Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Pedicures

Although I am not apt to be found at a salon with my feet in the soapy little dishes, I do find time to give my sheep pedicures. Of course, this summer with a 4 month old and a 2.5 year old my dear husband has been trimming the most of those over grown toe nails. This is major back breaking work, but at the end of the day when you can barely stand up there is a feeling of accomplishment and oneness with the flock. The sheep may not think that, but they are happy to walk unencumbered by long toes and overgrown flaps!

Monday, August 15, 2011

August is the new October!

The weather has been perfect for sheep, cool but sunny! It makes me long for those bright crisp
October days that are in the near future. Nights in the low 60's start the wool growing process going!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Finally on Grass!

The flock is feisty and so happy to be on new spring grass finally! It's been a long cold spring, but the grass has started to grow in earnest now no matter what the weather does! This morning I woke up at 5:30am and took a walk with the sheep, what a beautiful way to start the day!

Friday, May 13, 2011

More sheep!

Ever seen the movie Babe? The old ewes are border leicesters, one of my favorite breeds for their appearance, fiber and personalities. A small flock of 30 has come up for sale near us and we are debating purchasing them. We have a co-op who would like us to supply them with lamb, although this would mean growing our flock considerably! But even though we may grow for meat production my first and foremost goal is fiber and our girls will be pampered to the extreme for their fiberliciousness. I am considering ordering some sheep coats to keep the fiber as clean as possible. I have thought many years on this, and have decided to give it a go and see how it works. We'll see next spring how quickly i'm able to skirt the fleeces!

Wool has been sent in!

We have brought all the fleeces in to the mill now and they have begun washing the wool for the rovings. We plan to have a bulky merino, a fingering cormo/BFL/merino, a worsted chocolate alpaca/merino/border leicester, a worsted gray merino/border leicester, a dk fawn alpaca/merino/border leicester, and rovings from these as well!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shearing Day!

*sadly I hit the wrong button on my camera and deleted the shearing pictures from this year, I am devastated! But this is a nice one from last years shearing.

Shearing day went off without a hitch, thankfully, since David arrived to our place about an hour earlier than we expected, and we had just woken up! It was unfortunately a bitterly cold day with wind and drizzling rain. The fleeces are gorgeous though and seem to be bigger than previous years! Fritz our full blooded Merino wether's fleece weighed in at 15lbs pre-skirting. Skirting is the process of painstakingly picking through the raw fleece to take out the hay chaff, sticks and random bugs that became entangled in the fleece.

Easter Sunday looks like it will be finally a nice day for skirting! I am psyched to get out to the garage and get my hands in some greasy fleeces! So far I have 5 out out of 26 fleeces skirted, and I must say, although on the smaller side the Blue Faced Leicester crosses from last year have beautiful long crimpy fleeces!

On a different note - we are proud to announce the arrival of our second daughter Mae Louise, who was born at home on April 5th. She was a day shy of being 3 weeks overdue, but finally made up her mind to enter the world! So far she is quite the trooper and endured a morning of loud shearing without trouble!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The two ladies yet to go...

Here is Bernice and Llama. We are still waiting on them to lamb. Llama always has just one lamb, but we'll see this year. Bernice had triplets last year, sadly only one survived due to a traumatic labor. We are assuming she will have at least 2 lambs this year and all should go just fine! :)

Willa's Lambs

One of our favorite ewes, Willa, had her debut of lambs over the weekend! Although her first lambing, she had twins! Both black and both girls! Willa was always very friendly as a lamb, and although has lost some of her friendliness towards us, she made it quite clear that she was not afraid of us and didn't like us handling her lambs (we try not to handle them too much, at least in the first day or so, but we do dip their umbilical cords in iodine and make sure they aren't to long as an infection prevention!)

As you can see the other lambs are getting quite fat and lively! They will be so excited once the weather brightens up and they can go outside!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Goodbye to Esau

Our dear Border Leicester ram Esau has made his way to a new home. We have many of his offspring and they have all been our favorites, large, good-natured and this year... mostly black! We will miss him greatly, but he has gone to a wonderful new home and it is time for a new boy! We are now on the look out for another perfect Border Leicester ram!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

More new lambs!

We now have 9 healthy lambs born this year - 3 more ewes to go. We finally got a white lamb (and a ewe lamb too!) So far 2011 has been a success!

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Lambs!

As I knew this would happen, the one day we had company staying with us is the morning we found the first lambs! Five in total on Tuesday morning, a set of triplets and a set of twins! All are black so far, including the 2 that were born last night around 8pm, my husband was lucky enough to witness one of these births. We have 5 little ram lambs and 2 ewe lambs. All mama's have been perfect, which is quite lucky since the ewe who lambed last night is a brand new mom with twins were first time! We have had one little ram lamb who will need to be bottle fed, for some reason he was uninterested in nursing from his mom. Ugh. So Stella and I spent a day with him in the yarn shop, and he is at a homeschooling day with my mom and a few other families today and will be taken home by a wonderful family who will have much more time than I in the next month or two to feed and take care of him. They also have a couple sheep and he will fit in perfect! We hope this is the only problem lamb this year! Although normally I don't mind an adventure or two during lambing season, with my own due date getting ever closer I'm crossing my fingers to keep it easy this year!

Maybe tonight we will have more! I will keep you updated!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sunny Winter Day

It was a gorgeous day on Sunday (pre-snowstorm!), the two horses Tess and Diva were so warm from the sun their fur was almost to hot to touch! The sheep were happy to be outside all day, although they might have been even a bit too warm with that deep woolly fleece! The average staple length so far this winter seems to be about 4-5 inches, perfect since the fiber mill's machines cannot process yarn with fiber over 6-7 inches!

Friday, January 28, 2011


I must introduce Britta. She is a Great Pyrenees that we got as a guard dog for the sheep. Of course with our luck she was terrified of the sheep as a pup and although will now come to the pasture and wait patiently for us (outside the pasture) she does not do much guarding per say for the woolly beasts. She does however guard the farm overall and is possibly the best dog in the world with young children. Although she loves coming inside and laying with her head almost wedged underneath the wood stove, she is also quite happy outside and especially on a high perch, like our large round bales or this massive iceberg-like mound of snow in our front yard.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ahh January

Greetings! A new year! The last few mornings have been so beautiful with thick hoar frost on all the trees, and even the sheep! Those silly sheep LOVE this time of year, they have thick woolly coats, which must make laying in the snow quite enjoyable since they are cushioned AND insulated! The girls in the above picture are a couple of our merino's Magnolia and Betsy. I have been put on the list at the local fiber mill already, even though the sheep haven't been sheared! Fiber mills get very busy in the spring with all the shearing going on and most are already behind unfortunately. I'm hoping by being on the list now our fiber will be processed around late May for a mid-June, early July ship date.

For now the farm is quite and the sheep are lazy. But come March life will be quite busy around here with lambs coming in early March and shearing in late March... not to mention a new baby due mid-March in the big ol' farm house as well!