Sunday, October 12, 2008

I've been selfishly enjoying some quiet time lately. I haven't been online much. The shows are over, sales are wrapped up for the most part, and the last shipment of culls/ overstock has been shipped to auction.
I've always spent a lot of time by myself, if being in the company of animals is really being "by myself". I don't feel too lonely when I'm with them, so I guess not.
The last few weeks, I've been spending a lot of time just sitting in the pasture with the flock, lying out at night wrapped in a blanket looking at the stars, walking the dogs near the corn listening to the wind whispering through the dried leaves, sitting by the pond with a glass of Irish Cream, savoring the last few days of nice weather before the cold hits.
Yesterday, the flock was caught up for routine condition checks, and deworming. I'm still trying to plan which ewe will be bred to which ram. I have several weeks yet to make my decisions final. First week of November, we'll be trimming hooves and seperating the sheep into their breeding pens.
Lovely night tonight by the pond. A beautiful sunset, then a full moon and the fish were jumping. A little bug spray kept the mosquitos away, the dogs lay alert around my feet. Even the barn cats, Weirdo and Halloween, came slinking up to say hi.
I've been gradually cleaning out the garden and preparing it for winter's sleep. Also winterizing and cleaning house. Tom is putting up lots of firewood for winter between Bears football games. The leaves are just starting to turn.
Here are spring ewe lambs of my breeding that I've retained. I'm decided I'm not going to breed them this year, though. I'm going to give them another year to grow.
Above is Lil'Country Chamois, a smirslet katmoget. She is by UnderTheSon Silvio Dante, and out of Lil'Country Cleopatra. Lil'Country Mudpie, a very dark faced fawn katmoget by Silvio and out of Lil'Country Carmella.
This smirslet mioget is by Silvio and out of Lil'Country Josephine. Josie is one of the lambs I had written off as a cull at birth, and she had a long, horrible tail like a dog, not very good breed type. I had her on the truck to go to market when I noticed that she appeared to be growing into her tail a little bit. I decided to give her some more time, and I'm happy to say her tail doesn't look too terribly bad at this point. Perhaps it will look even better next year, and maybe she'll have a nice lamb for me someday, paired with a very correct ram.
I'm sorry to say that I shipped her dame to market this year. I liked Josephine a lot, but darn it, I never seemed to get a nice, typy tail on her lambs and I got tired of trying.

This is Lil'Country Kitten, by Silvio and out of Lil'Country Adriana. This smirslet katmoget is textbook for "undersized", she was the size of a kitten when she was born. When I saw her born, I thought she was a stillborn and was suprised to see her start moving. I came out to the barn every day expecting to find her dead in the jug. A typical Shetland, she rolled up her sleeves and thrived.

I couldn't bring myself to ship this tiny girl to market, this fiesty little girl deserves a chance. I'm going to see if she'll grow into a normal sized ewe by next fall. If not, she'll make somebody a nice pet, on the condition that she never be bred.
Lil'Country Giselle, a moorit gulmoget by Shelteringpines Pompey Magnus and out of Shelteringpines Niobe.

Last but not least, Lil'Country Pineapple Queen. A black gulmoget by Shelteringpines Octavian and by Justalit'l Grace.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

May I be blessed next spring with at least one gulmoget as nice as Pineapple Queen out of Ock's son Franjean! (In case you haven't read the news on my blog, he's coming to Boulderneigh for a "sleep-over" before heading back to Franna's. I'm excited!)

Juliann said...

Oh no! I didn't see the good news, but I'll head over there for a peek! Hooray for Bouderneigh!!!! :)
I'm so glad you are going to use Franjean and I'm hoping for some photos to see how he turned out!!!

Corinne R. said...

Really pretty girls, Juli! Can't wait to see what you have in the spring!

kristi said...

Good grief Juliann (LOL), I have been waiting to hear from you:) I so enjoy listening to what you have to say!!! Your post on the little ewe lamb prompts me to ask you about this little blk gulmoget that was born the at the end of June & today she is a peanut, I think she might weigh 14#. She was born small as she is a twin but she has just not grown like ever one else. What is considered "undersized" for Shetlands? She does however, have Jed.'s beautiful fleece! I am glad to hear that you have been just enjoying having your farm & sheep!

Karen Valley said...

Hi Juli--

I wouldn't count Kitten out as we had a triplet A.I. ewe lamb born on the farm of equally small size. She actually lambed in May and is growing into a lovely, vigorous, two year old as we speak. She'll never be as tall as some of our ewes, but she is definitely not stunted. Sometimes they just need more time to make up the difference.

Your time seems well spent enjoying the lovely fall weather we've been having. Some people find autumn depressing, but I've always loved the smells and sights of it.


stephen rouse said...

Gorgeous ewe lambs Juliann. I can't wait to see what they deliver for lambs in 2010! :-)


Juliann said...

Hi Kristi,

I consider "undersized" those weedy, wispy, stick figure looking tiny shetlands. We've all seen them at the shows.
I think Kitten was the result of breeding a too-small ewe, the main reason I'm not breeding my ewe lambs this year. I don't think it's genetic, so I'm giving her a chance. I probably shouldn't have bred Adriana.
Hi Karen,
Fall doesn't bother me as much as it used to! I really like being able to go outside and not get swarmed by mosquitos and flies, and the trees are so pretty! As long as I have spring lambs to look forward to, I'll face winter with boldness. :)
Thanks Stephen!