Thursday, April 28, 2011

52 New Meat Pullets

Today I picked up my 50 (+2 for good measure) meat birds for my first brooding.  I'm just doing pullets this time as I have customers interested in smaller birds (around 5 pounds).
What a sight it is to see 73 little yellow chicks all being brooded in a water trough!  They prance around and frolic like they don't have a care in the world.  I LOVE it when my animals seem happy with their life.

Baby bird total here at Willow Garden is now at 100 ... with 30 Welsummer pullets, 6 Welsummer roosters, and 12 Australorp pullets (for my neighbours, but I'll brood them) due to arrive next Wednesday ... :-)  The feed store is going to LOVE me this summer ... LOL.

And I have 50 more coming in from Murray McMurrays in the US on May 16th ... both white and black Jersey Giants, and Dark Brahmas.  I'm playing around with some slower growing larger breeds for my own use this year.  I'll keep you posted with my observations as things progress.  So far, my only observation is that Embden Geese increase their size by 50% in their first day and a half of life!

I moved my geese so that they are not with the turkeys.  Boy do they like things wet ... and my turkeys do NOT!  The goslings are growing like mad!  I can hardly wait to get them out to pasture!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The First Wave of My Birds!

The first of my summer birds have arrived at Willow Garden.  This is one of my favourite times of year on the farm!
 We have 20 Broad Breasted Bronze Turkeys.  Not all are spoken for, so contact me if you are interested in a bird for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
 Above are 21 Light Brahmas.  These are gentle egg layers that also grow to be a decent sized eating bird.  I have never had this breed before, so we'll see how we like them!
Also arriving today are eight Embden Geese.  There are a few of these not spoken for as well, so if you'd like one come Fall, let me know.

Tomorrow, I have 50 meat bird pullets coming.  I hope to finish these at 3 to 5 pounds as that seems to be a better size for lots of families.  30 of them are sold, so there are 20 more for folks who are interested.  I'll be doing some bigger ones that will be ready in the Fall.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Random Lamb Pics on a Sunny Day!

 WillowGarden Lake Victoria and one of her twin ewe lambs, Ellendale.  This is Ellerslie's birth family.  Sire was Stetser Douglas.
 WillowGarden Pleasant, a black ewe lamb out of HarmonyMarsh Autumn and Spring Water Lamb Friday. I expect that Pleasant will be retained.
 WillowGarden Steamy (in front) and WillowGarden Frosty ... twin ewe lambs out of Fibre Works ISP and Lamb Friday.  Frosty will likely be for sale.
 WillowGarden Balmy is out of WillowGarden Jean Harlowe and Friday.  He will be retained for evaluation, but might make someone a fine flock sire.
 WillowGarden Whispy, a ewe lamb, out of WillowGarden Nicole Kidman and Lamb Friday.  Whispy will be retained.
 WillowGarden Warm is a spotted katmoget ewe lamb out of Nier Lakes 315405977 AI, and Lamb Friday.  She may be for sale.
 WillowGarden Windy, is a twin ewe lamb, to Warm (above).  She may be for sale as well, athough she DOES carry Aa and spots.
WillowGarden Apsley (white ram) and WillowGarden Nubeena (black krunet ewe) are out of WillowGarden Nubia and Stetser Douglas (registered Cormo)


I cannot get over how CUTE these two are together!  Norah seems to have figured out that Ellerslie likes grass as about once an hour, she takes her for a walk ... :-)
 And Ellerslie wants to do EVERYTHING ... just like her Mom ... :-)
Life is good!

Easter Weekend Lambing Update

What a  glorious weekend!  The weather forecast was terrible ... but the weather we got was absolutely wonderful ... by comparison.  And there was lots of lambing going on!
 I sold WillowGarden Vanessa Redgrave last Fall, and then bought her back bred in the Winter as her new owner was going through some difficult times.  On Friday, she had this little boy.  His fleece type is not anything that interests me for a breeding ram, but I have a buyer looking for three wethers and this guy will be perfect for their use.
 Then later on Friday, WillowGarden Guinea, who NEVER disappoints me delivered a white ram (Bismark) and a black ewe (Beaulagh), out of my white Cormo ram, Stetser Douglas.  The ram is amazing!

On Sunday, WillowGarden Aurora, a gul/kat yearling ewe delivered this very tiny and perfect gul/kat ram (Stormy) out of WillowGarden Clinton, an ED yearling ram.  No sign of horns just yet, so I may keep him to cross on some of my cloured (ED) Corlands this Fall.
 Also on Sunday, WillowGarden Kagera delivered an 8 1/2 pound ewe lamb (Burgess), again out of my Corland ram Douglas.
And then early this morning, WillowGarden Helen Hayes produced a black krunet ram lamb (Hobart), and a black ewe lamb with a tiny krunet (Hiedelburgh).  Again these lambs were sired by my Corlnd ram, Stetser Douglas.

One more ewe was bred (twice that I saw) by Douglas, but she seems to have aborted both times as she has just the tiniest udder, and it is shrinking.  

So ... the final Corland tally is
  • one black krunet ram
  • two white rams
  • five black ewes, most with small krunets
  • one grey ewe (don't ask me how that happened!)
Now ... to watch them grow ... :-)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Can Life Get Any Better!!?

I know that it is hard to see the lamb in this picture ... but 4.2 pounds of new life ... 20 minutes old ... up drinking and being nurtured.  When I get to watch something like this, which I do often ... I know that ... Life is good!

Could my life get any better? ... it does daily ... :-)
I am so blessed.

And I Thought This Might Be Difficult ... :-)

 I was concerned about Ellerslie being alone and thus bleeting a lot.  No chance of that now!  She has a new best friend.  Norah doesn't seem to mind ... except when the lamb tries to nurse!
So now all I have to do is feed the lamb every six hours.  The 3 am feeding is a drag, but I am up checking sheep anyway as my first time, yearling ewes are due to start lambing.
Life is good ... and just makes me smile ... :-)
Woo Hoo !!
I think that the 'novelty is wearing off for poor Nora! 
But ... she is so patient ... :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bottle Baby

 It is been a long time since I had a bottle baby, but somehow, at 2 1/2 days old, WillowGarden Ellerslie, a Corland ewe lamb ... became a stranger to her mother.  Mom bashes the poor wee girl around the jug, but Ellerslie persists.  She was not having much luck getting milk from Mom, and seemed reluctant to take a bottle, so we have pulled her from her Mom and sister, at least until she'll take a bottle readily.
Being one of my Shetland / Cormo crosses, and a ewe, we'll be retaining her anyway.  So ... we'll have a pet lamb in the back yard with the dogs for a while ... :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ziek Meets the Girls

Ziek got his jewelry today.  The Vet gave him some awesome drugs and he slept for a couple hours afterward.  He is not the least bit stressed with the new nose ring.
Today was also the end of his quarantine period and I was quite happy to see him out in the sunlight!  

He is also not the least bit impressed by all of the attention from his girls.
Right now, I think that he'd like to be left alone to enjoy the hay ... :-)

Twin Black Corland Ewes

WillowGarden Lake Victoria, a black Extension Dominant ewe that is either Awt or Ag under the ED, bred to my purebred Cormo ram, Stetser Douglas ... produced these twin black ewe lambs last night.  Both were between 5 1/2 and 6 pounds.

The two born 2 1/2 days ago, lie down in order to drink comfortably from their dam.  They are growing like weeds!

I am anxious to see how they grow up ... :-)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My First Corlands

After a LONG wait by the Shepherd, WillowGarden Nubia, an extension dominant black ewe ... bred to Stetser Douglas, a registered white Cormo ram ... produced the first Shetlands to be born at Willow Garden.  The naming theme for my Corlands will be place names in Tasmania, as that is where Cormos were developed as a breed.
 First born was WillowGarden Apsley, a white ram, that will likely be for sale at weaning as a wether.  His fleece looks AMAZING, so I may hold off banding him until I have more Corlands on the ground. 
He was followed in short order by his black sister, WillowGarden Nubeena.  Nubeena will be retained.
 Both of these lambs were over 6 1/2 pounds, but that is not unheard of with purebred Shetlands out of mature ewes.
Life is good!

Friday, April 15, 2011

WillowGarden Whispy

 This little girl was born in the wee hours of the morning ... a spotted mioget ewe lamb out of WillowGarden Nicole Kidman ( a WillowGarden Garnish daughter), and Spring Water Lamb Friday (a WillowGarden Garnish son).  Garnish was an awesome spotted, mioget, scurred katmoget ram with an AMAZING fleece!  I lost him to a freak incident, so was excited to get the chance to buy Friday, his son.
 I actually would preferred a ram lamb out of this breeding, but I am NOT complaining!  As you can see, Nicole is a katmoget, even though she has no colour on most of her body.  I'm excited to have a non-katmoget lamb out of her.
I expect that this lamb will be a keeper as well.  Looks like there will have to be a few ewes on the sales list if I am going to keep some of these lambs!

Now ... I await the arrival of my Corlands ... Shetland ewes X with a Cormo ram.  I can hardly wait!

Life is good!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Toddler's Visit

Yesterday morning, I had folks with toddlers out for a farm/lamb visit.

My friend Amity sent these pictures that she took.

 As you can tell, Neve liked Clyde the best!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Lambs - April 8th

For two and a half days Fibre Works ISP has paced the paddock looking ready to lamb.  For 2 and 1/4 days I checked on her ever two hours.  Then today I decided to heck with it ... and went to run a bunch of errands with Pete.  When we came home ... ISP had twin ewe lambs out of Spring Water Lamb Friday!
 The first one is WillowGarden Steamy, and I like her a LOT.  I expect that she'll stay here.  Her sister, WillowGarden Frosty, is pretty nice as well but looks enough like her dam that I'll likely sell her.
ISP delivered 13 1/2 pounds of lambs!  I think that she'll be a good candidate to be bred to my coloured Merino ram, Panda next year.

Life is good!