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Showing posts from June, 2009

Hay is cut! Lamb updates

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Our hay is cut and drying. We've had hot humid weather, but now when our hay is supposed to be drying out, the weather has turned unseasonably cool and the clouds won't leave. Oh well, at least the sheep are more comfortable.

Don't these two look sweet? It's Dot and Derra, they are two-year-old Shetland Mules. I didn't get much interest in my Shetland mule sale package, so I've decided to keep the adult mules and Peppy the Ile de France ram. I'll go with the market lamb plan for 2010. I'll just have to cut back the flock somewhere else...
Speaking of Peppy, there he is in the photo above. He's such a cutie with that big fuzzie head, and he's very good natured. But he's raring to go for breeding season already.
The other day while I was at work, my wether and my new BFL ram lamb (Ward Harwell in the photo above), broke out of their pen and got in with the rams. The ram collection includes 2 year old BFL (Granite), yearling horned Shetland…

Just What I DON'T Need!

Summer has finally arrived here in east central Minnesota. The temperature was 94 yesterday with high humidity. This weather is hard on the sheep, the Shetlands pant, but the BFL's really seem to suffer. I put up a fan in the pole building and later found Rhyn and Devlyn laying directly in front of it.

Anyway, it was hot and humid. The sheep were not happy. I opened the paddock nearest the pond for them to graze. A couple times in the afternoon I noticed the whole flock making a mad dash for the pole barn. It seemed odd that they would run like that in this hot weather. But I didn't think too much about it.

Around 7:30 I went out to make sure they had water and give them a little supplemental hay. As I brought hay out to the hoop house I saw not one, not two, but THREE fox (foxes?) IN and around my fence. No wonder the sheep were getting spooked all day! The mother fox was outside the fenceline heading into the woods when I saw her. The two kits were inside the fencin…

Shetland Goslings and Lamb Update

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The Shetland goslings are excellent foragers already. I took a video of them, but I have to edit it down before I can upload it. So for now, here's the latest photo of them...When I let them out of their pen they follow me all around. Last night they hissed at our dog Ozzie when he came too close. They are growing up so fast. The little guy I had to hobble is on the right in the photo above. He's still pretty small compared to the others, but perfectly healthy. They are starting to get feathers in their tails.

And here's Mabeline with her mule lambs. They aren't our largest crossbred lambs, but they are a nice pair. Mabeline is going to have next year off from lambing.All our crossbred lambs are for sale. We have four ewes and four ram lambs. We have plenty of lamb customers for the ram lambs. I plan to wean them and get them on good quality hay so they will be plenty big by October or November. I'd say the two oldest, Derra's ram lambs, are around 50 …

Honest Scrap

Well, Sabrina bestowed the Honest Scrap award to this blog, so I guess I can play along with 10 honest statements since some people actually enjoy reading that kind of stuff.

I will skip the part that requires naming seven other award recipient blogs.

Okay, here goes:

#1 - I was born the fifth of eight children. Being in the middle like that, I always have been able to fly under the radar and pretty much make my way quietly through life without being too noticeable.

#2 - I have never really cared for the warm colors like yellow, orange, and red. I'm more of a blue, green, purple fan.

#3 - I have been eating lots of spinach lately. And I found a volunteer spinach plant in the garden! :-)

#4 - I got the test results back from my recent surgery and they are NORMAL. Yeah!

#5 - I've made friends with two of my three gulmoget ewe lambs so far. Camille (the Ag gullie) has the nicest fleece! It's going to be the longer and wavy type like her mom's, and it's oh so soft! I am d…

I made lotion today!

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I noticed how often I use hand lotion since I've been working at the deli and washing my hands all the time. Rather than buy the stuff, I decided I wanted try making some for myself. Sure it would be simpler to buy a base lotion and just add scent to it. But making the lotion was a lot of fun! It was so cool to watch the clear yellow oils turn milky white when I added the distilled water. The best part is, no need to wear protective clothing, lotion's not caustic like raw soap. I scented it with Yuzu fragrance oil. So now I have lots of lotion to match my Yuzu soap!

Since this was my very first batch, I reused empty containers - it made about 24 ounces of lotion, so I was scrounging for a while! If I decide to sell lotions, I'll need to order bottles. Anyway, I can't wait to bring these in to the art group on Monday and see how people like them.

The past few weeks I've been making soap like a crazy woman.

I need to get a good supply on hand for the booths I'…

Lamb & Wool Starter Flock for Sale

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Okay, I've made up my mind, I'm selling the Mule Flock! Much as a I love the Mules and their fleece, I just don't have the space to deal with two breeds of registered sheep and a market lamb operation. I've started a sales blog and will be adding a link and more sheep to it as time permits.

Six Bluefaced Leicester-cross ewes, ages 1-2 years, and a yearling Ile de France/Dorset ram. All are white, but the ewes carry color recessively.
This is a great opportunity for anyone wishing to produce market lambs on grass and at the same time harvest some great handspinning wool.
Three ewes are two-year-olds with good lambing histories, three are yearlings; two yearlings were not bred and one has a ewe lamb at side (will negotiate separately on the ewe lamb).

If sold separately, the ewes are priced at $150 each and the ram is $200. If sold as a package of all seven, they are priced at $950.

Can negotiate a smaller package deal if desired.

Also available:
* Two-year-old registered na…

Ozzie/Shetland Goslings

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Well, the $500 for my insurance deductible didn't last long. Poor Ozzie was in a LOT of pain yesterday morning, limping on his right front foot. He was actually yelping out in pain.

On Thursday I noticed he was playing with a chipmunk that the cats had gotten but not killed. Usually Ozzie will quickly put the victim out of its misery or I will make them all leave it alone. But Thursday was that busy day with the new lamb and the Shetland goslings and I let nature take it's course. I heard Ozzie yelp a couple times and I figured the chipmunk must have bit him back. The next day I noticed he was slightly limping as we did chores. Then Saturday morning he wouldn't even get up to go out for chores...not like Ozzie at all! So I decided to bring him in to the vet.

I was nervous about bringing him there all by myself -- being an Aussie he gets very nervous over new things. But he must have known what I was doing when I called the vet and decided to bring him right in for an a…

New Arrivals!

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What a morning it turned out to be! I had to be to work by 9:00 a.m. and I knew the Shetland goslings would be arriving by Priority Mail from Holderread's in Oregon. The post office was to call us around 7 a.m. when the truck came in. Above is a photo of the four Shetland goslings right after we picked them up - they looked great! I gave them cut up spinach for their first meal...the two smaller males are on the outside and the two larger females are in the middle. One male had mildly splayed legs which I quickly hobbled with some handspun yarn. He's doing fine now.

Shetland goslings are autosexing, which means you can tell the males from the females at the hatch. I was expecting the male goslings to be all yellow, but they have some grey areas as well. Just not as dark and defined as the females. Their bills are lighter colored too.

Here they are again after I put them in with our week old Brown Chinese goslings. Can you tell which one is the Brown Chinese in the photo bel…