Friday, June 28, 2013

Keeper lambs

 Some of my favorite lambs this year.  So far they are on the keeper list.  I have very little for horns this year, so it's been one of my tougher years to cull rams.  Although, it's a bit early to make that final determination, I think I'd like to wait until Jefferson to make further cuts.  I hope to have a few more (painful) cuts to make before breeding season.  Some of my lines are slower to mature than others and that compounds  my decision making process for cutting back.   grrrrr. 

I adore this ewe lamb, she's sweet natured and is the softest lamb I think I've ever felt.  I'm going to guess her CV and SD are going to test in the lower range.   I'd like to see a bit more density in her fleece. 
Maura's ewe: Ellie Mae

 Maximus is a ram out of my favorite yearling and her twin ram lambs did NOT disappoint me.  I am watching both of these boys closely and am going to hold off making my decision on who to keep until they mature a bit more.
Cinderella is one of a set of white twin lambs out of Cotillion and it's been a task to figure out which one to keep and which to sell, but Cinderella seems to have a bit more density to her fleece, I like her structure just a teensy bit more than her sister's and she just has this "look at me" thing going on. 
Seneca's ram: Maximus (left) and Cotillion's ewe: Cinderella (right)
 Einstein is out of my favorite mature ewe and I am absolutely in love with his head, ear set and overall type.  He's a bit more wide set in the front and that's something that a few of my lines can use, he's square and his fleece has nice lock structure and is crimpy and fine.  His fleece is consistent from front to back, we'll see how that holds as he ages. 
Salicional's ram: Einstein   Love this guy. 

 Violet is a beautifully structured fawn kat out of one of my 2 year olds and a Velma granddaughter.  Anytime I need to correct conformation, I can count on Velma.  I'm pretty certain Violet will throw spots, as her face is wildly spotted and very attractive.  The only place I can fault her at this point is her tail, it's not as short or flat at the tip as I'd like. 
Vienna's fawn kat ewe on the left and Sarafina on the right
Sarafina is as lovely as her brother, Einstein, is handsome.  So far I am very pleased with this ewe lamb.  Conformation is nice, great head and ears and even though it's hard to see from this photo, she is very dark, rich black.  The sun washed her out a bit here.  Crimpy, dense fleece that feels soft and hoping it stays that way.  (fingers crossed)
Salcional's ewe: Sarafina
 Gaston & Sadira are very typey lambs, with crimp in abundance and so far both are dense and soft.  I'm keeping the ewe lamb and Gaston is for sale,......because how many gray kat rams can one gal keep? 
Dot's lambs: Gaston (ram is for sale ) in the foreground right and on the left is Sadira (ewe)

Nakoma, in the back......Great ram out of Meadow.  Meadow is another ewe that always gives me lambs with great conformation.  And as an older ewe, you can't find much fault with her fleece.  My biggest issue with Meadow is that she's a bit short for her length, but since Nakoma clearly doesn't have that issue and her offspring doesn't, I'm ok with that.  I'm keeping both of her lambs this year until we get a bit further along in the year to see how they progress as they mature. 
Duchess is Cinderella's sister and a lovely little ewe that I would keep if I had more room, but I can't break my own rules, so I've reluctantly placed her on my sales list.  I love the head and face structure of theses twins, and both have very similar fleece types, but Duchess is not quite as dense as her sister and I think her hocks are slightly less straight than her twin.  But even with that being said, I would not hesitate to keep her if she doesn't sell. 

Nakoma in the rear and Duchess in the front-right

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Unsung Heros at OK Acres

Bianca, our teenage Maremma in with the rams
 Bianca has been frustrating and amazing all wrapped up into one dog.   She is coming along nicely and since she's been in with the rams, she seems to fallen in love with her "charges".  We still have a few isolated instances of play chase games with her, but those are few and far between.

John.......our geriatric Maremma  (he's earned the right to relax)
 John is sneaking up on 12 years old now and his joints keep him from running and playing much. John is scared to death of thunder, and will hole up in the shed until the rumbling has stopped, but he's a kind hearted soul that is a fierce protector of his charges. He came to us when he was 9, but we've sure grown to love him. 

Sitting on the truck bed: Jeff aka Mucke, Mike, my husband,  Standing: Young helpers Clayton and Cole

 My husband is a ifs, and or buts about it.  He supports and encourages me in everything I do.  His tireless devotion to my happiness has given me all I need to flourish and enjoy my varied hobbies.  Mucket lets me steal Terri and his boys to come help me and is an awesome guy that is generous to a fault.  Cole and Clayton are always helping us do something, rounding up sheep, vaccinating, worming, sorting out lambs, shearing, rooing etc.  They even come to help with hay!!! sheepy helper.  She has come to my rescue a lot lately.  She's building me some pretty cool planters here.
Terri helps me so much with the sheep that I've lost track of how many times she helped me now.  She has been my rooing partner this spring and I know I could not have gotten that many sheep done without her help.  She, along with Clayton and Cole help with my sheep round ups and treatments on a regular basis. 

Tada.....plants on a stick.  Thank you Terri.
And here is a gift from Terri....she got all these pots, plants and dirt and made me (as Senior Jalapeno  would say) Flowers on Steeck.  (misspelling intended)

Thank you to you guys for all you do. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

By Special Request

John, from over at Going Gently asked me about some of the volunteer work that Mike and I do with the Juda Fore Fathers

All money raised from the fundraising that is done by the Fore Fathers goes back into the community. The FF have provided winter clothes for kids at the school when they are needed, had food drives to donate money and food to local food pantries in several area communities, gas cards and monetary gifts to families that are hit with medical emergencies, fires, or extended hospital stays.  Last year a community enrichment project was completed at the local park.  There is now a beautiful memorial walk with engraved memorial bricks to replace the old memorial that had decayed with time.  These are just a few of the things that Juda Fore Fathers is able to do with all the fundraising they do throughout the year.  I'm very proud to be a part of this group of volunteers and it's so fun to see things continue to grow with all their efforts. 

Memorial Dedication 

There is a Poker Run style ride that is predominately motor cycles, but cars and other mods of transportation are welcome to participate, there is a live auction, a silent auction and raffles.  The Juda Jolly Juniors are going to have games for the kids as well as the adult bike games after the ride.  There is a band on Friday night and Saturday night, as well as a chicken BBQ on Saturday night and breakfast on Saturday morning given by the Juda Fire Department. 

Here are a few pictures of prior year's happenings............

And yes, that's an Amish horse and
Big kids trike races

Little kids trike races

Fall ride

Egg Toss

2010 ride-the bikes go all the way over both hills
This year, in conjunction with the Green County Sheep Producers, we are having a duck race!!!! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Raw fleeces

Friday night I finished rooing or hand shearing the last of the purebred Shetlands.  Although I find plenty of things that I would like to improve on my sheep, I find that I'm pretty pleased with the wool that I got and the lambs that hit the ground this year.   I started the long process of photographing and cataloging all my raw fleeces on Saturday.  Since I skirted everything as I removed it from the sheep, the skirting process is complete, the neck wool is in one bag, the britch in another and the main fleece is in a larger bag.  Some day I will have enough of each color in neck wool to send it to the mill for combed top..........but until then, it's just sitting in bags all over our place. 

Here is a few of the samples that I photographed on Saturday.  I have sort of a mixed bag of sheep represented here, some yearlings, some 2, 3, 5, 8 years old. 

OK Acres Elvis (polled ram) 1 year old

Elvis fleece closeup
OK Acres Celine-1 yr old moorit/white flecket ewe

Celine fleece closeup
Sheltering Pines Anais Anais-3 yr old grey kat ewe

Anais fleece closeup
Sheltering Pines Catherine-8 yr old ewe
OK Acres Sierra-2011 fleece (1 yr.)  Black ewe
Sierra's fleece closeup
Sheltering Pines Salicional-7 yr. grey kat ewe
Wintertime Garnet-3 yr old moorit ewe
OK Acres Garth-1 yr old shaela ram

Garth fleece closeup

Sheltering Pines Ceylon-5 yr old moorit/white flecket ewe
Ceylon's fleece closeup

Temperance-3 yr old black ewe

Temperance's fleece closeup

Friday, June 07, 2013

I bet you didn't know.........

I got this idea from a blog I follow, but I am going to alter it a bit because there is no way there are 30 thing about me that are interesting. 

20 Interesting Things about me
1) I love sweet or Bing cherries, I eat them by the truck load.
2) I have been riding motor cyles since I was about 5 years old.  (ummm, mini bike too)

 3) I am a Daddy's girl and was a poster child for Tomboys when I was younger
4) I think my parents are amazing people and I adore them both. 
5) I am a closet NSYNC fan (boy band from way back)

You are a Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen....oooooo, oooooo      ok, ok,.....I'll stop.

6) I love ABBA (80's band)
7) I hate my upper arms and my neck area-if I had the money, they'd be fixed.  YESTERDAY
8) I dislike shopping
9) My favorite flowers are gladiolas

10) I wanted to be a veterinarian, but couldn't afford college in 1980 when I graduated from high school. 
11) I have more patience with animals than I do people. 
12) My favorite color is sapphire blue.

This is NOT me, our dumpsters are green.  Just sayin'

13) I can't pass up a chance to dumpster dive, the thrill of the search is too much fun
14) I think my sister gives of herself more often than I
15)  I have never smoked pot or taken illegal drugs..........that's right.....never. 
Looks so harmless...........

16) My high school years were painful and I was a shy, insecure young lady.  (I know, hard to believe)
17) The happiest times of my life have happened since I turned 40.....(except for the birth of my son)
18) I have a very weird (aka inappropiate) sense of humor which leads to laughter at inappropriate times.  (like funerals-ugh)

I WISH this was my barn..........

19) I have dreams about owning a spectacular barn that is full of animals and a huge indoor riding arena. 
20) I didn't attend a concert until I was 38 years old. 

Now you give it a try.  Can you find 20 things about yourself that we don't know....random things? 

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....