Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Midhill Ziek

My new bull ... scheduled to arrive on April 7th ... Midhill Ziek.  In this video, he is 10 months old.

I AM pretty excited to finally be getting this guy home.  I started the process to purchase and import him in December.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Rams and Two of My Dogs

My friend Danielle Gorel, was out to see lambs a bit a go and she took these picrures.  She posted them on Facebook, so I am assuming that I can share them here.  They are great shots!
 Here are my boys ... WillowGarden Ingersoll, Stetser Douglas (tucked behind so that he looks shorter than he is), Ugly Dogs Farm Panda (a big coloured Merino boy), Spring Water Friday (being camera shy), and WillowGarden Slice (sterile teaser ram).
Panda is one of the most laid back animals that I have ever met ... and that fleece!
 Norah is my Landseer Newfoundland Dog.  She had major hip problems, but loss of about 20 pounds seems to have helped.  Hmmm ... maybe I need to try that again ... :-)
Bonnie is one of three Maremma livestock guardian dogs ... and likely my favourite.  She does such an awesome job!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Layer Flock

Here are a couple of shots of my Layer Flock.  They are a colourful lot, but some of them are pretty old.  I will be culling heavily as the new birds come in to lay in the Fall.  

Interested in stewing hens anyone?  Give me a call!  I can usually get 2 1/2 meals out of one old bird ... :-)


I keep a small flock of Narragansett Turkeys and sell hatching eggs through a local hatchery in the Spring.
 They are fun to watch, and I get a decent price for the eggs, but we'll see if it is cost effective toward the end of the season. I could sure use their compound for some of my other birds this summer!

Lambs - Round One

Twins out of HarmonyMarsh Willow and HarmonyMarsh Da Vinci ... a mioget (?) ewe lambs, Misty
And an emsket (?) ram lamb, Cooler.

Hattie McDaniel with Sunny and Clear ... 

and Ambrosia with Breezy and Crisp.


Hollis is another 13 year old cow.  After weaning her calf, I discovered that the three yearlings were using her as a 'Dairy Bar'.  Now that she is dried up and getting extra groceries, she is putting on some condition again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Stew ... for now

Stew, Petula's calf out of Samson.  I like him a lot, but wonder if he is looking a bit 'feminine'.  Like I'd know!!! LOL


Honeybun is an amazing 13 year old Dexter ... :-)


Ramona ... a six year old cow, looking good and behaving without her horns ... :-)

Petula ... without horns

Petula, a seven year old cow.  I love this cow ... especially without her horns!


My last yearling ... 


Another awesome yearling ... 


One of my awesome yearling Dexters ... 

Monday, March 21, 2011


 I'm SURE that I mentioned some time ago that I had gone with a friend to look at Suri Alpacas ... right?
 Well this lovely, smaller bay black Suri Alpaca is coming to Willow Garden soon.
 She will be bred before she comes, hopefully to a smaller light fawn boy.
 My broken wrist has thrown a 'wrench' into my plans though, as I seem to be more limited in terms of what I can do than I thought that I would.
 Hopefully, I'll find out tomorrow when the cast can come off ... and then bring Lauren home the weekend before that, as the pain should likely be less than it will be once the cast is off ... :-)
I'm excited about Lauren ... :-)

Life is good!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ziek is Coming!!

It looks like the paper work has been approved ... and the test results been satisfactory ... and the trucker is agreeable.  So now ... I just wait for my wonderful new polled Dexter bull to come home from the USA.

The pictures aren't the best, but, obviously Midhill Ziek is not into flaunting his stuff.  He WILL have two cows ready and waiting for him when he gets off the trailer ... and two more ready about 72 hours after that.

In these pictures ... Ziek is the black guy that is ignoring the camera ... :-)

Life is good!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Ambrosia's Ewe Lambs

WillowGarden Ambrosia is a mioget katmoget Dailley Iris granddaughter.  She was bred to HarmonyMarsh DaVinci, a spotted, emsket, button scurred ram lamb with an awesome fleece.
Above is WillowGarden Crisp, a mioget katmoget with an awesomely even looking fleece.
 And this flashy little girl is WillowGarden Breezy.
Ambrosia is a wonderful Mom and has both lambs tucked under for breakfast.  Her fleece is a looser crimp than I have on many of my sheep ... but it is lustrous and buttery soft.

Both lambs will likely be for sale.  Actually, if anyone is interested, I'd sell all three of them (Mom and twin ewe lambs) now if someone wanted a great little starter flock!  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Permanent Cast

I finally got my permanent cast today.  Actually, it isn't permanent as in for ever, just for the next 4 weeks!

We can shower together and I can wash my hands almost normally when I come in from the barn.

Purple ... because I like it ... and because this month, March, is Epilepsy Awareness Month, and purple is the colour for epilepsy awareness ... :-)

OK, OK ... it is also because I was feeling pretty gay this morning and thought that the purple looked even gayer than the hot pink ... LOL

Life is good!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Breeding Groups for Fall 2011

In 2006, four of us here in Canada imported semen from two rams in Scotland.  I AIed 24 ewes in the Fall of 2006, but still have 19 straws left.  I have been searching for a fine ram to use for breeding next Fall and have decided that these guys are about as fine as I'll find anywhere.

So ... here are my main breeding rams for Fall, 2011 ...
Todhill Hornblower appears to be black, but he carried Extension dominance and is really a white ram (Awt/Aa).  Extension Dominance is a gene that hides pattern.  He will be bred to double patterned ewes, so that I will KNOW that any ewe NOT displaying a pattern, is Extension Dominant (ED).
I like a lot of things about this ram.  His group will include some Glayva daughters.  I have 8 straws of his semen left to use.

If you click on the histogram below, it should become big enough to read.

The other ram ram that we collected was Todhill Glayva.  Glayva appears to be moorit, but is actually homozygous katmoget with Extension Dominance.  We know that he carries spots as he threw some flashy lambs when I used him.  His group will be quality ewes that have NO pattern.  Any lamb that is NOT Katmoget, will be Extension Dominance.
Again, click on the histogram to make it big enough to read.

I will likely end up with about 50% of the lambs being ED (extension dominant) ... but these will be very useful in my Shetland / Cormo / Coloured Merino experiments.

Weird ... but I am really looking forward to lambing in 2012 ... and 2011 lambing has not even started yet.  Don't get me wrong, I am REALLY excited about lambing this year.  I have worked hard to get my flock as soft as they are ... but it is also nice to have the vision continue on a year ahead ... :-)

Life is good!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Cows in a March Storm

Here are some random shots of my cattle today ... taken in a snow storm ... after a day of heavy rain ...

 Petula with Stew
 Stew at play!