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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Randomness on the homestead

Making sheep cheese today so I have time in between ripening , heating... waiting for a curd to break , etc, to do some computer stuff...
The Bald Man & I went up to the New Market sheep dairy to get 80 lbs of sheep milk!! 40 lbs is for our neighbor ..
Due to being so busy with my business, the homestead and the sheep I have made the decision to sell ALL my goats and buy goats milk from my neighbor for the goats milk products and for blended cheese... she has high standards for her goats like I do and it just makes sense to do that instead of keep 2 separate dairy herds... esp. when it seems that the sheep may be easier to take care of  for me... Dairy Goats can be drama queens! and very naughty!! they are really entertaining!!! But when you are short on time like me... its alot less entertaining!
I"ve got alot on my plate so I'm looking forward to the sell out though sad at the same time because the best of the best is left! My favorite and best girl is the last goat standing... she HAS to have a good home!!!

On a brighter note... all our piggies are sold but Gigit.. and the Bald Man is keeping her! Shes the bigger piglet in the pic. I personally do not want to keep a breed pair or pigs... raising pigs is not a good business for a homesteader.. it is much much more cost effective to buy a feeder hog every year... BUT, this breed is so hard to fine and its the only breed we can stand.. so he's 'done the numbers' and maybe has come up with a way to make it ok to keep them.... plus he really really enjoys raising pigs!! who knew???


 Varys!!!! My new Border Leicester wether!!

I wanted to try a long wool breed.. some say they are no more difficult to raise than a regular wool sheep... then again some say they are more difficult!

Gotta fine out for myself though, ofcourse!






His temperament is great... he was a 4-H lamb.
His fleece is beautiful!!! Shorn in the spring its already so long!!

Really like this guy alot.
 All my East Friesian girls are getting so big and grown up!

They are the sweetest sheep.. This here is Curd.


 To the right is my big girl Bo Peep!

She's my largest ewe... just huge! and her wool is growing very fast.

Every morning when I go down to check on everyone the EFs gather around me because they know I'm going to check their fleece... pick hay out of it... brush them off! They love morning 'brush' offs!
Varys doesn't care for morning brush offs though..
silly BL!



 My smallest sheepie... Chablis... her fleece is very fine! very crimped!

Not at all like my other 2 ewes or my ram (Sergent is not pictured because he was to busy talking trash to Varys!) They have more of a med. grade wool.

This smallest darling also has the largest teats!
I can milk some pretty small teats.. I used to have Nigerians and poorly bred Nubians! But bigger teats is a plus :-) when you're hand milking.
 Guineas keets are almost as big as the grown guineas now!

As of right now we have 28 Guinea fowl...

which is fine.. if no predators get them we will be tick free next summer with all these guys working!
 My favorite chicken Bubbles....

she's out mothering the guinea keet she hatched!
 Muscovy ducks... These are my 3 males!

I love the Muscovy's... I love way they whisper ... I and love the weird Muscovy dance they do
when I pick one up and put it back down.. its so funny!!

They fly very well,,,
The little flock enjoying falls last green grasses and herbs.

In the spring I seeded this little field with chicory, dandelions, mustard greens & clover .. its still green and very yummy to the sheep!




The 2 best LGDs ever  :-)


without them I wouldn't have ducks, sheep, goats, geese or anything!!


They are The Bald Mans babies....
 This is one of Annabelles pups... The Bald Man calls him Hindu because he has a spot on his head..

silly!

This little guy is super spunky! Since the Bald Man cares for all the dogs they see him often... I only go down to their area every few days and this guy actually growled and barked at me!!!

Getting started protecting early I guess! lol!!!
at 3 weeks! Like seeing that in an lgd! so cute!

My Ancona flock..... they are so big now...

can't wait for those big duck eggs in the spring!
I washed the wool (cormo & friesian) added some dyed tunis locks... and some embroidery thread scraps I had been saving for years of emb work!...
carded... and spun this gorgeous & fluffy soft art yarn... thats telling me... 'weave a scarf'

I have no loom.... but I ordered one ;-)


Y'all have a great weekend now!

Be Blessed!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Puppies!!! and a Night out!

Been really busy here! Fall is in full swing now..weather is warm but pleasant.. I hope its a long fall.... leaves are just now starting to turn a bit... thanks to all the rain my sheep & other grass eaters (geese, ducks and hogs) are still getting to enjoy some pasture. I am hoping for some snow this year too!! 
I've filled my days with spinning, dyeing and washing fiber along with all the livestock care lately... my sewing room could be worked in but I've been totally focused on fiber... planning to get in there soon.. I have a couple of machines to sell as well as other stuff I need to go through... And some great ideals for my embroidery machine..with alot of cloths I really want to refashion from thrift stores... I miss using that machine! And its almost time to start thinking about Christmas presents.. when you make presents you have to think about it very early! Also take note out there for those of you who are my customers I will be having an early sale and gift sets available :-) with introductory prices on Sheep milk sets. yay! starting soon!

Here is an adorable pic of our rock star LGD Annabelles puppies! 2 boys 2 girls! Only one left!!
I should mention we are greedily keeping 2 for us! Good lgds don't come around often.. esp, ones that have 2 parents good with poultry!
Meanwhile all the piglets have been sold and a waiting list has been started for our next litter!
 With all thats been going on we are trying to make more of an effort to get out and have fun more often... homesteading and running a home based business is  very hard and stressful at times... rewarding but hard..
There are NO vacations....So getting out for a day trip or evening is stress relief in a way...which to us could mean fiber farm visits... eating at one of the few restaurants we like (theres like 3... its hard to eat out when you grow most all your food... esp, meats!)
Or going to a comedy club... which is why I"m all 'gussied up' in the pic... wrapped in a handspun shawl spun and knitted by my mom :-)
I like the look of our land behind me... you can kinda see one of the Bald Mans ponds on the left...

Need to get back to the wheel... and check on my husband. He's tanning 3 hides today! His first hide has turned out awesome! I need to stock up on leather needles ... cause it looks like I may have home grown leather to work with in the future... makes me really happy!!! Not only because I like leather, but because its all part of that 'use as much of the animal as possible' we like to do here.
Nothing goes to waste...

Have a Blessed Weekend!