Hoping to remedy the dial up situation by year-end...It's killing me! Every time I start a blog, by the time I finish it it's totally outdated lol. I miss you all! :) If I ramble a bit, I appologize, but I worked last night even though it was my night off, covered for a friend. So I am a little sleep deprived :D
So, what's new? Lets see here...For non-farm life....Adam and I both turned a year older...yipee...lol. The 20ths of June & August :) My beautiful god daughter turned a year old in July, and my awesome niece turns to a teen in a couple days. Gonna be pulling my hair out between those two within the next couple years...the older because of boys, the younger because of toddlering...lol. It's been nearly a year that we've been married now, and we've had our ups and downs, but we're nearly over the first hurdle! :) I've got something awesome planned...but shhh don't tell him! We're still working on selling the house, going to finish moving everything to our storage locker this week.
And the biggest thing I'm sure a few people will notice in a few days: We're not attending the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI this year. Between needing to clean the house, clean up my mom's place, and various other things and expenses that have come up, we're just not able to go this year. But that's okay, because next year we'll be back in the show ring!
We're changing the flock around a bit, downsizing the Shetlands, keeping back more meat crosses & purchasing a few more Romeldales. Ideally I'd like my Romeldale flock around 10 animals, hopefully a representation of every color available eventually, though I think it'll be a while before I'm able to get my hands on a Swiss marked. I love my Shetlands, but there's not much of a market for registered stock up here, and while I'm trying to improve my flock every year, it isn't going as fast as I'd like, though there are a few REALLY nice lambs out there right now, I'll try to get photos up soon. Bedegraynes daughter and granddaughter espically. I do have a young ram I kept back from last year I may use this fall, who's pretty darn nice. The toughest part is cutting some of the ewes that have made the difference, to let them be replaced by either their own progeny or someone elses. Some I can't cut, and will be kept on as crossers, like Bejig, and some who I'll probably cross this year, but next year if I get a better ram, will breed pure, like Rhiannon.
We're hoping to get a website up in the next year or so, so be on the lookout for that! I'd love to have all of my animals profiled on there, along with their stats for microning, lambing, etc. We're also hoping to start testing for Johnes, CAE, etc., as soon as money permits.
And while most animals choose to produce in the spring, it seems the fowl on this farm think that summer into fall is better. We have chicks popping out all over the place. I'm sure this year it at least has SOMETHING to do with the flood....OH THE FLOOD! Okay, I'll come back to that...So I have three abandoned chicks in the house. Twinkletoes was the first. I found Twinkie all by herself (hopefully) in the barn. Her momma was a first time momma, and didn't understand that you have to wait for newbie chicks to catch up. So she was cold, and I took her and warmed her up. But then, oops! She thought I was her mommy. She still runs into my hand every time I open the cage, too cute :) Next were Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum...Unfortunately Tweedle Dum didn't make it, and Deedee is really touch and go right now, they got very chilled through at least one night before we found them abandoned. And now Wookie has joined us. Wookie is the fuzziest non-silkie chick I've ever had! Total puffball. Wookie was hatched under a guinea where a hen accidently laid her egg, and so we grabbed her quick before the guinea left the rest of her guinea eggs to go off with one little mutt chicken and ruin all those eggs. They're precious :)
Okay the flood. That was Mother Natures birthday present to me...lol. But I also believe everything happens for a reason, and let me tell you, while the rest of this nation was having severe droughts, we were still okay because of all that rain. Our rain gauge overflowed within the first 12 hours...and by the end of 24 we were under 10 inches of water. Luckily our poor sump pump was working over time and only kicked itself out once, so we only suffered 3 inches of water in the basement. While we're in the Nemadji Flood Plain or whatever it's called, we're much higher than Barnum or Moose Lake are, and they got hit HARD. They had to recover people from the assisted living home there by front end loader out of windows. Lous weren't sure they'd ever open again, but with LOTS of donations, I was able to have breakfast there this morning :) They opened just in time for the fair. There are still a lot of people working to fix up their homes after the disaster. And FEMA is denying assistance...I'm sorry, but let me step up on my soap box for a second. People build homes where hurricanes, or at least tropical storms, happen YEARLY, if not more than once a year, and they get assistance? But when Duluth, MN and the surrounding area FLOODS, they deny it? People were KAYAKING by the mall in Hermantown. ON A HILL. /steps off soapbox.
Okay, on to more farm news. The baby alpaca is ready for a new home! As are MANY lambs, chicks, muscovy ducklings, young call duck pairs and other critters. We have farm kittens available as mousers as well. We are selling off most of the miniature horses as well, cutting down and refocusing everything it seems! We also have purebred Holland Lops available at this time, and hopefully will have Flemish available in the next couple months.
For cattle, we will be keeping back several of the young heifers for a couple years down the road because they're black carriers and we will be slowly switching over to black angus as it pays a bit better :)