Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lambing is finished with more Kidding to come...

I wanted to share some pictures of my dog, Crazy Jake working my Icelandic rams. Jake is a handsome Border Collie. He does not always listen, but usually gets the job done. He is very driven and this makes him a bit crazy. With the cool spell we have been having, I took the opportunity for him to work and gather up the rams.
Lambing is officially over with Mini Long Tail delivering her Iceiot ewe. The lamb is sired by Saxon, who busted out of his pen and wondered to the other side of the farm, ramming his way into the pen holding 3 ewes I did not want bred. I found him the next morning, standing around and looking very innocent. Well, he bred 2 of the 3 ewes in that pen. Mini was one of them. Mini is pictured below and to the left.

The baby goats to the right are Eve's latest doe Kids by Flash. One of the triplets is not a Flash baby. I have never had this happen before and was dumb founded when I saw this little gal. The one to the far right looks like a Boer and her ears are to large to be a Nigerian. She is slightly larger and heavier then the other two does. Eve must have partied with both Flash and Cane, my Boer buck. The hybrid Boer/Nigerians have very distinct ears and the Boer color of white body and red head markings. When I first saw her I checked all of the Boer does to make sure she did not belong to someone else. Eve told me she was hers and that she loved her no matter what...
It is amazing how things turn out. I had always been very careful to not let the Big Boer breed any of my Nigerians for fear of the kids being to large to deliver. Lo and behold Eve and Cane had a different idea. Nature always finds a way. The little doe is blue eyed as well, which is very cool and different. I will sell the little girl off as a bottle baby pet or a Terry Goat. She is two teated as well.
More later...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Goats, Sheep and The Family Garden...

The weather has been nice and we have only one more ewe to lamb. The two pictures above are of a lovely Nigerian Doeling out of Butter, sired by Flash. She has length, width and lots of class. I hope to start showing her shortly. Her name is Oldesouth FLA Beauty.
The pictures below are of Boing's new Icelandic baby ram Lamb sired by The Trump. He is jet black, but may turn gray like his mom. In the picture the lighter color on his nose is usually an indication of the gray color.
Today it is raining, but a gentle rain which is good for the garden. We have finally finished working the ground and putting some electrical netting around the garden to protect it from the horses and hoodlums (baby goats). It does not look like much now, but we will share the photo's as the garden progresses. The heirloom tomato plants I had seeded in January and a couple of cucumber plants I seeded as well, were the first to go into the ground. We also planted several lavender plants along the edges, because we hope they will grow well and become shrubs. We also planted sweet corn, beans, more cucumbers, herbs, and will stagger plant more sweet corn in a couple of weeks.
I will plant some cantaloupe and stagger more beans later. We missed the window for lettuce and we will wait for fall and plant a fall garden as well. We have a few more things to plant, but do not want the garden to get to overwhelming. I used to plant in boxes in my back yard and did the square foot garden. The hard clay at my home is impossible to grow anything in. The beautiful sandy loam soil at the farm should produce well. The sheep, goat and chicken manue was piled up all winter, turning into compost. We worked it all into the garden spot. I will add some kelp and use the yellow sticky pads for insect control. We will grow our garden as organically as possible.

We have several nice Nigerian Does who are 6 to 7 months old will be offered For Sale. I will update the Sales site to let folks know who is available.
Take care...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Spring is gone... into Summer

The Spring seems to have faded into Summer quickly. It is hot, rainy and the grass is growing like crazy. All the live stock is doing great. The above pictures are of a couple of the Icelandic lambs. The black one to the left is out of Uma, sired by the Trump. The Morrit or brown ewe lamb is out of Sarah, also sired by the Trump. The ewes and lambs are growing quickly with the lush pastures.

The two pictures above are of some new additions to our Mini Cheviot Herd. They are two rams we had flown in from Washington State. They are from the same herd as Mini Long Tail. We hope to have some nice lambs next spring sired by these two boys. We have not named them yet and will ask for suggestions from you' all. Email or make a comment for suggestions.
Will blog more later...

Monday, May 4, 2009

We are done SHEARING!!!

We are finally finished shearing. Gary showed me a nice technique on the stand and away I went. No need to wait for a professional. By the time we were finished, I had it down. I can shear quickly and without a nick as well. The stand is more comfortable for me and the sheep. It takes some practice, but now they are coming out nice and smooth. Takes a bit of practice to get the shears just right and the tension correct on the blades. I find that Mobile one oil is better then the clipper oil. I put clipper oil inside the shears and use a bit of Mobile one on the blades. The synthetic oil seems to stay longer and keep things cooler.
The ewe above and to the left is SnowFlake, a yearling Icelandic. The ewe to the right is Havvah's triplet yearling daughter Ulani. Both sheared very smoothly and will have lovely fleece this fall.

The picture to the left is Uma and her black ewe lamb sired by The Trump. Uma was sheared after lambing and is the other yearling triplet daughter of Havvah. Uma lambed without assistance and taking great care of her little ewe.
We have two more yearlings to lamb and lambing will be done until next spring. Thundersnow's daughter, Madonna had a baby doe sired by Buddy. I will have a picture of them shortly.
It has been hot and the humidity high. Last night we received a good 3 inches of rain, which made for a muddy Monday. We will need to rethink the entrance to the barn yard. Apparently the water from the field is channeling down the drive way into our barn yard making it a lake every time it rains. We will need to bring in some gravel to build up the area from compression by our vehicles. It is annoying to have a lake and wade through 3 inches of water to get to the buildings and animal areas.
We have a couple of Cheviot Fleece and some Icelandic that could be felted if anyone is interested. Most of the Fleece off the Icelandics who did not get sheared last fall was felted. I sheared it off like a rug and will attempt to felt several together and see what kind of rug I can make. If it does not turn out, the dog will have a nice wool rug to lay on. I am totally prepared to shear the entire herd myself this fall in October. I will not loose that lovely fleece again and will not waste my time trying to get a professional to come shear them.
Everyone take care...