I have and will be spinning today. I purchased a beautiful hoggitt roving from Donna Jo at Breezy Manor.
She has beautiful roving that is dyed and natural. This is a natural of a gorgeous chocolate brown and spins itself with a little guidance from the spinner! People wondering where I can be found today, will find me at my spinning wheel.
Rain!!! Yes, it's finally going to rain on the farm. We have had sprinkles, but nothing of significance, lately.
I can see it coming across the cornfield through the kitchen window......at last! I'm hoping for at least a couple of inches....that would be nice to help with the pasture and garden.
This is Stubby, the oldest ewe of our flock. She is a Horned Dorset and we estimate her age at approximately 10 to 12 years of age, She came to us from Conner Prairie, history museum
about thirty five minutes from us in Noblesville, Indiana. I guess her horns weren't perfect and one is broken off, hence her name. She is a good gal and we love her just the way she is!
Rambo is the breeding ram for the Dor Galen flock. He was born here last July. Since March, he has been in with the other Dor Galen ewes and we hope for spring lambs, sired by him. He has been a pretty gentle fellow so far.
In June, he accidentally got in with our other flock, and I had to get him away from the ewes before my husband came home to help. I managed to get everyone away from him except Roo, our two year old Texel/ Blackie wether. Rambo looked at Roo and Roo returned the look.
Oh, boy!, I thought. Here we go! Roo and Rambo squared off and Roo hit Rambo a good one, smack!
Rambo was stunned. His head rolled around and around with his eyeballs going in circles. He started to go down to the ground as if he was passing out. I thought for a brief instant that maybe one of our wethers had killed our ram. Rambo did not go completely down and he managed to regain his composure. He gave Roo a very respectable distance then I breathed a sigh of relief and laughed my butt off!
1. Helped husband with morning chores...led the Dor Galen flock to front pasture.
2. Watered the garden.
3. Went to New Ross Grain to get feed for sheep and chickens. Helped load 150# of feed in my trunk.
4. Stopped at gas station and got $4 of gasoline to ensure I didn't run out of gas coming back from Lebanon.
5. Went to Wal Mart to get 3 skeins of yarn to finish a pair of slipper socks I'm crocheting for my husband. Told the cashier how I hated Walmart and didn't want to shop there but I have no choice as that is the closest source of commercial yarn. Went into a rant about how America's hunger for cheap goods is destroying our economy.
6. Came back to farm unloaded 150# of feed by myself. Shut the barn doors as it looked like possible rain.
7. Ate some lunch, took some Tylenol for the headache I was developing.
8. Crocheted 10 rows on my husband's sock.
9. Laid out pork chops( pastured raised, of course!) from freezer for supper.
10. Took a nap.
11.Woke up, fed dogs and rabbit.
12. Put in 6 dozen eggs to wash.
13. Started on supper. Cooked supper after hubby got home.
14.Unloaded dishwasher, reloaded dishwasher. Washed supper pans by hand.
15. Helped hubby with evening chores, feeding sheep and barn cats.
16. Did this post..................more to do tomorrow!
I'm glad we don't have to worry about kea as they hail from New Zealand. New Zealand has a huge sheep population...... more sheep then people. This parrot must be a problem for the shepherds "Down Under".
Just ruminating, mind you, but it would be great for central Indiana spinners to have a fiber processing mill that is closer to everyone here. I sold a fleece to a SWIFT member a few weeks ago and she was wanting a fiber mill that was closer. Alot of spinners buy raw fleece at fiber events and drop off the fleece at the fiber processing mills that attend the event, but it would be great to have one closer and not have to pay for shipping........
Brittany was born here at Dor Galen Farm in 2007. She is the head ewe of the Dor Galen flock.
She has the most wondrous fleece with a temperamental attitude just to make things interesting, I suppose.
She is the mother of Little Mac and her mothering skills is how she acquired her name. Little Mac is the surviving twin, the other twin did not survive birth. Brittany turned away from Little Mac every time he tried to nurse. We did manage to get about 20cc's of colostrum from her to help Little Mac survive . Little Mac became a bottle lamb and lived in the house with us for the first couple months of his life, but that's another story to be told . So, my husband in an exasperated tone, named the ewe "Brittany"......"after the mother of the year", he said.
Here she is at her resting place ( and it is HER resting place, by the way..) at the side of the hen house.....
Yes, here I am leading our Dor Galen flock to greener pastures! I say "greener pastures" in jest as dry as it has been lately. Every morning one of the ewes tries to grab a sneaky bite from one of the maple trees we planted. There are times that Rambo tries this, also. All in all, it's not too chaotic a trip from the barn, trotting through the yard and up to the gate. They wait patiently for about a half a scoop of grain from the blue bucket, a.k.a. our number one sheep enticer.......
or so it seems...... a view of the freshly cut cornfield immediately west of us...........
We really need some rain! This past month was the driest August in Indiana since, oh, about 1800
something. The pasture is really dry and the sheep seem extra hungry. I hope this does not mean we are in for a long, extra-snowy winter!
Do farmers get a respite from their labors on a Labor Day Holiday? I think not, at least that has been the case on this farm and the farm just west of us. While my husband and I observe vacationing Americans zooming down the highway with boats and campers in tow, we are taking wheelbarrows of sheep shit to the compost pile. The farmer next door got his cornfield completed harvested and yesterday he was mowing the weeds along the fence row. He chatted to my husband for a few minutes and said he would send one of his boys over to mow our pasture as soon as they were done harvesting which would be a couple of more weeks.
Meanwhile, my husband worked all day to make the compost pile higher. He has worked all summer to clean the side stall where the flock was last winter. Our barn is ancient and the stalls are narrow. The only way we have been able to clean them is with the good old pitchfork! Believe me ,
this is hard physical labor if you have never tried it!
One of the neatest thing about harvest time here, is being able to listen to the elevators humming at night as they dry the crops. It's also neat to watch the tractor headlights at night in the fields working in the darkness to harvest the fields.
Who are the primary predators of sheep? Well, coyotes rank right up there. Surprisingly enough domesticated dogs are up there, too. Everyone usually thinks of wolves, and wolves definitely take sheep down. Here is a drawing of a wolf I did in 2006 while I was in Minnesota...
Our farm is approximately thirty minutes from Lafayette, Indiana. Wolf Park, a nature preserve is located there. Wolves are beautiful creatures and part of nature's food chain: however, it gives this shepherdess cause for concern......
We finally got rain today, the first rain for at least a couple of weeks. The sheep didn't try to get in from the rain, either. They just stood there and continued to graze, Bill, the llama, was completely soaked and acted like he was loving every minute of it.
I did not have to water the garden tonight which was a break I needed. Even though it is the first of September here, it looks like October without the fall foliage. Our next door neighbor had his combine out earlier and cut half the corn field before it rained. The cornfields around here are that dry!