Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival

We went to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival last weekend.   It was a first time thing for both of us.  I have never showed a live animal before and don't know if I will again. was a good experience since the two sheep that I showed placed in their classes.  We also took along nine lambs that are for sale.   We only sold three, but that is better than none.
 This is the Scottish judge from the Shetland Islands looking at my yearling ewe, Jasmine.  She didn't mind being checked out until he stuck his hand in her private parts.   Then she tried to leave.

 This is the line up of winners.  We were third.  The fourth place winner is not up there yet.   The little lamb behind Jasmine belonged to one of the other ewes and just walked around the arena checking on everything.

This is the parade with the ewe lambs.   Wild Thing was very well behaved through all of the walking around.  She just got antsy while waiting for the judge to get to examine her and after that while waiting for the winners to be chosen.  The judge had a real hard time choosing the last winner, and he came back to Wild Thing twice to check her wool.   I guess he liked it because we got the call and the ribbon.

 It looks to me like I was trying to show her the ribbon that she had won.   I was so happy with my sheep that day.  I couldn't believe that I had won another ribbon.  I really did not expect to win anything.  The plan was to get my name out there so that I could sell my lambs when I had them.

I made Jake take this picture of us the other day so I had it to keep.   The sheep were not cooperative, but I guess they looked fine in all the pictures he took.   Cannot say the same for the human.  This one was acceptable.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Now it is spring!!!

Last year I bred five ewes.  I got five lambs.  One set of twins.   SO....I decided that this season I would breed all my available ewes.   That is only seven, but it is two more than last year.  Surprise.......This year I got 13 lambs - six sets of twins and one single.  And nine of the thirteen are ewes.   So far the four boys are polled.  This is the most lambs that I have ever had at our farm.   It is a definite contrast when compared to last year.    The picture above shows about nine of them and some of the ewes and one of the yearlings.  The handsome lad by the mineral feeder is one of the boys.  He was born with a fabulous curly coat and his sugar lips.  His color was a happy surprise, also, and his sister is brown, too.
This picture shows the two yearlings in the foreground.   It is hard to photograph them especially the katmoget since she comes to the fence whenever she sees me. 
This is Juni B.  She drew the short straw this time and had to babysit.  I don't think she minds it too much.  Those would be her twins in front of her.   I am lucky to have her because the vet had to come out and pull the twins since the black one was head back and would never would have been born normally.  She comes from my friendliest ewe and tends to pass that personalitiy trait on to her progeny.  Right now, her twins are the only ones who come up to me.   That is, except, for one of her mother''s two black lambs.

Oh, yes, and we have seven calves.   One was just born late this afternoon, and after supper when I took the dogs out walking on our path, I found mom and heifer calf bonding out in the field when all the other cows had come up for water.

Yes, it is spring, and it has been a great one  ----  so far.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Winter in Wisconsin with friends

This was a rare chance to catch all my helpers at one time doing their best to help me knit.  The three corgis are usually nearby, but catching the collie helping was unusual.  The cat is another story.  He is not the "regular" house cat.  He is in rehab in the house since he is usually a barn cat.  He did not have any trouble adapting to living in the house.  JR, the real house cat, has been tolerant, and we have not had any fights, just hissing.  The biggest problem is that the black corgi, Beaver,  who is not happy with the new cat and avoids being near him.  Otherwise the cat is usually laying in the pile with the dogs. 

He is used to them since he joins them in the dog yard year round.  He is also the oldest resident on 
the farm since his mom died last fall.  I really think he will become a barn cat again since he is much too interested in the food that we eat and the countertop where we prepare the food.   Time will tell.  He is on probation.
This picture shows that Beaver didn't stay long.  He was already moving on to another place to sleep.  He is our ADHD boy.

This is the rehab center which is deconstructed now.  The two cats pictured got in a fight.  Puff, on the first floor, had a neck wound.   Little Boots on the second floor didn't have any injuries.  We took care of that and had him fixed.  Boots is in the back room now where he will stay until I think he may have bonded with this location.  And, as said previously, Puff is a house cat, with all the privileges, until his wound is completely gone.  Then we will decide where whether he goes or stays.  The big dog crates sure worked well as kitty rehab spaces.

AND..........thanks to cousin Sue Morton for the couch.  The old couch did not fit all of my fine furry friends.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Meet Coco Chanel

Today is our wedding anniversary.   I got the greatest ever, so far, anniversary present.  She is a standard donkey.   She will guard my sheep.  I haven't had a predator problem, but it is better to be safe than sorry.   She is called Coco Chanel or Nell or Nelly for short.   She stands about shoulder height to me.   So far she is a docile young lady.   She lets me go into her enclosure and brush her, and we only met this morning.  She is five years old and has worked with sheep and cattle already.  She comes over to the fence when I approach.   She needs some training, but I think that is a good job for me.  I have so much to learn about donkeys because at this point.........I know nothing.    Let the learning begin!!
Nelly just after she got out of the trailer.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Colors of Kendall Petting Zoo

Four of the girl sheep, two ewes and their lambs, went out to do a little showcasing of their Shetland heritage.  They were part of a small petting zoo at the Colors of Kendall celebration in a small town near where we live.   It was a perfect October day, lots of sun, no wind, and mild temperatures.  They were excellent examples of their breed.  They were also forced to eat many animal crackers and subjected to much petting.   Such well behaved petting zoo sheep!  It was the first time I have done anything like that, and I would do it again.  The children enjoyed the sheep, and the adults asked many intelligent questions.   I also took a whole bunch of wool in various stages from a raw fleece to spun yarn and my spinning wheel.    A good time was had by all.

I took four of the girls who I think are the most friendly, but any of the nine girls could have qualified.  They also display four of the colors that I have, black, grey, shaela, and moorit plus two patterns, katmoget and spotted since Calla has four white feet, a white tip on her tail and white face.  I guess it is unusual to be proud of sheep, but I am proud of them.   They show off their breed very well.  This is my contribution to Shetland Wool Week in the UK.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Seven Years Later

It took seven years after devastating illness, but Todd is a Physician's Assistant again.   He battled a idiopathic malady called cervical dystonia and later a heart attack and a stroke and, of course, disabling depression due to the aforementioned problems, but after six months of study and one failure ( by eleven points), he PASSED the exam.   Now he can go on with his life!!!!!  I am so proud that he could finally defeat the depression and all the drugs for his constant pain and go on to achieve this monumental victory.

May you all have good things happen in your lives today and in the future!

Friday, August 08, 2014

Morty Learns a Trick

This is Morty. He will be two weeks old tomorrow.   He learned a trick today.  He learned to drink out of a bucket.  This is a life or death type of trick.  Morty's mom is a first timer.  She did not even clean Morty up after he was born.  Then she decided that another calf was her calf.  After a few days kept in the barn together,  Morty was trying to nurse on her.  We thought all was good; we were wrong.  She acted like she did not know him when we let them out.  SO..........we gave Morty another ride in the calf hauler and put him in a pen right outside the back door.  But, Morty did not want to drink from the calf bottle we were used to using.   SO..........Morty got real smart yesterday and drank from the bucket I decided to try as a last resort.  Today Morty has continued to improve on his new trick, and his prospects in this world have risen.  (No, I did not Photoshop the cat's head on his back.  That is old Mom kitty.)

Yes, we have calves.   Ten of them after the one that was born during the night.  Seven girls and three boys.  It is not the time for calving (circumstances beyond our control), but Mother Nature was sooo kind to us by sending this cool summer.  We couldn't have asked for better weather for calving.  We are in a "wait and see" mode on wether there will be any more young red and white babies bouncing around in our pastures.  They are all adorable and healthy as far as we know.

Summer is proceeding quickly.  Jake is working on second crop hay and cutting oats for bedding and feed for the winter.  I am still mowing the lawn much more that I should be by this time in the season.
The pumpkins squash and tomatoes are growing, and we should have a good crop.

It is great having Jake being just a farmer, again.