Monday, October 18, 2010

We love October!!

October is my favorite month of the year.  I love the cooler weather and generally love Fall!  In the south we do not see fall colors until late October into November.  So, what have we been doing since the last post.  We have done a bunch....  I have been off from the hospital since October 1st and just went back today, the 18th.   Are you ready...  We did more then lay on a beach somewhere...

 We sheared the Icelandics and the pictures following are the before pictures.  It is amazing at how much fleece can be grown since April.  The ewe to the right is Black Berry, with a yearling white ewe in the back ground.
 The photo to the left is Sarah and a couple of yearling Icelandics waiting to she sheared.
 This is The Trump, before shearing.  He is always spectacular.  He was to big for me to put on a stand to shear and I sheared him tied to the fence.  He was no trouble and stood like the gentleman he is.

This is Saxon to the left.  His fleece was awsome this year.  Clean and sooo soft.  He has a golden color to his white wool.  It reminds me of the golden fleece fable.  When the sun hits it just right, his fleece will glisen in the sunlight.
My older ewe, Angie had a decent fleece, nothing to brag about.  But we had to reshear her from the half assed job the pro did, so she did not produce a long enough fleece this year.  But, she made it through the summer and is a great old gal.
 This character is Havvah, our spotted leader sheep ewe.  She is a chow hound and you can see she is the first to check out the feed bowl.  She had a great fleece this year and her daughter is behind her with a perfect horn set.  Havvah is one of my favorite ewes and our hardiest.
The photo to the left is Havvah again with her daughter Ulani, enjoying the cool fall after being shorn.
 This beautiful ewe is Black Berry.  She is a spectacular ewe and my favorite color is the gray.  Her lambs sired by Phantom were the only ones to survive the summer.  Her genetics are a treasure as well as her beautiful fleece.  She is built like a truck and has a nice hornset as well.
The ewe to the left is Crazy.  She is scurred and crazy as a bed bug.  But, she has an absolutely spectcular fleece and is very well built.  She leaps in the air like a horse jumping a fence and is the hardest one to catch.  Once caught, she is no problem, but gives us a run for our money...
 The photo to the right is Snow Man sheared.  He is a sweet heart, could use more butt, but is a long and thick ram.  His fleece was one of our best and he will stick around for awhile.  Our lamb crop for 2011 will be sired by Trump and Snow Man, with Saxon as clean up ram.
This is Sarah, a gray morrit ewe pictured to the left.
 This is goofy old Saxon sheared.  His fleece is why we keep him around and his disposition is the best I have ever seen.  I thought he was a bottle baby and emailed his breeder to find out he was not.  Saxon is just himself a sweet boy.  There is nothing he enjoys more then a scratch under the chin and a back scratch after being sheared.
This is a photo of the Trump as he was leaving.  The Trump is not mean, but not thrilled with handling.  He puts up with it all, but makes a quick exit when he has the chance.  He has a great build and is an easy keeper, requiring very little care, worming or general fuss.
 The little guy to the right is Amos.  He is a white Shetland ram lamb from Tenn.  We are going to use him as a back up sire behind Duncan.  We will remove Duncan from the ewes this week and put in this young ram to cover any ewes missed by Duncan.  He is very friendly little guy with a beautiful hornset and a super fine fleece.  He is pictured sheared.
The photo to the left is Saxon instructing the ram lambs on the rules of the pasture.  These are Trump sired lambs.

The picture to the right are some ram lambs sired by The Trump.  They show the main Icelandic colors, Black in the front, morrit in the middle and white at the rear.

We sheared 27 sheep, mostly Icelandics. My son, Tim and I sheared 13 in one day and I did the lambs and the rams after he went back to New Mexico. He is in the Air Force. We also sheared several Shetland lambs, harvesting the best lamb wool in the fall. Now the shetlands will be sheared once a year, in the spring. The Trump has a thick beautiful fleece, but it is not as soft as Snow man and Saxon.

October 1st, Fairla Jean-Louis finally was flown in from Harvard, Mass..  After all the details, he finally arrived.  He is a beautiful Nigerian Dwarf Buck and worth the effort.  He is a sweet heart on top of it all and now out of isolation, having a party with the ladies.  Louie, as we call him is a great little guy.  I have clipped him up a bit, but his coat was so thick, he was like trying to clip a wool sheep.  I did not want to clip him to short, because it is getting cold, in the high 40s at night.  He was rough on the small clipper blades, but looks decent.  I almost broke out The Judge (Oster Sheep Shears), we call the heavy monster clippers The Judge.  But, I did not want him that closely shorn.  Just wanted to see what he looked like under all that hair.

We also shaved 10 goats for the show in Montgomery and another show coming up in November at  Dothan, Alabama.  Of the 10, two were to pregnant to show.  The does are all pregnant and have not kidded when I expected.  Even Sweet Caroline has not kidded yet.  We showed them dry and we came home with Grand Champion Sr and Jr doe, Reserve Champion Sr and Jr doe, and Best of breed Nigerian.  We made some cash as well.  We will be traveling to the  Dothan Peanut Festival Goat show in November and that will be the last show of the season.

 The photo to the right is Brat taking Grand Champion Sr Doe at the Alabama National Fair in Mongtomery as a dry doe.
This is Sweet Caroline taking Reserve Champion Sr Doe at the Alabama National Fair in Montgomery.
 This is Oldesouth Galloway taking Grand Champion Jr Doe and Best of Breed in the Nigerian Dwarf Goats.  The show was the Alabama National Fair.

The picture to the left is UDiamond taking Reserve Jr Doe at the Alabama National Fair.  UDiamond is a Diva and you can see how proud she is for her win.  She is very jealous and does not like to place at the end of the line.  She is a special girl and we enjoy showing her as much as she enjoys showing.  She is pregnant with Mr General kids.

So while preparing goats, working with goats, etc, we also made a trip to Auburn to pick up a couple of older Nigerian Does from a friend of mine who is in nursing school.  The does are older, but good does and I would like to add them to my breeding program.  They are in isolation until their blood work comes back, CAE and Johnes.  We had the entire herd tested again, October 6. 2010, an annual event to make sure our goats are CAE and Johne's FREE.  We have a CAE negative herd and intend to keep it that way. Dr Doug Halbrook came out to draw the blood and it was sent directly to Washington State for the testing.  We should hear back this week with the results.  The two does missed the original testing and I hauled them to a local vet and sent their blood off as well.

Sunday, we traveled to Jackson, Mississippi to the Mississippi Fair to pick up our lastest buck.  He is Lost Valley PG Superb *S (right).  His dam is the number 1 top producing doe for 2009 AGS in Milk, Butterfat, and Protein.  ARMCH Lost Valley BDC Serabi 4*D/3*M.  His sire is also a champion, a Madison son.  He is a beautiful buck and we look forward to showing him next spring.

Yes, it is time to take a break and go back to work and rest.  The final photo is some fall color peaking out of the spanish moss of the oak trees out at the farm.  We hope you enjoyed our vacation and will stop by again to see what is going on at Oldesouth Farm....