Monday, August 31, 2009

New BFL lambs

My new boy, a white, carrying color (just what I wanted!) with a heavier fleece (Beeston Titan seemed to give his get more fleece and the lower, bigger/heavier ears). He is F2 Titan, F2 Titus, both parents are F1's so he is still at least 50% UK bloodlines. He is going on several Shetlands for mules as well as several of my BFL ewes. He also happened to win the competitive ram lamb class at MFF. Beechtree Silverdale x Beechtree Eskleydale. i took about 50 photos of Kirk and still no good ones. This was the best. I need to get him outside and stacked for you to see his amazing quality.
Below are twin ewe lambs from Stephen. Since I did end up getting most of his remaining BFL stock (Carol Bator got most of the rest) he is now officially out of them and such a pity. He had beautiful representatives of the breed.

Sheltering Pines' theme this year was Latin phrases we use in Enlgish. The girls then are called Sheltering Pines Sine Qua Non and ShelteringPines Prima Facie. The only difference between them is the ear tag number and Prima has a small black spot right above her front left hoof. I LOVE their dark blue pigment and the fact they carry color :) Beechtree Cragganmore x Beechtree Kearsley (who I'm also getting at Jefferson)

Prima Facie means 'at first sight', meaning I had to have her 'at first sight' :P

Sine Qua Non means ' something absolutely essential'. Which yea she was absolutely essential ;)

The rear on Prima Facie. Just beautiful...
And this is ShelteringPines Veni Vidi Vici which means "I came, I saw, I conquered". This guys fleece is just amazing. I liked his brother too but Rich Johnson took him hom. Veni is out of Wintertime Blues (Jazz's twin brother) and V Creek Guinevere, an F2 Greyling. I think this boy will be amazing with some of my girls. His tail is up here and it looks wooly but i guarantee you its just this photo. More photos tomorrow hopefully of him when he isn't 'releasing fertilizer' :)

NOW do you see why I needed another gray katmoget ram? :)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More photos and updates

Here are SOME of my ram lambs that I've weaned. Note the bright read halter on the BFL (we are halter training for Jefferson). If you notice I have several rams that will have scurs or abherant horns. the gray katmoget on the left front will have horns that go right back into his neck. Is that ok to neuter and let him grow over winter or will he still need his horns trimmed? I'm not registering him, but going to eat him. The smaller lambs are 4-6 weeks younger than the AI rams in the same photo. I have just about every color/pattern in here so if there is something you like, let me know. I could lease most of them and sell some of them if interested.
Underhill Peep, RYL Rachildas and then three BFLs (Bea, Nubia and Llanddewi) coming out of the barn and passing me to join the rest of the flock.
WhitePine Sedalia is in the back left. Notice the lambs are just about her height, but not her width. The ewe in front is Jazz x Layla. She is the most gorgeous ewe produced her but is NCWGA registerable only. Layla is F1 Orion, Jazz is F1 Jericho. The fawn katmoget ewe is a F1 Holly out of an F2 minder dam. She was a smirslet at birth but that is mostly gone now. She is one of my three F1 ewe lambs that I had this year. All are being retained.
WhitePine Kacy, my only BFL lamb of the year standing in a pose for me. Note the spotted ewe lamb in the back (whitepine Salome)
And proof that Sedalia FINALLY loves me :P Her fleece is just still so crimpy and soft. she is just amazing in every way...stucture, fleece, personality, pattern!
Black Forest Tilly with her black ewe lamb WhitePine Terah. Terah is an F3 Orion out of UnderTheSon Arapaho.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

where is my camera and poultry issues

I have to stop living out of my vehicles...i can't ever find the right thing i need, i.e. my phone charger, my sunglasses and now my camera. ugh. i could have used it tonight!

I put the pair of white faced Black Spanish bantams in with my OEGB and their chicks. I also put my 10, eight week old Guinea keets in the pen and closed the doors/windows for a few weeks to acclimate everyone. My OEGB rooster was nearly taking out the feathers of the WFBS so i threw him outside (ok ok placed him gently). THEN the two yearling Guinea Hens that I was able to trapt kept harassing the younger keets. *sigh*

I was reading Michelle's blog about her chicken problems and it IS safer to just walk away. So I kept checking back hourly and all of a sudden I could NOT find EIGHT of the keets! Apparently they got IN the wall and I had to break the wall apart to get them out. Not once, not twice. But THREE times (they are slow learners). *sigh*

On a note...when I returned from my 12 day stint I was missing FOUR OEGB now I'm down to 10, and it looks like four roosters and 6 hens. It is amazing that they can fly up and over a 5 foot wall when they are so tiny yet (size of a baseball or smaller)

WHEN and IF I find my camera I'll be taking new photos :) I promise!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weaning of the ram lambs

This evening I finally did what I've been dreading all summer. Weaning. I only weaned the ram lambs however. I've watched others like Stephen and Theresa, who leave their rams out on pasture with the moms all summer and it sure seemed to help my rams this year! Holy cow! They are all nice sized and fleeces are looking good. Several are going to be quite single coated, while others will be definintely intermediate.

I took fleece samples of 10 of my AI ram lambs and I'm sending them in to be microned. Its only the end of August but they are 5 months old and its already cool at night here (49 for a low tonight) so it very much feels like fall. Plus i don't like how they are using their horns to harass the ewes. I sent these 10 in as I wanted to make sure my hand was telling me these were the softest ones to hang on to. The others will be soft, but their fleeces will be intermediate and I that is not the style of fleece that I am going after. They would make someone going for the intermediate fleeces a fine flock sire.

I've also caught three yearling BFLs and my BFL lamb to halter train. Clover was halter trained last year but that doesn't mean she will remember what it is :) I'll keep you posted! Only two weeks until Jefferson so I better get my butt in gear! Hopefully they are easier to train with the new halters I purchased! Thanks Carol D for your help with that!

I have room for four Shetlands at Jefferson that I can sell. Four I am bringing to deliver for other people and I hope that the ones I bring will be ones that everyone will want to buy :) I'm very happy with them so far.

If you think you must have one of my F1 ram lambs, do let me know and I can bring them with for you to look at!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Updated BFL photos

I had posted these to my website but not everyone that follows this checks the websites :)

Below is Sheltering Pines Nubia (Sheltering Pines Nightwatch x Beechtree Black Pearl) I love everything about this ewe except her smaller ears and ear set.

Below is Sheltering Pines Morovia aka "Ears" (Sheltering Pines Nightwatch x Beechtree Kearsley) She is headed to Jefferson!
Potosi Llanddewi is from Kathy Davidson. Finely fleeced yearling ewe (Beechtree Thorndale AI x Potosi Ffion)
Beechtree Kiloran is my favorite ewe (Beechtree Glennfiddich x Beechtree Blue Mist). She is headed to Jefferson!
Beechtree Kershope (Beechtree Titanium x Beechtree Kearsley). I do not like her pinched shoulders but otherwise a very nice brood ewe.
CrossWind Clover (Beechtree Gunnerton x Beechtree Shonah)
Sheltering Pines Burma with buddies (ShelteringPines Nightwatch x Beechtree Blyth AI)
CrossWind Bea (Beechtree Gunnerton x Beechtree Magpie) Another friendly ewe with a light silvery taupe fleece.

The photos of my newest BFLs will be coming in the next week or so :) Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


This is walking along my driveway and you see the grassy ditch and the oats that is ready to harvest. I can't believe its so late this year. Some years we get it in so early we are harvesting in July already. We are going to have a bumper crop this year!
I didn't post many calf photos this year. Well they almost all look the same! Minneapolis, my home bred 3rd generation bull is the father of all of these get, except for the big guy, he was from AI from a bull that lived 30 years ago. I'm really happy with this crop!

Above are Angus, Mohican and Arapaho. Look at the nice rear on Angus!
I think Arapaho's horn is going to be fatal. The one side will be close, but this one is going right into his cheek. *sigh*
Mohican, a stout boy will also have close horns but they will not be fatal. He is available for sale or lease.
The black ewe is Justalit'l Black Lambo, who at age 9 is my softest mature ewe and such a producer! AFD 27.2, SD 6.2, CV 22.7, CR 70%. She was bred to Heights Orion last year and produced wonderful lambs!
ShelteringPines Snow Cloud (owned by Suzanne Nevada in AK) and her daughter WhitePine Salome out of Wintertime Jazz. Salome is being retained. She has amazing crimp and single coated! Oh an spotted too!

Monday, August 17, 2009

weighing lambs and ramblings

I thought prior to my trip to MFF that my lambs were quite large. Yes there were a few exceptions, but for the most part I felt my lambs were of good size for their age. No grain. No supplements aside from kelp, mineral, etc. Just pasture.

I weighed all my sheep (ewes, rams, lambs) on 6-11 when i wormed everyone. Today, I wormed with Valbazen as I had seen tapes in a few sheep recently (not at my farm or my sheep) and was petrified that I might have some. Better safe than sorry. I hadn't used Valbazen in nearly a year, since the last time I wanted to worm for tapes. Its the only brand I am aware of that kills the tapes.

Anyway I decided since I was alone that I would not weigh the adult ewes but just the lambs. All of them.

My largest lamb was actually my F1 Jamie polled ram Levi. He was a whopping 70 pounds already! Holy crap! My other AI rams were all 45-60 pounds, with all of them at least doubling their size from 9 weeks ago! I was quite impressed. I checked all lambs again for proper bites, conformation, fleece and on the boys to make sure there were two testes of equal size that were in the scrotum, not up in the body cavity.

There are two rams that are going to have fatal horns. one happens to be an F1 Timothy, my Ag ram. They are massive horns but I don't think they are going to clear the head, or they will be very close. The other has horns growing straight back into his neck. Pity.

The rest of the lambs look REALLY nice. My youngest lamb, out of Jazz and Sterling (Sedalia's full sister) weighs more than most of the lambs several weeks older than her. She is already 42 pounds (her mother is only 65 pounds as a two year old). Her fleece is just stunning and I'm really excited about her (as well as most of my other lambs)

I'm getting much pickier with my F1s in the fleece department and I'm waiting for some of them to change over in their fleeces. I'll probably hold over several in case their fleece does change over the winter.

I've also decided (at least today) that I will NOT be breeding any ewe lambs. Stephen still has larger lambs than me and I said I won't breed anything under 50 pounds. Last year according to my papers I had ewe lambs weighing between 40 and 60 pounds November 15, when I put groups together. I am already at those weights and that is three months away. I'm not trying to raise huge animals, just excited they are going to mostly all be over 50 pounds by then.

I'm also going to be lambing earlier in the spring to avoid the Cardigan National and hope to have older lambs to show and be competitive with next year at MFF and Jefferson.

I'm also not breeding ewe lambs (at least today) due to the fact that although sales are going well this year, for the most part people are still waiting for the economy to change. I figure I've done my part in stimulating it by buying sheep by the dozens last year, and just a few this year. Most people I talk to are waiting to sell lambs before buying lambs. '

I have a total mature ewe flock of 37 ewes including sale ewes and ewes that have found new homes but are still waiting to be delivered. I plan on using any sale animals on the BFL if they don't sell , 15 ewes to AI, and probably another 10 to ground breedings. That would give me 25 ewes for purebred, 10 for mules and then 10 or so BFLs to breed (not breeding lambs in those either). I had 32 ewes lamb this year in 2008. So not too terribly many more :)

I am bringing a few sale sheep to Jefferson. I hope to sell a few there to pay for my entries for Jefferson, but time will tell :) If you think I might have something you'd like, do let me know :)

Thoughts on MFF

I arrived to Stephen's farm on Wednesday, early afternoon. After unpacking the dogs and their belongings (crates, fans, xpens, etc) We headed to Lake Michigan and the home of a large nursery. The name escapes me but it is the home of a botanist who was the leading edge of the unique evergreens that were all over the property. We met Jim and Betty Garpow and toured the place and headed to Sagatauck for supper and a bit of shopping. The stores and food were incredible! I had some renowned fudge and icecream, went to a spice store, a 'fun' store and walked the boardwalk, listened to a band playin in a city park and took a small trip to the beach on Lake Michigan as well as the lake drive. All in the presence of great company and wonderful weather. We ate at an Enlgish Pub and grill. I'm beginning to love those places!

Thursday morning I stayed at the farm and caught up on my email. Stephen had to take his mother to the hospital as she had a big fall on Wednesday and wasn't feeling any better. We headed to the London Grill in Plainwell (another British pub with Indian food, my favorite place to go). Thursday afternoon I helped him sort sale sheep, deworm the group and go over the BFLs. Thursday afternoon Bill Stearman arrived and, the Garpow's and Stephen and I headed to the Rock Bottom Bar and Grill and we pretty much laughed and scared the whole group out of the basement! I had the most amazing chicken alfredo pizza ever!

Juliann Budde arrived after dark and we took her out to Applebee's where I had a great mudslide drink for dessert.

friday morning I got up early and drove north an hour to visit Beechtree Farm where Brenda and I went through most of her sheep (especially the ones for sale) and I listened a lot and learned a great deal about the history of her flock. I wish I had a voicerecorder for that! After a quick lunch at Arby's we headed down to MFF with their show string in the trailer. I helped unload their sheep and get the pens ready and said hello to a few people I knew. Before I knew it the day was close to over and I had to rush back to Stephen's to shower and get ready for Sam's Joint where we have our traditional meal with Shetland friends and enthusists (and many backrow spinners!) Kim Nikolai, Carol Bator, the Gygi's, Garpow's, Karen Valley, Juliann, myself, Stephen, Bill and Gail Former, as well as many spinner friends enjoyed a great meal.

After I could hardly move, we then ran (seriously I nearly did, incase the last black bottom pie was there for me!) and there were no less than 22 people there as Rich Johnson finally made it there to enjoy a well earned dessert at the 747 bar.

Saturday morning I 'slept in' until about 7am (eastern) and went to talk sheep outside and then headed to the show. The Ludlam's won just about every ribbon you could think of in the Shetland show! In the BFLs (whites only) Brenda won 1st place ewe lamb with Carol Bator a close second! The entire ewe lamb class was a sight to behold and I would have loved to have owned any of them. The ram lamb class was won by a ram lamb named Kirkdale, who I had purchased just the day before. I guess I have an eye ;) A close second and definitely a strong contender was another Carol Bator lamb who was just breathtaking! He is going to produce some lovely offspring! Again all of the ram lambs were just beautiful and another sign of the good things to come with the breed. Overall champion was a yearling ewe and reserve was the 2nd place yearling ewe. The yearling rams were overall champions with I believe Brenda with the champion and reserve going to the Densmores? Correct me if I'm wrong!

The natural colored longwool class was won by a yearling ewe from Margaret VanCamp, followed by a Border Leicester ewe and then Brenda's yearling ewe. The lambs I cannot remember so hopefully someone can help me out with that as well :)

After a long day of showing (I STILL have not gone to see the vendors!!) I raced back to Stephen's to shower and then head over with the crew to The Ludlam's annual event. Numbers were down, but the laughter was still quite high! I met so many new and wonderful people it was really great to meet them! I couldn't believe how fast the time wait all year to go to MFF and then when you are there its hard to believe its almost over!

Sunday morning I loaded up the last of Stephen's BFLs as he is unable to keep them any longer. I ended up taking Beechtree Kearsley an F2 CH/V2 homozygous white ewe, her twin ewe lamb daughters out of Beechtree Cragganmore and a yearling white ewe Catalonia who is a triplet sister to my Burma here. I also snatched up a Blues x Guinevere gray katmoget ram lamb. He was just too nice to pass up!

A hundred thank yous to Juliann and Kim for helping transport sheep for me while I was driving my dogs in a tiny Focus Wagon. I think Stephen is a class A guy for putting all his friends up, driving us around, and doing such a wonderful job at promoting the classic Shetland and the fine fleeced animals that he produces!

I'm back!

I'm back from my extremely long and extremely fun trip out east.

For those who are interested in the Dog side of the trip, do check out my dog

For those who are interested in the sheep portion, read on!

It was a pleasure meeting fellow blogger and facebook friends Bill Stearman and Rich Johnson. I think both men are extremely funny and quick witted and both have some great knowledge in the Shetland breed. Our sheep are very luck to have them :)

I need to head out to do some work but will post more as soon as time allows. I didn't get any photos of MFF as my camera died before I could take any sheep photos, but I did get a lot of gorgeous photos of Sagatauck, MI where Stephen and Betty and Jim Garpow and I went for some touristy things and supper.

more soon!

Monday, August 3, 2009

a few parting photos

Before my big trip that I'll be gone for I wanted to share a few photos of black based lambs...Too many times buyers overlook them just because they are black. A big pity!

Above we have F1 Jamie on the left named WhitePine Levi. He "may" be going to Oregon for a fall of courting some ladies..... On the right is White Pine Reuben. He is slated to be going to Pennsylvania to court some ladies there as well!

Below, Reuben and his mom Rahu.
Isn't he just breathtaking?!! :)
Below is WhitePine Terah out of Black Forrest Tilly and UnderTheSon Arapaho.

All three lambs carry moorit, and Levi carries spots to boot! Terah is staying here for the time being. She is just beautiful.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

BFL Bliss

I love the way BFLs look to be 'blissful' or 'sunning' themselves. Just beautiful graceful animals (well depends on who you ask I guess! ) This is Beechtree Kershope and her daughter WhitePine Kacy enjoying some 'down' time.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

New Rams

You are very right. I know. I'm crazy. I'm a fool. What on earth do I need two more rams for when I have so many lovely ram lambs? It is indeed a valid inquiry. So let's discuss it.

My long term goals was to have a group of animals that encompassed all colors and patterns. Certainly with three black gulmoget ewes I'd get gulmoget lambs right? In two years that answer is no. So I really wanted a gulmoget ram and now I have one. FirthofFifth Angus has now made Ramsay Farms his home. He is shaela/emsket to boot and I love the fact that I can get modifed AND gulmogets out of him. He also has full horns, something that most gulmogets here in NA do not have, so I am very pleased to have him. He is not as fine as my other boys so he will be used very selectively on my finest ewes in hopes of modified and gulmoget lambs (better if on the same lambs!) Below he is pictured with my two year old FirthofFifth Barish, my now softest ram, who is an F1 Timothy. (note the aberrant horns!)
A fuzzy photo of Angus' side.
Now before we talk about Pogo, let's discuss why i needed a 3rd gray katmoget ram. Well this boy is definitely spotted! (smirslet, sokket, with a white tail). He is out of a ram I really appreciated Underhill Thelonis Monk, and a ewe I adore, Justali'tl Bedegrayne. His two year old fleece was approximately 27 AFD, 5 SD, 19 CV so I'm hoping the low SD and CV can be brought out in his lambs. What's better is he is AbAa and he carries moorit!

I have found in my quest for the finest fleeces that most of these animals have not been spotted and so my flock shows that as I've moved most of my spotted lines out as they have not been fine enough for my goals. I hoping that between Pogo, Jazz, Barish and Angus (first two are spotted, second two carry spots) that I'll have some dynamite lambs next spring.
Below head shot of Pogo and his gorgeous horns
A side view. Sharrie I must say he has not bashed anything yet (knock on wood) and he is actually quite gentlemanly with me and the other rams (although at feeding time they do tend to push each other around some)

Available sheep

With my work load continuing to pile up, and less time to spend with the sheep, I am offering the following: My entire flock of BlueFaced ...