Monday, October 31, 2011

Urge to Purge

I like the flock size of 20, I do.  I am currently at 30 to winter over.  That is too many over so I am still offering this lovely black F2 Heights Orion ewe lamb for sale.  I really like her so I would keep her if I sell her mom Mapleton Peanut  Brittle as a bred ewe.
I really love my pretty Minwawe Pearl as I have told you time and time again, but I would also consider sellling her as a bred ewe, as well as Mapleton Peep.  I have others with their genetics in my flock so I could spare any of these three.  Prices on bred ewes is $350 for one, $625 for two, or $900 for all three.  All are in with Swiftriver Neville.
 I have decided to sell all but 2 ram lambs if anyone is interested.  If the rest don't sell I will winter them over and sell them as yearlings or send them to the butcher as shearlings.  So you MUST speak up before shearing.  I might have the vet wether a few for potential fiber pets.
Last but not least, SOMEONE PLEASE buy my registered Saanen buck.  Really nice fellow from really good milking lines.  Leads nicely and is not aggressive at all.  He is stinky though!  I just REALLY don't particularly want goats!  Sorry to those of you who like goats, but I just don't so much and I am feeling a little overwhelmed with all the animals here at the moment. I really need to simplify.   So available very reasonably to a good home only.  Whistle and her doeling will be my exceptions and will stay for the time being.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Simplified Breeding Groups

 In the spirit of making life more simple around here, I decided to have ONE breeding group for sheep and give Neville ALL the adult ewes.  The group went together today.  It is my last chance at Neville lambs so I decided, why not.  I really like him.  He is sold and will leaving for his new home in a few weeks.  All lambs born here in 2012 will be F2 Heights Orion lambs. If people want or need unrelated rams for a starter flock, they can buy a yearling ram I winter over, there are 8 and 5 are not related to Neville (3 Zeus and 2 Champ).  I may let one of these boys be clean up ram after Neville leaves, most likely the half polled gully.
 So 15 adult ewes are in Neville's group, 2 are sold and will be going with him to his new home.  So I will have 13 bred ewes for spring lambs.  Still thinking about selling a few bred ewes yet this fall so inquire if you are interested.
 So the other "groups" are the non breeding ewe lambs and goat doeling.  Not mixing so well, they are terrified of her!
 They just kept moving as a group, away from her...
 There are 9 ewe lambs in this group.  I had wanted to be at 20 sheep in my flock, it looks like I am at 30.  Down from the 54 post lambing, but still a few more than I had planned.  I am going into winter +6.  Not too bad considering I had 30 lambs born here this spring.  Next year I will have to continue to make some difficult decisions.
The other two groups are the bachelor ram lambs, and the goat pair Watson and Whistle.  Still have some for sale so again please inquire.  Really would like to sell Watson at this point.  He is a nice buck but I really prefer the sheep...I will keep Whistle and her doeling as the token goats on the farm.  Priced to sell so speak up!   This will be the last year for goat kids for a while.  Life is just too busy for me to milk a goat twice a day on top of EVERYTHING else!  Maybe again someday, but for now I need let that idea go for a while.

Finn enjoyed helping "shuffle" sheep this afternoon, although I would not exactly call it help. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Last call!

Breeding Season is almost upon us, ram or buck needed anyone?

I still have some really nice Shetland ram lambs and a Saanen buck for anyone that may have procrastinated and find themselves in need of a ram or buck this fall.  Last call!  Some of these guys are just too nice for the freezer.  Please inquire for more info and pricing.  Serious inquires only.

Monday, October 17, 2011


 The ewe flock grazing the south pasture is a pretty sight in the fall especially.  I have spent some time lately comtemplating my flock and the other animals here.  I have also spent some time watching the live stream of the Morgan Grand Nationals on the USEF websight.  I realize that it is important to know ones purpose.  I for example, would not pluck my horses from their pastures and expect to compete a the National level.  Even though they have the breeding and training in their background,  I once upon a time the riding ability to do so...they are horses here in the full sense of the word.  In this point in my life, I would not have it any other way.   Although, I may dabble at the local or State level, long gone are the days I could have been a National contender.

The same with my sheep.  They are sheep here, grass based rotational grazers, burdocks and all.  I do not grain them for optimum growth in the first six months like many show orientated farms do.  Not to say there is anything wrong with that.  If that is your objective, that is what you have to do.  The key is knowing your purpose.  I have bought sheep from all across the Nation, because I was looking for a specific trait that I wanted to add to my flock; patterns, spots, fine fleece, polled, a specific color, or UK genetics.  Buying from far away can be challenging.  I have some funny stories to prove it, like the fact that a ram I once bought from a picture was a different ram altogether once he got here, my "ram" was a ewe and went to MN.  Some came with slight flaws but I take full responsiblity for the selection, afterall I didn't go select them in person, nor did I go pick them up.  In my opinion, that is the trade off  of the convenience of having them delivered from far and wide with the wonderful attributes they were bringing with them.  I think my flock has benefitted quite well:

In all honesty, I wouldn't have that any other way this point in my life.  I still could reduce my numbers but I still like what I have put together here and am pleased with the results.  Someday I will have the time to go on buying trips and make those all important addition selections in person, but for now I think I will just hold steady for a while.  So my flock will not be dispersed, reduced maybe, but not dispersed...they fit my purpose just fine...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Stand by your Ram

 After a goodnight sleep and some good advice, I went out to take photos and think about my flock with  my sheep.  One thing is for certain I stand by this ram, Swiftriver Neville.  He is a F1 Heights Orion.  His dam is Swiftriver Thistle (Cairn Farm Frosty X Maple Ridge Althea).  Fall two year old micron of 26.5 SD of 4.8 and CV of 18.2.  Despite being all that you see in his photos, he has a wonderful temperament and carries moorit and spots.  He will get most of the ewes I decide to breed this year.  The hard part will be deciding on which ewes that will be and that is yet to be determined.  He leaves for his new home end of November.  I will really miss him but I only use my rams for two seasons.  He, I think I could have kept forever.  I didn't want to winter over any mature rams this winter.  I am wintering over a few of his sons for futher evaluation to replace him.

 The new man ~ The half poll gulmoget will get my two possible poll carriers, Hester and Quechee. 

 That is all for the moment...more thoughts on the ewes later. "The End" says PEARL!