Saturday, November 22, 2008

Gearing up for breeding season 2008-2009 ...

The rams are becoming impatient! The ewes are becoming little tarts. If I can only hold them off one more week - just one!! Tomorrow I section off the large pen, making two secure breeding pens. I have four in total, should be a busy lambing season if all goes well. I'm excited to see the possibilities that will be produced with my two mature and two yearling rams. The rams I presented in my last post. Now, I present the breeding ewes: (with a few changes from the originial post!)

"Willie's" breeding line up:

Fibre Works Falerno (in the foreground)

Fibre Works Fiat

Fibre Works Easter

Fibre Works Highwood

Rex's breeding line up:

This girl is a Shetland/Finn/Gotland Mix
(a slight change in the breedeing groups!)

Milehaus Britta

Fibre Works ISP "Issy"

Indiana Jone's breeding line up:

Mtn. Niche Heidi

Milehaus Beatrix
(This gal was in Rex's group, but I felt the need to breed her with Indiana)

Nier Lakes 315405977 AI "Baker"

Isidor's Breeding line up:

Milehaus lamb

Fibre Works Fonteyn

Fibre Works Eureka
(slight change for this gal, she was with Indiana's group but for some reason I felt the need to more her to Isidor's group.)

With 3 changes in the breeding groups, it was a good thing I had one week until moving them!!
I wasn't going to breed any lamb ewes this year, but this girl and the Shetland/Finn/Gotland mix ewe are plenty large enough and I cannot wait to see what they produce.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Snow + freezing rain = winter!

Yes, that's right, winter is here to stay. This photo was taking out of my garden doors facing south. It was a beautiful site to wake up to! The sky was much pinker than the photo actually shows.

Oh, that I guess that means breeding season for the Shetlands too!! The Shetlands go into their breeding pens next weekend. Of course, I still have 4 larger, all wooden fence panels to make so I can section off another breeding pen. It's cold up in the Great White North, and we don't want to lamb too early. If all goes well, lambing will begin the very end of April or beginning of May. That's just a week later than this year, which worked well, but we were hit with one last freeze after 2/3rd of our lambing was done. Actually, it happened the day after our twins were born!!

Here are pictures of our Flock Sires for this year:

"Willie" Whistlestop 0531 AI (F1)
Whistlestop 0104 X Drum Ram 31903

Fibre Works Indiana Jones
Fibre Works Daisy X Fibre Works Fandango

WillowGarden Rex Harrison
SheltrgPines Safiye X SheltrgPines Jacob Two Too

Fibre Works Isidor (seen with Rex & Indiana)
Fibre Works Signy X Fibre Works Finis

Couldn't get Isidor, our white ram, to leave the rest of the boys, so here is in the back ground. They sure can get stubborn, can't they??

Thanks to advice from Linda Wendelboe at the Fibre Works Farm, I have created new feeders. They are movable low line fence feeders. Not difficult to make and they are working out well.
Here you see my ewe lambs enjoying their meal!! I'm not sure how I was lucky enough to have them line up in order, but I couldn't be happier that they cooperated!! ;0)

We are also on the hunt for some guard dogs. The coyotes are getting a little too brave this year!! We have had two already come in close and try to lure the dog away from the fence line. Poor Bear needs some help keeping the predators away.
Maybe he needs help keeping the ewes away! :0) Here Bear, a Pyrenees/Lab/Husky mix, is giving me that, "mom, I need your help here" look!! The ewes adore Bear and he is not always sure he can reciprocate that feeling.

Getting back to guard dogs, we are thinking Maremma's and I have some leads on some puppies. I just wasn't expecting to get them now! It's winter for heaven's sake, but I found them and the price is right. I just have to get them transported 1400 km to my farm. Since there are no breeders in the area, it may just be another thing we can do at our farm.

I'm looking forward to working with the remainder of my Shetland fleeces. I haven't tried spinning one yet and am itching to do so. Tis the season to spin!!