Tuesday, March 31, 2009

And Yet Another

WillowGarden Anne Baxter, a black krunet out of Juice ... and WillowGarden Rwanda, a Bramble Nick daughter.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Juice ... Continues His 'Romp' ... ;-)

Well ... Iris, my MOST favourite ewe ... FINALLY gave me more than one lamb at a time! For the past six years, she has singled. This year ... twins.
Meet WillowGarden Kirk Douglas, a spotted grey ram, and Michael Douglas, a spotted (slightly) moorit (mioget, I think) ram.

Hmmm ... that makes EIGHT rams ... and just four ewes. Could this be a 'ram year'?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

WillowGarden Juice's Lambs

Last Fall, I had so many wonderful rams that I wanted to use, and only a limited number of secure breeding areas. One of the solutions that I came up with was to put a favourite ram lamb of mine in with the entire flock for a few days ... ahead of breeding groups.

The ram I chose was WillowGarden Juice. Juice is grey, and had a decent (not exceptional) histogram. What I liked most about him is that he is linebred on Enfield Greyling, my favourite UK ram. His sire is Lugthart Starry Champion AI. His Dam is a Great Plains William the Conqueror AI daughter. Juice has 37.5% Greyling genetics.

Juice's dam also goes back to Bitterroot Joshua. I liked Joshua a lot, especially for his conformation and fleece lock structure.
Juice was in with the flock for just seven days, but he was a BUSY boy ... :-) So far, six ewes have given birth to his lambs, with a few more looking imminent.
These tiny lambs are out of WillowGarden Papaya. Papaya is almost 100% Dailley lines, very soft and even, and a wonderful modified colour. WillowGarden Liza Minnelli (3.4 lb) is moorit. WillowGarden Leslie Howard (3.9 lb) is black. Both look to be Aa/Aa. It is too early to be sure that they are modified colours.
This little tank of a lamb, WillowGarden Jose Ferrer (7.4 lb) is a moorit (likely modified) ram out of WillowGarden Tootsie Roll. Tootsie Roll is an F2 Brent horned ewe. She has a much more primitive fleece than I like, but this guy looks to have nailed fleece ... :-)
WillowGarden Dustin Hoffman (7.4 lb) is a white ram out of WillowGarden Lake Victoria. Victoria is F2 Lightning and F1 Todhill Hornblower making her 75% UK genetics. She appears black, but is extension dominant and really white. I like this guy a lot. He is either Awt/Ag or Awt/Aa.
WillowGarden Lionel Barrymore (5.9) is a fawn (modified) spotted katmoget ram out of WillowGarden Chocolatini (Underhill Thelonius Monk X SheltrgPines Irene). He has an awesome looking, even fleece. There is no visible britch yet. Thelonius' main fault in my opinion was a larger than I like britch.
This little guy is out of Wind Water Rogue. I am keeping Rogue for my friend Shawna Grey, while she gets fences up at her new farm. This ram lamb has a very uneven fleece that is already obviously double coated, with a much coarser outer coat. He has no official name and is simply known as 'Chops' at the moment.
WillowGarden Joan Fontaine (6.3 lb) is a black ewe lamb out of Great Plains Tulip (F2 Jamie, F2 Greyling). She is lovely and refined.
WillowGarden Helen Hayes is as nice as her twin, Joan Fontaine, but is Ag. Tulip is fawn Ag and has thrown many modified lambs. These two may thus be modified colours as well.

There may still be more Juice lambs to come. We'll see. I have a LOT of really big ewes looking ready to explode and my main breeding groups are still 10 or 11 days away from their due dates!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Farmer Anna

My good friends Neil and Don come to visit and hang out during lambing each year. Two years ago, I had a bunch of yarn hanging around, which Don bought for his Mom to use.

Last year when Neil and Don came to visit, they brought a sweater that Don's Mom had made for my grandchildren. I decided that once they were big enough, I'd have them wear it when they can to visit and wanted to help feed sheep.
Anna wore it last weekend when she was here for a sleep over with Grandpa, Pete, and the sheep.

She looks quite stylish in the sweater ... with her new rubber boots, doesn't she? ... hehehe

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gene - a Health Update

Gene has bladder cancer. He found out near the end of November. At the time, I did some internet searching and discovered that this type of cancer has an 85% success rate for full recovery (no sign of cancer after 5 years).

Gene has not been so lucky. We found out last Wednesday that the cancer has spread to his lungs and his liver. He has lost a LOT of weight already (down to 155 pounds from 185-195). He is weak, but positive.

He spent a few days in the Picton Hospital getting blood, as his hemoglobin was VERY low. After 7 units he was sent home. His sister is coming in from MA tomorrow to be with him for two weeks while he goes through more tests and appointments.

Gene has a wonderfully upbeat attitude and approach to things at the moment. If anyone would like his email address or snail mail address to sent words of encouragement ... email me privately.

Prayers help as well. I hope. I pray a lot these days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Addition to My Fowl Order

I just added 12 Ridley Bronze Turkeys to my order for the May 1st hatch.

I'm wondering about Pekin ducks, but just for their breasts. Anyone have any experience with this? The ducks, I'd be killing myself and they'd be strictly for my own use.

Chicks ordered For May First Hatch

I LOVE dark brown, and dark red/brown eggs ... so I have ordered breeds of chicks this year that are known for their beautiful darker eggs.

Here is what is coming ... six Black Langshorns, pictures above
... six Welsummers
... six Cuckoo Marans
... and six Barnvelders

I have also ordered 26 White Rock X meat birds.

These birds are coming from a neighbour who is internationally famous for his birds, Jason Cain of Performance Poultry. I bought birds from him last year and they were outstanding.

I can hardly wait for them to get here. The arrival of chicks ... for me ... guarantees that Spring is here to stay ... :-)

Monday, March 09, 2009

Conceived In a Trailer While Travelling Down a Major Highway

Here are the two lambs conceived while we were transporting sheep to or from Rockton World's Fair. Both are musket. The ram lamb is above.
The little girl appears to have a much more even fleece.
Considering her genetics, and the fact that she is not katmoget, she is likely a keeper.
We'll see how she matures ... :-)

Trailer Trash!

I was greeted this morning by twin lambs. This was a BIG surprise since my first lambs aren't due for two more weeks. But when I looked back on the lamb gestation chart, it all made sense!

These lambs were conceived on Canadian Thanksgiving last October ... the day that we took this ewe and three others to Rockton Fair! All four ewes and the two ram lambs were tied on short leads for the trailer ride home from the Fair.

Obviously, the leads were NOT short enough ... :-)

So ... last night, WillowGarden Kazinga, (F1 Todhill Glayva / F2 Shirehill Minder) gave birth to twin musket lambs, a ram and a ewe. The sire is WillowGarden Chill (Bramble Nick X SheltrgPines Irene).

They were hard to catch and had full bellies. They are in a jug with their mom while I get organized for tagging and selenium shots.

It is SUCH a treat not to have to WAIT for lambs!

I'll post pictures when I get home from work.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Anna's First Swimming Lesson!

Kate sent these to me.
Beautiful girls, eh?!?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Peak At My Grandpa Flat ... :-)

This is a view towards the entrance ... to the area where I hang out with my computer. The extra mat is for Nora, my Newf with her bad hips to sleep. The loom, will be the birthplace of many Christmas gifts for 2009.
I look better in the dark. So does my home ... :-) The fire is not lit, but ... is this not a wonderful place to just 'be' ... :-)
I hate the flash on this picture. The space is NOT orange ... hehehe. But you can see more of the space where I live ... VERY happily ... :-)

It is all good ... and I LOVE my life!

Come for a visit ... :-)

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Others .. Yah Gotta Love My Life!

Silver Grey Dorkings ... beautiful birds!
Mixed, mostly rare breeds.
Norah and the boys.
Norah and Doug.

Ask me if I am HAPPY with my life ... :-)

Girls In The Sun

This is Great Plains Tulip. She is an F2 Greyling, F2 Jamie. She was bred to lamb March 23. She is an awesome mom and frequently has triplets. She is bred to a VERY dark grey F2/F3 Greyling ram, WillowGarden Juice.
WillowGarden Kazinga is an F1 Glayva, F2 Minder. She is Ab/Ag. I didn't see her bred, but she has the biggest udder on all of the ewes. She MAY be bred to Juice as well. If not, she'll lamb a couple of weeks later with lambs out of firthofFifth Lassig.
Great Plains Isabell is my last F1 Greyling ewe. She is a dear, with the voice of a chain smoking jazz singer. She is Ab/Ag, and bred to V Creek Leo to lamb April 10th.
At this time of year, I find that the ewes build special bonds with each other. Here we have WillowGarden Guinea (F1 Glayva morrit), WillowGarden Tobasco (F2 Glayva X Firth of Fifth Masala Chai spotted Kat) and WillowGarden Chocolatini (SheltrgPines Irene X Underhill Thelonius Monk horned Kat).

Iris ... Again

I LOVE this ewe. She is 100% Dailley and picked right out of the flock in March 2003. She is mioget and has an AWESOME, even, crimpy fleece that sells for whatever price I set for it each year.
She was a wild thing when she was young, but has mellowed as she has aged. Although ... it may be me who has mellowed ... :-)
Iris has only ever singled. Her ram lambs are always scurred, so she is an important part of my polled ram breeding program.

Iris gets to stay ... for as long as she chooses.