Thursday, March 13, 2008

B - U - S - Y !

I was going to name this blog "Chaos in the Kitchen" but I thought Michelle's comment was more fitting since it's been a long while since I've posted a new blog.

It's hard to believe that Villa has been with us for two weeks! She's 10 weeks old and growing like a weed. She's so smart it's scary - and fun. She came "programmed" to sit for her supper and anytime she thought she might get a treat. She's learned to "down", "stand", touch the end of a touch stick, push a box around, run into her crate, walk on a leash, wait for me outside the sheep pens, bring back a toy, go to the door to go outside, and many more essentials. :-) She's still a little timid about loud, strange noises and new things. I hope to get her used to as many "strange" situations as possible in these critical first 3 months.

Meanwhile, here's Villa watching the action (just a brief rest on her part). Clifford and Thomas are wrestling over the tennis ball tube while Lonie wonders about joining in.

3 Big and 1 Little dogs in our very tiny kitchen create quite an uproar. Villa is confined here until she's more reliably house trained.

Villa gets into the act with one of her favorite toys - brother Thom's tail! She actually prefers Lonie's very fuzzy tail, but Lonie has things to say about that! Thom spends a lot of time with his own tail in his own mouth, so maybe it's been desensitized somewhat.

On Saturday, we had a shearer come in to do the whole flock (less 2). He sheared 32 of our sheep and 4 sheep and 4 Angora goats for a friend in less than 3 hours. It was amazing to watch. We didn't get much time to watch, because all of us (6 of us!) were kept busy supporting him - putting sheep in pens, getting them out of pens, sweeping after each shearing, rolling fleeces, keeping cords out of the way....

It was great getting them all done, but since I wasn't the one rolling fleeces, I don't know what they're like. I get to skirt them all in the upcoming weeks and months, for buyers and competitions and for myself. :-) Hortense and Captain escaped shearing this time, as they were both sheared in November and need to grow out a little.

Here is Bunny, our Gotland-Shetland ewe. What a beautiful color she is! She is also expecting :-) Her lamb(s) will be 75% Gotland and should arrive in about 3 weeks.

These are 4 of our Shetland ewes. On the left is Asa, Bunny's dam. Asa is expecting 50% Gotland lamb(s). She gives us a lovely taupey fleece. One year I spun and knitted her fleece into a vest for DH... before he was the "H". He wore it at our wedding. :-)

Electra is the grey ewe. She's given us very personable lambs in the past years, though with fleece not quite as soft as I'd like. She's bred to Bubba (Gotland/BFL/BL) for market lambs.

The two blacks are "almost" yearlings, Pepper and Midnight. They look so skinny next to the pregnant ewes.

This lovely (almost) yearling Scottish Blackface ewe is EverRanch Eve. Eve has beautiful breed type, and especially lovely horns. Her sire and grandsire both live in Scotland, making her 75% UK bloodlines.

She's been bred to Butch - the SBF who broke his leg at 4 days old. His long-healed leg was no hindrance to settling her!

So there's a bit of what I've been up to. This coming weekend I'll be near Sacramento, California, judging an agility trial. Then back to the farm for more puppy and sheep fun.

- Franna


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Is Villa going with you, or does Dave get Puppy Watch? I'm getting ready to scrub up our old doberman's crate so I have a place to secure Jackson at night and when we're gone; the Destroyer just can't be trusted anymore!

Kathy said...

I've been meaning to "stop by" for a while, Franna...just to see how you are and what you've been up to. What a great way to beat the winter doldrums - puppy! :)

I was trying to get a shearer lined up for my flock, but he won't come until after lambs are born next month. I guess it was a good thing as we got 6" of new snow yesterday and it's been very cold today. Some of the sheep have very long fleece...I will probably get them crutched this week at the very least.

Thanks for posting! We missed you!

Beth & Dennis @ Milehaus Farm said...

Hi Franna:
It is great to catch up on the happenings at your place! What a cute pup - with lots of potential! I laughed when I saw all the dogs on your kitchen floor - we too are always stepping over and around numerous pooches while working in the kitchen :-) Your sheep look so nice after their shearing and I am coveting your green grass :-)

Dave said...

Nope, I had the puppy breath all to myself all weekend :)

Franna said...

Now, this weekend I get Villa all to myself! Dave's going to South Dakota to judge agility. (Any readers in SD? Say hello if you are at the trials in Sioux Falls!)
Green? It's sort of an illusion here. Green all winter but little to no growth. We're starting to get some growth now, though. yeaaaa!