Thursday, April 19, 2012

The sheep sales list

I thought I would post a sampling of what I am offering for sale this year. The girls are due to start lambing in early May. No pickups will be available during the month of May so that we can allow everyone to lamb down and settle. That being said, if there's something you'd like now, pickups can be arranged until April 26th.


Ewenique Eve - 2008 black/white ewe. Excellent producer. Bred for crossbred lambs to our white BFL ram Amadeus. $250 ewe only. $350 with lamb(s).

Ewenique Bella - 2008 fawn ewe. Also a great producer. Also bred to Amadeus. $300 ewe only. $400 with lamb(s).

If these girls are picked up before they lamb and you do not wish to keep the lambs, the lambs may be returned to me after weaning and purchaser will pay the ewe only price.

Willow Garden Joan Crawford - 2004 black ewe. Bred for purebred Shetland lambs to Riverglen Farm Gizmo (moorit gulmoget krunet sokket). Twins every time. $250 for ewe only. $375 with lamb(s), includes NASSA lamb registration fees.

I have others mature ewes that will be available after they lamb and babies are weaned. They are:

Tatiana - 2006 grey katmoget, $275.
Willow - 2009 grey katmoget, $275. Lovely little ewe.
Bryn - 2009 black. $300. I would consider selling her with her lambs as a package deal as well. She is bred to Willow Garden Stir. $450 with lambs.
Daphne - 2007 grey ewe, $250
Pippin - 2006 Fawn ewe, $250


Petunia - 2011 ewe, light moorit gulmoget sokket krunet. Lovely lovely girl. She is by Wegde, out of Valley Road Sierra. $375.

Lilly - 2011 ewe, black gulmoget. By Wedge, out of Daphne. $350.

I will have a third yearling for sale as well, I just need to decide between two girls that I am still evaluating. Both are sired by V Creek Leo.

WillowGarden Wedge - $300 OBO. Wedge is still available. Black gulmoget ram, great producer. I have a lot of his kids in my flock and so it's time for him to move on. If he is not sold by June, his fate will be as mutton burgers. So make me an offer! I'd rather see him go to good use as a flock sire for someone than end up in my freezer.

ALL of our stock is NASSA registered. Transfer of ownership fees are included in all purchase prices.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I bought at the EBBA auction

I have come to the conclusion that I should never be let loose at an auction with a pocket full of cash. It's dangerous!

I spent St. Patrick's Day at the EBBA (Eastern Bird Breeders Association) Spring auction in Vernon, ON. I went prepared with my shopping list and told myself I would only come home with what was on my list. Well... It didn't quite work out that way.

Donna and I arrived early enough in order to be able to get a good look at all of the lots that were there and note which boxes in which lots we would bid on. Each lot had up to 20 boxes. She was looking to add some Barred Rock hens to her laying flock and she also had a request for a Silkie hen from her neighbour.

After doing some research on various chicken breeds on Friday night, I had finalized my wish list. On this list was a breeding pair of Speckled Sussex, a few extra laying hens (2 or 3) and maybe a Wyandotte or two. Pretty reasonable, right?

Well... Here's what I came home with...

I got my breeding pair of Speckled Sussex (yay!)
I bought a breeding pair of Red Laced Wyandottes (nice looking birds)
I bought a trio of laying hens. They look to be Polish crosses of some sort.

And then I bought...
A pair of Black Wyandotte bantams - they were too cute to resist. Two other pairs of bantams, one of which I bid on thinking it was two hens. Oops! I gave away one of the roos to a young girl who was sitting in front of me. She was thrilled to be going home with her own chicken. :) I still have an extra roo looking for a home. Two Buff Orpington hens and a trio (two pullets and a cockerel) of Salmon Faverolles.

For a total of 17 new birds taking up residence at the farm. Did I mention that I also picked up two dozen fertile Ameracauna eggs from a friend of mine? They're in the incubator now. We should have chicks just in time for Easter.

Donna got her four Barred Rock hens and we ended up getting a black Silkie pullet, white Silkie rooster and a really neat looking Polish-cross hen for her neighbour.

In addition to all of the birds, we also picked up a few supplies while we were there. Needless to say, the van had no room left in it once we got all of our birds and supplies loaded up for the trip home!

It turns out that the standard hens (7) that I bought on the weekend are laying. The bantam hens are as well. I am now ovverun with eggs and need to hunt up a few new customers! A dozen eggs a day has been our production this week.

Since the auction, I have sold the trio of hens that I purchased plus my extra EE rooster to a good friend and neighbour down the road. She is starting up a small laying flock for eggs for her and her family. The girls (and boy) will be moving to their new digs in the next week or two.

I am now starting to plan my chicken barn and runs so that all of these pretties can free range this summer and stay happy and healthy.

Pics of my new birds will come soon. I really am turning into a crazy chicken lady...

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's been so long...

I can't believe it's been so long since I last wrote on this blog. I knew I would be an irregular blogger when I started this blog but I honestly didn't think I would go quite so long between entries!

So much has happened on the farm, it's hard to sum it all up in one entry. So, I'll just go with the highlights.

Last March, I wrote about crossing over into a parallel universe. That of birds. Well, it turns out that I've discovered a new passion - fancy chickens. We now have a small flock of Ameracaunas and Easter Eggers and have been selling farm fresh eggs to a small but loyal group of customers.

Tomorrow, I am heading to the annual Eastern Bird Breeders Association spring auction in Vernon, ON. I hope to be adding to my collection of chickens with some more purebred Ameracaunas as well as some Speckled Sussex hens and maybe a Welsummer or Barnvelder or two. I've been looking forward to this sale for months! I am also picking up two dozen fertile Ameracauna eggs that I ordered from a fellow bird fancier and will be hatching those out. I am hoping to hatch out black, blue and splash babies. Depending on the success of the hatch, I may have pullets and cockerels for sale later this spring.

The ducks have found a new home, at least for now. Having ducks this past year taught me a great deal but the most important thing it taught me is that in order to own waterfowl, one needs a proper waterfowl habitat. Otherwise, things just get plain messy. Ducks are messy creatures. So! Until I can build a proper habitat for them, the walking bowling pins will no longer be residing on the farm. :(

Sheep!!! (For sale)
On the sheep front, so many changes are happening... We are now running a fully closed flock. No outside stock will be added to the flock for the next several years, which I find exciting. We have enough genetic diversity to last us a few generations. Yay!

We have also decided to reduce our purebred Shetland flock by close to half this year and focus on building up our mulesheep flock. As a result, I am currently putting together a sales list which includes some really exceptional Shetland sheep.

First on the list is WillowGarden Wedge. Wedge has served me very well over the years as flock sire and he has improved fleeces in my flock, no doubt about it. I have a 2009 son of his that I am keeping and from whom I am expecting lambs for the first time this year.

My current Shetland ram flock includes Wedge, FirthofFifth Aman (who is not for sale), Gizmo (Wedge's son) and my 2011 scurred yearling ram by Aman, out of Elwyn who will be staying as well. This means that I have one too many Shetland rams.

Since I have several daughters of Wedge's, and of course his son, Wedge needs to find a new home. If you are interested in Wedge, let me know. His price is $300 (firm) which is an absolute bargain for this boy.

I have a number of bred ewes, due to lamb in May, that are also available. I have some yearling ewes for sale as well, out of both Wedge and Aman. All will be reasonably priced and a $25/head discount will be offered to anyone purchasing 3 or more sheep.

Please keep an eye here on the blog over the next few weeks as I begin to post the sales list and pictures. If you are looking for anything in particular, drop me a line. I may have what you are looking for. Want the ewe but don't want the lambs? No problem, we'll take the lambs back or we'll lamb down the ewe and you can pick her up once babies are weaned. Simply let us know your preference.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Breeding groups are sorted and 2011 lambs are registered!

Our breeding groups are now together for the 2011 breeding season. This year, we are using four rams - our two BFL rams, Amadeus and Byron, as well as our Shetland ram Gizmo (this is his first year breeding) and Donna's Shetland ram, Stir. We are breeding 22 ewes of which six are our yearling mule ewes. I can't wait to see what lambing brings us in the Spring.

I'm also happy to report that I am all caught up on my paperwork! This means that I finally have a "keeper" list of 2011 lambs for whom registrations have been sent in (yay!). We are retaining 10 Shetland ewe lambs and 1 mule ewe lamb as well as two Shetland ram lambs.

This year's name theme for the girls was "Flowers":

By V Creek Leo:

(Daisy pictured above)

Violet - Black gulmoget out of Ewenique Eve. She may end up on our sales list at a future date.
Daisy - Grey yuglet bersugget out of Sheltering Pines Hope. She is the coolest looking ewe lamb we've had yet!
Holly - Black gulmoget out of WillowGarden Joan Crawford. Her twin brother, Oslo, was sold to another Shetland flock as their new flock sire.

By WillowGarden Wedge:

Poppy (L) and Ivy (R) / Petunia

Ivy - Black out of Valley Road Sarah. She looks modified to me. I have to confirm with Bill, the Shetland colour expert. :-)
Poppy - Black gulmoget, twin to Ivy.
Rose - Moorit krunet sokket by Wedge, out of Ewenique Bella. I loved this girl from the day she was born. I like her even more now. She is a definite keeper.
Lilly - Black gulmoget by Ewenique Daphne
Petunia - Moorit gulmoget krunet sokket by Valley Road Sierra. She may be for sale.

By FirthofFifth Aman AI:

Azalea (pictured above) - Moorit out of WillowGarden Aretha Franklin
Tulip - Emsket out of Fibre Works Easter. A definite keeper.

Ram lambs:

Mochaccino (pictured above) - Fawn katmoget out of WilloGarden Chocolantini. He will make an awesome flock sire for someone. I just can't bring myself to put him in the freezer so we'll keep him and put together a nice starter flock for someone in the Spring. :)

As yet unnamed - Grey *scurred* ram lamb by FirthofFifth Aman AI, out of RuisDair Elwyn. What a surprise this little guy is! When I realized he was indeed scurred, I was quite speechless. He is a bit on the small side at the moment but his structure is excellent and he's got a lovely lovely fleece. So, we'll winter him and see what he looks like in the Spring. Now he needs a name. Any suggestions?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You know you're a redneck when...

I can't help but laugh at our most recent adventure.

Sunday was another day in the "Adventures of Danielle and Donna". When Donna and I get together, our husbands groan, and our farms' animal populations generally go up. The result of this weekend was no different. We headed off to the Renfrew Fall Bird and Small Animal Buy/Sell/Trade. I was going "just for fun" and Donna was looking for 4 more hens. Well... Donna came home with 8 hens and I came home with a new Runner hen, four Ameraucauna hens, an Ameraucauna Roo and a few nifty accessories (cages). But! I only spent $2 more than Donna and that $2 was for feed, so it doesn't count.

A friend of mine had a 5' x 8' shed that she no longer used and offered to give it to me so long as I came to get it. After having a look at it, I decided that it would, with some "minor" modifications, be ideal for a duck house or chicken coop. The need to go get the shed and start working on getting it ready for winter became a little bit greater as a result of Donna's and my most recent shopping trip.

The funny part of this adventure? Getting the shed home so that I can start the modifications to turn it into the duck house / chicken coop. Unfortunately, it turns out that the shed was not 5' wide but 5'1" wide, which is one inch too wide to fit lengthwise into our trailer. So, we improvised. LOL! It's a good thing our farm and our friend's farm, where the shed was, are only a few minutes apart and connected by seldomly driven back roads.

Loading the shed onto to the trailer, cross wise.

Another view of the loading operation.

Ready to head home. :-)

I am happy to report that the shed made it through the transportation and unloading process unharmed. The renovations start this weekend. :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Busy busy busy!

Now that summer is (more or less) done, we've started on our Fall list of farm repairs and planed upgrades. Byron, our new BFL ram arrives on Saturday. I've decided that it's time to separate the horned boys from those that aren't. Last year's rut was a challenge. I prefer to have an easier time of it this year. :-)

One of the severe storms this year tore down the loafing shed in the ram pen. seeing as we had to rebuild it anyways, I decided it was an ideal time to include a few modifications. The biggest one is that the large ram pen is now divided into two smaller pens with a solid post and board fence in between.

I'm hoping that this not only keeps the boys where they belong but is also sturdy enough that if they do decide to butt heads, well... Two strands of electric will be added to discourage the boys from socializing.

The new ram shed (sorry, no pics) has a solid divider wall which creates two 10' x 10' shelters for the rams. We've also set up a shared water trough through a hole in the wall with the goal of running one less water heater this winter. There will be three rams and a wether on one side (Amadeus, Byron, Peanut and our very docile Shetland boy, Blue) and the Shetland boys on the other (Wedge, Aman, Gizmo and Twist). Just a few more minor repairs to one other fenceline to go and we'll be ready to move the boys into their new digs!

Next step: figuring out my breeding groups for this year...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Where did the summer go?

Seriously. Where has the summer gone? I can't believe it's August 18th already. Fall is in the air. Nights are getting cooler, lambs are getting big and my "to do" list is still as long as ever. I've been spending some time on our sales / keeper list of late and I've got some difficult decisions ahead! We had a lovely crop of purebred Shetlands this year and there are so many that I want to keep. Unfortunately, I promised DH that the flock size would not get any bigger so that means, one baby in, one ewe out. I've got a few photos and will work on getting more over the next few weeks as I make some decisions. I thought I'd share pics of some of the keepers as well as some of the sale animals I have now. Message me, if there's anything of interest to you. The more critters you buy, the better the price will be. :-)

This is one of a set of twin ewe lambs by WillowGarden Wedge, out of Valley Road Sarah. Both girls are lovely and I'll be keeping one of them for sure. The other will likely be for sale. Sarah isn't holding her weight as well as she used to so we likely won't breed her again. Hence, why I'm keeping one of her daughters.

This is Daisy. She is a keeper. She is by V Creek Leo, out of Sheltering Pines Hope. At first, I thought she was grey but now I haven't a clue how to register her colour and pattern. The ligther part of her coat is more of a cream colour and her "spots" are brown (almost a dark moorit). Any colour experts out there wanna give this a go? Mom is grey (Ag) and dad was black gulmoget.

This is Daisy's brother. He hasn't got a name yet but he will soon as he is likely a keeper to replace Leo, whom we lost over the winter. He is a lovely solid moorit colour. Yes, he tore his ear tag out of his ear. Silly baby...

This is Petunia (our theme this year for the girls is "flowers"). She is by WillowGarden Wedge, out of Valley Road Sierra. She was a bottle baby as for some reason, Sierra rejected her at birth. Petunia is a light moorit, gulmoget, and spotted - you can see a bit of the sokket on the back legs if you look closely.

I tried to get a photo of Rose, one of our other "keeper" ewes this year but she was feeling camera shy. Rose is another Wedge daughter - can you tell I love his daughters? - moorit, some spotting and a fleece that is absolutely to die for! She is by Ewenique Bella. Bella is a fawn katmoget ewe who is now for sale. I'll be sure to get a photo of Bella in the coming days.

This is Mochaccino. He is for sale. He is by FirthofFifth Aman, out of WillowGarden Chocolantini. This boy is absolutely lovely and already a good size. His full brother, Frappaccino is at Windeyer Farm and plans are that Frap will be their future flock sire.

This is one of two ram lambs out of RuisDair Elwyn. Note the telltale "sugar lips" on him. No doubt in my mind that he is Ag (as is his dam). His twin is a dark grey (may be shaela). Both of these boys are for sale. Ellie is not. :-)

This is a set of our twin girls. Sorry, I haven't got my list in front of me so I'm not sure who their dam is. From the looks of them, I'd say that they're Wedge babies.

This is WillowGarden Twist (pre-shearing). He is for sale as I have too many rams. He is white and carries moorit. I could put together a nice starter flock for someone with him and a few of our ewes. He's a nice tempered boy, very respectful of his shepherds and easy to handle.

Another one of the ram lambs we have for sale. At first I thought he was moorit, but now I'm starting to think he may be musket. I'll have to take a closer look on the weekend. His tag number is 25 so I'll look up his parents. Given his colouring, he is likely an Aman baby. And yes, he is for sale.

I have another incredible Aman son for sale. He is mioget, lovely even fleece, nice and correct so far, horns included. He's got his sire's presence. He didn't feel like standing to have his picture taken yesterday but I'll be sure to get a shot of him this weekend. His tag number is 22 and he is as yet, unnamed.

That's everything for now. Well, almost everything...

I'm very excited about the new 4-legged addition that will be arriving in September. We've just bought a second Bluefaced Leicester ram from Windblest Farm (Amadeus' breeder). His name is Byron and he is a "natural" coloured BFL ram. He is unrelated to Amadeus and we are really looking forward to breeding him to Amadeus' yearling mule ewe daughters this year. And maybe a Shetland or two... :-)