Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Shearing

Where has the time gone?

It was already time for fall fleeces to come off this weekend. Melissa did all 17 in one shot and she did an amazing job. We even had some dissenters who took a really long time to catch. I was fortunate to have a lot of help this weekend including my brother Rob who did an amazing job helping me with all my farm projects.
Rob watching Melissa with the first sheep of the day!

One of this years lambs, Jokull, beautiful downy lambswool!

Twins Freyja and Snorri lead the rebel pack of four that took us almost an additional hour to wrangle. Exhausting!

Saga, my ram, went last. Once again, he had an incredible fleece. Although, his son, Jett took first prize this year for the herd and I decided to keep Jett's fleece to handspin myself! First time for me. I also held Pattur's fleece back to do something special with because sadly he is at the end of his wool production.

Saga being shorn.

A tiring but very rewarding day! I'm so proud of my flock. The fleeces are beautiful, parasite load is low, and everyone's body condition looks great. I am heading into winter with happy and healthy flock.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Fall Update!!

Wow! It has been a while. It is time for Fall shearing and I realized my last post was Spring shearing.

I just returned from the Vermont sheep and wool festival totally inspired and cannot wait to get my fleeces off next week!

I took a three hour spinning class, and finally got on my wheel and started making some yarn! It was a great workshop!
Our awesome instructor Patty Blomgren showed us the ropes from raw fleece, to spun yarn.

Met these two ladies, Alicia and Michelle, who also raise Icelandics!!

I also completed my FAMACHA training with Chet Parsons from the UVM extension. This is so exciting for me because I am a huge fan of not overusing anthemintics in my flock, but have had some trouble with anemia in my lambs. I had a close call with Geysir, one of my ram lambs, in July. He already had signs of extreme anemia when I found him and luckily a dose of Ivomec worked....not usually the case when they already have 'bottlejaw' as he did. So, now, with my FAMACHA score card, I can look for earlier signs and treat appropriately. YAY!!
The great Chet Parsons demonstrating eyelid examination.
And here I am demonstrating I am fully trained thus earning the coveted FAMACHA card!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring Shearing

The flock was shorn yesterday. All went well and the fleeces are on their way to the mill.

Check out my the new farm website for more pics and video!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Mathilda and Maisie

I decided on names for the new goats. Maisie is the brown and Mathilda is the roan.

The dairy goats have been a work in progress...not just a random, quick decision. I was looking back an an old post from 2007 where I was ready for a dairy goat. But, alas, life got complicated and busy. The sheep thing really took off. And now, finally, a space has opened up in life and these two doelings fit perfectly into it. Reading the old post and having the goat dream realized really feels good. There is merit to thinking and planning in life. Things do come to fruition. Work and patience and good decisions, and even bad ones...they all play a part in the evolution of new things.

So I guess what I am feeling is a little bit of pride for investing in my ideas and making them happen in due time. I did it with grad school (the first go round!), a career teaching biology, a farm, Icelandic sheep, producing my own wool, the birth of a mule after a devastating first try, and now I hope I am doing it again with my doctorate. All in due time.

I leave you with some baby goat ridiculousness:

Monday, April 04, 2011

Newest Additions

Here they are!

Two new doelings. They are 3/4 Nubian and 1/4 Oberhalsi Dairy goats. I am VERY excited. Still working on names...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring forward

Things are coming back to life around here....

The hens are laying and the bred ewes are stirring with new life.

Shearing, lambing, and wool festivals approach. New wellies have been purchased and I am day dreaming of two new baby goats for my next adventure with dairying.

Some other new babies on the farm...

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

New Wool!

The fall fleeces are back from the mill! As always, Still River did a fantastic job on both yarn and blanket/rugs.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gin is home!

Start Your Engines is a thoroughbred I got off the racetrack a lifetime ago in California. Today I brought him home to chill in the backyard for a bit...not sure if this is a retirement for us or just a hiatus. But, it is good to look out the kitchen window and see him. He has been with me for a long time, and at 18 he still has a lot left in him. I hope I do too!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

New Year

Lots of friends and family around for the holidays...which meant some help with the chores!

Emmy! the original tractor grrrl....

Dad helped muck out the sheep and goat shed.

Aunt Marti and I prepared an awesome turkey dinner...
and she was game for doing all the feedings and chores!