Archive for the ‘herding’ Category

Herding Bunny

Surprise!  A few new things are happening on the farm so I will hopefully start posting again.

In the meantime, I ran across this cute video on another blog.  This little bunny herds sheep better than my dogs!  Enjoy!

Click Champis, the Herding Bunny for video.

Summer Update – Fiber Sheep for Sale

I have not maintained a weekly post this year.  I lost my motivation to blog when we made the decision to trim the flock.  I am sad, but resolved that we DO need to trim the flock because my lungs do not like the hay.

This spring we planted more apple trees, raspberries, blueberries and 70 grapevines in our newly established vineyard.  We are moving our focus to fruit and berries; next year we will likely add many more grapevines.  Trophy Husband made the commitment to keep four llamas and a small handful of sheep.  We really appreciate and enjoy the zen vibe of llamas.  If you have llamas, you know what I mean.

We are keeping four sheep, Emmi (a black Finn ewe,) Reese’s Pieces (brown 1/2 Shetland, 1/2 Finn ewe lamb,) Jellybean (musket Shetland ewe,) and Phyllis (white Shetland ewe.)  We may keep Reese’s Pieces twin brother who is also brown.

FOR SALE

The sheep that are left in the flock have remained because I liked their fiber and personalities.  But, we can’t keep all of them!  Make an offer, sheep that aren’t sold will have to go to the freezer this fall.

Kia one year old Finnsheep ewe, she is dark gray, carries spots.  Her fiber is lovely- she is gray at the skin, not a fading black.  She had a single piebald lamb this year.  She is shown in the photo below with her spotted, piebald ram lamb.  $200 + registration fee, if desired.

SOLD 2011 Single Finnsheep ram lamb. He is a gray, piebald ram lamb.

Bonnie, a two year old moorit Shetland ewe.  She had 1/2 Finnsheep twins this year.  She is an attentive mother with plenty of milk.  $125, unregistered

Shetland Bonnie in full fleece. Born in 2009, she is moorit and carries spots. She will be for sale after her lambs are weaned.

Brown twin ram lamb, 1/2 Shetland (Bonnie) and 1/2 Finn (LRO Eino) – he is still intact and would make an excellent sire for a fiber flock.  His fiber is very soft and plentiful.  I am still deciding if I should whether and keep him in the spinner’s flock.  Brown is my favorite color to spin.  $150  He is shown in the photo below with Bonnie, his Shetland dam.  He is solid brown, carries spots.

Finnsheep ram lamb – Twin, black, carries brown and spots, nice fiber, good growth.  $200 plus registration fee, if desired.

(photo to follow)

Glory – a small gray Shetland ewe, and Curly – a non-fading black Shetland whether, both are spoken for.

We also have one three year old Mulesheep ewe left (1/2 Shetland 1/2 Bluefaced Leicester.)  She singled her first year and has twinned the last two years.  She is an excellent mother with alot of milk to raise big lambs.  If she is not sold for breeding, she will go into the freezer along with her lambs.  $150

Mulesheep Sasha with her 3/4 BFL ewe lamb

While preparing this post, I realized I need to take some updated photos of the flock.  If you are interested in a sheep and would like more photos, just leave a message.  I will take more photos in the next few days and post.

Spring is in the Air

Shetland Bonnie with her 1/2 Finn 1/2 Shetland Lambs

It’s a warmer spring  day today.  Finally!  I promised more photos so I will keep the text brief.  Above, is two-year old Shetland Bonnie with her 50% Finn lambs.  The ewe lamb on the left has pretty white markings in her lighter brown fleece and her brother is a rich, dark chocolate-brown.  This is Bonnie’s first lambing and I am pleased to report that she is an attentive and excellent mother.

Spotted badgerface Finn ram lamb 2011

Above is the gray Finn ram lamb sneaking a drink of milk from Bonnie.  This boys mom, Finnsheep Little Red Oak Kiia, has been a reluctant new mother.  I have kept a close watch on them – she doesn’t let him nurse for long.  I’ve felt his teeth and they don’t feel sharp.  And Kiia’s bag feels normal so he is getting milk from her.  I will keep monitoring them and supplement bottle-feed him through the fence, if needed.

Australian Shepherd Molly with her pups

Our Australian Shepherd, Molly, whelped 7 puppies on Friday.  Border Collie Gus is the father.  Shepherd George was in attendance for the births while I was at work.  Molly needed no help; she and the three females and four males are doing well.  We weighed them today and all are gaining weight.   Molly is tricolor and Gus is red so we will see how the colors develop.  The pup at the top of the photo is lighter than the rest – I hope that pup will be red.  I know nothing about dog color genetics and I decided I don’t care to learn.  We don’t plan on breeding dogs in the future.  We did want one breeding from these two because they are both great farm dogs.  We were hoping to wait until the end of the year but Gus had different ideas.  (A brief lapse in judgment by this Shepherd  aided in his access to Molly.)

Two-day old Aussie/Border Collie pups

Sunny with a 100% Probability of Snow

One week ago, I was in California visiting my son and family.  The temperature was in the 60’s to 70’s with clear blue skies.  It was sunny and dry during the visit; and I was truly able to relax knowing that my Long-Suffering/Trophy Husband was back at home taking care of the critters.  It was wonderful to play with the grandchildren, knit and watch movies.

John, Ashley and the kids. (Hazel, too!)

We went to Joshua Tree National Park one afternoon.  At first, Grandson Liam was confused when he found out the “park” didn’t have a playground.  We had a nice picnic lunch and everyone scrambled on the boulders.  Meanwhile, back at home in Minnesota, a snowstorm was raging!  With a tinge of guilt, I enjoyed a warm, pleasant afternoon in the sun.

Joshua Tree National Park at sunset.

Now back on the farm, I am recovering from a head cold.  Yuck!  And today, more snow is falling out of the sky.  The snow is getting so deep, the animals will be able to walk over the barnyard fences pretty soon.  I dread the thought of shoveling around fencelines…

I took a few photos today of critters in the snow.  (It’s a bit tough to get a really good picture with the white background.)  Enjoy!

 

Aussie pup Molly (McFluffyButt) and Border Collie Angus (McNeedy)

Finn ram Eino with his girls. The snow-covered sheep in the foreground is black Finn Emmi.

It's warm under all that wool!

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Farm Photo #8 – the Good, the Bad & the Mucky

Oops.  I’m late.  Actually, I have not been motivated to blog the last few weeks.  Can you tell?  The posts have slowed down.  Between the sick lambs, and record heat, humidity, and thunderstorms we try to get work done in the barnyard.  The muck seems like it is knee deep (but not really) and the llama dung piles continue to grow.  (It’s hard to clean the barnyard when it is in a constant state of mud…)  We have the fans running in the barn and plenty of fresh water and shade for the critters.  As I fill the water trough, I spray several of the llamas with the cold water from the hose.  Karma, Nessa, and Minah enjoy having their neck, legs and undersides sprayed.  After that they roll in the dirt; water + dirt = mud.  Caked mud in their fleece – is good to help discourage flies – but bad for the Shepherdess who has to wash it out!

In this photo, the weeds at the left are about eight feet tall.  They are in an area which has not been reclaimed yet.  The grass is much greener than shown in the photo.  This lane leads to a back pasture of about eight acres.  The good news about all the rain is that we will have forage for the flock well into October or November.

I thought of taking a photo of the rain gauge.  But, quite honestly, I am sick of looking at it.  It has another two inches of rain in it from Thursday’s storms.

On a good note – Australian Shepherd pup Molly is doing great!  Here’s a photo of her lying low in the heat.

Settling In

Molly, our new tri-colored Australian Shepherd has perked up after her traumatic first day spent traveling to her new home.

At 11 weeks old, she already seems to be housebroken.  She whimpers if she needs to go outside and has not had any accidents inside the house…yet.  In between puppy naps she barks at the cat and is beginning to explore the house as far as we let her.  She is learning her name, as well as what toys are good for – playing!

Gus, our Border Collie, is very tolerant of the puppy.  Molly runs around him, jumps up and tries to entice him to play.  He just ignores her by sitting or walking away.   When he sits, she sits.  Good puppy!

Friday Farm Photo #5 – All Tuckered Out

We have a new puppy!!

Australian Shepherd female pup - 11 weeks old.

We haven’t decided her name yet but she is a spunky, 11-week old purebred Australian Shepherd.  Her parents live and work on a farm about 250 miles away.  It was clear blue skies with puffy clouds – a lovely day for a road trip!

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