Monday, January 5, 2015

Fall AND Winter Update

Hi everyone and Happy New Year!

Thanks Michelle for letting me know you still read even though I am posting so infrequently these days.   I used two rams this fall.  One Shetland F2 Drum Jings.  I haven't registered him yet because not sure what I should call his markings.  Does that little patch of white on his body shown in the picture below make him flecket?  Or do I go with the standard yuglet sokket?  Are those patches small enough to be yuglet or do I go with something else?  Any input is welcome.  When I do, his name will be Bronze.  He is a Mapleton Opal and ABA Lava son.  He got about half of the ewes, basically everyone not too closely related to him:  Marshmello (Ag grey white spot), Missy (gul-kat), Cappy (kat), Kismet (B), Hester's black yearling that we call Baba but need to find a more dignified registered name for (B), Olympia (gul), and Pumpkin (b).  I think that is everyone. Oh wait, Marshmello's daughter we call Freckles spent a few weeks with this ram and before she got loose.  I never did put her back in because she had figured out she could squeeze under the welded wire fence.  Time will tell if she was in that group long enough.

 I also used a Cheviot ram lamb, for some meat cross lambs.  He got the other half of the ewes.  Basically some of these ewes ended up with him by default.   I was trying to get the other ram's sisters, aunt, and mother into the Cheviot's group, and there were a few buddy pairs I could not separate without much difficulty, so I just went with it. I think I will use the Shetland ram as clean up ram in case those unrelated ewes didn't take.  Generally I don't love Cheviots, but I really like this ram lamb.  He was a bottle baby from my shearer.   So less skiddish than most Cheviots, but still a Cheviot, so not friendly.  He has always been respectful.  He is built nicely and is growing well on pasture/hay.  Those ewes boss him around a little, but that is better than the other way around.  He is very non-confrontational with the Shetland ram so they coexist when together very well.  The ewes in his group:  Opal, Topaz, Peanut, Diamond, Baby (also needs a more dignified name for registration), Hester, Silvermist, Quechee.

So my numbers are currently: 16 ewes all exposed to a ram for April/May lambs, and two rams.  As for the rest of the farm numbers, we are holding steady with 2 goats, 3 dogs, a cat, 2 horses, 3 ponies on  the pet side of things.  In terms of the sustainable side, we put 46 meat chickens in the freezer, my husband got one deer off the property during hunting season, and we are currently raising 3 feeder pigs.  We also have 15 laying hens.  

Last note on sustainable farm goals, I joined a CSA for a fall share this year.  In part because my garden was done, and I was not ready to not have farm fresh veggies at my disposal.  More importantly to learn: what I could do to improve my own garden for a better fall harvest, what grows well in my climate, and what of those things do we really like to cook and eat.  I have come up with a hot and not list as I begin to look at my new Fedco catalogue.  Can't believe it will be time to order soon.
mustard greens
carrots (might be worth trying again, never had much luck growing them)

Collard greens
Celery root
Bok Choy
hot peppers


What did very well in my own garden this past year:
salad greens
sweet bell peppers
swiss chard (until the goats got out and ate ALL of it)
carnival squash
patty pan squash
egg plant
cutting flowers (sunflowers, zinnias, and cosmos)

What I need to do a little better job with next year (timing, amount, weeding, and harvesting):
pie pumpkins
butternut squash
snap peas
brussel sprouts

Improvement already:

How does your garden grow?  Any suggestions on something I should consider growing that I have missed?  I would love to hear your thoughts. 


  1. I can't help you on the markings description, as my flock has never had much spotting. Sounds like you'll have LOTS of lambs next spring!

  2. I can't see his side view but I'd almost tend to register him as a smirslet . Do you have any lamb photos?