Archive for the ‘cheviot’ Category

I’m Baaack! And I Have Sheep For Sale!

Yup, we’re still here on the farm!  It’s been awhile since I posted and the Friday Farm Photo has gone by the wayside.


The Black Hills

At the beginning of September, we took a much-needed vacation to Wyoming and South Dakota.  Thankfully, the weather was perfect and we had a wonderful time!  While on vacation, I solidified my desire to do more traveling and camping.

The View that is waiting for a cabin...

Are you reading in between the lines?  More time to travel means less animals on the farm.  I have figured out my breeding groups for this winter so pretty much all the other sheep will be sold.  My focus is still on Finnsheep so I am selling most of the rest of the flock, including Bluefaced Leicester Dougal.

Please check out our sales page.  There is nothing wrong with any of these sheep – they just need to go to a new home.

Sheep Sales – Prices Reduced on Ewes

In the last three weeks, about half of our sale sheep have gone to good homes!  We have reduced the price on several of our ewes. Please click on the Ewe Sales Page to see what we have for sale.

Shetland yearling ewe Bonnie has a lovely, moorit single coated fleece.

We still have three Finn ram lambs available, two white and one black, with spotting and the rare brown color genetics.  Finnsheep are a gentle and easily managed breed.  By adding a Finn ram to your flock, you will see an increase in lambing rate as well as adding qualities of luster and crimp to your flock’s wool!

Finn ram lamb Esko after I removed his fleece jacket. (LRO Eino X Gale Woods Elina) He carries spots and brown. Awt/Aa B?/Bb S?/Ss

Finnsheep single ram lamb is spotted and carries brown. Aa/Aa BB/Bb Ss/Ss

Also available, with regrets, is our Bluefaced Leicester ram Dougal.  He has sired many lambs for us over the last few years.  Very easy to handle, he is a gentle ram with excellent, shiny, purly BFL fiber.

Finnsheep ram lamb Little Red Oak Eino and Bluefaced Leicester ram Dougal

Please click on our Sales Pages to see what sheep are still available.  If you don’t like our prices, please make an offer.  All offers will be considered.

Growing Lambs

We are in a holding pattern on the farm, waiting for our last two ewes to birth their lambs.  Both are first time mothers – a white Shetland Mulesheep who looks wide enough to be holding triplets – she must be having twins.  And our white Finnsheep Elina also looks wider than Emmi did, so hopefully she has twins waiting to pop out.

Lamb Growth

I thought I would post a few photos of our BFL X North Country Cheviot Mulesheep lamb.  We are calling him “Tank” because he is HUGE compared to the other lambs.  Last year Molly had a beautiful black Mule ewe lamb with a body shape similar to a BFL.  Helena has a long torso and neck, with longer legs.  It’s interesting to see the contrast between Helena and Tank.  (I will post some comparison photos when he grows a bit more.)  His neck and legs are shorter and he has a body shape more like the NC Cheviot.  He should give us some good weight for a market lamb.

NC Cheviot X BFL single ram lamb. In hi first six days he gained one pound a day, weighing over 17lbs.

2010 Shetland ram lamb size compared to 1/2 BFL 1/2 No. Ctry Cheviot (Mulesheep.) The black Shetland is three days older than the Mule lamb.

No. Ctry. Cheviot Molly with her single Mulesheep ram lamb "Tank" 2010

And since I am comparing sizes –

Here is a photo of Shetland Mulesheep Maliah’s huge bag (right) compared with Finnsheep Emmi’s more compact bag.  Mulesheep are known for their “milkiness” which they inherit from the Bluefaced Leicester breeding.  All that milk helps them easily raise a market lamb on nothing but grass pasture and milk in a few months.

2010 Finnsheep Emmi with her single ram lamb and Mulesheep Maliah with one of her twin 3/4 BFL ewe lambs.

Fiber Fun

BFL X North Country Cheviot in an exhausted food color dyebath

It’s snowing, blowing and cold outside.  We are in that monochrome time of year – white… gray…brown…black.  My last post, Friday’s Frosty photos not-so-vividly displays our winter colors in Minnesota.  Needless to say, I am in the mood for color!  I pulled up some photos of recent fiber adventures.

I love dyeing.  I enjoy seeing how the colors will reveal themselves; I also enjoy those “oops” moments when I don’t stir the dye well enough (see below) and the color separates.  I particularly enjoy working with food color because the only thing I need to worry about is preventing spills and cleanup.  No mask needed and I can use whatever pots and utensils I choose.   This BFL X NC Cheviot was dyed using blue with a few drops of black.  I didn’t stir well enough so the black separated out a bit.  This black has red in it so it leaned more toward the purple end of the spectrum.  The colors came out beautifully.  I am still spinning it so I will post a photo when it is all done.

BFL-NC Cheviot dyed and dried.

BFL X NCC Mule fiber. I carded this fiber, leaving in the short fibers for texture. This fiber is VERY SPROINGY! I am combing some blue to spin for comparison. I will post pics when done.

BFL-NC Cheviot dyed and dried. I used yellow food color with a few drops of red.  This fiber has a very nice, springy soft handle.

Last week I visited my llama mentor Sheila Fugina, of Shady Ridge Farm.  It was an enjoyable afternoon spent with our hands in fiber, chatting, and petting her lovely llamas.  I asked Sheila to share some of her knowledge of llama fiber and skirting techniques.  It’s always helpful to gather some tips from the experienced fiber person!  It was a wonderful afternoon.

Sheila showed me her new corespun yarn.  It can be used for weaving, crocheting or knitting, or whatever your imagination desires.  The llama was blended with sheep wool, in this case Shetland, and loosely spun around a twine core.   I will have some made this year.

Sheila holds a bump of Llama/Shetland corespun yarn.

Corespun Llama/Shetland yarn

24 Below and No Worries…It’s Warm Under All That Wool!

24 Below

Roundabout Acres is located north of Minneapolis about one hour.  It’s been cold here.  A few nights ago it was -24F at 8am.  Uh-huh.  You read that right  -24 degrees Fahrenheit.   That’s -31 Celsius for our friends outside of our borders.  It has been cold.  Since December 31st the night temperatures have reached lows of -2, -11, -20, and -24.  It hasn’t warmed up much during the day either.  We usually expect to get the Canadian Chill during the middle of January but it arrived a bit early this year.

Wonderful, Warm Wool

The cold temps don’t seem to bother the sheep much.  I have only observed a few sheep walking gingerly across the snow and holding their tootsies (hooves) up off the ground.  Their thick wool coats glitter with the night’s frost throughout most of the morning.  Poke a finger through their wool down to the skin level and they are toasty warm.

WHAT? IT'S COLD?? Eight month old BFL X NC Cheviot Mule ewe lamb Helena is on the left. Her dam NC Cheviot Molly is on the right. In the middle is a Shetland Mule. The two girls on the right are about 20 months old.

No Worries

The llamas also are adorned with a crystal coating of frost.  But the past few days I have seen several of them shivering mildly.  It doesn’t stop them from hanging around the hay feeders or laying outside in the sun.  TH put down fresh straw in the barn so they can snuggle in at night.  They also like laying on the waste hay by the feeders.  And to all the critter’s delight they have been receiving an additional treat.   The Shepherdess has been throwing out a llama/sheep feed to provide them with a bit more energy.  Cria Primo doesn’t have a clue about grain; and mom Karma is too busy getting her own grain to show the poor boy what it’s all about!

Primo, Roundabout Acres' first cria, is seven months old. His fiber is very soft and fine and he hasn't filled out much yet. We have to keep a close eye on him so he doesn't get too cold. Although I have seen him shiver occasionally, he was prancing and kicking up his heels just last night. He still isn't sure what all the commotion is about when The Shepherdess brings out the extra feed.

Happy New Year! Friday’s Fab Five (Photos)

We are Truly Blessed

The New Year is always a time of retrospection.  I have been looking through farm and family photos as a way of reflection — and planning for the future.  As newbie Shepherds, we are constantly “tweaking” our methods.  We have made some changes to the farm/flock management this past year – some proved ingenious, “Why didn’t we think of that before?”   Other changes have left us groaning, “Why is there a sheep under our bedroom window – at midnight?!?”  I will do a post on triumphs and tribulations in the future…

On Friday’s in January, I will post my favorite photos from 2009.  Most, but not all photos have already been featured at some point on this blog.  I hope you enjoy them!

Rudy and his sheep. The black eweling in the rear is Helena, a BFL X NC Cheviot. I really like her confirmation, disposition, fiber and size. If you click on the photo to enlarge, you can see the shine of the fleece of the white Shetland Mule standing directly behind Rudy's legs. As a contrast, the Cheviot Mule fiber is more dull, but very "sproingy."

Shetland ewe Nugget stands over NC Cheviot Molly as she snoozes in the snow. Molly is Helena's dam.

Gus waits patiently for the Shepherdess to finish chores in the barnyard.

Gus waits patiently for the Shepherdess to finish chores in the barnyard. I have never had a dog as sweet, well-behaved and loyal as this boy. He truly is a gem. And he is intact. If you are looking for a purebred, 7/8 Scottish/English bred Border Collie sire, contact me. We sure would like to have an offspring of his.

Granddaughter Reese is not sure what to think of bottle baby Duncan. Of course, he thought she was wonderful!

Twin Shetland Mule ewe lambs playing on Rudy

Let It Snow…

We have had much snow in Minnesota the last few weeks.  While the Shepherds spent our Christmas week slogging through the snow and ice to and from work, the flock was peacefully lounging in the barnyard.  On Christmas morning, the Shepherd presented me a new point and shoot camera that I can always keep in the pocket for spontaneous “sheep shots.”  To end out the year, I thought I would take photos of them enjoying their snow days.

Just click on any photo to enlarge.   I also tried a new format for the picture layout.  Let me know what you think!

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