Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone!!  As usual we have been tied up with all the fall activities on the farm and a bit behind in our posting.  The weather has been rainy, then cold, then hot, then back to cold.  We even had a couple of nights of light frost.  I do not know if we will be able to get the last cutting of hay harvested.  We will cut it down and plant winter grazing if the weather does not dry up.

We have been busy shearing sheep with a couple examples of our ewes.  Fluffy, the white yearling before and after and below is Posie, gray ewe before and after.  We get our best fleece in the fall and have several very nice fleece for sale.  We still have about 10 more to shear, but the weather has not been in our favor.  The sheep have to be dry and that has been a problem most of this year.  We hope to finish everyone by the middle of November.

Mr Paul was a great help, cleaning clippers during the shearing process.  We shear on a stand which is easier for us and the sheep, but much slower.  Maybe someday we will be able to get the pros to show up and shear for us.

Below is Mr Paul keeping the clippers working.  The Trump (Icelandic Ram) is ready to be sheared as one can see.  He has a spectacular fleece this year and will be shearing him the minute the weather clears with several days of moderate temps.

The pictures below are of two young does we took to a show the beginning of October.  The gold doe is Rosensharn's GX UDiamond out of ARMCH Rosensharn's Uni (Record holder for Nigerian milk production at 1605 pounds over 305 days, that is 5.2 pound a day average with 8 pounds per gallon).  The darker doe is Oldesouth Alabama Summer.  She is sired by Mr General out of Sequoia.  Summer is turning out spectacular and we are very excited to see how well she grows up.

Oldesouth Loud Politician is shown below.  He did very well at the show in spite of not being messed with for almost two years.  We have been working with him and have one more show in November.  He is really long and wide and even though not the best picture, very powerful.  His sister Cocoa and his mom Brat have great udders and are wonderful milkers with larger teats.  He is sired by Bubba and will show him more in 2010.

We are deep into our Fall Kidding and have several nice kids sired by Mr General.  We also set Bubba loose with the Boer girls and have 4 Boers with Bubba babies.  They will be medium sized meat and milk goats with great udders for the family milker at a reasonable price.  Check out the sales page.
The results from the blood testing came back and our entire herd, including the Boers is CAE and Johne's NEGATIVE!!!  We mail our samples directly to Washington State University Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab.  If we mail it to Auburn University here in Alabama, they send it to Washington State.  We dump the middle man and send it directly.  The cost is $12 per goat for both the CAE and Johne's, plus $10.00 set up fee.  CL testing is $9.00 per goat and since we have not had any abcesses, decided to forgo the CL.  I did pick one goat, Bubba and had him tested for CL as well with a negative result.  We will probably pick a couple of goats each year to spot check.  We will test for Brucellosis, TB and CL if a client so desires at their expense.  We feel the CAE and Johne's is the most important of the diseases to check for and keep your herd free of.

We also spot check our sheep and pick out a few each year to test for OPPs.  We had 3 tested this spring and they were negative as well.

The pictures below are of a couple of our 100% Boer Does with their half Nigerian kids.  Three of the 4 does had triplets.  The cross has a lot of hybred vigor and the kids grow like crazy.  The orange on Hestia is to mark her by the Vet when we drew blood for testing.  It takes some time for it to wear off.

The final picture of this posting is of Mr Paul messing around.  He does not like me to take his picture, so I am sure I will be in trouble for this one, but could not help myself...  Everyone who knows Mr Paul will enjoy this one...

Take care everyone....