Sunday, July 24, 2011

Organization and Sale Animals

This weekend was a weekend of organization, regrouping and redirecting some things with the farm. Nothing 'huge' I guess, but stuff got done, in part, to my friend Tylor and to my Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Ell. Ell is a fun girl to watch work the sheep and I was able to bring the sheep in to the barn and sorting pens without running, yelling or injuring myself or the 4-wheeler (shorter grass in these pastures).

I took the first round of evaluated ram lambs and mature ewes to the sale barn today. I dewormed everyone for liver flukes and tape worms given the extremely wet summer we are having for the 2nd year. Its the first time I've wormed them all blanket style (that means everyone) but I think it was for the best. All but two sheep had dark red or dark pink eye lids the two that didn't, went to the auction.

I evaluated all lambs. Ram lambs were checked for two testes (all passed!), good bites, good flesh, and breed typical traits: fluke shaped tails, bright and alert expressions, good horns (or lack of horns), wool on cheeks and poll. And of course the fleece type that I prefer, the 4-6" crimpy UK style fleece of the 1927 standard.

There are two black ewe lambs that will have a longer 5-7" fleece with a bit more tip than I prefer, but they are solidly built ewe lambs, nice growth and condition, and good conformation. Delivery to Jefferson is possible. I feel they still fit the 'diversity' of our standard but are not extreme, and are more typical of most of the intermediate fleeced sheep.

WhitePine Festive Ale - black ewe lamb - Sire: WhitePine Roman (F1 Orion) x Dam: WhitePine Festus (Jazz x ShelteringPines Fleur de Lis. She could carry spots and moorit. Very typey ewe.

WhitePine Rare Vas - black ewe lamb - Sire: WhitePine Barnabas (F1 Orion F2 Timothy) x Dam: WhitePine Rush (F2 Orion). Just as square as the above ewe. Would make a great pair of ewe lambs. Slightly related but different points as well.

Ram lambs: All have good bites, fully equipped ram parts. Nice horns (where applicable). Fleeces are typical of the style I like, UK type crimpy, soft and even fleeces.

White Pine Salvator - gray katmoget horned ram. Carries spots. FirthofFifth Nekomis x WhitePine Salmone. F3/F3 Jericho.

WhitePine Kaliber - gray katmoget polled ram. F2 Jamie F2 Jericho. WhitePine Levi x FirthofFifth Koosi. could carry moorit and carries solid.

WhitePine Nastro Azzuro - white horned ram - F2 Orion F4 Jericho. WhitePine Roman x WhitePine Neriah (Blues x Nirvana). Neriah is my best ewe and this lamb does not disappoint.

WhitePine Radler - black scurred ram - F3 Jericho F4 Dillon. FirthofFifth Nekomis x FirthofFifth Rahu (Forrest daughter). I'm planning on showing him in Jefferson and he'll be available for sale anytime from now until then, I just want to show him.

WhitePine Manchester United - gray katmoget  horned. WhitePine Caiphas (F1 Holly) x Owl Hill Miss Lilly (F1 Holly, F2 Orion). He has a small krunet on the forehead.

WhitePine Back Fin - black horned. WhitePine Caiphas (F1 Holly) x WhitePine Bethany (F1 Orion x Lambo!)

Manchester and Fin are late lambs so they may NOT be ready to breed ewes this fall.

I also have a black fully horned ram out of WhitePine Roman (F1 Orion) x ShelteringPines Nirvana. He could carry the horned ewe gene, is nicely conformed and growthy, but does not feel as fine as my other lambs. He was born with a dog coat, but its starting to come in crimpy at the skin.

please inquire for any further information.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Clarity and Peace

I love this post. If there is ever a time for clarity of subjects, this is it. And I cannot say it so eloquently.

Theresa's post

I always have so much to say but not the proper way to say it without sounding offensive, know-it-all, or degrading (which is NEVER my intent if you have met me and know me and are my friend!)

Back to work and trying to heal!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

First crop of hay

Last year we fertilized several of our hay fields with sugar beet lime, organic substance that apparently did well. We had two smaller hay fields and got over 100 and 140 LARGE round bales for our cattle for the winter months! Last year we had only 150 total from TWO crops of hay from the same fields and same weather conditions! Fantastic!! We also fed oat straw to the cows during the beginning of the fall as they didn't need such high protein in their diets and they were just as fat and sassy as they were in years past when we fed them corn silage (shudders at the thought). All of the second cutting of hay will be small squares for the sheep. last year i needed about 1500 small squares to get through the winter and I had a few extra bales up in the hay mow. This year I think I will need about the same, as i won't have as many BFLs to over winter this year. But I'm excited for EXTRA hay as this stuff will be higher in protein and nutrition than last years hay, which was harvested from land that my dad is letting our neighbor rent this year.

I'm quite pleased to already know that there will be enough for everyone again this year to eat!

Catching up

A lot has happened since the last update!

I drove to central Wisconsin to pick up pigs. Three gilts that are Hampshire x Yorkshire girls and a boar that is Duroc x Hampshire. I looked a long time for Berkshire or Tamworth hogs and couldn't find any. I checked local sites, breed associations and no replies or returned phone calls. The hamp/york/duroc cross is one that my Grandpa and his dad and grandpa did while on our farm. My grandpa sold the last of his pigs 2 years ago and I have sorely missed the farm raised bacon and pork that we get, so I went out and after a two year search, was able to finally get some. I will post photos soon. Their pasture is so tall its hard to get good photos of them. They are a friendly and inquisitive lot and I look forward to being able to produce pork for local people and friends alike.

Chicken Math happened while I was picking up the three girls and I brought a lavender Ameracauna rooster home with me named Click (or Clack). This rooster from day one has had it out for me. I went to feed the girls one morning and he came right up to me and jumped at me with his spurs. luckily I was wearing pants and I proceeded to chase him around the building a few times for good measure. Since then he begins crowing about 30 minutes before sunrise, so its 430 or so and its EVERY day...and ALL day long. He likes to crow jsut outside my open bedroom window. When I yell out the window at him he marches CLOSER to the window and crows again. That Cheeky B*st*rd!!! I'm not sure he'll make it past this breeding season :)

I have one ewe left to lamb. Never will I again keep a clean up ram in with the ewes until shearing day. Never. I love the lambs but NEVER!

Rotational grazing is amazing. I JUST put my girls into my first warm season grasses paddock of the year. At this rate I won't get through all the paddocks more than twice. that should help any remaining worm cycles get broken.

Lambs are growing by leaps and bounds. I have a few new customers coming up this weekend to pick up their lambs/ewes, and am delivering a few more to Jefferson, WI at the WS&WF.

I was out at BSG this year again and this year, now knowing how judges are supposed to judge, they are supposed to judge on wool 60% and conformation 40%. This judge this year was from NDSU and lives in ND. if you closed your eyes and listened to his reasons, you would have thought he was judging meat sheep classes. His reasons such as "massive size, substance, amount of bone, length, extreme width, carcass, depth of body, etc" were all things I would think would be fantastic for breeds like BFL, or the more meat type sheep like his homegrown Hampshires and such. Unfortunately this judge yet again disappointed me, and after seeing his placements, even the wool, regardless of 'type' of wool, was inexcusable as the sheep were unshorn, rooing, large peices were missing, and yet they placed reserved grand champion ewe. Makes my heart sad just to think about it. In the supreme champion ring, every animal was the largest, biggest, longest, widest specimen of the breed classes. The largest animal in the ring one, a Merino and I was not at all surprised.

Tuesday I was thrown from our 4 wheeler. The grass in the home cattle pasture is 4 feet tall in places. Too tall for any of my dogs to see the sheep to herd, and too tall for the sheep to not run in circles when evading the four wheeler. Much to my error, I hit an abrupt mound of earth (covered in tall grass) and was flung from the machine. I watched it land inches from my body. Scary stuff. I drove myself via motorcycle to the ER and had an MRI, xrays and a CATscan done to see just how bad it was. A torn liver, bruised ribs and kidneys, abrasions all over my left shoulder blade and deep cuts on my right knee... they sent me home and told me to take it easy for a few weeks....a farmer who landscapes....yep. this will happen. My parents left today for Montana on their annual motorcycle trip with the Fargo Harley Chapter.

At BSG I fell in love again with Joanie Livermore's Leicester Longwools. Given my battle with the BFLs, I thought I may be brave enough to try a few heritage sheep. I got two white yearlings, a ram and a ewe, out of AI lines and from a Scrapie Certified flock that also is negative for OPP. I'm really tickled by them and they already are friendly, calm and personable just like the BFLs are.

My garden has fallen to the wayside since my tiller died. its only 4 years old so i'm having it repaired but watching that stupid brome grass aka quack grass, spread through the garden is irritating.

My Ancona ducks turned out to be all hens! I had 3 chocolates, 2 blacks, and a blue, but lost the blue suddenly and for no apparent reason. She was laying next to where they sleep with no abrasions or liasons, and no sign of struggle. They will be my egg laying machines once they start to lay and I love the breed almost as much as I love the Swedish or Saxonys. I guess I just have a love of ducks :)

I have a few Cardigan puppies still available that are 9 weeks of age if anyone is so inclined. 2 pink males to be exact. :) I take payment plans.

I hope this finds everyone well

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 ...