Saturday, August 29, 2009

Monsanto's Patent on Pigs

Please watch this video on video tells all about Monsanto's plans to own and control all food supplies. It tells about the 0-30% fertility that some farmers had when feeding GMO grain and one farmer fed non-GMO feed and the problems went away (and came back when he fed GMO.) The video also tells about the very inadequate testing and firing and threatening people who are against GMO. Now for the pigs the patent they want is for certain genes which are NATURALLY occurring in most pigs-even the rare heritage pigs.If Monsanto would get the patent they want they would "own" all the pigs in the whole world and where would they stop? Cows, sheep, goats, chickens, us??? We would be eating the pigs...

Please call your congress and tell them to fully endorse and openly support the "H.R. 6636 Genetically food Rights to Know act." Also demand a Moratorium on GMO's and their byproducts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Yipee! the nasty steer is gone!

The Dexter steer that I used to have was never nice. He started getting mean at 4 weeks old. He smashed at hay, water buckets, ect. as a calf. He did not behave when I had to milk my Jersey and would jump over fences to come. He would not go back as nicely though! Once when I was milking my cow he got down on his knees and twirled digging his head/horns into the dirt. CRAZY!

Then one night (last week) when I was putting them back I had setup temporary fencing so he would have no where else to go. He completely ignored to temp. electric fence and rat through it. He started running back and forth from pasture to pasture and started growling like a bull and making all sorts of horrible sounds. He also lost all most all respect for humans and did not respect electric fencing any more. So yesterday I called the butchers (actually called two and the first would not fit him in) and told them my woe tale and he went to day! The lady on the phone said "I know what it's like to have a dangerous animal we had one that got out and we had to shoot him he was so mean. I don't want you to have to deal with a dangerous animal" (The next opening was not until the end of Sep.-I'm so glad she fit him in!)

We have a neighbor friend who handles cattle a lot and he is good! He got rope around his neck and then tipped him over and cranked his neck around to teach him a lesson before trying to make him walk. The steer still jumped and bucked, and smashed into a flat bed trailer and almost smashed into the house and cars parked in the drive way, and foamed at the mouth when he was "walking."Our friend tied him to the side of the trailer and after about 1 or 2 min. the steer swung around right into the trailer. Ha ha he was out smarted! He started jumping up and down after he was loaded trying to get out. (He was almost as nasty as the Jersey bull that turned (got mean) on the dairy farm I worked on a couple years ago.) At least he was small. (He was only 14 months-most steers are 18 months when slaughtered.)

Moral of the story is if an animal is mean when young they just get worse-even if castrated! (We should have gotten rid of him as a calf and bought a nice feeder steer to replace him.)

Dexters are not very nice as far as temperament. No wonder my vet dislikes them!

(My Jersey heifer is a lot better at leading and standing for milking than the Dexter cow we used to have ever was. That Dexter cow used to chase my little sister and me around the pasture when she was a heifer . We had to jump up on the big spools I had for my dairy goats. I think it was a game for her and she would not have hurt us,but I'll never know-thankfully. She did settle down when she got older, but no wonder they are a rare breed!)

If any one wants a small cow for milk get a Jersey! Nuf said.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Door County and new ram

I need to cull my Bluefaced Leicester ram as he has very bad pasterns. I really like the Shetland/BFL crosses fleeces and mothering/milk production, but was very disappointed in the fleece weights. The Shetland/BFL fleeces were only 2# and it cost the same $$ to feed a ewe with a 2# fleece as one with a 6-8# fleece. I also want a good fleece for handspinning. I may also get a Coopworth ram for crossing. I really like Coopworth wool too.

This is my new crossing sire, Windham, a purebred Corriedale. He is an Australian type ram out of an AI ram with a 20# (unskirted) fleece. His sire is shorter and stockier than the show type Corriedales. Whitefish Bay Farm also grazes their flock. They use 2 strands of tape for sub-dividing! (I don't know if my sheep would stay in, but I never tried it.) Oh and they noticed that the woollier faced sheep have about 1/2# more wool than the less woolly ones.

I am planning to keep some ewe lambs out of him for commercial ewes.
Fleece shot-I love the bold crimp. His fleece was the most lustrous/silky of all the ram lambs. They also had some SUPER (with about 3x the crimp) fine colored ram lambs, but I did not want a colored one. All their fleeces are much nicer than the show type Corriedale fleeces. I have a ball of roving from a show type fleece and it has been sitting for over a year-it is very Dorset like. I can't wait until I get to shear him and spin some.

There was a 15-20 acre field of sunflowers-so breath taking.

I also got to see the bridges lift up for a sail boat.

I got some good Door County cherries and some blueberries, but they got eaten up before I could get any pictures! I also got some frozen cherries so we can have them in the winter.

Combed top

I sent Zeilingers 16.5# of VMy, but very fine and soft Shetland neck and VMy kid mohair. They had to rewash it and the grease loss was 2.74 #. The waste (noils and VM) loss was 1.52#. I sent all different colors of neck wool-most was white, light grey, moiget or musket, but about 1/4 charcoal/black or fawn/moorit. The combing removed all the VM and noils and also removed dandruff. (Some of the mohair had dander and I was so happy it was combed out as I knew I was taking a chance.) I am very happy with this top!It's for sale Now maybe in the winter I'll make a shawl from some....

Heifer calved

Heifer (I never thought of a name for her so her name is Heifer) had her calf on Wed. last week. The poor girl's hormones kicked in and she was really wild. She was like another animal and it was all I could do to get a rope around her neck. I took her calf away after it was dark out and he had walked under the fence and was sleeping in the grass. She did not even notice he was gone.
The next day she had settled down and I got her halter on and milked her. She is milking a little more than 3 gallons a day. The calf get 1 1/2 gallons and I would like to make some cheese with the extra.
Nice udder-right now I'm milking by hand as the milk machine's vacuum is not working right. :(
The calf likes his bottle! He gets fed 3 times a day. I do not believe in feeding calves from pails. There has been research against it and bottle feeding in more natural.

Baby calf (the dots are flies) He looks so much like a little deer!

weaning and updates

They think I'm going to move them-that is why they are crowded together.

I've had a very busy past few days. Last Monday I weaned, dewormed, and vaccinated my lambs. I also weighed the lambs and sorted out my adult rams/bucks. (I had decided to graze the with the ewes after all, but took the out a month and half earlier than last year.) The smallest lamb was 25# and the biggest 70#. (The smallest was a really late born Shetland and the biggest a cross.) Most of my pure Shetlands are 40-50#, but the avarage of the Shetlands is 36.25# and the avarage BFL cross was 51.35#, the average NCC cross 54.57# and the cross lambd born in Feb. 60#. (The averages would have been higher, but I had a few "shrimpy" lambs.)

My rams are having a great time eating weeds and grass in the winter pens and in the back yard. My ewes are on hay after being off feed for 48 hours (so they don't get mastitis.) I'm going to round up the ewes and check their udders today and then let them out on some grass.

(The lambs and non-lactating ewes are still on pasture.)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rain washed sheep and goats and other pics

Fairlight the F1 Jings ram lamb is growing scurrs, but one has broken off already.

Everest, the teaser ram, is playing with his food
Clean rain washed sheep! They are the cleanest sheep I've had for a long time!
More sheep

China, a black doe, and her kid
Horns are good for scratching
England a black doe
Belle, a white color carrier doe
Pearl, a faded red doe, is stretching

We got about 2 1/2 inches of rain in the night from a nice big thunder storm with lots of lightning-the first real storm of the year. The sheep and goats are nice and clean!