Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Voodoo Update

I feel like a very bad bunny mother. :^( My GC cream FA doe, Voodoo, has been raising a litter and until Sunday was eating like there was no tomorrow. Then Sunday evening, she had not touched her morning pellets. I gave her some banana and hay, which she did eat. Monday AM, she still have not eaten, so I took her out of her cage to give her some probiotic paste, thinking she was just off her feed for some reason. As soon as I picked her up, I knew something was wrong. Her top 2 mammary glands were swollen and hot. When I checked them, they also looked reddened, with some dark streaks.
I immediately got the LA200 and gave her .5cc - extrapolating from the sheep dosage. Then I picked some dandelion and clover and some grasses, and offered her those. She did eat them during the day, but no pellets. Poor little thing, she was scrunched up on her haunches, and laying on her chin, probably in a effort to keep pressure off her sore chest. I gave her a resting board in a attempt to make her more confortable, and she did use it. Monday evening, she seemed a little better. I gave her more greens and some treat mix.
Tuesday(today) AM, she had eaten most the treat mix and all the greens. She devoured the dandelion greens I brought with me, and was munching hay when I left for work. She was more active and responsive to me. I plan to give her a follow up shot of LA200 tomorrow, and also more probiotic paste. We'll see if the infection causes those glands to slough off. If so, I'll have to clean those abscesses, and then squirt the penicillin infuser you use to treat cows for mastitis into the wound. I found that worked well a few years ago when this happened to a REW doe, S'no Angel.

The kits were my second worry, since they are less than 2 weeks old, and just opened their eyes yesterday. They are a little thinner than they had been, but still are active and do not look dehydrated. They also feel heavy. I put some oatmeal into the nestbox for them to nibble on. This morning, there were bits of bedding in the cage, so I'm pretty sure Voodoo fed them during the night. I'm hopeful she will continue to do so, as I've never bottle fed bunnies before, and it can be tricky. A couple friends have offered to foster them onto their does, but I'm leary of that, since some sources say it can spread the bacteria to that doe.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Miramar had her litter yesterday afternoon. She has 7 kits - I think all are chocolate agouti, although "maybe"one is a solid chocolate. I'll have to see in a couple days. I was surprised to not have any reds in the litter, but they will likely all be widebands with lots of rufus. The sire is Sudan.
I found one of the kits behind the nestbox, cold and stiff when I was checking everyone over. I went ahead and tossed it into the nest, thinking that the warmth of the litter would revive it, and it worked. It was warm and squirmy and plump looking this morning when I checked the nest. :^)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Here are Tim and Buddy, guarding their flock of 12 Katahdin ewe lambs.

Voodoo's three kits are 10 days old now. They are really big and active. She has turned out to be an excellent mother.

Shearing is DONE!

We got the flock sheared yesterday. Jason Anderson does a really good job, and always handles them gently. He even did the 3 rams for us with no extra charge since the boys were well behaved. Here is the flock all brilliantly white and clean. Looks like they are all bred but one. Below are the rams; Lanark, Larkhall in the front, and Lockerbie on the right.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Harry the Highland

This is Harry, a white Highland bull. He is the last calf we had here (unless the Highland/Angus heifer managed to get bred while she was "visiting" the neighbor's last summer).
Harry has been eating beef grower in preparation for his date with Gladys Saling, the local butcher shop. He goes on April 7th. You have not lived until you've tasted Highland beef!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

This is Chuck and the Deutz - a BIG, old, ugly green German tractor we bought for a song at an auction right after we moved to this farm. He also has an old Ford Jubilee, which is similar to an 8N.

Satin Angora kits

These are Mandalay and Hastings' kits. Here are the does; broken chocolate, broken chocolate tort, and tort.
These are the bucks; black, broken red, and chocolate. They are about 7.5 weeks old, and weigh about 2# each. All of them are doing really well and feel heavy and sturdy when I pick them up.

More Puppy Pictures

Buddy and Tim are getting to take short, supervised trips outside into the paddock with the Katahdin ewe lambs now. They have a wonderful time, although the Kats are not too sure of them. Most the time, they stand and stare at the pups at a safe distance. I like this picture - it looks like we bought herding dogs instead of guarding dogs. :^)
Buddy on the right, Timmy on the left.

Friday, March 20, 2009


These are Voodoo's kits, born sometime last night. They are very active this morning. the sire is Mercedes Benz. Looks like there is a broken. Happy Spring from Voodoo and the kits!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I've been unhappy with my website for some time - at least the Bluefaced Leicester part of it. I'm planning on reworking it over the next few days and including the photos of the ewes that I've been posting here on the blog recently.
Then as the lambs start arriving next month, I'll add a revolving group of lamb pictures for people to enjoy.
Are there any suggestions on what sort of information to provide on the BFL page - whether general info, or specific to our flock?


I FINALLY got a call back from our shearer last night. We are scheduled for Saturday AM, March 28th. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and it won't be too cold or hot, and not rainy the day before so it won't be hard to keep the sheep dry. If we have to, we can pen them up in the barn for a couple days ahead of time, but that gets them dirty, and often more hay in their wool. Its much better if they have been out in the clean grass.
Once the fleeces come off, I need to get busy right away, skirting, sorting, washing, dyeing and shipping them off to be processed into roving for in preparation for the Great Lakes festival on Memorial Day weekend, and the Wool Gathering in September.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Even more Lovelies

This is Somerhill Arlene. (Loyalty)
I tried to get Ballad in a better pose. Its still not the best.......
This is Somerhill Darcy, also known as "Dyno-mite". She is quite a pet, and would climb in our laps if we let her. She twinned as a lamb last year. Her sire is Halkirk, an AI son of Rossiebank Laird, out of Somerhill Duchess (Jamie).
Somerhill Clio. An AI daughter of Beeston Loyalty, out of Somerhill Pegasus
Clio's twin sister, Caliope.
This is Somerhill Pegasus. She is my last domestic ewe, born here in 2001. Her dam was Firth 353E from Nova Scotia, and her sire was Somerhill BluePrint. BluePrint was a son of Ward G3(Murphy-Bayshore breeding) and Firth Fern 514C. The ewe lamb in the foreground on the left is her daughter, Somerhill China, who is an AI daughter of Carryhouse R1 E+. I posted a picture of the fourth daughter we've kept, Collette, in a previous post. Another set of twin daughters, Cara and Cameo were sold last year.

Another BFL Item I forgot

I nearly forgot about this poster. I got it from Little Barn (Lewis and Patty White). I got more copies with the idea of giving one to people who buy breeding stock from me, and keep forgetting about them. HEHE. So if you buy from me, remind me you want your poster!

This is my friendly little scale, the Ultraship 55. It weighs in grams, and in 10ths of an ounce. You can tare it to weigh things in containers. I use it to weigh fleeces, bags of dyed locks, roving, skeins of yarn - you name it. Its the BEST Christmas present I ever got.
The one thing you really have to watch with these digital scales is to not put something heavier than they can weigh on them. It can ruin them! So I am cautious with my little friend. :^)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Some more of my lovelies

Somerhill Wilkie AI - daughter of Barlaes Titus E+ out of Lyric (Ebony Boy, Jamie)
Somerhill Iden, twin yearling. Out of Celestia (Laird AI) by Huntley (Ebony Boy, Jamie)
Somerhill Collette - single yearling out of Pegasus (domestic) and Huntley (Ebony Boy, Jamie)
That's Vivace, a ewe lamb out of Carillon (Jamie) by Barlaes Titus E+ in the background. Bliss is standing behind her.
Somerhill Nell, single yearling, out of Nocturne(Ebony Boy,Jamie) by Halkirk (Laird AI)
Somerhill Bliss, triplet yearling, out of Caliope (Loyalty AI) by Huntley (Ebony Boy, Jamie)
Somerhill Ballad - single yearling, out of Cadence (Jamie) by Halkirk (Laird AI)

Wooster Fiber Festival

I just found out that I definitely have a vendor space at the Great Lakes Fiber Show in Wooster, Ohio on Memorial Day weekend. There are 83 other vendors, a sheep show and sale, angora goat shows, classes, demos, and good food. Here is the link to the festival: http://www.greatlakesfibershow.com/

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thank you, Dean Lorey

The previous owners of this farm were the Lorey's (pronounced Loor' eye) Carl & Zona purchased the farm in the '50s and ran it as a dairy. Many people we meet in the area tell us they worked for "Uncle Carl", filling the big barn to the rafters with hay. It was an odd marriage; they kept everything separate, including their cattle and their food. Carl lived mostly in the barn, and in fact, died there. He left the county fair feeling poorly, and they found him dead, lying on the old leather couch he had dragged into the entry of the barn.

Zona outlived him by several years, passing away in the spring of 1997, in her bed right here in this very room. Our computer desk likely sits where her bed would have been.

Their children, Dean and Norma Jean, did not get along any better. Unable to agree to an equitable division of the estate, the farm and all its contents sold at auction in December of 1997.

Although they both died here, there is little left to remind us of Carl and Zona. Chuck has slowly corrected the "quick fixes and patches" of buildings, fences, anything that Carl "repaired". Hundreds of mayonnaise jars have been hauled away, tons of scrap metal, glass insulators off electric poles, scrap lumber, old tumbledown buildings dragged here. I find no trace of Zona in the house.

But Dean - that's another story. He had a bad habit of twisting his empty cigarette packets and tossing them where ever he was working. Its been 11 years, and we still find cigarette packages here and there. Chuck found this one yesterday.

I wonder what people will find here once we are gone...............

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nocturne Cadence Carillon
Back to Front: Carillon, Cadence, and Nocturne

The girls took off for Missouri this AM. Hope they have sets of twin ewe lambs for their new owner. They are all bred to Somerhill Lanark, an AI son of Carryhouse R1 E+.
Carillon and Cadence are full sisters, out of Belle by a Jamie son, and and Nocturne is out of another full sister bred to an Ebony Boy son.

FOR SALE - $350.00 registered BFL yearling ram

This is Somerhill Larkhall, an AI son of Carryhouse R1 E+, out of Somerhill Pegasus, my last remaining domestic bred ewe. He has excellent blue color and a heavy, lustrous fleece. He has a level topline, good long back, strong pasterns, and feet that require no maintenance. He was born in March, 2008, a triplet, and is a proven sire, having been used on 10 ewes last fall.
Peg is the basis of my best line of ewes; prolific, excellent mothers and milkers, with beautiful well attached udders with small teats. They also have lovely fleeces.
Something that makes him unique is that he is likely the only CH R1 son available that does not carry any other UK bloodlines.
This ram is suitable as a herdsire in a purebred flock, and could also be used as a crossing sire to improve wool and maternal qualities in a flock. $350.00 includes registration transfer.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Look what we got today. They are 3 month old Great Pyrenees puppies, from the same line and breeder that produced Beth, our 8 year old LGD. I think we've settled on names for the boys; Buddy on the left, and Tim on the right.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Like mother, like daughter?

This is Wallis as a baby and as a 2 yo. Her yearling picture reminds me so much of her mother, Aria. I've added some pictures below to show what I mean.
This is Aria as a yearling.And this is Aria in spring, 2007, a few days before she lambed.

Here is why she looked so big and uncomfortable! That's Wallis in the front, with her 2 brothers behind her. Aria raised all three youngsters by herself with no help from us other than to make sure she had enough to eat. Aria's twin, Lyric, had triplet ewe lambs last spring.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I realized in my recent post of the farm 360 degrees, I never included a shot of the house - just the view from it. So I thought I'd share a couple of old photos we were given by the original owners. This top one was taken some time before the "remudding" took place. The house now boasts pale yellow steel siding. The beautiful gothic style cottage look is gone now. The original porch was torn off, a cement slab poured, and a metal awning type roof is supported by black iron posts. The front slate roof was replaced by asphalt shingles. The rear is still intact - the date 1886 is written in the slate using different colors.
Inside, the beautiful woodwork is mostly preserved, although the downstairs walls are covered with panelling. They removed the double screen on the front porch and replaced it with a metal storm door, but the double arched front doors remain. The open central stairway was enclosed at some time in the distant past. The handrail and newel post sold at the auction, and we missed purchasing it in the excitement of bidding on the farm.
Its not a big house, but the rooms are good sized and well planned, and the 9' ceilings give a feeling of light and space. There are 2 bedrooms upstairs with big walk-in closets in the gable, and a long, narrow storage space on the back that we use for an attic, but it could be finished for another room if we so desired.

This photo was taken looking east down the road from the main barn. You can see the main barn roof on the right in the foreground. Notice the split rail fence in front of the barn, and continuing down the road. The house is on the left in the background. In front of it is the large building people refer to as the wool barn. I realized that when I cropped this picture, I cut out the roof of the sheep barn, but it is there, just to the left. I can see the coal shed and the smokehouse up behind the house, too.
Sometime after this picture was taken, 2 machine sheds were added - one directly across the road from the main barn, and one beside the barn about where the split rail fence is located.
Interestingly, there is an electric pole showing in front of the barn. It looks like the one that was there when we bought the farm - crooked. :^)
What strikes me when looking at this photo is how bare the hills look. Now they are covered with trees, but that has all grown up since this photo was taken. Our part of Ohio is going wild again - coyotes, bobcats, deer, turkey, squirrels, rabbits, ducks, geese, herons and other wildlife are plentiful. Even bears are starting to be seen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Some of my lovelies

This is Wallis. She is a triplet, Ebony Boy and Jamie breeding, had a set of twins as a yearling; white ram and black ewe lamb.
This is Royce. She is a twin to Rowan. She had a beautiful single ram lamb as a yearling.
This is Rowan, twin to Royce. The girls are Laird/Loyalty breeding. They definitely take after the Loyalty side of the family.
This is Serenade. She is one of my older ewes, an AI daughter of Jamie, born in 2003.
I'm not absolutely certain who this is, but I think its Royce again. She is beautiful enough to take a second look at.
This is Adagio. She had a set of black twins last year as a yearling. "Dodgie" is Laird/Jamie breeding.

More BFL Collectables

Here are some more BFL items I've collected. The Polo shirt came to me several years ago from Fiona Sloan, the BFL secretary of the UK breeders association at the time.
The card has the artwork made for the featured breed at Rhinebeck festival in 2007. This is what was on all the official shirts sold that year. The art is by Kris Barndt.
The cookie cutter is also available from Kris.
The cup is from Border Fine Arts.

Monday, March 2, 2009

This is the "Nutty Buckeye" grooming her French before the show. She was pretty excited to win her first legs and her first BOB all in the same day.
This is Ron, judging the English angoras in Show A.

This is Mike, judging English in Show B.

This is Glen, judging the Satin Angoras in show A. The doe he is evaluating in Somerhill Trieste, a red, who went on to win BOB in both shows. These are her first 2 legs. She also got registered that day, so it was her day to shine.
Somehow, I completely missed taking any pictures of the French Angoras - I guess I was too busy putting rabbits on the table. Oh well. Somerhill Vignette won BOB and her third leg, and also got registered. Somerhill Mercedes Benz won BOS in both shows, so he now has 2 legs toward his championship. Glad I took him - I was reluctant to show him since his wool is stained yellow, but he did well in spite of it.
Wildhare Ruby Slippers got good remarks on type, density and texture, so I'm encouraged by that. She was outclassed in length of wool by both Vignette and the Nutty Buckeye's tort doe who took BOB in show A. I hope that will be just a temporary thing, since this is her first adult coat, and she has only been growing it for about 2 months. Maybe she will be primed for the Ohio Convention in May???

Woolers for sale (SOLD)

2 bucks, chocolate and black, ready for their new fiber home near the end of the month.