Sunday, February 22, 2009

More lambs and kids...

Yes, it has been a busy week. We finally have electricity and are thrilled with that. We can check on moms, no matter what the hour and we do not have to fight with the generator to pump water or run a pair of clippers.

The pictures of the lamb is a new pure Mini Cheviot Ram Lamb out of Madeline. She had her son early Saturday morning. He is just hours old in these photos. We are trying to decide on what to name the little cute fella. The sire to this beautiful lamb is Goober, our Mini Cheviot Ram.

The folks to the right and below are Jerry and Diane. They did the electrical work on our buildings to get us up and hooked up. One really does not miss electricity until you have to do with out it. I am already spoiled and up early to take care of everyone and milk in the light. The well was the biggest factor, with it able to come on automatically and keep the water troughs filled.

Raisin, one of our Nubian does had two lovely Boer/Nubian cross does. I really like the Nubian Boer cross and only have one Nubian bred to the Nubian buck this year so far. I will post pictures later.
The two Cheviot/ Icelandic lambs are doing well and we have banded off their tails. Their wool is so soft and beautiful. I will have pictures of them out on the pasture with mom shortly. We have decided on naming the ram Cupid and the ewe Valentine. We will call them Iceiots, which is a combo of the two breeds of sheep.
We have the details to the EXPO which will be held March 14th at the Elmore County AG Center, 340 Queen Ann Rd, Wetumpka, Al. It is the 2009 Elmore County Farmers Federation Sheep and Goat Expo. It will have a Goat Milk Soap making demo at 900 am, A fundamentals of Goat Production Seminar, Nutrition of Goat Meat Seminar and a Goat Meat Cook Off. After lunch there will be an Alabama Youth Born and Bred Market Meat and Breeding Doe Goat Show. The judge will be Phil Slay.
We will be taking some Nigerian Dwarf goats, a Nubian dairy goat, an Icelandic Sheep and a Mini Cheviot for people to view. I will be giving a spinning demonstration and have some Goat Milk Soap and Sheep Roving For Sale. My friend Gary Quay will be doing Sheep Shearing Demonstrations as well. So plan on making a day of it, it will be fun. We will also have hot dogs and other items to eat. Do not worry, no one will have to try the goat meat if they do not want to.
More later...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our first Lambs have arrived on Valentine's Day...

We are very excited with the first lambs of the year. The ewe is Sunshine, one of our Mini Cheviots. This was an accidental breeding of our Icelandic Ram, The Trump and Sunshine. When we were separating out breeding groups, we noticed the honey mooning couple. I wrote down the date and quickly divided up the breeding groups.

The Icelandic ewes come into season in November and lamb April to May. The Cheviot's come in earlier, as we found out. Our other Cheviot ewe should lamb end of march, first part of April bred to our Cheviot Ram.

The interesting cross has produced a ram and ewe lamb of beautiful quality. They have medium length tails, which I am not sure if we will need to dock them or not. The Cheviot's have long tails and need to be docked. I will need to measure them and decide in a day or two. The coats are a mix between the medium wool of the cheviot and the double coat of the Icelandic. It is extremely soft and will be interesting to see how it develops. The lambs have extreme high bred vigor and were lambed on pasture during the cold early morning and were up and nursing, still wet when I came up to check on the ewe.

Sunshine will be two this month and this is her first lambing. She is a lovely ewe and has a wonderful fleece. Her lamb fleece from last spring is available in roving on our website. I have dyed some of it with Koolaid and spun it up and made a couple of hats out of it. It is very soft and easy to spin.
The Cheviot's are sheared once a year in the spring and are very heat and parasite resistant. I only wormed the Cheviot's once last summer and they have been on pasture without grain most of the year. I did start giving them a bit of grain before they were due to lamb, just to make sure they were getting enough nutrition. As you can see in the pictures, Sunshine is in great shape and milking well.
We have also had some more goats born and I will detail that at a later time. We have been working on getting an electrician out to wire the barns. We have had electricity brought to the farm and have a yard light now, but still waiting on the electrician to wire us. We anticipate this being completed next week, which will be great for checking on mom ma's and we will have everything ready for spring lambing in April. The lambs come all at once, which can be a crazy time. I do not have any goats scheduled to kid in April, and a couple toward the end of May. This should keep the craziness down to a minimum.
I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day and we are open to suggestions on naming the two lambs. So far, the suggestions are Cupid and Valentine. Does anyone else have any names?
Take care...

Friday, February 6, 2009

A little winter thaw...

We had a good day today, the temperature went up to 67, a nice change from the 40s and 50s. We had a Boer % doe kid a nice 75% Boer Nubian. The Nubian cross is really nice and what a nice udder she has. I will get a picture of the two in a day or so.

The picture to the right is one of my Terry Goats. She is a 50% Boer and 50% Nigerian. She is a medium sized, meaty, very wide young yearling doe. She weights about 90 pounds. She is two teated and is shown a few days before having her first kid. She has an excellent udder, good milk volume, and is parasite resistant as well as an easy keeper. My friends tease me about this goofy eared little goat, but she was able to kid at 14 months instead of 24 months like a Boer and has the beef. I will breed her to a Full blood Boer at her next breeding and see how she does. She was bred to a Nigerian her first time and had a little buck. I like to breed all my first time does to the small bucks. I have no trouble with kidding, no ketosis or pregnancy toxemia and the kids are tough as nails.

We had a nice article which was written about our Icelandic Sheep in the Alabama Coop Farm News. Click on the article below and you will be able to read it.

More later... Enjoy the nice weather...

Sunday, February 1, 2009

February is already here...

Wow, January is over and off into February we go! We have had some kidding's since the last post. Thundersnow had a lovely baby doe sired by The Loud Politician. She is beautiful.
The pictures above are of Dixie, Snow's little doeling. The picture to the above right is my neighbor, Anna, who really enjoys helping out and playing with the babies. The lower left picture is Dixie climbing on Snow's back. She loves to play and jump and climb and Snow is very patient and very proud of her beautiful daughter.
This morning Dawn kidded twins, a doe and a buck. The buck is a chocolate beauty with blue eyes. The doe is lovely as well and has the Agouti Grey color, which looks like a Pygmy coloration. This is the first time we have had this pattern and it is beautiful, especially with the white ears and white spot on her head.
We have a couple of other does who are Boers and percentage Boers who will be kidding this month or next month. But they are spaced out, so will not be a bunch at once.
We do have a ewe who is due to lamb February 14th. She is a Mini Cheviot who is bred to The Trump (Icelandic). We were separating the ewes and rams into breeding groups when we noticed The Trump breeding the ewe. So, we will find out what the Cheviot/Icelandic cross will look like. The other ewe was put out with the Cheviot Ram and should lamb toward the end of March. I have caught up the ewes and the Cheviot is pregnant and bagging up, right on schedule.
We have ordered our seed for spring planting and I have planted my tomato seed. I enjoy heirloom tomatoes and the only way to get them is to grow them from seed. I have tried to mail order them, but they are so beat up by the time they arrive, most die. So I order seed and start my own the end of January and transplant them into a small green house by March and go from there. I have had tomatoes all winter in the green house, but with everything going on at the farm, did not have time last year. This year we plan to have a good sized garden out at the farm. I have electric netting to string around it to keep bad horses and goats from getting into trouble.
Enough for now and enjoy the romantic month of February.