Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Saturday (just barely) Musings

Fairlight Orion
(Locksfield Griffen x Fairlight Luna)

The trip to pick up Orion and Pina Colada (ewe lamb) went very smooth. I left work a little early, swung through and picked up my sister, who went along for moral support, and got to Allena's way earlier than I anticipated. So maybe it only took an hour, when I said it would take two and half.....

Fairlight Orion
Musket Yuglet Ram

Despite a horrific storm the night before, where Allena had to go out and rescue bedraggled chickens, turkeys and sheep, she had the sheep re-penned for me that evening. After a quick tour of the farm, looking at the lambs, ewes and rams, we headed back home.

I was very pleased with Orion, since I hadn't seen him since last fall (except pictures). He was very calm and has turned out quite lovely. His fleece is a lovely shimmery golden silver and he has retained face color. (These pictures were taken with flash and he isn't posed very well...) Once I got home, I was able to unload first Orion and then Pina into their side by side individual cattle panel pens in the garage. Pina was distressed and vocal for awhile, but soon quieted. It was remarkably quiet throughout the night. I was suspicious. My sheep were running about like mad things when they heard the newcomers. I was afraid that I'd never be able to pen up the ones that were leaving Friday morning.

By morning though they had settled down and went right about their routine of going into the catch pen to be fed. Birdie put herself in a stall for me to conveniently pen her into, and I easily caught Rouen's twins. One by one I 'led' them to the garage and put them in with Pina. Around 7 a.m. James, the buyer from Texas pulled in and went about getting his very nice two horse trailer backed up to the garage. After getting everything ready (water, hay bags, hay in the trailer) we loaded up the sheep. Orion traveled in a goat carrier in the bed of truck and the ewes had free run of the horse trailer. Quite nice accommodations, but they were in for a long ride ahead. At least ten hours (but turned out to be more like twelve). An email from James assured me they all made it safely and the sheep were happy to unload and move into horse stalls for the night. By 8:15 a.m. I was showered, dressed and on the way to work. Not to bad...and a huge sigh of relief.

Three Ring Just Jack
(Sheltering Pines Jerome x Locksfield Brietta)

The other three ewe lambs will be leaving, most likely over Labor Day weekend. Shortly after getting assurances and deposits on the sheep, I got another email from a lady that lives near here that wanted to buy sheep! I ended up referring her to Allena and I believe she sold her several, including Just Jack, sire to my lambs this year. It was a crazy, but very fruitful week.

My main (Shetland) flock, once it's all said and done will number thirteen ewes and one ram lamb. I am keeping three ewe lambs from this year, and Jackdaw (ram lamb) at least until after breeding season.

If anyone is interested I do still have one adult Shetland ram available...Omen. He is a nice black smirslet, intermediate fleece, absolutely perfect tiny fluke tail and nice conformation.

In other news the kittens all have their eyes open and their personalities are emerging. I could sit and play with them for hours. I'm going to be working on constructing a kitten 'romper room' out in the garage, to keep them safely contained but give them room to play. It will be out of chicken wire and 2 x 2's...I think.

Just Jack
Moorit Yuglet Flecket

I need to double check and make sure that I have hay coming and if not, track some down. There are a few ewes I'd like to hand shear to remove clumpy fleece due to the rise. I'm toying with shearing the three ewe lambs that I'm retaining. Gorgeous fleeces, and I hate to see them trashed this winter. Celtic festival is coming up, which means halter training the lucky sheep that will be attending. All the lambs have been wormed again. Grass also needs mown, and new mailbox put up. (I mean old crappy looking mailbox!)

Hmmm...I think maybe what I really need to do is take a vacation....


Michelle said...

Just Jack is stunning; why is Allena selling him?

Vicki Lane said...

Both those boys make me long to have sheep.

Tammy said...

She has three full brothers of this breeding, and feels that one of them is slightly nicer put together-conformation wise than JJ, although not as flashy marked. Vicki--thanks, I think the rams are so handsome and eye catching, but it's the ewes that I love. I was very pleased though with Orion's quiet demeanor and intelligent eye--the last time I saw him he was quite a scaredy cat! :-)

Janna's Page said...

Orion is GORGEOUS!


L'Hélène said...

That kitten romper room, if it's made out of chicken wire, won't they be able to climb out?

Tammy said...

Thanks Janna!
He is a Willow grandson, so is related to your boys through Jeff. :-) I really love his fleece.
L'Helene, Kitty romper room will have sides, TOP and bottom of chicken wire. It'll be very secure or I wouldn't let me little babes out in it. (It'll be awhile before they need it, but I want to get started on now.)

Kathy said...

Tammy, You're welcome here anytime you want a "vacation"! We'd love to show you around. :)

The rams are just gorgeous! I am trading Skit for two young rams from Jared Lloyd - one an F1 Skeld son and the other is a stunner as well.

He just called and won't be here until late this evening, so I've got a bed made up and will make some lasagna for a tired (I'm sure) cowboy from Colorado.

I sure wish I had room for some more kittens...

Tammy said...

I just popped over to your blog and saw the picture of your new ram lamb. He is a pretty little boy. Heres wishing you much success with him.