Sunday, October 11, 2009

Traveling around the country...

We have just returned from a few adventures we would like to share with you. Just before we left for Michigan to pick up some Icelandic Sheep, Beauty kidded a lovely white with cream spotted doeling by Mr. General.

As we were preparing to leave, I caught a picture of The Trump saying, "Hey...". The photo is below and to the left. The Trump is waiting for some cool weather to get to Alabama and for the rain to end, as we all are...

We left September 29th and arrived in Michigan that evening. We took a Nigerian Dwarf Buck up with us to drop off. We visited with relatives and friends. My family is from Michigan, Armada and Romeo. All my family are Vegetable Farms or as we called ourselves, Truck Farmers. So we bought home fresh sweet corn, apples, cider, onions, butternut squash, acorn squash, zucinni and headed to Midland Michigan to Lavender Fleece.

We then spent a day with Laura and Daryl talking Icelandic Sheep and transferring semen into my Vapor Shipper. We took a semen tank home to fill when we returned back to Alabama. The Vapor Shipper is a safer way to ship semen and it rode strapped into the seat belt of the back seat. We also loaded 9 Icelandic ewes to build my herd. We have 4 adult ewes, 2 yearlings and 3 lambs.

The sheep upon returning home went to another farm for isolation before being moved to the main farm. This is done to make sure everyone is healthy before being entered into the main herd. We will be keeping out 3 polled ewes for me to try and AI. We brought back both polled and horned semen and I would like to try the three and see if any will take.

The Trump will be turned with most of the new ewes and Saxon will be used on a couple and Ultram on a couple as well. We hope to have The Trump, Phantom, Saxon and Ultram as our rams with the imported Icelandic Semen on the polled ewes. Phantom will probably be the clean up ram on the polled ewes.

Below are pictures of the new ewes in full lovely fleece. I had planned on shearing after returning to Alabama, but with the rain almost daily, was not able to shear. We hope to shear some on my days off if the weather cooperates. The ewes are beautiful and of very high quality. We are very happy with these lovely sheep from Lavender Fleece in Michigan.

After returning home and unloading sheep, our first order of business was canning the corn we had brought home. The corn was raised by my Uncle Andy. It tasted wonderful and below are pictures of the corn on the Cob and what it looked like after it was canned up into pint jars. We still have apple sauce to make out of a large bag of apples I brought back. I hope to do that Monday, if it rains all day as predicted. I am off from the Hospital until Tuesday and trying to get everything done. We will go back to work to rest...

Oh, not to forget this past Friday, our goat show at Lewisburg, TN. We spent Wednesday and Thursday trying to prepare the Nigerian Goat Entries for the show. I have two sets of Oster A-5 clippers which are less then a year old. I had an Oster A-5 for 20 years when I was a kid and used it on my horse. Then it died one day and I have gone through 2 new ones and they are junk!!! The worst junk I have ever seen. I am sooo disappointed in them and will never buy another pair of Oster's again.
I have a large sheep shearing Oster and even that is not as good as a friends old 40 year old pair. They heat up to fast and have to switch out clippers in order to clip smoothly and be comfortable for the sheep. Anyway, ended up taking my Sheep Shearing Clippers from Premier, the 4000 and put a guard on it. These shears are lighter and easier to handle and do not heat up like the Osters. I was able to shave the bucks main bodies with these and then use a smaller pair to clip the legs, bellies, and private parts. I picked up a dog clipper set at Walmart and that did the job. The set even had a comb and I clipped my baby Summer to prepare her for her under 3 month class. I took 4 goats and we came home with several first places, two seconds, 1 third and little Summer got her first two blue ribbons. The show was sponsored by the NDGA and two judges judged at the same time. This enabled us to get two shows in on the Friday. I took the Politician and Mr General. The Politician did great for not being touched for almost 2 years. He was a bit slim due to the rut and breeding and I look forward to showing him again soon. Mr. General did well in spite of me nicking his hoof again!!! So showed a lame goat, bless his heart. I will trim his hooves a week before the show next time and leave him alone the day before the show.
I showed my Uni daughter, UDiamond and she did very well for her first show. She is a lovely doe, a junior, but needs more work in setting up and not looking like a pretzel. She won a first and a second placing. She did great for a first time baby show girl.
I will try and post some pictures of the goats when I get a chance. Wow, I am ready to go back to work to rest...