Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shearing Date March 12th

Our shearer has a full day ahead of him with over 100 sheep to shear on Saturday March 12th.

You are welcome to come and help skirt fleeces, move sheep, or just take photos and purchase raw fleeces! Beverages and lunch will be provided! Just let me know if you are coming so I can plan for food. There is also plenty of beds to stay the night either or both nights before and after shearing!

It will be a LONG day!

Monday, February 21, 2011

New Chicks

Rayna and her mother and I banned together to place a chick order.

I ordered 5 chicks and they got an 'exotic mix' of layers.

The five I got were all different kinds for variety sake.

White Wyandotte
Silver Laced Wyandotte
Gold Laced Wyandotte
Partridge Rock
Buff Orpington

I'm still hoping to find a few yearlings to add to my egg production for the time being and let these five little fuzz balls grow up. They will be coming home in about a month to my farm when I can meet up with Rayna and her mom. So I have a little bit of time to get their pen ready!

YAY! Chicks! It truly MUST be spring!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rams used for 2011 lambs

I was looking through my micron results from 2010 and thought i'd recap the rams I used last fall for 2011 lambs.

I only used a ram lamb for my BFLs and did not do fall lamb tests.

Wintertime Jazz (87.5%UK) His third fleece test was 26.7 AFD, 5.4 SD, 20.1 CV, CEM 9.1 with a spin fineness of 25.8. He's proven himself as a breeder here for three breeding seasons.

WhitePine Barnabas (76%UK) Yearling fleece test was 22.3AFD, 5.3 SD, 23.9 CV, CEM 10.6 and SF of 22.2. He's a modified fawn katmoget of Orion and Timothy lines.

WhitePine Caiphas (65% UK) F1 Holly (horned) gray katmoget ram used for clean up this year. AFD 21.9, SD 4.7, CV21.5, CEM 8.8 with a SF of 21.4

WhitePine Roman (56% UK) F1 Orion white horned ram. 2nd year I've used him! AFD 22.3, SD 5.1, CV 23.1, CEM 10.1 with a SF of 22.1

WhitePine Levi rooed completely in February before I did fleece samples last year so I didn't get his yearling fleece microned. I did have a fall lamb micron but can't find my organized papers...ahem. I do remember it was lovely or I wouldn't have used him on 9 ewes this year. 2nd year I used him as well.

FirthofFifth Nekomis. A Jazz nephew (his sire is Blues and out of Bramble Nadeen) and also gray katmoget. His TWO year old fleece was AFD 21.8 / SD 4.6 / CV 21 / CF 97.8%. I like this boy. A lot. I'm excited to see what he produces

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival 2011

I wanted to share with everyone that there will be THREE Shetland Sheep Society members coming over to the Jefferson WS&WF in September 2011. All three are SSS certified ram inspectors and SSS certified judges. This will be a huge weekend of education and learning and I am so excited they are all coming! They are VERY modest in their bio's and I cannot wait until they arrive!

Here are the bio's for two of three people.

Alan A. Hill
Vice President (ex chairman) Shetland sheep Society

I was raised and educated with a rural background and had a grounding in beef cattle & heavy horses.
In my early marriage kept poultry & Jacobs, Wensleydales and finally Shetland sheep in the early to mid 1980's.
I became a member of the then Shetland Sheep Breeders Group in 1985, the year of its formation.
Elected to committee of the SSBG in 1988 then under the Chairmanship of Dr S.H.U Bowie. I was elected to chairman in October 1990 and re-elected chairman in the following years until retiring from that position in September 2003. I was then elected an Honorary Vice President of the now Shetland Sheep Society.
I was appointed a judge for the Society in 1988 and I've judge all of the Major shows in the UK where Shetland sheep are represented. The Royal Show of England , The Great Yorkshire Show, Royal Bath & West Show, The Royal Highland Show of Scotland and the vast majority of county and regional shows throughout the UK including judging at Voe Show on the Shetland Islands.
On retiring from " the chairmanship" I reverted to showing sheep again taking many Supreme and reserve supreme championships at shows throughout the UK. I have also taken top honours at SSS shows and sales. In 2007 I won the SSS UK small flock showing competition.

Kate Sharp
I was raised and educated with a rural background, and a grounding with horses, dogs and other animals
I married a farmer in 1987 kept poultry, horses, dogs, Shetland sheep and many other breeds.. From 1988/89 I have concentrated on breeding and showing Shetland sheep and I also started my hand spinning & knitwear business.
I was a SSS committee member for 6 years
After being appointed a Judge and Ram inspector for the SSS I have judged many of the major SSS shows in the UK including The Royal Show of England, Royal Bath and West, The Royal Highland Show of Scotland and have had the honour of judging on the Shetland Islands at Voe Show in 2009.
Over many years I have been very successful in the show ring winning top honours at many SSS represented shows and sales throughout the UK including winning The Royal show of England, The Great Yorkshire show 4 times and The Royal Highland show 3 times.
The SSS Champion of champions UK held every 5 years started in
2000 I won reserve supreme champion with my Moorit ram,
2005 I won supreme champion with my black shearling ewe,
2010 I qualified my grey katmoget shearling ewe (co-owned with Alan Hill) and also my moorit shearling ewe who qualified at Melton Mowbray SSS show and sale (see SSS website)
I have mainly concentrated on breeding moorits, blacks, grey katmogets sheep for over 20yrs and still doing so.

Several years ago I went into partnership with Alan Hill to concentrate on breeding a flock of Grey Shetland sheep, we have been very successful doing so
Together we run over 150 Shetlands

Udderly Amazing BFLs

Several of my BFLs are gearing up for lambing. Their udders are starting to swell up. Their 'back ends' are starting to soften and get bright pink. Their waddling in and out of the barn is just cuter than words. I put the BFL together only a day earlier than the Shetlands. I do think however that the BFL cycle earlier so I'll expect them to lamb earlier. I checked most of them for udders last night at their PM feeding. It appears most of the ones that have lambed before will all lamb together early. It looks as though the F2 Rossiebank ram lamb, Wycliffe, did his job well :)

They shouldn't start lambing until March 9 or thereabouts which is about 2 weeks away so I won't get TOO crazy about checking in the barn yet, but I will have everything done before they come this year. Let's hope they are better moms this time around!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chick Order Anyone?

I'm in love with my three laying hens that I have. But they are going to be three years old. They've stopped laying for the past few months ( I do not blame them!) and I'm looking at getting around 6-10 hens. Of course one needs to order 25 chicks at a time to ship so I'm looking for friends who may have some of these available, or would like to go in on an order with me. I have no problem raising them until they are started and can ship them to you.

I of course NEED two Blue Laced Red Wyandottes from Jerry or Nancy. ahem....

Then of course one or two of each of the following, in no particular order:

Black Australops
Barred Rock
Buff Orpington
Partridge Rock
Speckled Sussex
Cookoo Maran
Golden Laced Wyandotte
Silver Laced Wyandotte

Aside from those I really like the Lakenvelder, WhiteFaced Black Spanish, Buttercup and Golden Campine but not sure if they are good layers. Will have to research more.

These will all be free range come spring time and the egg layers seem to really be a lot more friendly than the Old English Game Bantams that I have. But those OEGB sure are fun to watch!

So. Without wanting too much chicken math....who's in with me?? :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

More pigeon itis

Another one of my favorite breeds

The Exhibition Homer. LOVE these birds and their personalities. So mellow.

Pigeon itis

I'm starting to get more excited about my pigeons again. Lord knows its been a long time since I've really talked about them. One of my favorite breeds was and still is the Berliner ShortFaced Tumbler. Its been a recognized breed since mid 19th century.

Berlin Short Faced Muffed Tumbler Pigeon
Berlin Short Faced Muffed Tumbler Pigeon

I do kind of miss them. Ok I really do. Maybe I need to get a couple pair again. They are so endearing. Ok maybe I'll see who of my friends still has some and see what i can get :) You talked me in to it!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Less than 5 weeks until lambing

I need to get my lambing jugs organized, the lamb bucket of goodies prepared, the alleyways swept out and limed, and just stuff put back in place. When Shetlands get out they tend to climb stuff like cats, and everything falls on to the ground. Add in free range chickens (you know who you are....) and there tends to be a lot of my organizational skills put to shame. You would think with my OCD (self diagnosed) that this would drive me bonkers. It does. But it does give me something to do. And the animals look so innocent when I ask them about it.

I'm a bit overwhelmed with the thoughts of lambs coming already. I can't believe its nearly here. My friend Kathy D in PA already had her first lambs and I just can't believe anyone would want to lamb this early! Most of my neighbors with the big meat breeds are already all shorn and lambed out. I can't understand the shearing thing. Its the coldest month of the year and their sheep are slick shorn. It makes no sense.

Its been over 6 weeks since Adam has left. He decided he needed to stay in Milwaukee after the holidays and while we still talk nearly every day, its very dull and boring here in comparison to having his bubbly personality here. He is going back to school and has a job now. We still remain the best of friends and although he is missed greatly here, he is doing what he needs to do and I am happy for him. Unfortunately I am having some health issues related to this change but am working through it and am thankful for all of my friends amazing love and support during this time.

Lambing would have been MUCH easier had he been here, but I've done it alone for many years so what's another year? I believe the lambs will be better than ever and I'm just super excited to see what comes out of these breeding groups. I really have a good group of animals and now its just tweaking what I need in my own personal flock. Proven ewes will be available if they have ewe lambs this year so if you are looking for proven ewes with good lambing history, blood tested negative for 4 diseases, micron tested yearly and proper breed type, then I may have just what you are looking for ;)

Hope everyone is doing well in this cold and snowy time!

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 ...