Monday, November 29, 2010

More New Additions!

OK - I think this is it for 2010 - additions to the flock/herd, that is - hopefully not blog posts, although I have been very bad at updating it lately. The flock has changed dramatically in the past few months. We still have the Shetlands and the Coopworths and the Polypays - and one Clun Forest - and two Dorsets - and a handful of crossbred ewes. And you know, if you have been reading along, that we added some Icelandics and a Jacob earlier this fall - and some Angora goats - and some guineas - oh, and we still have some rabbits and some chickens - and one gorgeous, but mean rooster - he might have to go. But anyway, I digress.

We have recently added some more Jacobs - I think this is the wether - hard to tell sometimes, when they no longer have the normal male equipment.

And we have added some Nigerian Dwarf goats. These should be the two wethers, Jack and Dexter, although I'm not sure which is which yet. They love the fallen leaves from our London Planetree - somebody tell me quick if those are poisonous.

And a few more Jacob ewes. Although this is only one of them. Must be Zola? She is supposed to be the friendliest, and as the others were hanging way back, I'm deducing that this is she.

But the cutest ones are the Nigerian Dwarf girls. This little girl is very friendly - her name is Magic, I think. She would stand forever letting you scratch her chin, neck, back if you had the time. (Stasia, if I have all the names wrong, I apologize - let me know!)

Two more of the Nigerian girls. They come in all colors and are just the cutest things. Although what in the heck am I going to do with them? This is a fiber farm, after all. I guess we will have to make some goat cheese or maybe some goat's milk soap.

Or we can breed them to Valentine (aka Bucky), our new Angora buck and maybe get some nice, fibery Nigoras. That's him in the picture below, sort of in the middle, with the orange ear tag. It was very hard to get a good picture of him, as he was very intent on breeding one of the girls and only paused long enough for me to get this shot. He came from Bleating Heart Haven in New Holstein, Wisconsin - and after he jumped a solid wall that must have been close to five feet tall and tried to bash his way out of our truck, he settled down nicely for the trip home and is now behaving himself. Although if he didn't have all those lovely girlfriends, I'm afraid he might jump the fence and head on down the road!

And we also now have a goose. Alexander came from Tuppinz Farm with the sheep, as he thinks he is a sheep - and as Tuppinz Farm no longer has any sheep, we felt he should come along with his "family". So, while the goats and sheep rode in the livestock trailer, Alexander got the back of the truck to himself, where he settled down on the rubber mat for the three hour trip to his new home. Here he is getting to know some of his new sheep family - some of our Coopworths.

So, the breeding groups are now all together. Lambing/kidding will begin mid-April. With all the different breeding groups and the bachelor boys group and the lamb/retiree group, I have 9 different pens/pastures to feed, water and check on every day (well, that's stretching the truth a bit, as a couple of those groups have big bales of hay, so I don't really have to feed everyone every day). But for the next six weeks or so, I basically need a checklist so I don't leave anyone out! So here's hoping the rams/buck do their job and we have lots of bouncing babies in five months!