Thursday, June 29, 2006
He is Dailley Ray Charles ... and he is emsket. He looks dark brown, but when you part his fleece, even this short, it is that pewter colour that is emsket. Lovely!
His fleece was about 5 inches long, and quite even with a tight crimp from neck to britch. I had hoped to get it micron tested ... but it sold to a handspinner before I had the chance to get a sample! It is nice when that happens ... because I know that my 'hand' is getting better from working with so many handspinners ... :-)
This guy, I hope, will get a chance to add some new genetics to my modified colour ewes this fall. I have a LOT of emsket and mioget ewes out there, but they are all from the same three or four lines. Fresh blood will be nice!
He is so square and correct ... and really wide horns. He will grow into a very striking ram at maturity.
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
1. WillowGarden Celine Dion - a fine fleeced moorit ewe, out of Cherrington Elizabeth (fine fleeced black ewe) and WillowGarden Bob Hope (moorit gulmoget ram). This ewe has great genetic lines, wonderful conformation, and a nice fleece ... $200 ... SOLD
2. WillowGarden Ella Fitzgerald ... a black gulmoget yearling ewe, out of SheltrgPines Shaelyn (black ewe) and WillowGarden Bob Hope (moorit gulmoget ram). A great opportunity to add gulmoget genetics into your flock with this nice little gulmoget ewe ... $300 ... SOLD
3. WillowGarden Lena Horn ... black krunet yearling ewe, out of Prairie Ciorstan (musket, carrying the modifier) and WillowGarden Cary Grant (shaela yuglet). A lovely ewe, with great genetics ... $250 ... SOLD
4. WillowGarden Shirley Eikhard ... a yearling black smirslet iset out of Cherrington Esther and Wooly Clyde. This is a very correct ewe, with spotting genetics, and some interesting lines ... $200 ... SOLD
2006 Ewe Lambs For
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Lately these summer guests have been viewing fences as a sort of suggestion as to where they should be, but they never have wandered far away from the sheep, so I haven't worried. They seem to know that where there are sheep ... there is food not far away ... :-) It had rained all night, and I was sure that my pigs were lost, alone and shivering somewhere.
In desparation ... I called them ... 'Pig, Pig, Pig' ... and waited. Finally pigs, dogs and sheep came pouring out of the back barn! I wish I had had my camera there to get a picture. Kinda cute.
BUT ... they do have there OWN pig stye ... and I will be 'encouraging' them to use it after this weekend ... when I put up an ELECTRIC nose height wire around where I think they should be ... hehehe
My goal is to cut the flock back to 65 ewes (from 75) for this year, as I turn 57 years old ... and then to 55 the next year when I turn 58 ... and then to 45 when I turn 59 ... and finally to 35 for the year I turn 60. I'll have to stop cutting back then as how will I manage 12 breeding groups with fewer than 35 ewes ... hehehe
Anyway ... this means more sheep have to go ... as much as I want to keep them!
I have a sales list ready ... and will publish it here in a day or two when I can get more pictures ... but it will include gulmogets ... katmogets ... wildly spotteed ... modified colours (both mioget and emsket) ... and exquisite UK genetics. There are seven yearling ewes, and 15 ewe lambs on the revised list.
If you'd like to see the list, without pictures ahead of time, email me and I'll send it to you. I just want to sell these sheep to good shepherds ... :-)
Anyway ... A long while ago, a few of us decided that we wanted to get some UK genetics into our Canadian flock ... so we agreed to share a semen import if it could be worked out. In the mean time, I was able to add a LOT of really quality UK lines to my flock through a purchase from Carol Arthur in Alberta (Great Plains sheep that you will see talked about here).
Anyway ... the importation has gone ahead and I have decided to stick to my commitment add the new UK genetics, along with what I already have in my flock. Soooo ... I know own a 25% share of the Todhill Hornblower straws. Hornblower is from Lenice Bell's flock in Scotland. He apparently has a soft, even crimpy fleece, with few white fibres at four years of age. His scrapie genotype is ARR/ARQ.
The other ram, Toddhill Glayva, is also from Lenice's flock, he has great conformation and a great fleece as well, but has no white fibres at 6 years of age, and is ARR.ARR, AND he also may carry modified genetics. He is a light moorit ram, and I own a 50% share of his straws.
Exciting times ... continue to happen here in Ontario ... but ... since I am now keeping more mature ewes ... my sales list for yearlings and lambs has grown!
I will post about that list separately. There will be some REAL surprises on that list let me tell you! (If you want an advanced copy, ask soon).
I just wanted you all to know about my soon to be ... adventure into AI!
Life is GRAND!
Monday, June 26, 2006
Anyway, work, report cards, farm, Gene away, and a terrible battle with a cold (with the cold winning most of the week) just had me too tired to want to update my blog. SORRY!
So ... what has happened since? So many things!
On the weekend, Matt, my 'hired hand' (the kid across the road who makes it possible for me to do this), and I wormed the flock and did the first vaccinations for the lambs. My sister was here and we took the time to do a thorough evaluation of the lambs and make detailed notes. I am SOOOOOOOO happy with the lambs this year! ... but ... there will be more ewe lambs and yearling ewes going onto my sale list either later today or tomorrow. For reasons that I'll explain later in the week, I have to keep more older ewes, so ... the younger ones have to go to keep the numbers at the point were we have the space.
THEN ... we started our annual battle against the Canadian Thistle. We have used Round-up, and vinegar, and finally resorted to hoe, shovel and lawn mower. By the end of Wednesday, I VOW that there will not be a single thistle left to spread its seeds!
We could use some rain as the pasture and lawn is turning crisp. Looks like a good chance of rain tomorrow, and the sheep that are sold will start leaving the farm within the week, which will ease the pressure on the pastures.
The thistle pictures are not mine ... and don't ANY of you DARE to think that they are beautiful ... or I'll hand you a hoe ... hehehe
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Box Car is a special guy, as he is Kate's last lamb. She is being retired ... 13 years old, arthritis, poor vision ... but ... attitude, spunk, personality, and an 'I can do anything that I want!' attitude. She is a family favourite. And Box Car will be as well.
Friday, June 16, 2006
We start with the treck to the back pasture, which is not visible from the house, and which has scrub brush in it. Without my dogs, I'd never let the sheep out there when I couldn't stay with them.
The first thing that happens is that both dogs do a perimeter check ... and then they crisscross the pasture until thay have ensured that everything is as it ashould be. Absolutely wonderful to watch them do this!
On the day that the cow first had the fence down, Nick stayed where the problem was ... and Kayla came and barked at me until I followed her. Then the three of us fixed the fence. It was like a scene from an old Lassie movie ... ;-)
I LOVE my dogs and can't imagine shepherding without them! You get an idea of the immenseness of Nick in these pictures. Kayla is 'normal sized'.
Off to work ... where I am providing a barbeque lunch to my class and our friends in the school community ... as my birthday gift to myself ... :-)
Anyone else considering a birthday gift, on this my 56th birthday, might wish to consider doing this on Lisa's Website ... hehehe. I'll stop with this soon ... but it is such a loving and wonderful thing that she is doing ... and the support from this blog has been good. Seems there is a lot of love here too ... :-)
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
This little guy, WillowGarden Abraham Lincoln is growing into an amazing ram! He is a grey yuglet flecket katmoget out of WillowGarden Janis Joplin and Wind Water Sean O'Sullivan. I hope to have room to use him for breeding this Fall. If not, he will be for sale as he is too good to NOT be used!
Here is another one that is too good to not be used by someone ... WillowGarden Lima ... out of WillowGarden Cassandra Wilson and Valley Road Spencer. He is Albf/Aa, so his lambs will either be katmoget or 'solid'. He is also out of a spotted dam so he will also be carrying spots, and likely will throw lots of spots when bred to the right ewes. His fleece is crimpy, soft and even. A beautiful young man!
I am also VERY happy with the way this little guy is growing ... WillowGarden Crispin. He is out of Great PlainsGinney, a black F1 Timothy ... and Whistle Stop Lerwick, a white F1 Drum Jings. He looks to be a smaller ram, but in fact, his body is full sized but his legs are a slight bit shorter, giving him a very masculine and square look ... a look that I really like. And I like this guy a lot. He is a double F2, meaning 50% UK genetics.
Off to work ... oh ... and just in case you missed it before, here is the link to Lisa Harvey's Website ... ;-)
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
This is just a close up of WillowGarden Matisia, a mioget yuglet socket gulmoget ewe lamb out of WillowGarden Carmen McCrae and WillowGarden Duke Ellington. Her colour is quite light, but definitely the golden mioget tones. She is a third generation mioget ewe and her lightness supports my theory that the modifier, like the spotting gene, compounds as modified sheep are bred to modified sheep.
Dailley Ray Charles came from the Dailley flock on my last visit there. He is spectacular ... good size, square and solid, wide horns, and a superb fleece. This Fall, I am hoping to put him on most of my modified sheep.
We must be close to half way through the pictures for today. I'm hoping that you won't be too tired when you are done here to check out Lisa's Website and to consider making a donation ... I feel like a PBS fund-raiser ... hehehe
WillowGarden Gala is an emsket krunet ewe lamb out of Great Plains Kilda and Duke Ellington. Looks like she will have a soft and crimpy fleece like her dams.
WillowGarden Kohlrobi is an interesting emsket krunet gulmoget ewe lamb. She is out of WillowGarden Queen Latifah, a mioget smirslet sokket gulmoget ewe, and Duke Ellington.
WillowGarden Fuji is a grey twin to Gala. She is quite light at the base, but I am going to keep her and see if there is more to her than just being Ag. She sure has an interesting tint to her fleece!
WillowGarden Butterfly McQueen, a mioget ewe, with her white, but also mioget (hidden by white) son out of Whistle Stop Lerwick, WillowGarden Hubbard.
WillowGarden Chickory, a lighter mioget ewe lamb, and her musket sister, WillowGarden Cress ... are out of Dailley Dinah Shore, a mioget ewe purchased last December as a bred ewe. Although Cress is definitely musket (Ag), she is also is Mm/Mm as well.
Juneal Shock is a ewe that I always thought was dark brown ... until she was sheared this year as a four year old ... and she is now emsket. Go figure, eh?! The two colours must be part of a continuum. So much for me yet to learn!
SheltrgPines Hebe, an emsket ewe with a BAD hair cut, is with her emsket krunet daughter, WillowGarden Luffa. Luffa has a huge 'spot' that is not white, and thus not a spot. Some folks refer to this as 'moon spotting' ... but that does nothing to explain the phenomonon. I choose to call it 'incomplete expression of pattern' and use that same 'explanation' to rationalize white sheep with small coloured spots. I'm going to chat with Dr. Sponenburg about it at the AGM.
I LOVE this little guy, WillowGarden Purslane. He is an emsket krunet ram with wonderful fleece, presence, and conformation. His dam, WillowGarden Joni Mitchell is dark brown. His sire is Duke Ellington.
I couldn't NOT post another picture of WillowGarden Papaya, a mioget ewe lamb out of WillowGarden Grace Kelly (mioget yuglet flecket sokket) and Valley Road Spencer ( a VERY fine, even and crimpy black ram). I love this lamb!
This is Dailley Iris', a mioget ewe with AWESOME fleece and conformation (my favourite ewe) and her emsket krunet ewe lamb, WillowGarden Ambrosia.
This is WillowGarden Joni Mitchell, a ewe that I consider to be dark brown. Interestingly, I am thinking that 'dark brown' is actually a black based colour. This is the colour that Shock WAS ... up until she was sheared as a four year old. Joni's emsket ram lamb, WillowGarden Purslane, was pictured earlier.
This little one, WillowGarden Bonnie Best, is a moorit ewe lamb, out of WillowGarden Little Eva and Whistle Stop Lerwick. She is about as perfect as a lamb can get ... and her colour is nice and rich!
And finally ... we reach the end ... hehehe. This is WillowGarden Buttercup, a mioget ewe lamb out of Bono Creek Cleome (mioget) and WillowGarden Cliff Carlisle (mioget gulmoget).
I hope that some of you still have enough energy left to check out Lisa's Website ... ;-)
Sunday, June 11, 2006
What I want to do today is to tell all of you about a wonderful young woman named Lisa Harvey.
Lisa works with me as an educational assistant. She works tirelessly, and enthusiastically and treats all of the severely handicapped young people in our room with the outmost of respect. She is a gem and I know that you would all love her in the same way that I do.
The pictures posted here show Lisa on the day that we brought our students to the farm. For confidentiality reasons, I have cropped the students out of the pictures and have just left Lisa. Students are NEVER far away from her though, let me assure you!
Early last Fall Lisa's Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her battle with cancer was not a long one. Lisa's Mom passed away in the winter. It was a difficult time for Lisa, but ... being the kind of person that she is, she has formed a team and they are entering in "The Weekend to End Breast Cancer", a 60 km walk-a-thon in Ottawa, Ontario. It is amazing to watch the role this event is playing in this young woman's growth through the greaving process.
Lisa's personal goal was to raise $2,500. My goal for her is $4,000 ... heck, why NOT go big?! Currently she has $3,050.
Here's where I am curious to see what this blog can accomplish. I'd like everyone to visit Lisa's Website for the walk ... read what she has to say ... and consider clicking on the word 'Friend' to make a secure credit card donation. When you do make a donation, tell Lisa in the message you will be asked to send, that you read my blog. (Lisa is a regular reader of my blog as well).
Lisa needs $950 to reach my goal for her of $4,000. Let's all of us do what we can to make this happen.
Well ... it was a rodeo to be sure ... but I no longer have a cow hanging out in and around my pasture.
With a cowboy on horseback and an ATV ... the wild beast was caught and led home. The journey home was well over a mile!
LOTS of fence repairs were needed as cow ... and horse ... did not always fully clear the fence.
I am VERY thankful that I raise little, friendly sheep that come when they are called ... hehehe
While investigating further ... this is what I found ... at least she is spotted ... hehehe
After lots of time and energy spent ... by a lot of people ... chasing the poor thing, she went and hid in the thickest of the bush. The funniest part of the chase was when she jumped the fence into the pasture and the sheep started to chase her around the field ... hehehe
Today, we'll try again ... with all of the kids ... all of the dogs ... both the 4 wheelers ... and the cowboy on horseback with the lassoo! I'll try for pictures. It should be quite the spectacal. Wish us luck!
Friday, June 09, 2006
Here is one amazing little ewe lamb that everyone seems to have over looked ... WillowGarden Hazelnut. Her dam, WillowGarden Carmen Miranda, has some great lines in her ... and the sire, Great Plains King Arthur, is a magnificent specimen from Carol Arthur's Alberta flock.
Boys ... I'm thinking that both of these will be on my sale list ... WillowGarden Bok Choy (black/white yuglet flecket) and WillowGarden Garbanzo (mioget blettet). They are out of SheltrgPine Kamelya and WillowGarden Duke Elleington. Duke won 'best fleece - lamb' at the 2005 AGM Sheep Show. If they don't sell, I'll keep them for a while.
This little guy, WillowGarden Harcourt, is not actually little at ALL ... quite beefy ... and has an amazingly soft fleece. At the moment he is not for sale. Mainly because he is the finest white ram lamb that I have, but also because I need to watch his horns. The one on the left has a funny turn to it. If his horns go bad, I'll wether him, as his fleece is to die for. His dam, Great Plains Wren, is another of the wonderful ewes imported from Carol Arthur's Alberta flock last Fall. The sire is Whistle Stop Lerwick, leased from the Odessa flock in PEI.
This scene is undoubtedly one that is waiting for me out there right now ... ewes and lambs ... impatient to get out to the back pasture. I better get them out there and make them happy ... and then shower and head for work!
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
So ... here are pictures of my latest lamb, born late last night ... Willowgarden Litchee Nut. She is a TOTAL doll and out of WillowGarden Peggy Lee and Wind Water Sean O'Sullivan. She is also the smallest lamb of the year, weighing in at only 3.4 pounds! She is NOT for sale. She is, however, out bounding in the side pasture.
For you Lisa ... and please, keep telling me when I don't quite measure up. Young people who recieve the level of respect from me that you do ... I will listen to ... about my blog anyway, even if not at work ... hehehe
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Willow Garden Shetland Sheep 2006 Sale List
($50 per animal discount when 3 or more are purchased)
- Mature Ewes
1. WillowGarden Cleo Laine - a moorit gulmoget yearling ewe, out of Windswept Alicia Spinnet (moorit ewe from Heather Ludram’s Michigan flock ), and WillowGarden Montgomery Clift (a moorit gulmget ewe). This ewe may be bred, and if so, she will be available after weaning her lamb (due before June 19). A nice ewe with some interesting genetics. There are not a lot of gulmogets in Ontario ... $300 ... SALE PENDING
2. WillowGarden Celine Dion - a fine fleeced moorit ewe, out of Cherrington Elizabeth (fine fleeced black ewe) and WillowGarden Bob Hope (moorit gulmoget ram). This ewe has great genetic lines, wonderful conformation, and a nice fleece ... $250
3. WillowGarden Ella Fitzgerald ... a black gulmoget yearling ewe, out of SheltrgPines Shaelyn (black ewe) and WillowGarden Bob Hope (moorit gulmoget ram). A great opportunity to add gulmoget genetics into your flock with this nice little gulmoget ewe ... $300
4. Great Plains Juliet ... a moorit ewe with a soft double coat, out of Great Plains Sterling (shaela) and Great Plains Harris (moorit). A nice, bigger ewe that produced two rapid growing lambs. Genetics from the US, via Alberta ... and different from much of what is here. Pictured on this page with her black and white lambs (white lamb to be retained) ... $250
5. SheltrgPines Kamelya ... an off moorit three year old ewe out of Cedarose Jennie (emsket spotted) and SheltrgPines Jeremy (moorit smirslet). This ewe has perfect conformation and a very nice fleece. She has produced emsket, mioget , and wildly spotted lambs. This is another ewe that is hard to part with. A great chance to add colour and splash to your flock. Pictured on this page with her black/white yuglet flecket ram lamb. Also pictured are her twin ram lambs ... $300 - SOLD
6. 6. Great Plains Lark ... a seven year old black ewe, with almost NO white fibres, out of Great Plains Sparky (black) and Hilsondale Sparky (musket). This is a larger ewe with a decent fleece. She had twin moorit rams this year. Again, interesting genetics from the US, Via Alberta. Pictured on this page with her twin moorit ram lambs ... $200 - SOLD
7. WillowGarden Ruth Gordon ... an off black two year old ewe out of SheltrgPines Hebe (emsket) and WillowGarden Peter Pieter (moorit Iris son). A lovely ewe ... Aa/Aa BB/Bb SS/Ss MM/Mm ... Pictured on this page, posing on a rock ... $250 - SOLD
8. WillowGarden Zazu Pitts ... a two year old emsket ewe out of ShetlrgPines Athena (white) and WillowGarden Jacob (moorit yuglet flecket). This ewe is ... Aa/Aa BB/Bb SS/Ss Mm/Mm. She will add colour and flsh to your flock when bred to the right ram ... $300 ... SOLD
9. WillowGarden Shirley Eikhard ... a yearling grey smirslet out of Cherrington Esther and Wooly Clyde. This is a very correct ewe, with spotting genetics, and some interesting genetics ... $300