Saturday, December 27, 2008

A belated thanks

Sorry it took me so long to post my thanks to you all. It has been a hard few weeks and I keep getting very depressed. The other 3 dogs are trying to take help. Christmas eve (which I normally adore) felt so depressing though that I didn't even go and ride Muppet. I did make up for it on Boxing day though with extra grooming, treats and a lesson. 

Today I separated my groups so now I have the 2 rams and my wether together, 4 bred (hopefully) ewes and 3 open ewes. The boys had a little tussle but are in a small space and I threw in straw bales to break it up even further. I also made a sort of ram shield out of a cut up baseball hat for Dreamer as he is so much bigger than Sunny. Hopefully I can get some pictures tomorrow if our weather improves.

I hope everyone had a happy holiday season. Sorry for the lack of pictures but I'll work on that. I just wanted to post my thanks.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sad day

Well there are no pictures today. Only tears. Last night Ji (our husky) had a massive seizure and we made the tough choice to put him down today. He was miserable and restless and would not have tolerated more medication. The vet was very nice, we hadn't seen her before. After assessing him and asking about his history she was actually convinced that he had a brain tumor, and there was nothing we could do for him. We stayed with him as he went to sleep, held him in our arms, and told him how much we love him.

Hopefully I'll be able to post a more uplifting post next week. 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Non sheep photos

Well the dogs were all out running around in the yard this weekend, and I got a few pictures so here is the pack. First of all we have Murphy. As far as we can tell he is a Miniature Pincher mix. He is a rescue and we have had him since he was a year old. He is also not the brightest dog in the planet and is more likely to sit if you say "peanut butter" than "sit".

Next we have Binson. She's a Jack Russell and absolutely thinks she is in charge....she's the smallest! Binson likes to sleep underneath the covers with her head on my pillow.

Next we have Zora. She's our old lady dog. No idea on her breeding (another rescue) but she's always reminded me of an Australian dingo.

And finally we have Ji our youngest. He's a Siberian Husky and is the problem child as he has recently become epileptic. So far he is doing a little better on the medications (and diet) so we are continuing to hope for the best.

Well that's the pack. All of these dogs and non of them work sheep lol!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wow is that an update?

Has it been over a month since I posted some news and pictures? Wow. Um sorry everyone. Things are going well in the shetland department. The breeding groups are established and the only ones are upset are the girls' not getting the chance this year. The weather was nice and frosty today and the light was beautiful for pictures so here are a few.

This is Painted Knoll Kanasatka who is growing up to be very pretty. She is not as shy as she used to be and will come over for some attention now.

This is Colby who continues to also grow up nicely. She is staying a dark grey underneath so far which I really like and her fleece is super soft.

And this is my Hermione. She is not very happy about not being allowed to have lambs this year but I am only trying to breed 4 ewes and I wanted to give her a year off. I'm actually thinking of parting with her next year as I really want a flecket ewe but want to keep my flock numbers at 10. Anyway she is a wonderful girl and always gives me a little tail wag when she gets her belly rubbed.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I personally am thankful for my wonderful family and all my animals. I never thought I'd be blessed enough to have my own sheep and a horse. Let alone someone that loved me. So blessed indeed. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Show report continued

Well not exactly the next day but in my defense I had to fly to California for a wedding. Today we got our first frost in MA and the youngsters among my flock were extra frisky this morning. I wish I took pictures.

Anyway back to the show report. Here are the kids in the yearling ewe class. This is the first time they have shown and they are not in 4H (no real interest) but they did have fun at the show. They did a sheep agility class as well which involved walking their sheep through hoops and into a paddling pool which was fun and over a jump and a small bridge. Unfortunately all my pictures are blurry.

Here is Cammie after winning Campion Shetland Ewe at the Bolton Fair. Can you tell I am happy? LOL. I know she's not stood square but she was before that...she was also a little stressed out but we'll work on that before next year.

So my sheep are in their breeding groups. I am only breeding 4 ewes this year and leaving 3 open with my wether in another paddock. So far everything is going very well. The boys will stay in with the girls' for several months as they are both perfect gentleman with the them and actually share their hay (which they won't do with each other). Yeah my boys know how to impress lol. 

Fall colors are all starting and I need to get out there with my camera this weekend.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Show report

Yesterday we attended a very wet Bolton Fair in MA. It was the 126th Bolton fair but the first time we have ever attended it in a show capacity. We took 5 sheep Dreamer, Suncook, Jewel, Gypsy and Cammie (Kanasatka). 
Did I mention wet? Dreamer says who cares where are the animal crackers?

We had a lot of rain Friday and then it rained pretty much non-stop on Saturday with only a few breaks in the weather which is a shame as the fair is a blast to go to. The wonderful thing about the Bolton sheep show is that they actually have a Shetland group so this is the first the first time I've shown against other Shetlands.

Our first class was Yearling ram which Dreamer won.
Our second class was Junior ram lamb which was a large class in which Suncook came 3rd. This was Sandra's first time showing.
Then the kids had took Gypsy and Jewel into Yearling ewes class (another large class) where they came 3rd and 4th respectively.  They also did Yearling pairs which they came 2nd in.

There would be a picture here but blogger wouldn't load it.

Next class was Junior ewe lamb (large class) which I took Cammie in and she won! She then went on to win Champion ewe for the Shetlands.

Still no picture I'll post one later.

We also entered a pairs class with Suncook and Cammie coming 2nd and Dreamer and Jewel coming 3rd. 

What a day!

It was very long (the sheep had to be  penned by 8am and we weren't allowed to leave until 6pm) but really good and I was so proud of my sheep. They met a lot of new people and won a few fans (hi Holly). So many people were surprised at how soft the sheep are and that the boys horns are warm. The children also took the sheep into a sheep agility class but I'll post pictures of that tomorrow if blogger lets me lol. 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I love the new fencing

So I have invested in PermaNet and ElectroNet fencing from Premier after having an escape from wire fencing. The first type is tall and sturdy but heavy and I'm not that tall so it is harder to install (although I can still get 4 rolls out in 30 mins alone) the second type is lighter and a breeze to put out. Last night I moved a paddock I had made for the 3 boys and put it up in a new place. The whole thing took 10 minutes of my time. 3 rolls of fencing and a good size area. Wonderful.

This morning they liked the new pasture. I like the view from my deck. Of course all of this has to come down soon as I want to put my sheep into their breeding groups. They are all ready to go lol. The wonderful thing about the fencing is that I have more time to do other things like tying practice.

We have a local show next Saturday and this will be our first time showing against other shetlands. The haltering practice is going really well even our new lamb Colby is doing well for a first timer although she's not showing this time out.

Sunny says thanks for the new grass.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Goodbye Yosemite and safe travels

Today my youngest and one of my favorite ram lambs left for Oregon. It was quite the experience as I have never shipped a lamb by plane before. Here's what I learnt.

1. American Airlines require a health certificate with a date 10 days (max.) from the flight date even though the state health certificate is good for 30 days. Amen for fax machines.

2. The maximum weight of priority cargo is 70lbs....shame that Yosemite in his crate weighed 73lbs. Fatty lol.

3. The person that takes the lamb/sheep to the airport pays for the transportation. Thank God for the ability of wiring funds quickly.

All in all rather a stressful few hours but I'm happy to say he made it on the plane eventually...true it was a later flight than planned but at least I didn't have to drive him back to the airport in the early morning. Now I'll say a little prayer and cross my fingers that he makes it to Oregon safely. 
Goodbye sweetie and be happy and healthy for a long long time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Meet the girls'

Well after showing plenty of pictures of the boys it's time to meet some of the girls'. I have 6 ewes in my flock plus one ewe lamb that is for sale. I'm not having much success selling yet although I do believe I have one ram lamb sold (yay!). I just have the 3 other rams that need to go before breeding season begins, I have 2 shows next month to go to which I am quietly hopeful for, they have quite a lot of shetlands there normally and I have also got several people to talk to locally. Next year I will remember to market my lambs earlier.

Anyway enough of that. This is RF Bella the only ewe lamb born this year at Ridgeway Farm. I think she is going to stay black, the brown is just sun-bleaching. She is wonderfully delicate, her body type reminds me of my wonderful Gypsy. Her fleece is very soft with a moderate crimp to it and it is already so thick.

This is BluffCountry Gypsy and her best friend RF Amelia. They can always be seen grazing together. Gypsy won an award at the MA sheep and wool festival for best fleece in the rare and minor breed class. An accomplishment I hope to replicate a few more times.

This is Hythe Farm Hermione. She is my oldest sheep and has beautiful babies. It's not a great picture of her, I'll try and get something more flattering lol.

This is Painted Knoll Kanasatka I love her markings and her fleece is exquisite. I'm looking forward to watching her grow up and seeing what her lambs look like in a few years. She also has little scurs which I'll be following.

Last but by no means least this is Hythe Farm Sabrina. She was the first sheep I got and I bottle raised her from a day old. She even went to the veterans day parade and will walk very happily in a collar and lead. Some people even mistook her for a dog although I am not sure how! I love her fleece and hopefully I can continue to keep the burrs out of it this year. 

Anyway that's all my girls' and I love them all!

On a side note does anyone know anything about canine epilepsy? Our Siberian Husky Ji was just diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy at 2 years of age and started phenobarbital. He's had 4 seizures total in 3 months with the most recent ones being 12 hours apart. So far none since starting the meds, but it's only his 2nd day. Any info would be grateful :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Head shots and other pictures.

Today I spent a lovely few hours enjoying the not too warm and not too humid MA weather with the sheep and lambs. Here's some of my pictures. I am off on vacation tomorrow to a dude ranch  for a few days. It should be fun.
Like father....

....Like son. This is RF Yosemite. Doesn't he look like his dad? He is the youngest of my lambs but probably the biggest. 

This is RF Yates and he is the friendliest lamb I know. He has a very soft fleece and would be happy to sit in your lap and receive pets all day.

This is RF Yippee looking all regal. Doesn't he have wonderful horns? He's going a very interesting shade of grey. Almost metallic. 

This is RF Yankee (Yippee's brother). I love his markings and his fleece is super soft.

Monday, July 21, 2008

New additions to the flock

I'm pleased to introduce my two new lambs. I actually picked them up last Saturday and they have settled in really well. I have just been far too busy finishing up work last week to be able to post so here is my delayed picture. I'm sure I'll get more of them later.

Aren't they cute? This is Painted Knoll Suncook (Ram) and Painted Knoll Kanasatka (ewe). I have been looking for a good moorit ram to bred with as Dreamer is black. Their fleeces and colors make them wonderful additions to my small flock. It was also great to meet Nadine, Glenn and all of their animals, they have a beautiful farm.

The babies continue to grow. I have separated all of them except Yosemite and night time in the stables and that has been very successful. Now that I have some time off before I start college again I hope to start the halter training and look out for a few shows to enter my sheep into. 

To anyone else reading this blog any tips for marketing lambs for sale? This is my first year selling any lambs. All of my lambs (except Yosemite again lol) are advertised on NASSA sale site for $200. Yosemite is $250. Does that seem reasonable? Where else can I try? I am hoping that competing at local shows might garner some interest.

Oh final quick picture of some of the flock and what I affectionately call the clover paddock.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Next day of pictures

More photo's from yesterday. On the left is Bella who is so far staying black. She is far more delicate than the boys that's for sure! She is also still a lot shyer but has finally started coming over for pets, I need to introduce the animal crackers as it almost time for halter training to take place and the first series of shots. On the right is her twin brother Yates who's really enjoying the grass right now thanks to all the rain we are getting. It looks like the white stripe on the top of his head is staying even though the others have faded is this krunet? It looks like he will go light grey although I can't tell yet. 

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Photo time

I took a few pictures today of everyone and here are some of them. I'd post more but I fell off my horse the other day and have a concussion so I don't feel great. Anyway everyone is growing up well.

These two boys are Yankee and Yippee. Yippee was named by one of my dialysis patients at work. Some of his white markings have faded but wow does he have the best horns. Yankee is also growing really nicely and is a very solid young ram. They are my terrible twosome.

Yosemite is still quite the looker and his horns are nice and widely spaced, still seeing how they grow. He is also the first of my lambs who I think is sold. Just hoping that travel plans work out for him as it sounds like a very good home.

Anyway for some reason blogger only likes me posting 2 pictures. So more tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some of the lesser known lambs

This is Ridgeway Bella one of the lambs I rarely manage to get pictures of as she is really the shyest of the bunch this year. I actually think she is going to stay black. She is very fine boned and square with a very good tail. She is for sale.

This is Ridgeway Yates he is the friendliest lamb of them all. I swear his white marking on his head looks like a mullet with sideburns. It's hard to get a good picture of him because he wants to sit in your lap and be cuddled. His horns are growing in nicely. Color wise he will turn a shade of grey, not sure what one yet. His fleece is really soft. He is also for sale.

That's all for today. Things are going well here. The weather is particularly hot and humid here but everyone is managing to stay semi cool at least. Last night we had thunderstorms so it is a little cooler....but not much. The fencing is still working well, I wish I had invested in it earlier.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rainy day pictures

Well so far the permanet from Premier is working wonderfully and I hope it continues this way. It was very easy to install and a few of the sheep have been silly enough to get too close and have quickly moved away...yay sucess. 

Today even though it was raining I wanted to get some new pictures of the lambs as they are growing so fast. So here they all are.

This is Yosemite, the youngest of our lambs. He's growing so fast and has the longest legs I've ever seen. His coat is so soft and his little tiny horn buds are white. I can't wait to see how he grows up. He is for sale.

This is Yankee. He looks like he might go light grey like his mother. He'll at least be modified in some way. His horns are growing nicely and he's a very solid little guy. He is also for sale.

This Dreamer and his best friend Zebedee our wether. They get along well and I'm hoping Suncook fits right in with them. I know I said lamb pictures but the boys are so cute.

I'm having issues trying to post the others so I'll try again tomorrow. I also haven't forgotten about the MA sheep and wool show pictures that I promised.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Happy birthday Muppet!

So today is my PMU's birthday. He is turning 6 and everyone assures me this means he'll mellow lol (yeah right). I have had him since he was 8 months old and he's wonderful. Today we celebrated with a lesson from my trainer and we did some very good jumping (he's just getting started on that). She thinks we'll be ready to try some cross country jumps this year so woo hoo. Anyway here are some pictures taken in fall so everyone can admire him hee hee. I need to get some new ones.

Monday, May 26, 2008

MA sheep and wool festival

I am SO tired. We had a very good weekend at what was our first show for both sheep and fleeces. We left at 6am on Saturday and after a low bridge incident and a little map reading creativity made it to the show grounds at 8.30am. We entered Gypsy and Sabrina's fleeces in the 'Rare and minor breeds' class, Gypsy's was the one I was particularly proud of. Sabrina's was not as clean as I would have liked. Then we unloaded Gypsy and Dream Weaver and took them to their pen for the show on Sunday. After lots of practice they both lead like champions. A flake of hay and they settled right in.

Anyway then our tents went up and we looked around. I don't think it's bigger than the NH show but they have a lot more sheep there. 

At 2pm we got to find out the results of the fleece show and I am very proud to say that Gypsy's fleece won her class! Both fleeces also sold rather quickly which was a shame as I would have liked to get a picture of the ribbon with Gypsy's but when I went back with a camera it had already gone lol. 

On Sunday after a little asking around (and a lot of waiting) we found out that we were showing in the any other breed group in the wool division as we were the only Shetlands at the show. Dream Weaver came 3rd in the yearling ram class, getting beaten by 2 large welsh black mountains and Gyspy failed to place in her class that was a lot larger. I think the judge was looking for size and Shetlands are never going to win there, plus Gypsy is wonderfully delicately boned. The classes were a little disappointing and I'd like to see how they would do against other Shetlands. Overall the show was a success though and both sheep were fully admired, we also promoted the Shetland breed and Dreamer especially had a lot of adoring fans by the end.

Pictures will follow when I am more awake.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Growing along nicely

Well except for escaping sheep here at the farm (damn fencing) things are going well. We are getting ready for our first show which is both nerve wracking and exciting. Need to decide if I am going to bathe the beasties or not beforehand. Any suggestions?

The NH sheep and wool festival was very informative to attend and I learnt a lot about skirting and fleeces. Enough to think about showing a couple of fleeces as well as showing a couple of sheep at the MA sheep and wool festival. It was also nice to see Nadine as well.

Anyway here are some pictures of the lambs. They are growing beautifully. All of the lambs are very playful and curious. 

New fencing is on it's way thanks to Premier and my mastercard and hopefully the permanet will be enough of a shock that they don't try and visit the neighbors any more. I'll give a full report on how the installation and use goes :) 

Thursday, May 8, 2008

And introducing....

Ridgeway Yosemite out of BluffCountry Jewel who was a bad girl and broke in with Dream Weaver. Anyway a very leggy and beautiful HST ram lamb greeted me this morning. I'm not sure why all my girls insist on being shy during birth lol. Both mother and baby are doing very well.

Better pictures will be coming later.

Friday, April 25, 2008

My Ram

I thought I'd introduce and post a few pictures of my ram so here is Bluff Country Dream Weaver. He has a very good fleece, great horns and a wonderful disposition. He has just turned a year old and I hope to take him to a few shows this year. Dreamer is always looking for someone to come and rub under his chin. He particularly likes to eat green cabbage and bananas.  Anyway without further ado here he is...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

More lambs

Well there has been a delay in posting pictures but Sabrina had her lambs on the 10th in the evening and we were there to watch and help...ok just watch. For a first time mother she did beautifully and gave us Ridgeway Yates who has a very cool white marking which looks like a mullet lol and is the friendliest lamb I know. We also have our first girl Ridgeway Bella who is smaller than the boys and has a beautiful, delicate face. She's a little shy and likes to stay by her mama. They both have the softest fleece.

Now only Jewel to go who was a very bad girl and broke in with Dreamer I can't wait to see what her lamb(s?) will look like. I imagine they should be very flashy though.