Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hey a PHOTO!

I went out and tried to point and shoot with my digital camera. There is still no screen but I'm sick of not being able to take photos to add to my blog :)

Needless to say I took over 200 and only had ONE that I thought was nice enough to share. So here you are!

2010 Simmental Calves that I retained!
In the front and center is my only UK semen heifer calf born this year, Inga. The Red/White baldy in the back of her is the UK semen bull I kept, Drexell. The yellow spotted/baldy calves on either side of him are from the 1980's old US semen. Their entire structure, hair and look is totally reminiscent of the super tall, long legged, skinny bodies of all beef breeds in the US during that phase. The British calves are much stockier and have curly winter coats like the original Simmental. I hope to be able to save the yellow color and the spotted pattern using both lines and blending them.

The light red goggle faced heifer is from my own lines of US and Canadian bulls that I hope to also blend with the old and 'new' semen so I can continue to save the old light red, yellow and spotted markings that were the Simmental breed here just a decade or so ago and still can be found all over Europe.

We'll see what happens....

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lack of snow = ewes and cows for sale!

Due to the lack of snow (we have maybe 4 inches of snow) and having missed five of the last 6 storms that brought FEET of snow here to Minnesota, I need to sell some ewes and cows to pay for my bills.

I wanted to let those of you who leased ewes from me, the option of purchasing the ewes first.

Also I will have several other ewes available.....of course with me kicking and screaming....but bills must be paid!

All ewes are blood tested negative several times for OPP, Johnes, CL and Blue Tongue. Several years of micron tests also available. UTD on vaccination and worming.

I will sell TWO Simmental cows, that are bred to a Red Angus bull (calves would make great steaks! I'm just sayin'!) Callie and Rena are both traditional Simmental (red and spotted) and are regsitered with the American Simmental Association. Proven mothers. I'm asking $1500.00 for each cow. Both have daughters that I have retained in the herd, and thus are available. Both are in their prime years for calving!

I also have several straws of British Simmental semen available to anyone interested in using some of the first UK semen to enter the US for Simmental!

Once I have finalized for sure who is available, I will try and collect photos of them. If pick up is not an option until spring, a small boarding fee would be added to the price.

Please inquire

Monday, December 13, 2010

Breeding Groups and Sheep Breeding

Yesterday I put the clean up ram WhitePine Caiphas (F1 Holly horned gray katmoget) in with all the Shetland mature ewes. Having never been with ewes before and nearly two years of age I didn't know if he'd know enough to breed anyone, but within moments WhitePine Naomi was batting her eyelashes and standing for him. I've never witnessed a mating between sheep before. I honestly thought the up until now that the stork brought them as I never witnessed it.

Now I know why!

It lasted an entire 5 seconds, twice. Last year Naomi was a lamb and she didn't cycle apparently when I had her in with her ram of my choosing. Not odd as many lambs don't cycle at all their first year, or cycle late. This year she was with Barnabas, but apparently she is a slow/late cycler again and so now I'll have a May lamb for sure. Yippee.

I was unable to find a way to the Bluff Country to pick up another Texel ram so my 5 mules and one unregistered Shetland ewe, and the three mule ewe lambs that were to go with him I finally just put in with Burma the NC BFL and the 10 BFL ewes. If my white BFL ram lamb Wycliffe missed anyone in the purebred BFL group, Burma will get them, along with the mules and crosses. Better late than never. And no Texel crosses for next year, but I'll make sure to be better prepared then.

I had separated out the Shetland ewe lambs in to two groups today. Breedable size and 'too small to compete today' size. I was going to put my other F1 Holly, a bielset moorit smooth polled ram lamb named Ludacris in with the larger sized girls, but then decided reasonably that I am crazy to want 10-15+ more ewes lambing in MAY after my initial 65+ in March/April and then the Burma group later. Reason finally won over.

I really wanted the Brits to see lambs out of the F1's and may change my mind tomorrow but if I don't decide soon, it will be way too late and I don't want tiny lambs come next fall that I can't breed or sell that are of any iffy size.

Always rambling. And still waiting for snow here in the deeply frozen MN country.

9:20 AM and -18 degrees without windchill

Its cold enough that when you walk outside the corner of the eyelids start to freeze up!

And although there is an 'urban legend' going around Oregon that because they are "so cold" there that their fleeces become double coated and longer than 7".

That silly myth surely was proved erroneous here in Minnesota these past few weeks! Our frost is nearly down 6 FEET already, with the limited snow we've had. The Shetlands, Cattle and dogs are not growing longer wool/hair or going double coated on me in any stretch of the imagination. The last photos I saw of a friend's blog they had green grass in Oregon right now....surely not as cold as Minnesota's deep freeze that we've had the past month or so.

Nope. I'm pretty sure the longer fleeces are genetic. For the better or the worse, its genetic and not due to the weather.

I'm not slamming that 'type' of fleece, just merely debunking that silly myth.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A link

My friend Philp Cowan was made the Featured Student of the Month at his University over in the UK.

Its worth a read and shows a photo of one his pedigreed Shetland Sheep that he showed this year.

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 ...