Wednesday, December 19, 2007
I promised my 27 year old daughter that I would put a picture of her cat Rudy on the blog. Lisa and Rudy came to live with us for 6 months during the summer of 2006. Rudy is from the last litter of Persian/Himalayan cats that I bred. Back in the mid 90's, while still living in the city, I had a small breeding program of Himalayan cats focusing on the 'chocolate and lilac' colour gene which is still quite rare in this breed of cat. Chocolate (bbDD) and lilac (bbdd) are lighter in colour than the more common seal point(BBDD) and blue point(BBdd). The bb gene also has an effect on the coat colour of the Himalayans making it very clear and white compared to the seal point and blue point which often have a muddy colour to their coat. We would breed back into Persian lines to keep the type. Even with the cats, I was fascinated with recessive and modifed colours :-) Rudy is a very sweet, pleasant cat and I miss her living here (and Lisa, I miss you living here too!)
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Above is one of my favorite dog photos. I did not take this photo - it was taken at a show site on Vancouver Island. I have been rebuilding my Lhasa Apso website and came across this picture of Sassy at 6 months old. I think Sassy has a very expressive face! The bands are in her hair to keep her from chewing her head coat.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Tuesday was a very busy day. We had three Newfoundland dogs to comb out, trim, bath and blow dry. We had a veterinarian appointment scheduled in Williams Lake for the following day to have preliminary xrays done to check hips and elbows on the Newfies. We like to make sure all the dogs are clean and nice smelling when we visit our vet. Each dog takes about 2 hours to do.
Part way through our grooming marathon, we happened to looked out the window. In the barnyard we could see four scrawny legs standing behind Starlett the alpaca. Better go check this out. What a surprise we had - an alpaca baby! We were not expecting any December crias.
Friday, November 30, 2007
The Lhasa Puppies are now 1 month old. Although unsteady on their legs, they move around their play area and mouth the toys. They have just started on solid food. Micki, their mom, is still in with them for most of the day and all of the night.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
The boys are back in their bachelor field - all the breeding groups have been dismantled. The rams have all survived the 30 hour ordeal of close confinement in the stock trailer while they accustom themselves to the sight and smell of each other. The ewes are happy to be back in their winter paddock. The pecking order has been re-established and peace reigns at Milehaus Farm.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
This is a photo taken last Sunday morning from our front field. We heard a horrific crash. Dennis was first on scene of what turned out to be a fatal accident. The driver of the SUV in the ditch died at the scene. The purpose of this post - a reminder to all family, friends and fellow critter breeders to use extra caution when driving on winter roads.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
After a day without power and two days with no Internet connection, we are finally back to normal. A powerful wind storm hit the Pacific Northwest on Sunday and carried through to the Interior. Many of our trees came down, fortunately none hitting any of the out buildings. Our fence lines were not so lucky. Time for clean up. There is never time to get bored when owning a farm :-)
Saturday, November 10, 2007
On our "To Do" list next week is to gather all the 2007 lambs, who are now 5+ months old, for fleece evaluation. This year I am using the letter "B" to name the lambs that we will keep over the winter. I have lots of ram lambs names picked out that start with B, but I am having a difficult time thinking of suitable names for the ewe lambs. Too many years of having to think up names for puppies in a litter........This black and white HST ewe lamb deserves a fancy name, her claim to fame is she is related to the famous Shetland Dream. She will be staying here at Milehaus Farm this winter.
Friday, November 9, 2007
This is a picture of our 10 day old Lhasa Apso puppies. The black puppy is a female and the reds are two boys. The puppies have doubled in size since birth although it has been a litter that has required a lot of supplemental formula feeding around the clock. These 3 remaining puppies are now thriving and the mom is able to take care of them all on her own.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Here at Milehaus, we like to use a simple, inexpensive shelter for the animals. 100 Mile House is in the heart of log home building country so we are able to pick up log home slabs for free to use as siding. A friend of ours has a portable sawmill and is able to make 2x4's from our own trees. Poles are cut from the beetle killed pine trees on our farm. We use our old heavy duty hay tarp cut in to pieces to line the inside of the shelters to block out any wind. Next year we will buy green metal roofing for the top. This shelter also doubles as a catch pen as the paddock gate can swing in. This is one of the smaller shelters and is used for our male alpaca who shares a pen with two Shetland wethers.
In September, our son Dan came up to the farm for a few days to help Dennis with the framing of the 9' X 20' alpaca girls shelter.
We have just finished this larger shelter. The above picture is the inside of the new alpaca shelter. We left the rock there as it makes a good seat to sit on while visiting with the alpacas. We have built this shelter with two doorways as the alpacas do not like to feel closed in.
Friday, November 2, 2007
With our farm at an elevation of 4000 feet, winter comes early to the 100 Mile House area.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I am back on the farm after a week away in Vancouver. The weather was gorgeous with only one day of rain which is quite unusual in Vancouver at this time of year (I can say that after living on the coast for 40 years!). I spent the time visiting family and friends and attending the dog show at Tradex. This is the largest dog show in Canada and a fun one to attend. Although we did not have any of our dogs entered, as we had missed the deadline for entries, it was fun to visit the other breeders and watch the show. While I was in the Vancouver area at the dog show, our Lhasa Apso puppy Sienna was with Arlene at the American Lhasa Apso Show in Houston Texas. Sienna won her class so we are proud of her. It is nice to take a break from the farm every once in a while but it is good to be home again.......
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I was asked about our llamas. We have 3 female llamas here at Milehaus Farm. Stardust is pictured above with her May 2007 cria 'Sterling'. This year we had one llama cria born at our farm.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
This is Fibre Works Impetuous. His sire is Todhill Hornblower - one of the UK rams used for the Canadian AI procedure last year. Much appreciation and thanks go to Kathy B, Linda W and Bill S for all their work and expense involved in making these genetics available to Canadian Shetland breeders. Impetuous is our main ram here this year at Milehaus Farm with 14 ewes in with him. Below is a picture of his fleece - his fleece feels very similar to the fleece from our alpacas.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
These are some of our 2007 lambs enjoying a meal. From the height of the divots in this bale, you can tell that the alpacas and llamas have been the first to access this bale. This 4 acre treed paddock has been divided into 2 sections - one side for the camelids and one for the Shetland sheep. They will spend the winter in this area as our fields are finished now for the year. We feed hay 9 months of the year.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Here is Whistlestop 0531"Willie" (a Drum Ram son) with Whistlestop 0221 "Daisy" (a Keir Gordon daughter). Thank you Franna for your willingness to go through all the hoops required to export these UK sired sheep to us in Canada! Also in this importation from WA was Whistlestop Daphne (another Keir Gordon daughter), EverRanch Mary (an Island Skeld granddaughter) and EverRanch Sorsha (a SheltrgPines Octavian daughter). Willie has 3 lovely ladies in with him for breeding this fall.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
We seemed to go directly from summer to winter this year. The above picture was taken in late September. Our farm is at an elevation of just under 4000 feet but this snow is at least 6 weeks early.
Today the weather is back to normal - a lovely 15C (60F). A good day for a swim in the back pond........if you are a Newf.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Each year we like to breed for a few spotted lambs such as the above 2007 ewe lamb. We enjoy taking the Shetlands to exhibit at local farm fairs and the spotties are always a big hit. This year three ewes carrying the spotted factor are being bred to WillowGarden Rex Harrison.
ps) There appears to be a glitch on our computer that won't allow us to respond to any comments but we are working on trying to figure it out.
Monday, October 8, 2007
Since I was feeling sorry for myself all weekend that I was not down in Vancouver at the dog show plus we are missing the family Thanksgiving Dinner in Vancouver tonight, Dennis decided to cheer me up with "lets put the Shetland breeding groups together!". Now I was smiling again.
We spent 7 hours yesterday catching, penning, evaluating, vetting and moving in to 5 different fields, paddocks or pens the ewes and rams. I can spend 6 months planning and replanning and putting down on paper which ewe goes to which ram for which reason only to chance my mind at the very last minute who goes where. But it is done.......4 Shetland groups and 1 Shetland/Gotland/Finn cross group. Oh, I almost forgot, one NCC ram in with 3 of my largest Shetland ewes. I was so impressed with Theresa G's NC Cheviot crosses that I had to try it here. That actually makes 6 different groups. No wonder we are tired today..........
Above is a photo taken at he beginning of August of Fibre Works Hebrides - a gorgeous coloured, crimpy, fine fleeced mioget ram who has 5 lovely ewes in with him this fall. I just love the mioget colour!
Over the next few days, I will share some of the other rams in the other groups.
Saturday, October 6, 2007
This weekend we had planned to be at the Fraser Valley Dog Show near Vancouver BC. For various reasons we are still here at the farm 300 miles away from Vancouver. We had planned to show our Lhasa Apso puppy 'Sienna' and our 16 month old Landseer Newfoundland 'Lacey'. I have just picked up a phone message from our friend and co-breeder who has Sienna at the show - Sienna took the points today. Pretty good for a 7 month old puppy at her first show (shameless brag)! Here is Sienna at three months old practising to be a 'show dog' and above is a picture of her with her brother visiting at the nursing home.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
We have kept Shetland sheep for the past 4 years. We have heard stories of the aggressive behaviour of rams towards one another for the few months during breeding season. We have been very fortunate never to have experienced a serious injury or death of any of our rams during this time of year. Today our luck ran out. This afternoon, while walking with the Newfies past the bachelor field, we found our 18 month old emsket ram laying on his side in the field. We had fed the boys earlier that morning and all was well with the 6 mature rams but we have noticed that they have been banging heads for the past 2 weeks. Unfortunately this is part of life on a farm..............
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Our hay arrived at 7:30 am on a cold and rainy day last week. These are 1800 pound bales of 70% orchard grass and 30% alfalfa from Central Alberta. We will be sharing some of this truck load of hay with our neighbors. This is the 3rd year of feeding with the large rounds but it does play havoc with the neck fleece on the sheep. We use 6 sections of cattle panels wired together to wrap the bale of hay and the Shetland ewes and alpacas pull the hay through the squares of the panels to eat. It is always a relief once the hay has arrived knowing that the animals have their winter feed.