Well, some new updates for our farm. A month ago, we added to new members to our flock. A big, muscle boy from Triple L Finns in Washington State. We named him Dexter and he is brown. This boy is going to be wonderful. He came to us about the same size as our lambs but has now doubled in size. I am very excited to add him to our breeding this fall for Spring lambs. He is an out cross to all our ewes we currently have for breeding.
We also got from Leanne at Triple L Finns, an adorable ewe lamb that we named, Bella. She is a grey and will carry that wonderful non-fading grey gene. Her fleece is amazing. So, soft, crimpy, and shiny. Unfortunately, last week, she was taken from us by a coyote. It was completely heart breaking. I have had no trouble with coyotes until now. I was a mess for a while and have tried to move on and we have been locking up the rest of the ewes until we figure this out.
RIP Bella, you were a wonderful girl with loads of potential!
So, with a heavy heart we picked a ewe that was destined to leave the farm to stay back. We are hoping for our top 10 ewes and 2 rams for keeping through the winter and breeding for Spring. Here is a picture of the current ewes after a storm. All the lambs are gone and we are ready for a new season to begin.
ewes (9 finns, 1 hair, 1 tunis)
This tragedy is now pushing us toward a new investment, a guardian animal for the sheep. We talked with many sheep people and finally last night decided on a Llama. I made a number of calls today and found a farm with 40 registered llamas about 35 minutes away. This gentleman has placed llamas with a number of friends of mine to guard their sheep and his animals are great. So, we went and picked out a female today, named Tango. She is 10 years old, halter trained, been shown, hooves done, and handled a lot! So, she is friendly, walked right up to Paul and loved the attention. We will make the arrangements soon to get her here and start getting her acquainted with the sheep. I was looking for a cheap llama just to guard the sheep and came to realize that my sheep are worth a lot to me...so how much do you spend to protect them? A very personal decision. I also needed to take into account that I will be sending my dogs out to work the sheep and want to be able to remove the llama so it won't attack my dogs. Bill, the owner of the llamas also stands behind every animal, so if she gets here and doesn't do her job, he will take her back and find one that will. A wonderful guarantee.
Then, after checking out the llamas, we headed out to the west side of Williamston to look at some runner ducks. I met a gentleman that had the grey colors (mallard) and a trout color. So, picked those up for a fantastic deal. Now, to decide which current ones leave to go and live with my friends. Yes, the friends homes are already set up and they will continue to be pets. But, we don't have to feed them all winter and I can keep a variety of colors and quality. I set up a smaller pen in the stall with the other ducks and they can learn to live with each other without actually being able to touch. Then, when they are attached to my current ducks, we can let them out to be free-ranging and enjoy to paradise our ducks have here! Pictures when they leave the stall - it's too dark.
Continued another day......