Thursday, February 26, 2009

Pregnant animals

Yesterday we moved the pregnant goats and sheep together into one side of the barn so we could feed them more for the last of their gestations.  I kept the skinny old sheep and goats in with them too so they could also get extra nutrition.  While I had them penned up to move them and catch them, the goat all got their hooves trimmed, and the pregnant goats and sheep were wormed and had their CDT shots.

I left my camera in the house in another barn coat so was not able to take photos of the proceedings.  This leads me briefly to the topic of barn coats.  A barn coat is an old winter coat that has become tattered and torn so then is designated as a barn coat.  It usually lasts one to two winters and then is tossed.  A winter is quite hard on a barn coat.  The last two barn coats have been old coats of Tom's so he's getting a little annoyed at me for destroying all of his warm coats.  Next year's barn coat will be my current and much love Carhartt coat that is starting to get small holes in the sleeves.  I will then need to find another Carhartt to replace it in the cycle of coats.

Anyway, back to the topic: today I found my camera and took photos of all the pregnant sheep and goats after the animals' chores were done.  It is actually better that I did not have my camera yesterday since yesterday was cloudy and rainy and today it is sunny and there's still some snow on the ground that has not melted from last night.  So here's the fatso's:

Above is Saphie (short of Ravencrest Saphire Dutchess- misspelled on the registration), our wide, black, blue-eyed Nigerian Dwarf doe bred to Donna's Yahoo, our reddish-brown buckskin buck.  The kids she produces look much more like their father except they can have their mother's blue eyes.

Above is Dodge Daphnie, our spotted horned ewe bred to our black and white flecket (spotted) ram Sheltering Pines Lewis.  She is hopefully carrying spotted lambies inside.

This is Fern, a donated unwanted pygmy doe.  She was accidental bred by Cody (AKA Ravencrest Luck of the Draw) and she produced the most gorgeous kids, one buckskin and one brown and white.  So I decided to try  breeding her again, this time with Yahoo and on purpose.
This is Patches Pal.  She is quite plump with kids from her breeding with Mr. (AKA CTC Mr. Mahogany), our mahogany polled buck.  This combination produces gorgeous spotted kids with a good chance of being hornless naturally.
This is Windy Valley Jenny, our katmoget ewe with gorgeous fine crimpy fleece.  She is pregnant from Jocko (AKA Bitterroot Ansel), our mioget ram with a gorgeous medium crimpy fleece.  I am really hoping these lambs inside will be mioget and katmoget.
This is Mountain Niche Sheila, our now middle aged, shaela ewe who had a gorgeous medium crimpy fleece.  This is the last time I will breed her with Jocko to produce one last set of gorgeous lambs with modified colors.  I plan on keeping one of her lambs to preserve her outstanding genetics.  She can then retire to a peaceful sheep life.
This is Bing Bang Wink, our wild mioget ewe with a primitive fleece.  She is pregnant by Jocko in hope of producing more mioget (golden-brown) lambs.
This is Donnas-Sheep Monette, the last sheep out of my all time favorite ewe Babette.  She does not have a new mutation red spot on her back- she likes to rub on the mineral feeder.  She is pregnant by Lewis in hope of making spotted black or grey lambs.
This is Mona, daughter of Monette who likes to get hay all over herself.  She produced gorgeous HST lambs last year in her breeding to Lewis so we are hoping she is carrying the same again.
This is Magpie, the prodigy of my first Nigerian Dwarf goat Dot.  She is bred to Mr. and is hopefully carrying spotted polled kids again this year.
This is Cally (AAK Shadow Mountain Calypso) in her breeding finale.  She is plump with kids from Cody.  The last time we used this combination she produced a red and brown buckskin and a brown and white belted kids
This is Angie, our boringly named Angora doe.  She was bred again to Cody to produce more Nigora fiber kids.  This previous combination brought black and brown kids who grew up to produce the most lovely cashmere fiber so we are hoping for more.

So far, 3 kids and 8 lambs are spoken for.  Since ewes usually have twins and does have twins or triplets, there are still plenty of lambs and kids that will be available for sale.

In addition to moving, trimming, and injecting sheep and goat yesterday, I bred two of our Satin Angora does.  The red doe Hazel I bred to our copper buck named Peanut, and our copper doe Ma Bell I bred to our black buck Pepe.  These bunnies should be born at the beginning of lambing and kidding time.  Should be a busy couple of weeks next month.  Fortunately I was able to take some time off work then.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bathroom done! And farm spring (almost!) clean-up

Our bathroom is done! (except we have to sand and paint the door and its trim)  Since this is not technically a farm blog topic, I have posted the photos of this project (in case there's anyone that might be interested) on at:

Yesterday we did some almost-spring clean up.  We had used what orchard prunings we could as wood chips and firewood.  The rest we hauled to the burn pile and burned.  I picked up stuff that hadn't been quite put away from the winter's projects.  We then used the tractor to haul a large tree top to the cows to rub on (which they love!) and then to haul the remaining gravel to the front of the barn, the back barn gate and our driveway.  I pulled the pallets up from the now gone hay mound that was in the barn and am getting the space ready to hold lambs.  Now we are just holding on waiting for spring with it's wool shearing, lambs, kids and bunnies!!!
Photo of the orchard before the pruned branches were disposed of.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Animals' faces

I was inspired by to take photos of our animals' faces and post the better ones. I realized that although I admire and study their faces, I never photograph them- just their whole bodies. Their faces say a lot about their personalities, thoughts and moods and is how I come to love them. So here's the photos I took today (warning there are a lot!):

Shaun the Sheep "Off the Baa"

Shaun the Sheep clip "Save the Tree"