Saturday, December 26, 2009


We had a very rainy, but full Christmas. Family and some friends came over and we ate and read a passage from the Bible and visited. The next day though it got cold again and stopped raining. Here are a few wool related projects I made for Christmas presents.
A wool filled quilt for my Dad (covered in cotton fabric.)

I made a scarf for my big sister, Helen, out of some of the yarn in an earlier post.

Here are a few of my ewes and adult rams. I keep my adult ewes with the adult rams in the winter. (The ram lambs are in a pen with my Angora bucks and the ewe lambs have their own pen. The Angora does also have their own pen.)

My crossbred market lambs are growing nicely (the were shorn in Oct.) I just have 10 of them left.

I just thought that this snow drift was really neat looking so here are some pictures of it!
Oh and just 3 months to go till these guys start popping out!

Monday, December 14, 2009


My load of wool er hay came. (The sheep and goats will turn it into wool by spring !) The unfortunate thing is the hay guy was supposed to come in November and I had even called him in October to try to get a date set, but he kept canceling or changing the dates. So now that it is winter our driveway is too slippery for a semi to get up. The bales had to be unloaded on the road and taken up with the skid steer that I rented. The bad thing is three bales fell into the ditch-a very steep, muddy ditch where cattails grow in the summer. Anyway my Dad and I managed to drag up one of the bales piece by piece on sleds up the driveway. Then my brother, Iain, thought he could get the other two bales after all with the skid steer. Well....the skid steer slipped all the way to the bottom of the ditch and after an hour and a half the skid steer was still stuck in mud that is like pudding. We had even tried putting down some hay (about half a bales worth) to try to drive on, but that did not work! The good thing is the skid steer company said not to worry and they'd just bring a tractor on a semi tailor and tow it out.

The other good thing is now I have hay! I was feeding small squares of marsh hay and about 1/2# of grain to my ewes a day (there is not a whole lot of nutrition in marsh hay and they waste a lot), now they will just get alfalfa hay.

Here's what I've been spinning- picked mohair locks with...
black Corriedale lamb. The yarn is very soft!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Art Yarn

Laurie Boyer is a fiber artist who specielises in making art yarns and finnished products using local wool, mohair and camild fiber. She does and incredible job!

Icicle yarn.
I don't remember what Laurie called this yarn.
Boucle yarn.
I also don't remember what Laurie called this yarn.

Peppermints and dyed red Navaho Churro lock yarn. (Peacock feather yarn on the side.)
Some of Laurie's feather yarn.

Wool lock yarn. Most is Coopworth, but she has some Shetland (the brown on the left hand side on the first picture of the lock yarn) and some Navaho Churro (not pictured.)

Two of Laurie's shawls made from her yarn, The first is llama and the second Merino.

Laurie has also made hardware yarn, q-tip yarn, drinking straw yarn and much more. Sorry I don't have any more pictures!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Yarn drying

Here is a picture of some of the yarn I've been spinning. This yarn is all single ply and I sell it at the WI State Fair. Some is Shetland/mohair, some Romney/mohair and 2 skeins are Polypay.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wool for dinner!?!

I work at Hidden Valley Woolen Mill and a customer bought 1# of washed wool. He works at a flavor factory and they are planning to use a blend of ( veg.) oils and the wool to make a chicken flavoring! They heat the oils to 1300 degrees Fahrenheit with whatever else, in this case wool, to get flavorings (the wool would completely disappear at such high temps.) The reason they are using wool is it is a source of carotene and they could not find a different source. The factory also makes liquid smoke as well as other flavors. Oh on environment he said that when they are running the factory only steam comes off-no smoke, and no oils escape!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Holiday Open House

Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill
14804 Newton Rd., Valders, WI 54245 (920)-273-1849

Is hosting a "Gifts from Nature" Holiday Open House
November 20-22 Fri. 1-7, Sat. 9-6, Sun.11-4

"Please join us for our holiday open house. Many finished products will be offered for sale; from beautifully hand-carved wooden ornaments and glass bead and buttons to wearable by local artisans. Demonstrations will take place throughout the event. The fiber enthusiast will find an exquisite rainbow of dyed roving, yarn, naturally colored raw fleeces, batts and llama clouds. Our farm and woolen mill is nestled in the gently rolling hills of north-eastern Wisconsin, just minutes from I-43. Please make your holiday gift a gift from nature-Paul and Carol Wagner"

I will be selling dyed Shetland/mohair roving, handspun yarn and possibly some finished products. I will only be selling on Fri. and Sat.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sick of breeding season???

I am!

One of my Shetland rams, Drummond, who was in a pasture far far away from the Coopworth's group came up and picked a fight with the Coopworth-Cooper. Poor Cooper's head is all red. I can't catch him to see if his skull is cracked, but he is not feeling to good right now. I just hope he'll be ok! (I did have a horned dairy buck kid who got in a fight with an adult ram and busted one of his horns off at the base. He acted sick for a while, but was ok. )


The Coopworth-Cooper is acting a lot better. He is eating again and is interested in ewes again. Thank goodness!

Friday, October 30, 2009

WI Spin In

I meant to post this earlier (but got busy getting my breeding groups together and got busy will other things.) WI Spin In a convention for spinners and knitters/crocheters and any one interested in wool is on tonight, Sat and Sun.

I have a vendor booth this year and have dyed and natural colored roving, mohair locks, lock yarn, and a few Shetland fleeces. I do not believe in selling on Sundays so will only be selling on Friday and Saturday. I will have a "display only" on Sun. Hours are 5-8 on Fri., 9-5 on Sat. and Sun. For more info go to

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sheds and sheep

I've been really busy-again! I have finished shearing my market lambs. I built two sheds-one for goats and one for my market lambs (I can also use it for my ewe lambs in the spring after they are shorn.)

These three and a half sided sheds are each made from four cattle panels. Three panels curve to make the roof and sides and are held in place by eight t-posts. Two thirds of the fourth panel make the back and one third makes the front. A post holds the front in place as sheep would rub and knock it out of place. I got heavy duty tarps-the only problem is I could not find the right sizes-a little on the large side. Baling twin and zip ties work wonders along with a few bungee cords.
I decided to get a Coopworth ram for crossbreeding. I will compare the growth rates, fleeces weights, hardiness, fleece quality, ect. on the Corriedale/Shetlands and Coopworth/Shetland. Both crosses will be treated like mules and be bred to a terminal sire. This ram has a very lustrous locky fleece. Coopworths (a New Zealand breed bred from crossing Romney and Border Leicester and culling very hard for production and other traits) actually get FAT on grass too. If I like both crosses I will keep doing both-more wool types to sell and play with!

I put my goat breeding group together yesterday as one of the does was in heat and bawling and the bucks were getting restless-didn't want any accident kids from the wrong sire jumping out-so I stuck the white Texas buck in. He has already gotten to breed three of the five does! I didn't have the goats with a teaser either! I can't wait to see the kids' fleeces! (Or the lambs either!)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Shorn goats

I finally got my Angora goats shorn. (This year is late because my blades needed sharpening and took it long time.) I still have to shear my red buck and market/cull lambs.
Turkeys like trampolines!
Another sunrise.

Today it snowed! Well it was more flurries, but still-too early for me. We had a HARD frost on th 31'st or 1'st-so hard the hose froze and the sheep water had ice in it. The funny thing is that 15 min. driving time from here had no frost as they are closer to Lake Michigan.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Rush

I've been busy lately-I got coats on my boys (they are eating hay already), got my Angora goats separated from the sheep (I need to shear them soon and they will need shelter after they are shorn.) I also have a few pens and sheds to fix up before winter. Yesterday we picked as many veggies as we could as it was supposed to freeze.

Here is a late pumpkin flower that I took pictures of with different settings on my camera.
This pretty flower is on a sweet potato plant.

Beautiful sunrise a couple days ago.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breeding groups planned

I am planning on putting my teaser ram in with the ewes in Oct. 10th. The real rams will go in 2 weeks later on Oct. 24th for March 21'st lambing start. This year I planned groups based on strengths and weaknesses both conformationaly, tail and fleece rather than color (I actually ignored color.) I've also thought long and hard-since before lambing about not breeding ewe lambs. I had several ewe lambs who did not lamb out this year and they are so much bigger and healthier looking than the ones who did lamb-EVEN if the ones who did not lamb were a lot smaller to begin with. So at least this year I'm not breeding ewe lambs.

PS23 Drummond-(F1 Brent)a musket carrying solid moorit with a long silky intermediate fleece. He has nice wide horns and great conformation.

* UnderTheSon Sorelle-(100% Dailley) a moorit a fine double coat with great conformation.

* PS23 Dove-(F2 Skeld/Jericho) a very silky intermediate white carrying musket. She is slightly cow hocked, but her lambs should be nice as I did this breeding before and loved the results! (Edelweiss)

*Sabbath Farm Fonteyn-(F2 Greyling/Holly) a very crimpy, single coated, horned, fawn katmoget. Her only flaw is a shorter staple length (about 3-3 1/2 in.), but Drummond should improve that.

*SheepyHollow Sienna-(F3 Timothy/Minder F4 Jaimie) very crimpy and fine single coated, horned, moorit. She is slightly cow hocked, and has a shorter staple (about 2 1/2 in.) and I hope Drummond fixes that.

SheltringPines Justinian- (F1 Dillon) a big black gulmoget. He is polled and has good conformation. His fleece is not quite as silky as I like and is shorter stapled so I picked ewes with silkier and longer fleeces and 3 happen to be katmogets!

*PS23 Edelweiss-(F2 Brent F3 Skeld/Jericho) a musket katmoget with VERY silky, shiny, soft fleece and great conformation. She is a bit smaller, but I bred her as a lamb and Justinian should improve that anyway!

*PS23 Emrald-(F2 Jericho) a gray katmoget with very soft intermediate/double coated fleece. She is slightly hocky but hopefully Justinian improves that.

*PS23 Ely Cathedral-(F3 Jericho F4 Dillon) a fawn katmoget with long silky fleece and excellent conformation.

*PS23 Easterlilly-(F2 Skeld) a white with a fine, silky single/intermediate fleece. She is slightly cow hocked, but should improve. Her lamb (out of WalnutRise Trevor) this year is very nice!

PS23 Fandango-(F2 Greyling F3 Orion) a gray katmoget ram lamb with a crimpy single coated fleece and great conformation. So far his horns look good.

*Longshadow Amber- (100% Dailley) a dark seasonal color changing musket. She is a very soft intermediate girl. (She is Drummond's dam.) She has great conformation.

*Windswept Lime-(F2 Jings) a white silky intermediate. She has great conformation, but her tail needs work and Fandango has a good tail. Her ram lamb from this year out of an unknown sire has a nice tail and beautiful fleece.

PS23 Fife- (F1 Orion F4 Timothy/Minder F5 Jaimie) a very single coated crimpy moorit with super wide horns. He is a little finer bodied (not as meaty) than some Shetlands.

*PS23 Essex-(F2 Jericho) a fine, soft intermediate moorit with great conformation.

*Sabbath Farm Swan-(100% Dailley) a very silky and soft musket intermediate. She has great conformation.

*PS23 Elsie-(F2/3 Skeld F3 Jericho) a silky, soft single coated white. She has good conformation, but is pretty small. Hopefully Fife improves that.

PS23 Fairlight-(F1 Jings F3 Greyling/Holly) a very single coated white with bold crimp, very soft. He has great conformation, is solidly built and polled/scurred.

*PS23 Daysong-(F2 Jaricho) intermediate grey katmoget. Good conformation, but a bad tail. Hopefully that improves as Fairlight has a nice tiny tail.

*Longshadow Brownie-(F5 Timothey/Greyling) and a soft intermediate musket. Great conformation.

*Sabbath Farm Silvia-(100% Dailley) a dark AG grey with soft curly, intermediate fleece and great conformation.

*Alice the white Merino ewe. (I decided to do the Shetland cross rather than a different cross as then at least all my crosses with be 1/2 Shetland and I think Shetland/Merino fleece is very nice.)

These ewes will go under the Corriedale ram lamb-Windham and I may also be getting Coopworth ram. They would go 50/50% under the two sires.

*MacEwen Kelly-light gray double coat

*UnderTheSon Clarmori-fawn/mioget intermediate

*Bramble Jocelyn-age faded moorit double coat

*PS23 Bluebell- sheala iset double coat

*PS23 Cinderalla-black slightly iset double coat

*PS23 Dingdong- fawn intermediate

*PS23 Early Spring-mioget intermediate

*PS23 Evening Primrose-solid sided black gulmoget intermediate

*PS23 Ewe Won-mioget HST double coat

*PS23 Eastwind-emsket HST intermediate

*PS23 Elm-light gray intermediate/double coat

*PS23 Ewe Two-moorit single coat

*5 unreg. Shetland ewes. (3 light gray, 2 musket intermediate and intermediate/double coats)

*Eco-grey katmoget Shetland/BFL mule

*Eve-white Shetland/BFL mule (I don't want to get a terminal sire yet as 2 ewes are not enough)

I'm planning on keeping several crossbred ewe lambs for commercial ewes. The crosses should have very nice fleeces and I will cross them to a Texel ram as Texels have better wool than Suffolks.

For goats:

Danbury the pure white Texas buck wins out and gets them all

*China-black (more charcoal sheala)

*England-black (more emsket gray)

*Pearl-faded red (cream like musket)

*Belle-white color carrier (threw a silver (light gray) kid when bred to the faded red buck)

*Eden-pure white Texas doe

I expect all white kids, but use and sell more white mohair than colored. I can also breed the white color carrier does back to a colored buck and ( hopefully) get better colored mohair. The colored goats get medullated fibers mixed in and the fleece weights are lower than in the pure whites.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ram Lamb Fleeces on the Hoof

Fife is an F1 Orion out of SheepyHollow Sienna. His fleece (looks more red in real life) is very very crimpy, but not quite as silky as I like. He is a tall Shetland, not as stocky as I like, but he is still a lamb so may fill out more. I'm going to breed him two couple ewes though.

Fandango (2 pics to show colors) is an F2 Greyling/F3 Orion ram lamb out of Walnut Rise Trevor and Ewe Two. His fleece is very soft and a big improvement over his dams (her fleece is crimpy, but kind of Dorset like.) He has really good conformation, but his horns are really small. I wasn't going to use him this fall, but I think he can get a couple girls. His fleece changes colors and will be a great handspinner fleece!
This is Falkirk an Orion F1 out of SheepyHollow Sienna.(The fleece color is different more red tones and a distinct color change line.) His fawn fleece is super fine and very soft, but his back legs seem weak. I noticed early on that his tail was crooked and just thought that he may have broken it, but as time went on I noticed that his back legs kind of wobble when his walks. I've never had this before and he is not cow hocked (at least not like the other lambs who have been cow hocked.) He may have spina bifida? I don't know if I should keep him over winter or cull him this fall.
Fairlight my polled/scurred F1 Jings boy. He has a very nice bold crimped fleece! His build is a little different than my other lambs. He is heavier than he looks, before I weighed them I thought he was about 10# smaller than his is! He is very stocky and square conformationly. He is definitely getting some ewes!

These two are Fetlar's an Orion F1 out of Claremori. (The fleece color is a little different in real life.) His fleece is crimpy/wavy and then halfway down changes to strait and is longer. He does have really nice conformation (he did grow horns, but they are still smaller than the other two Orion boys' horns) so I think I'm going to keep him over winter to see how his fleece turns out. What do any of you think about his fleece?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fleece's on the hoof

Fine double coated sheala ewe lamb. Her fleece color looks a little different in real life.

Multi colored Shetland x BFL wether. His twin's fleece has the same colors, but is longer and not as crimpy. Their dam is fawn.

Merino X Shetland ewe lamb. Very fine fleece, her twin is even finer.
F1 Jings Shetland ewe lamb. She is the finest or second finest Shetland lamb. (The Orion boy I'm keeping is also very fine. Her brother is also fine, but not as crimpy.)

I got all my ewe lambs, wether/market lambs and ewes and does dewormed and CDT shots are now done. I forgot to take a picture of my favorite white ewe lambs' fleece. She is so shiny and curly-so much like kid mohair!

The dewormer pk. says "muzzle foam may be observed" and that it should clear up in a few hours. Well one of my does got foamy and was sitting and laying around and just acting sick when the other sheep and goats were walking around trying to graze (the pen they were in had hardly any grass.) So then when I let them out to pasture she stared eating. I guess animals like to scare you! The goats are also snots about getting dewormed and spit it out and then have to get more groaning and moaning the whole time! The sheep just take it with out a fuss.

I still have to deworm and vaccinate the boys. More fleece pics to come.