Friday, July 31, 2009

Two Rams

Not much time lately for blogging. Summertime busy, I guess. Just a small photo of White Pine Arvada and Windswept Unicorn.
Unicorn is for sale or trade. He's three years old and has proved to be a fantastic ram. We hate to see him go and would love to find a home for him that would appreciate his amazing strengths.
My contact info is at the bottom of the page. Please inquire if you are interested in Unicorn. Sold. Thank you to Stan and Jill for giving Unicorn a wonderful home as flock sire.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Grass

Clancy mowing a path for the fence.
Though not our lush, reseeded pasture, this part of the yard had not been grazed since May. The daisies, red clover, and timothy are in full bloom and starting to set seed already.
The sheep love being moved to fresh pasture. They attack alfalfa, clover, leafy plants, and daisy heads first; in that approximate order. When the delicacies are gone, they go after their favorite grasses.
It's hard to get good photos when the forage covers up most of the animal. The sheep do not seem to mind this as much as the shepherd does. :)
Bence & Dan
Back and front of half-brothers.
Anna Belle
up to her middle in red-clover.


Thursday night we finally got Parker's scurs trimmed.
The larger scur, which had not been knocked out a third time like the other one, had curled around and was starting to rub just behind the eye. Parker is always so cooperative. Still, he didn't appreciate the ob wire grinding through his horn. The horn itself wiggled quite a bit as I sawed. I managed to cut it a little high and it bled for a minute. We put pink Swat on the horn and on the tiny raw spot where the horn was touching him and he was fine. Since we were handling him, I trimmed his smaller scur as well. It did not bleed at all and it only took a few seconds to cut through.
After a bit of praise and petting for being so good, Parker was reluctant to be released. He soon discovered the new grass we moved the fence to, though, and he trotted off on his merry way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Scurs & Horns

I decided to follow Juliann's example and post a couple of photos showing the different horn growth in my flock.
Roux (4-26-09) has long scurs or maybe aberrant horns. These are wiggly, but they have not been knocked off yet. I think it would take a hard hit for him to loose one now. He doesn't like to headbutt with the horned ramlings very much.
For comparison, Dan (4-15-09) has full horns. They are solid at the base, quite substantial, and symmetrical.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


A pretty picture of our little church in Puposky:
Our Redeemers Lutheran...
my happiest place to be on a Sunday morning.

Good Sleeping Weather

The sheep enjoyed cool weather most of the week. There were hardly any bugs out in the 40-50 degree temperatures. Very comfy conditions for the rams to relax in.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ram Lambs for Sale

Two ram lambs I'm offering for sale:
Bence &
Both have beautiful conformation, tails, heads and proper bites & testes. Wide, straight hindquarters. Both have full, widespread horns. Both are reserved and respectful. They do not seek attention.
Bence can throw the white pattern and the solid pattern. He will be a large sized Shetland with chunky build. Unicorn son. He will have a longer intermediate staple. His wool has brilliant lustre.
Jchen can throw katmoget and solid pattern. Carries moorit & spotting. He will have about a 4 inch staple. His wool is very crimpy and soft. Bombarde son. His dam did not start to iset until 3 years old.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Merciful Rain

Darla Gay

Yesterday we got a good inch of rain. Oh, it was so lovely. And so needed. Praise God. Hopefully the pastures that have gone dormant will start to regenerate now.
Here's a photo from just a couple of days ago: a bit of pasture the girls had eaten down and I had mowed off. Don't worry...beyond the edge of the photo, behind Darla, there is lots of tall clover/grass available. I just always try to set the water buckets in an open area so the sheep can see them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Darla Gay
& Dan
Last night the ewes and their lambs were moved to the only pasture no one has been on yet this season. So we are now at the end of the rotation and will have to start covering old ground. The initial summer growth in the pastures was very good and I am pleased it took this long to complete a full rotation. The "larger-than-ever" flock numbers had me a bit
Now the lack of recent rains has me concerned. The grounds the sheep have left behind in the last two weeks are absolutely brown. I know with a nice bit of rain everything will bounce back. So I am praying for that rain. I think everyone in the neighborhood is praying...
The lambs are all approaching the 3 month mark in the next few weeks. Time got away from
me and I just realized they will need their first CD&T shots anytime now. Have to get that on the to-do list.
The most recent NASSA news had a wonderful article about micron tests. The author beautifully explained how to understand the data from micron testing; for which I am very grateful. I learned that testing as far back on the sheep as I did only helps the shepherd determine if the uniformity of fleece quality from front to back is improving in the flock. But testing from the hip area (as I did) cannot help determine the "average" of an individual sheep's wool quality. So the micron test results I posted recently are helpful to me in my long-term goal of fleece uniformity. But they don't really tell others much about my flock's fleece. I will have to retest from the last rib area this fall. All my fleeces sold right away this spring (yay!!!) so I can't retest from the shearings. Live and learn. Sometimes the hard way. And yet I'm glad to have this baseline of results for hip fleece so I can see if things are improving in the years to come. All is good.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Debs Parade

Something really special happens this time of year...Puposky folks, and those from surrounding neighborhoods, like Nebish and Aure, gather in Debs on the Fourth of July to celebrate with a parade. This year might have been the biggest crowd ever: approximately 2000 people attended or entered the parade. And yet there was room for everyone along the gravel road of Deb's singular city block.
It's tradition for the parade to circle the route twice: the first pass as formally as can be mustered, the second time with wild abandon and a great release of candy, freezy pops, and water balloons left over from the first pass.
There is joy on every face, happiness in every heart, and a gratefulness in our privilege of being American citizens.
One of the best things about the parade is that one tends to know most of the people in it.Folks are showing off their favorite tractors, or the cars and trucks they have just restored.The volunteer fire departments, harness club members, mounted posse, and other horse lovers all turn out in their finest regalia. Here are a few highlights from this year's fantastic holiday celebration:
A pretty appaloosa
The barn behind our spot along the road
Wendell waving to the crowd
Neil's Corvette
A very cool Uncle Sam
Ryan driving fire truck for Alaska Township
Ervin's tractor
The St. Peter Corvette pulling off the parade route
Earl's sharp team
A patriotic bull terrier
William leads a political statement
Family with root beer added: Asa Clancy Selena Leif Isaac
The rides relax while their drivers visit
Heading home

Friday, July 3, 2009


Just some cute/funny pictures from July 1st:
reaching for yarrow
sticking out her tongue
Darla Gay
Darla Gay
"What's so funny?"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Lamb That Won't Pose...

I filled the memory card on my camera yesterday trying to get photos of certain sheep. That's 192 pictures. And Jchen didn't cooperate for any of them. Naughty lamb.
Jchen is the youngest lamb in the flock, born 5/1/09. I knew he was special the day he was born. Even at the young age of 2 months, he is already stunning.
Jchen is for sale. Fuzzy though they may be, here are some snapshots of this full horned black katmoget ram lamb:
With his dam, Boston Lake Sian. Sian is three years old now and just this spring developed iset on her rump. She is shiny black with crimp and nice softness. Sian is the only black ewe I am retaining after this summer's cull. Jchen is a Bombarde lamb. Micron reports on Jchen's parents can be found here.
A bird's-eye view of Jchen's head. He was born with a significant krunet and carries spotting and moorit genetics.
Blurry as it is, this photo shows off Jchen's wide, straight hind-quarters and perfect Shetland tail.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Unicorn Lambs

My top ram, Unicorn, has been for sale for a couple of months now. I knew the day I chose to get him that I would have a very hard time reselling a homozygous white ram. Such is Shetland life.
I, myself, want more color in my flock. I'm also moving toward fine fleece and polled genetics. The handle and brilliance of Unicorn's fleece is lovely. It has sold with "oohs and aahs" each year. But it is not "fine" fleece by definition.
Unicorn is also just plain big. Big fleece, big body, big horns, big bones, big presence, big offspring. Big everything. I meant to use him to produce freezer lambs. But I've discovered that I like to have a single goal rather than multiple goals. So I'm letting him go.
If Unicorn does not sell, he will be turned into highly seasoned sausage. And I think I will miss him. He's been a very good boy here. Such is life as a farmer.
Darla Gay
To relieve me of my melancholy thoughts about Unicorn, I decided to feature his spring lambs:
Qdy and Darla Gay are staying at Boston Lake to hopefully bring some of that Unicorn pizazz to a new line of polled Shetlands.
Dan & Darla
Dan and Bence are available for sale. I do realize even heterozygous white ram lambs are not in demand. But these are boys with some excellent qualities for certain flock needs and requirements (such as heavier/longer size, excellent conformation, good bites, small tails, long staple, dense fleece, impressive horn genetics) so I am offering them for sale-even if they are likely to spend the winter here being fattened for a spring trip to the freezer.
Both Unicorn sons are as square as can be and have tiny tails with proper covering. Dan is a monster chunk of testosterone, with what I suspect is heavy spotting potential under that white coat. Bence has the brilliant white fleece of his sire-it looks like I added "bluing" to him. He also has the best uniformly crimpy fleece of any of the 6 Unicorn offspring born here. Both boys can throw solid offspring, and Dan carries modified. For more information please call 218-556-0862 or contact me by email: Thank you.