Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hangin' With the Flock

A few days ago, my friend Pete took some pictures while we were out with the sheep. Here are just a few of them.

The ewe above has unusual markings that I have only seen very rarely. I call her marking ... 'Snowslet'. The marking does fade though, so I am thankful for this picture to show such a fine example of it ... hehehe
Bob and Doug spend a LOT of their day with the flock. They are my LGCs (Livestock Guardian Cats). Above is Doug, showing off for the camera.
And here he is, above and below, discussing US politics and the Canadian budget with a couple of his ewe friends.
And this LARGE mostly brown mass would be me ... made even bigger than usual by my winter clothing ... surrounded by my pet helpers.
And of course, the biggest helper would be Nora pictured below. She seems to see her main responsibility as finding ... and disposing of ... as many 'poopsicles' as she can come across! She is VERY good at this! During 'poopsicle' season she does NOT get to kiss me good night ... *YUCK*
You ARE still loved Nora ... :-)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sylvia ... I'll miss you ... a lot

Great Plains Sylvia was born in 1999 ... in South Dakota. She was a Greyling daughter . She was registered as 'Fawn', and even though she was Ag, she truly was 'fawn'. Many/most of her lambs were modified colours.

In her life-time, she moved from South Dakota to Alberta, Canada for a while. She eventually settled here in Ontario, in 2005. Lots of change for any sheep, but she always settled in well.

Today she left me. Likely it was old age. But more likely it was something more. In her last days she had 'pinkness' in her urine. She had been slow for a few days ... then had trouble getting up and was moved into the feed room ... then couldn't stand. Throughout it all, she ate well ... drank lots of fluids ... chewed her cud ... baaaad at me every time she saw me ... enjoyed Bob and Doug sitting with her under the heat lamp ... and made me smile with her Sylvia-ness.

On my third sheep check today, for night feeding, she had slipped away. Interestingly, both of her daughters that I have retained in my flock were within a few feet of the feed room waiting for me. I know that they knew what had happened and wanted to be there with me. Some of my other older girls were there as well.

Sylvia will be missed. But ... she was loved and she knew it. She was loved by this shepherd ... and by Carol, who was her first shepherd.

Thank you Sylvia. I'll miss you.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Ewes!

Above is WillowGarden Crush, out of Underhill Thelonius Monk and WillowGarden Cameroon (SheltrgPines Justinian X FirthofFifth Masala Chai). He went to spend the rest of the winter with my friends John and Lynn Lathagne, at Canterbury Farm. They had beautiful ewes ready and waiting for him!
While I was there, two ewes just sort of ended up in my truck! WillowGarden Sundae (above and below) was a tiny, newborn lamb when she left my farm with her dam in 2007. She is out of WillowGarden Lima and Woolly Susan.
Lima was a VERY dark grey katmoget who had an AWESOME fleece, but was scurred. Since I now understand about polled genetics, I am very sorry that I culled him because of those horns. They weren't 'bad horns' ... they were scurs. I'm hoping to use this ewe in a breeding program to reintroduced polled Shetlands into the Ontario flock. To me, this is an important aspect of breed conservation! Reintroducing polled genetics is as import as reintroducing modified colours was ... or katmoget pattern, or gulmoget pattern ... or spotted lines of Shetlands. It is part of conserving the breed.
The other ewe that ended up in my truck was Canterburye Bebe. Bebe is out of WillowGarden Basil and WillowGarden Sage. In her pedigree are several rams that carried polled genetics ... WillowGarden Jacob, WillowGarden Duke Ellington, SheltrgPines Kracken, Dailley Kismet, and Dailley Thalia.
Both ewes were put in with North Wind Holiday. He took a near immediate liking to Sundae!

Next year, both ewes will be in my 'polled' breeding group.

Will Loves Anna

Kerri sent me these pictures from Christmas day.
Will loves to kiss and hug.
Anna could care less about such stuff.
VERY cute kids, eh!?!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Some of the 2009 Sires ... Boys From the US

North Wind Holiday ... F1 Holly. I really like this guy. He is pretty thin, and older ... so he'll stay with the ewe flock as long as he can.
Under the Son Two Bars ... mioget ram with LOTS of UK genetics in a great looking ram lamb
V Creek Leo ... a 'Dillon' gulmoget without the dusting on his side and also with LOTS of UK genetics. Once Two Bars was introduced to the flock, Leo's nose took a beating. He seems fine now, though.
FirthofFifth Lassig ... is an 'off black' ram lamb out of a Wintertime Forrest Daughter, and Wintertime Blues (F1 Jericho). He is awesome and has genetics that I don't have in any other sheep on my farm
FirthofFifth Aman ... F1 Orion. I like this guy. A lot.

More New Years' Day Sheep Pics

A gulmoget / katmoget ewe lamb purchased from my friend Michele, who owns Hopeful Shetlands. I have two of these ... almost identical. I'll use them for AI next year.
A group shot. What a LOT of katmogets there are!!
Feeding big round bales DOES end up with hay in neck wool ... but ... my girls help me out by dining on the hay in each other's fleece ... :-).
WillowGarden Absolute ... F2 Orion, out of Underhill Thelonius Monk. Cute pink nose, eh!? ... ;-)
Great Plains Sara (F1 Lightning) and her daughter, Macaroon, out of Bramble Nick.

Great Plains Cherry

This is Great Plains Cherry. I really like this girl. She is older (2004). She is F2 Timothy and F2 Greyling.
Above is her daughter, WillowGarden Cherry Bomb, out of WillowGarden Kilimanjaro (F1 Todhill Glayva). She has a nice fleece and excellent conformation.
This is her grandson, WillowGarden Chill, out of a Bramble Nick daughter and Cherry's son out of Todhill Hornblower.
And WillowGarden Mandella, a white daughter out of Todhill Hornblower is pictured above. She didn't lamb last Spring and is quite fat.
And last we have WillowGarden Schnapps, out of WillowGarden Nelson (Cherry X Todhill Hornblower) and Great Plains Silvia (F1 Greyling).

Happy 2009 folks! I am looking forward to an AWESOME year ... :-).