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As I mentioned in the last post, I had hoped to keep these ewes for many years to come- but sadly, we are selling our flock.  This is the Perfect opportunity for someone getting started, or anyone who wants to add true quality to an existing program.  August 1, 2016 we put an RR ram with the flock, so they could start lambing as early as January 2017. There is a lot more information about these ewes in the pervious post.  Please take the time to look around the blog. If you are interested, please send an email to cadiepruss@yahoo.com

We are also selling 2 adult Kangals (Livestock guard dogs).  They are both spayed and both 3 years old.

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Happy 2016!   I am really looking forward to our lambing season this year.   In 2015 we decided to keep only RR ewes and lambs.  We had a lot of really beautiful and productive QR ewes and we were proud to offer them for sale to other breeders.  Mike and I have always had strict selection criteria including good mothering skills, milk production, rate of gain of lambs, ability to thrive on pasture, and worm resistance.  Every year we cull animals that do not meet our criteria, and we don’t sell them to others for breeding.

In 2015 we decided that we were going to add one new criteria- RR.  In years past we had to have all lambs born to a QR ewe tested.   We have only used RR rams since 2005 so we have not had any QQ animals for a decade, but we have kept QR ewes that otherwise met our criteria.

Every year we also have a few that we need to cull because they have lost their ear tags.  That always makes me so frustrated.  We have 2 ear tags- one small brass one that we put in at birth, and the larger plastic one.  They go in opposite ears.  Frequently a sheep will only lose one, but if they lose them both, we can’t use them in our registered flock anymore.  That is the worst way to cull your flock.

Because we cut down to 22 ewes and lambs, and we really liked this flock, we decided we were going to put an end to culling due to lost ear tags.  We microchipped each of them and GUESS WHAT !!!!   Last week, when we brought them off the pastures to vaccinate and bring in the barn, one ewe had lost BOTH ear tags.  She had them in the summer when we did the microchipping.  If only one animal is missing ear tags, it is easy to figure out who they are, but more than one- and they are doomed.  Now, because I was able to scanner her and verify who she is, I can purchase a replacement tag.   I am so happy we did this.  I hope to have these ewes for a very long time.

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One of the benefits of breeds of hair sheep is that they don’t require shearing- they shed.

Shedding Hair Sheep
Shedding Hair sheep look funny
Shed hair on the gate

However, we have a few sheep we use for herding and they are a mix of various breeds.  Last year we decided to shear them.  You can see why-

Ready for shearing

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IMG_3965Today the weather was so nice that we changed plans.  The weather forcast is for Hurricane Ida to make landfall on Monday, so we needed to work outside today.  That is the way farming Always is.  The weather dictates everything.  We were going to process pumpkins- but that can wait until a rainy day.  We have a lot of work to do, but I have wanted to re-clean the barn.   So with beautiful weather, no bugs, perfect temperatures, both Mike and I home on the same weekend-barn cleaning it is. 

I love mindless physical labor.  It makes me feel good to do work that is not too difficult, but still makes your muscles work and at the end of the day, tired from accomplishing a task worth doing.   Our barn is not used from May-November.  We throughly clean it in the spring and all summer it just stays clean and dry.  

This summer we added chickens – but we dont’ have a chicken coop.  They decided the rafters in the barn is a good place to roost.  So- they left chicken poop on  my barn floor.    I want to get the barn re-cleaned so I can bed it for the sheep.  I usually plan their use from Thanksgiving to Easter, but again- weather determines what actually happens.   

Iris wanted to know what I was doing.  She was getting in the way, so I had to put her in another pasture while I was working.  It was so cute, I put her back in with two rams she had spent all winter with- they really seemed happy to be back together.  She “butted” them and (of course) they butted her back.  I just don’t want Iris to think she can do that to ME.  

IMG_3969

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Hunter’s Moon

The full moon following the Harvest Moon is the Hunter’s Moon.  I just love the fall full moons.IMG_3900IMG_3898

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Farm in fall_07
October 27 2009b

my favorite Sycamore tree 10/27/09

10_25_09a
10/25/09 a new sediment deposit after the storm
10_28_09b

10/28/09 It rained hard again this morning

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