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.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Welcome to our sheep, alpaca and dog blog. Many of our city friends have asked us what we do to keep busy on our farm.........and if we ever get bored living WAY out in the country........We have created this blog to share what country life at Milehaus Farm is all about. We are two fifty-something, retired city folk who found our way to a 20 acre farm in the small town of 100 Mile House BC.