Sunday, March 29, 2009

We made it...

We made it through the Friday night storms. A lot of lightning and my friend Mr. Paul had his Porch blown off and his car port blew into some chain link fence. He must have had a mini twister set down at his place. The rain was not as heavy as the days before. As of today, the water is drying up and in another couple of days, hopefully will be able to get to the goats without our waders.

Above are pictures of the new baby Shetland ewe on the left, and the little ram lamb on the right. The ram lamb is turning chocolate and has a nice set of horns coming up. The moms are doing well and even little scruffy is filling out. We have sent off blood on them and hope to hear next week that they are negative.

The pictures above are of Sarah, the first of my Icelandic ewes to lamb next week. She is pictured sheared, standing in the Thursday water, waiting for some feed. She is very pregnant and nicely bagged up. She is almost two, bred by The Trump. We are hoping for lovely morrit (brown) lambs. Both The Trump and Sarah are morrit and gray morrit. Her fleece is pictured to the right. We did not get to shear her before the cold weather and it is a bit felted. I think I will make a rug out of it. It is lovely, and still pulls apart, but not the quality I personally would sell to a hand spinner. I am very picky and want only the best fleece for my hand spinners out there. But, it will still felt into a lovely rug.
Sarah and Havvah are the first two to lamb. I have Sarah due on Friday and Havvah due on Saturday of next week. I will keep everyone posted. The lambs sired by The Trump, out of the Cheviot are spectacular and have grown like weeds. I know they will be larger then their mini cheviot mom and may just give the purebred Icelandics a run for their money. They have had a 6 week head start with their birth dates and with the grass coming on, they are just producing great fleece and meaty conformations.
More later...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Round two, waiting for round three...

Rain and more rain today. We have received at least 3 more inches and all the feed dishes were overflowing with water. My rain gage was broken and disappeared once Joe, my quarter horse discovered it. The rain has left the goat buildings flooded all around and into the buildings. Only the high spots are dry.

The water came into the storage area where we store feed, upper right photo. We have 3 inches in the feed room and have stacked pallets to get the feed higher. Everything is a muddy, wet mess.

Yesterday, my friend, Mr Paul got his truck stuck when we went to feed and check on everyone. The truck is pictured below and Mr Paul had to walk to the end of the pasture to get the tractor to pull the truck out. He is pictured to the right.

A week ago we received 5 inches of rain and the ground had just barely dried before this next group of storms. It has rained all night and then clears up during the day to repeat the same for the last three days.
Tonight is round three of this saga. We are to get the worst tonight. I think we have received at least 7 inches of rain so far. We are on sandy loam and it usually soaks the water up with out a problem. The ground is now saturated. The forecast is for severe weather tonight with possible hail and tornado's. Hopefully it will not be as bad as they predict.
We will let you know how we fair through it all after Friday night and Saturday morning. It will take several weeks for us to dry out after all this rain. We will blog more later as the storm passes.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

To Much Rain....

It has been crazy with the weather. A week ago we received 5 inches of rain and now we received almost 4 inches Wednesday and an inch and a half early Thursday morning. We are suppose to get more storms this evening and Friday.

The farm is flooded where we drive and the ground is compacted. We have had water into the storage shed for the first time. We had to remove some kittens I have been acclimating to the farm for rodent control, due to the water. We have had to move our feed and put it on double pallets to keep it dry.

My quarter horse, Joe really enjoyed the water and I caught pictures of him rolling and enjoying the water. I have 3 horses at the moment, only one is mine, Joe. The other two belong to a friend who has been having health problems and could not care for the older horses. One is Marina, and her half sister Dawn. Both are Arabians and Dawn was a champion pleasure horse at one time. Both are over 20. Dawn is a bit rough looking, because we just got her last Saturday. Joe is pictured above and to the right. Joe and Dawn are pictured below and to the right. Joe has not missed any meals and the winter grazing planted last fall is going to town, with a big growth spirt...
We have had another Shetland lamb born, this one a little black ewe. We will have her pictures posted on the next blog.
Two of the Icelandic ewes have been sheared and they are due to lamb next weekend. Havvah's fleece was felted and trashed. Sarah's fleece was partially felted and will make a nice rug. I kept her fleece and skirted it.
With all the rain, we have not been able to shear the other sheep. It has been a very wet spring. We went from very cold to very wet. The fleece needs to be dry in order to shear it smoothly. We also managed to get my friend's truck stuck going out to feed the herd. I have pictures of all that to post on the next blog. We are expecting more rain and up to 7 more inches of rain. Wow, but that is how weather works and we can only take what God gives to us. Two years ago we were begging for rain and I think we have gotten all that rain this last couple of months.
More later...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

New Shetland Lamb

The pictures above are of the new black, Shetland ram lamb and his mom. We have had the ewes for a couple of weeks and tried to get most of the awful fleece off of them. They are still thin, but have put on weight in the couple of weeks we have had them. This ewe was a bottle baby and very friendly. The little black lamb is a sweet boy as well and enjoys being picked up and handled.

Even little Scruffy in the picture to the right, the black ewe is improving and putting on weight. She was in the worst shape of the three ewes. She is a yearling and younger then the other two Shetland ewes.
The pictures below are of Madeline and Boing. Madeline is the Cheviot and Boing is an Icelandic yearling ewe. We call her Boing because she bounces around the field like a spring. She rushes one when feeding, leaping into the bucket and ends up hooking her horn on the bucket handle, trying to get her head in the feed bucket. That is how I caught her the morning of the Expo. I talked Gary into shearing both Madeline and Boing before we left the Expo. One can see how small Madeline really is, once all that wool is off. Boing is a lovely yearling Icelandic ewe and yielded a lovely silver and black fleece. Once can see the difference in the condition of my ewes and the new ewes. Madeline is on the left below and Boing is on the right with the hornes. I think Boing may be pregnant as well.

The picture to the right is Boing in the back, Madeline to the right and her ram lamb. He is growing like a weed and is a beautiful little Mini Cheviot ram. He is For Sale.
Madeline's raw fleece is For Sale for $15 and Boing's maybe. I had a buyer for the Icelandic Fleece, but now it seems up in the air. Will let everyone know by the end of the week, what is up. I will have them skirted, weighed and the Icelandic fleece priced by then.
We have Icelandic and Cheviot roving for sale on our web site on the Wool Products page. Check it out at:
I will be shearing Havvah and Sarah before the week is out. They will be lambing shortly and need to get the wool off. I chatted with Gary about some problems I was having with my clippers. I am going to try using some mobile one oil and adjusting my shears a bit differently. I shear on a stand, because my back is not the greatest. I still get a good cut because my sheep only have wool on their bodies. That is why I choose breeds without wool on their legs and faces. After showing goats and shearing legs and faces, what a pain. Legs are the worst. I made sure I choose breeds of sheep without wool on legs and face and not much on the bellies. All that wool is not good wool anyway and makes for a lot less work.
Enough for now...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

We had a great time at the EXPO...

The EXPO had a good turn out even in the rain, and boy did it rain. The rain continued the entire day with out much of a break. It was a good thing all the activities were indoors. I took Bong for my Icelandic display and Madeline for my Cheviot display with her ram lamb. Raisin and her kids went along as well as Annie Oakley, one of my Nigerian doelings. We sold some farm products and I gave a spinning demonstration. We met a lot of great folks and had a great time.

I went to feed the Shetland Sheep in isolation at a friend's farm to be surprised with a baby ram lamb born to one of the ewes. He is jet black and I will have pictures shortly. They are doing well and I have pictures below of what one of the ewes looked like when I first purchased them. They were one large matt and looked pretty pathetic.

It took some time to get the matts off and because they were thin as well, it was difficult to get a smooth cut. The weather was extremely cold at the time, so I just took off enough to get the junk off and leave some wool for warmth. Later I did take them down some more, but they still look chewed up. I will give them some time to put on some weight and shear them again in May. I want them smooth, so they can grow a nice fleece for next years clip. The Shetland is a fine wooled, tiny sheep. They look like a mini Icelandic and are very calm in their disposition.

The picture to the right is the little ewe with her first clip to get the worst of the wool off. The clippers were just a moaning and she still looks pretty bad, but this got her through until the weather warmed up enough to take off more. This particular little Shetland ewe was a bottle baby and very friendly. I just do not understand how the prior owner could have let this little angel get in such a state.

But, she was not the worst of the three. One little black ewe, was thrown in the deal and I did not want to take her. I was afraid she would die on the way home. She was loosing her wool, had light eye membranes, which indicates worms and was pathetically thin. My soft heart looked at her and felt she had a chance. She is pictured below after I hand sheared her. I was afraid to stress her with the clippers. I wormed her, gave her B complex, Vit A,D, E, BoSe and fed all of them just a little grain at first and have worked them up to more. The tough little sheep are eating well and even little Scruffy is coming along and improving.

I will keep you posted how the little sheep are doing and will get a picture of the new little black lamb. I want to draw some blood on these three and have them tested for Opps, which is a sheep disease, similar to CAE in goats. I will keep them in isolation until I know for sure all is well with them.
I am not sure why folks purchase livestock and do not take care of them. Some folks need to be slapped along side the head or treated like they treated their animals. At least these three will be taken care of and hopefully will reward us with several lovely fleeces to spin into something wonderful next spring.

Friday, March 13, 2009


WOW! I had not realized it has been some time since blogging! We have been working hard to get ready for the EXPO in Wetumpka. The address is 340 Queen Ann Rd at the Elmore County AG Center. We will be taking Icelandic Sheep, a Mini Cheviot with a lamb, a Nubian with her kids and of course a couple of Nigerian Dwarf Goats. Stop by and say Hi, I will be doing a spinning demonstration and maybe a goat milking demo. Raisin, my Nubian is nursing two baby does, so will not milk a bunch of milk, but leave it for the babies. We will see what the interest is to see a milking demo.

We will be offering Icelandic Roving and Cheviot Lamb Roving for the hand spinner, just back from the mill. I have to compliment Zeilinger Wool Co in Frankenmuth, Michigan for getting us our wool on time for this event. They were great and did a wonderful job. Their website is:

We will be bringing some Goat Milk Soap and Lotion to offer as well. There will be free food and a bunch of seminars and demonstrations for folks to see what farming is all about. A meat goat show for kids will be in the afternoon, which will be great to get kids involved in 4-H. The best part is all the activities are inside, so RAIN or Shine, no problem...

Come on out and say Hi, my name is Terry and my friend, Mr. Paul will be there as well. You will not miss Mr. Paul, he is 6 foot 7 with a white beard. He is easy to spot in a crowd.

Oh, a quick note to let folks know I have just purchased a few Shetland Sheep. We picked them up in North Alabama a couple of weeks ago. They were in rough shape and had not been sheared in two years. The gal that owned them seemed a bit out of touch with reality, so I did not fuss at their condition. We hauled them home, wormed and began to slowly grain them. Two of the 3 ewes are pregnant, showing signs of bagging up. One was really thin and loosing her jet black wool. I gave her B complex and Vit A,D, E, BoSe and wormed her. All are doing well so far and are in isolation at a friends farm. I isolate all new comers for at least a month to make sure no disease comes into my flock. It took two shearings to get all the matted, nappy wool off the tiny little sheep and see what was really under there. The wool went right into the trash can and the little sheep perked up greatly after removing some 8 pounds of filth.

I will have before and after pictures of the 3 little girls once I get them squared away and looking decent. I am excited about these fine wooled little sheep. I would like to blend their wool with the Icelandic wool as well as pure Shetland Roving. Shetland sheep look like Mini Icelandics and have fine wool, where Icelandics have a mix of fine and medium. The Shetlands are short tailed and do not require docking like the Icelandics.

Anyway, got to go and finish getting ready for Saturday...