Monday, April 4, 2011

Spring Continues and we love it!

Oh, My, there is nothing better then spring and the new life it brings forth.  The south is exploding with flowers blooming and pollen to the max.  I thank the lord pollen does not bother me personally, but many of my friends are suffering.  I recommend goat milk and they scoff...  Oh well to each their own...

My mom and I planted this white Wisteria 12 years ago in front of a Cedar tree in front of my home.  It has grown and taken over the tree.  Each spring we get this magnificent flush of white that fills the air with heavenly scent.  It is spectacular.  White Wisteria is rare and we love it.
 I forget what kind of vine this is, but the little yellow flowers it has are so cute and colorful.  My mom planted this as well.  Once it is done blooming, we cut it back and it grows like crazy all summer long.
This is an up close photo of the White Wisteria.  We planted it at the base of the tree and it wrapped itself around the tree and has huge 6 inch vines which have grown into the tree trunk.  If anyone would like a part of this to root and grow your own, just let us know.

We have been able to acquire some of the rare Brush Creek Nigerian Dwarf foundation stock.  We like the breeding and pedigrees.  The does are older and have not been bred for a few years.  We have them in isolation and drew blood work on them last week.  I called Washington State Lab and all the girls are clean.  The tests were all negative for CAE, CL, and Johnes.  Three Brush Creek Does are very rare.     We were able to get 7 does.  Not all Brush Creek, but nice does with nice pedigrees. We want to worm the girls once more before putting them with the rest of our herd.  We plan on breeding some for fall and the rest for next Spring.

The photo to the  right is part of the group in isolation.  The White doe is Brush Creek's Liz, a Caesar's Villa CBS Mae West daughter.  The lovely Charmoisee doe in the front is Sugar Valley Farm Harmony, a polled doe.   Brush Creek Olive is hiding in the middle, She is sired by CH Buttin' Heads Red Branch Legend *S, out of BC Charlie's Angel.  The lovely blue eyed doe in the back is LTE Perovskia (Sage).
This is the Grand Dam, Brush Creek Charlie's Angel.  She is sired by Buttin' Heads Cardiologist, out of BS Charlie.  A perfect top line this old gal has and nice width.  She is black with tan on her underbelly, which is unusual. 

The photo to the right is LTE Perovskia (Sage)  She is a lovely blue eyed doe sired by Promisedland CP Zippo *S, out of Echo Point Lady Bug.  I saw her at a show as a yearling milker and she has matured very well.  Her daughter is to her right by Power stroke.
 I have had folks ask for me to post a photo of Victor, our Mini Cheviot ram from Smokey Valley in Washington State.

He is a little guy and threw some awesome lambs, built like teddy bears.  We will get a new photo when we have him sheared.  We will start shearing toward the end of April, beginning of May.  We like to wait so the sheep are nice and short for the hottest months, June, July and August.
We have more beautiful lambs.  Victor is tiny, barely 19 inches tall and he bred everyone.  He is the man.  He is built like a tank, very compact and his disposition is perfect.  No trouble out of this boy and I keep him with the ewes.  He is so small I am afraid to put him with the Icelandic rams for fear he will be injured.  At about 35 pounds, it would not take much to kill the little guy...  He is safe with the ewes and they like him...  Victor's lambs look like mini tanks.  They are fantastic!!

More lambs have arrived. 

 Angie is an older Icelandic Ewe.  She had twin ewes, one gray and one Badger Faced.  We will be retaining the Badger Face ewe and the Gray ewe lamb is for sale.  Angie is so proud of her lambs.
 Old Luthen is another elderly Icelandic ewe from Icelandic AI, imported semen.  She did not lamb last year, but had twins this year.  She had my favorite color, Black Mouflon ewe lamb! She also had a white ram lamb.  You can see how pleased she is with her baby girl!  These old ewes are so great and they love their babies.
Here is an Oops.  Does this Cheviot lamb look a bit different?  Yeah, he is a Sheliot, Shetland and Cheviot mix.  His mom is a yearling Cheviot.  The young Shetland ram (Amos) we left with the ewes must have talked this yearling into a bit of romance.  The fleece is very soft and his build is finer then the other teddy bear Cheviot's.  It was very obvious who sired this little man.

To the right is Beauty 401.  She is a two year old Icelandic ewe and her new lamb by Snow Man is behind her.  She is a beautiful ewe with a great horn set.
Luthen, an Icelandic ewe, wanted to make sure everyone knew she had twins and her baby boy was pictured on the blog.  The little white ram is Luthen's pride and joy.  Last year when she did not lamb, she was depressed and sullen for a couple of months.  These old ewes live to care for their lambs.

What a regal Icelandic ewe!  This is Valarie, who carries Leader genetics.  She is a heavy milker, with large, easy to milk teats.  She is with her two ewe lambs which will be retained. 

Yes, we have more action going on.  No one is getting bored around our farm.  We have been searching for some carpenters to convert a large storage shed into a milking parlor and clean area.  It will have hot and cold running water and AC/heat.  I have struggled for several years, sweating to death and being eaten alive by flys while trying to milk.  Last year I quit in June because I could not stay hydrated long enough to milk.  Sweat poured off me and it was so miserable, I said the heck with it.  We milked from October to June and did not start back until November.

Anyway we have been planning this for some time and all my soap making junk will be moved out of my kitchen to the farm.  This will unclutter my kitchen which is very small to begin with.

The photo to the left is where the goats will enter and exit.  We put a roof over the waiting area because we know how the Diva's do not like to get wet when it rains.  I will put a grate at the entrance to clean dirty hooves before entering the milking area.  The door closest is the exit door.  We will put up pens and gates to make it so the pigs can not sneak around to come back through for more feed and cause trouble.

The clean area has a stainless steel 3 sink area we found locally at a reasonable price.  We will have hot and cold water, shelving for the soap to cure on and a large frig for milk and a small frig for medications.  We will be storing all our meds and wormers in this climate controlled area as well.

We won't have to drag our milking equipment back and forth from the house to the farm.  Of course we are not Grade A or anything, just organized and clean with NO ?%%@  Flies!!!  I hate flies and they bite me and the goats.  We will probably set up a small fly spray system.  They are inexpensive and can have a timer that sprays when we are not there to kill any flies who come in when the doors are opened for the goats. 

We are going to lay down new lanolium and have it go up the wall about 6 inches so we can hose the milking area if need be.  I like my milk clean and the area clean.  I grew up around grade A cattle Dairies and that is how it should be.  We drink our milk raw and make cheese for the family.  We want the milk collection as clean as possible and comfortable for myself and my helpers.  No body wants to work in a sweat shop, especally me.

Enough for now...