy!I finished this baby hat around the 4'th of July. (I gave it to some friends at church who just had a baby.) The top is Shetland and silk, the bottom is mohair locks which I spun on a drop spindle. The flowers are made from scraps of some of my millspun yarn.

This was an ice-cream cake I made for my brother's birthday. The bottom was chocolate chip cookies, then ice-cream, then chocolate chips melted with a little butter (so it would not freeze as hard) and then more ice-cream and lastly toffee sprinkles. It was on the rich side, but it is a lot cheaper (and tastier) then store bought ice-cream cakes.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sales List

I just updated my sale pages and have a few NASSA registered Shetland ewe and ram lambs and some older ewes available. I also have some Angora wethers and some Shetland wethers with fine soft fleeces for fiber pets. I have 3 or 4 crossbred ewe lambs that will be available this year as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shepherding

In a little house in Wisconsin, all covered in white siding
lived one shepherd girl and the rest of the fam(i)ly

As she lay down at night all curled up to sleep
one little Baa sounded not "right"

She went to investigate and much
to her horror, all hundred and more
Sheepies were out!

She ran and she chased to get them back in
before she could be retiring!

(I really am not a poet and don't know the "rules".) A couple nights ago at 11.30 the jerks flattened the fence by stampeding it. They were all milling around the driveway when I "caught them in their crime".




Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicks

This is a "newborn" chick. When it is in the egg it's head is curled over to it's side and it's tiny wing is over it's eye. the chick starts hatching by pecking a pip hole. It is usually several hours before they hatch. Most of the chick cracked their eggs completely in half. Right after the chicks hatch they loose a little blood in the umbilical cord (not sure what it's called in a chicken) area . They are so exhausted that they just lay there. The tiny chicks also peep really loudly right after they hatch. After the little guys are dried off and fluffy out they go to the chick pen!

We had 14 hatch. 2 eggs were duds and 1 chick died in the shell. These guys are Black Australorps and Black Australorp X Americaunas

Close up of a chick! A couple days after the incubator chicks hatched a mama hen had 4 babies, 1 died the next day though. She is taking care of her 3 chicks and is so proud!
We are also raising 35 meat chicks. They grow super fast and only take 10 weeks till they are ready. Then we take them to the butcher and bring home nice, big frozen chickens! Home gown chicken is so much tastier than the store bought. Many of the store bought chickens are fed a very bad diet of old cookies (from factories) and recycled pig manure. Yuck! They sit in their own manure so bad their chest feathers get burned off due to the ammonia. Ours have a short happy life and get to go outside (once they are feathered out.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Several Shetland Sheep Links

I found another UK Shetland Breeder blog the other day.
http://www.purplehurdle.co.uk/blog.html also another UK breeder has a neat website with lots of Shetland sheep pictures (they also have Shetland X Poll Dorsets) and some wool pictures http://www.whaddongrove.co.uk/index.php .

Also a couple websites for related breeds (to the Shetland) sheep

North Ronaldsay http://nrsf.moonfruit.com/#

Soay http://www.soaysheep.org/index.html

Manx Loughtan http://vts2.dnsalias.com/manxbreeders/index.html

Cotswold Farm Park (rare sheep breeds) http://www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk/rare-breeds/

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Turkey Trauma

Sigh, our neighbor's wonderful dog attacked our "Tommy" (our tom turkey). "Tommy" has no tail and his back is chewed up really badly. (ie. no feathers and chunks of flesh gone.) I don't know if he's even make it. I gave him some banamine and he is acting a bit better. (If he's still acting bad tomorrow we'll have to put him down.) I think "Tommy"was protecting his feathered ladies. Poor "Tommy"!

To top it off one of the turkey chicks is dead. The weak one is the one who died.




Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Amazing Turkey Story

We have three Bourbon Red hens and a tom. I had the suspicion that someone was trying to have babies as one of the hens had disappeared . Well last week the mother hen came out with one chick (poult). One. Sad sate of affairs to only have one baby! I wondered if some chicks may have gotten lost in the grass and found the nest. There was one empty shell and 2 eggs that had chicks in them, one of which had a hole pecked in it. 5 were very rotten eggs. (One can tell that they are rotten as they are light and there is liquid inside the egg.) I thought well maybe she know that those 2 wouldn't hatch (dead), but brought them in and put them in the incubator any way.

Oh, her one chick was not a "newborn" as he already had wing feathers.

Well the "dead" chick was alive after spending a couple hours warming up in the incubator. He was having trouble getting out so after leaving him for 2 or 3 hours with no progress we decided to help him. After he was out of the shell, dried and rested it was very apparent that he was not "right". He could not get up and kept flipping over and twisting when he tried. It is not very uncommon to have a chick with that kind of problem (it's caused by being in the shell in a funny way and a variety of other factors.) My mom and I did not want to put him down so we decided to wait and see what he was like the next day. (Chicks don't need to eat right after they hatch as just before they hatch the last of the egg yolk is absorbed by them.)

By morning he was still not "right". I have him a medicine dropper of sugar water and a tiny piece of boiled egg yolk in his beak (old farmer remedy for weak or stressed chicks. ) I would take him out and work with him several times a day. He still wanted to stand but, one of his legs kept going to the side and not working. I kept pushing his leg back to the right position each time. After two days he started getting weak and could not hold his head up. On Sunday morning I decided to give him propylene glycol in a medicine dropper. It worked he was stronger again . When we got back from church he was up and walking! Out to his mom who was locked up in a pen with her one chick he went. He was not sure what do do at first, but got the hang of it and at night both chicks were tucked up under her wing. I checked them on Monday morning and he was as wild as ever and fast! He hid under her tail when I came.

The other egg never hatched and was discarded after it started oozing.

Well all's well that ends well and the mom turkey has two babies! Yeah the hard work payed off.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Sheep on the Hillside

I took a bunch of pictures of my sheep/goats on one of the hilly pastures. I love seeing sheep graze on hilly pastures!





Monday, May 30, 2011

Lambs and kids growing up

Busy last couple weeks. Got everyone out on grass three week later than normal due to the cold weather. Dewomed in the rain-bad idea as I got drenched. Here are some of the babies. Sale sheep are for sale pending horns, fleece, conformation, and growth rate at at least three months.


PS23 Finch X PS23 Fife AI (Orion)-white, was born golden and still has a gold tone to his legs, tail and nose. Very silky and soft. He will probably be a smaller ram. He may be for sale.
White kid-I think this is the doe kid out of France and Danburry (TX buck)
PS23 Funzie X ??PS23 Fife?-Moorit horned ewe. Will need to do genetic testing if I want to register her.
She is a shy baby-here she is hiding behind mom.
PS23 Emrald X PS23 Fairlight-white ram lamb. Silky soft type fleece. May carry polled as his sire is a half poll/scurred ram. Twin sister is a keeper.
Windswept Lime X PS23 Fife-white (born with three small brown spots that faded) ewe. May be for sale.
Sheepy Hollow Sienna X PS23 Fairlight AI (Jings)- fawn katmoget/ghost katmoget? His dam is moorit and his sire is white. His sire sired one musket lamb last year (out of a musket ewe) and this year he sired this guy. All of his other lambs were white. This guy's marking have faded.

Color aside his is an excellent ram. His fleece is very fine and soft. He has great conformation and poll wool! A keeper for now.Close up of the previous ram lamb's face.
PS23 Ferndale AI (Gordon) X PS23 Campbell AI (Jericho)-fawn katmoget ram lamb. May be for sale.
Sabbath Farm Fonteyn X Drum Ram (AKA Black)- grey katmoget ram. He is a keeper! Very soft and crimpy fleece. Long and somewhat tall, nice build. He's freindly to boot!
PS23 Evening Primrose XPS23 Campbell AI (Jericho)-grey katmoget ewe. She has a longer silky fleece. A keeper for now.Just for fun a Shetland X Corriedale grey katmoget ewe.
PS23 Finch X PS23 Fife AI (Orion)-moorit gulmoget ram lamb. Very silky and soft. He will probably be a smaller ram. He may be for sale.
PS23 Forsythia X Drum Jings-grey ram. He has a white twin ram. (The white lamb in the picture is a crossbred lamb.) I haven't been able to catch him or his brother so don't know what their fleeces are like. I expect them to be soft and crimpy based on parentage. One may be for sale.Last, but definatly not least, is my bottle baby doe kid out of China X Danburry (TX buck.) She is a doll! Friendly, super friendly! (Most Angoras are shy.) She was born red with a darker red splash on her side. Very soft mohair. She is very vocal about her bottles. I got a video of her drinking just for fun.

video

All done kiddo. "I want more, please give me more!"