Friday, September 14, 2012

Good Fall Morning! 

It's beautiful outside and a balmy 50 degrees this morning.  Is Fall upon us, I think not!  It will still reach 80 today but all is going well.  Yesterday, I shearing one of the ramlings that is still living here.  He is 1/2 Finn and has a nice, crimpy fleece, so I figured I would keep the wool and add to the collection.  He was still accepted back to the boys without much hassle.  

We also took out turkeys and extra ducks in for processing so the barnyard is quieter with just the permanent residents here in the bird yard.  The 34 lb Tom will be helpful at our family Thanksgiving dinner.  I never like dropping them off but the good life they had up til the end was very close to bird retirement. 

We had three fall lambs born and it was our first 'out of season' lambing.  Very easy and so nice to not worry about babies freezing.  They are very cute and just started the lamb races.  I don't think anyone else is expecting but we will see.  It wasn't a planned lambing but I allowed the ram in for a month in the Spring to see how quickly they would re breed. 

These lambs are available for new homes in early November, or they will just hang out till Spring with the rest of the flock!
I also got a new camera for the upcoming Spring lamb that will be human!  My husband and I are expecting Dec. 2 and we thought it would be a good idea to have a nice camera to preserve the moments!  So, these lambs are the beginnings of me trying to learn all the settings.  I'm loving the colors!

Our ducks are doing well, all the boys grew up and are looking good.  I have 6 hens and 2 drakes that I will be breeding in the Spring for ducklings.  I have been selecting the best of the stock all summer to pick the final group. 

We also added some new poultry to our breeding program, silkie chickens!  They are adorable and hilarious!  Can't wait for Spring to hatch little baby silkies!

The horses are doing well and fattened up on lots of pasture.  We went riding a couple times on the trails this summer and they did so well! 



Dog Agility classes are going really well and 10 of my students are heading to their first trial next weekend!  So fun and so proud of all of them!!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

New Additions to the Farm

Hello All,

My time has been busy and I have posted very little this Spring however, I have some new additions to the Borderhauss Farm.  I will post pictures later but just don't have any good ones now..

We purchased 9 new runner duck babies to add to the flock and up our show quality.  I always try toward a 'show' look without compromising the conformation of the duck.  In other words...if they are straight up in the air and poop on their toes, like the standard says but it hinders them from making a smooth gait across the pasture, then we don't breed to further the problem.  I am working on more orange footed grey runners as that is a show standard but doesn't stop their ability to run and forage and act like the little crazy ducks they can be. 

My husband has increased his part of the animals by getting 6 quail.  3 bobwhites and 3 courtnix.  He is really enjoying them so much that they get petted, handled, and worked with daily.  Makes for much easier cage cleaning.  However, we can't have them free-range, so they have their own little quail hutch inside the duck stall. 

My husband also has brought home 3 micro-piggies.  And they are about 1 year old, they are about 15-20 lbs each.  Not potbelly pigs but the true micro/mini pig.  They are smart and tend to watch me a lot...I keep thinking they are plotting something.  But, they are funny and there is a stool in their pen where people sit and give them treats and teach them tricks and just 'hang out' with the piggies.  I can't wait till we get a nice big area for them outside!  (in the shade with lots of water, of course!)

I recently purchased 6 silkie chicks to play with and I think I'm attached after one day!  They are so funny looking and I think they will be a great addition to the farm! 

Pictures soon to follow!!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Well, all the sheep are sheared, wool is posted on ebay.  Some of it is great and some of it is fantastic!  The best ones, I have put coats on for next season to keep them from fading in the sun and getting vm in there. 

One of the biggest surprises was Heidi.  She was a little ewe that I sold last year and her companion goat got killed by the neighbors dog and her owner feared for her life, so she sent her back to live here and I'm very happy.  She was a fading black when she left and is now a gorgeous grey. 

Based on this photo, you would never think her wool was worth anything.  No offense, Heidi.  Turns out, she was brushed and she got the "stuck her hoof in a light socket" look.  But, part the wool to the skin and you get:

She is a little looser in the crimp than I'd like but, that might improve with a little care this season.  So, a few days ago, she got her new haircut and looks great!

Well, I like how they look after shearing.  Maybe it's because it's such a huge accomplishment for me to do the work.  She wasn't about to give a look at me due to the green grass coming in and she's been in isolation for a month.  (she came back neg for OPP, CL, and Johnes) soon she'll be a sheep again.   I decided to put her in a blanket and she how she does.
Well, now I got a look.  A look of embarrassment.  LOL!!  But, her wool turned out looking like this

So, needless to say, I've got too many projects going so this, along with the other fleeces are for sale on ebay.

Monday, March 12, 2012



It's finally that time of year!  All the lambs are done from the first round...10 moms, 21 lambs on the ground.  We lost a few along the way this year and that was sad.  The ones that are left are fantastic.  The wool on these babies is amazing with my two rams that I purchased out of Stillmeadow in N.Y. and Triple L in W.A.  It was $$ and hard to choose via internet but with their help, I am extremely pleased.  Our fecal was negative right in the middle of lambing and that was a big relief, so with the mild winter, lets hope we can keep that up.  By checking each ewe carefully and only treating for exactly what they carry, we have made huge strides in parasite control. 

The lambs were very big and healthy this year, avg weight was about 8 lbs with some 9 and 9.5 lb finns born in pleased.  Now they are doubled in weight at 3 weeks old so, I'm looking forward to big lambs going home in middle April.   I have been trying so hard to select for size along with the other traits and it's starting to pay off. Mom's are incredibly milky this year and besides 1 or 2 bottles on the second and third days..we are using no supplements.  I did increase the corn/grain feeding during pregnancy and that helped I'm sure. 

I am choosing two ewe lambs to retain and will be looking to get a few outcross ewes for next season.  This also means, I have the hard decision of letting a few of my current ewes go. 

We will also be adding some more fence so we can rotate pastures with the horses this summer.  Paul is getting the acre by the house ready to plant corn as we are going to try and grow our own feed this year.  We will also be trying blankets all around for fleece quality.  I tested one and wish I had done more. 

It's going to be a wonderful summer....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Parasite Control....

As I was watching the lambs play 'chase' and 'tag' and practice their Saturday Night Fever moves, I was listening to a message from my vet.  She had come out to check on the moms and do a fecal check.  Last Spring, like a lot of farms, we had a big parasite problem due to the wet conditions.  So, with help from her and a little extra prevention from us, we had a parasite free fecal check!  Woo hoo!!!  Anyone that has livestock knows how hard it is to gain control on those little pests.  Of course, you really can't be completely free, there were a small number of strongyls but, nothing to treat at this time....not a significant number. 

I am very excited as we worked very hard and diligently to keep the barn and pastures clean, rotate pastures/livestock, and control and treat only as needed.  So, this is definitely helping us and a supporting reason why the ewes look so good! 

I'm pretty sure we will have more lambs tonight as I keep a watchful eye on my ladies. 

We have a cow....

Yesterday evening, we had another set of triplets born to Betty.  They are cute but unfortunately one was stillborn so the remaining two are doing great.  So far all the lambs are healthy and big and we have had to keep ourselves away...which is hard for me!  I love to be right in there and helping but I know it's better for the babies.  Looks like more to come today as another couple mom's are off their feed.  I will keep posting as they arrive!  Check the lambs tab at the top for a total lamb count. 

Monday, February 27, 2012


This morning I went to check on the sheep before work at about 4am and found the lovely Kaarina and her up, dry, and nursing triplets.  Very cute little badger ram lambs and an adorable white ewe lamb.  Kaarina is now at a 266% lambing and all litters with no supplemental milk or help during lambing.  She is a wonderful ewe, thanks Tiffany for selling her to me. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lambing Kick-Off! Jan won the 2012 coin toss!


Late Friday night, Jan lambed her two adorable babies.  We went to check on her and she was moving around the stall cooing for her lambs, but no lambs.  She had the water bag hanging pretty low but no baby.  So Paul caught her and I took a peak..sure enough, two feet and head.  Proper presentation, so we let her go and stepped out of the stall.  I'd rather not interfere unless absolutely necessary.  She continued walking around the stall calling to her lamb but not pushing or contracting.  She finally laid down and gave one big push...nothing.  A little bit of foot and then she was up again. 

We watched her do this for a while and then we decided to check again and see how big that baby was going to be.  I got my hand around it, barely, big baby.  With a couple contractions, she was able to expel this beautiful baby.  A ewe lamb, very dark brown and cute little blaze on her face.  She immediately began shaking and moving...a great sign.  Jan took right to her, cleaning and talking to, and then I figured I check for a second lamb...yup, another one, this one bigger.  So, I gathered up the feet and head and slowly worked him out.
Ewe lamb is dark brown 9 lbs 
ram lamb is lighter brown with white socks 9.5 lbs.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Aliens in my ewe!!

Another day lamb free....

but, this doesn't mean I am not having sheep fun!  After work last night, miss Jan blew her plug.  LOL, her mucous plug.  I won't show you pictures of that, don't worry.  Anyway, should be within 24 hours (about) that she will begin our lambing season...finally.  :)

In the meantime, I caught some great video of the aliens in their stomachs!

After that fun and weirdness....

I started working on Izzy's fleece.  It started here:
Izzy born last March an adorable little grey badgerface.

She then turned into...
A grown up...

She then went to....
 No No No, that's her FLEECE!!
(well, one of them is her fleece)

which I then pulled out and skirted and picked through.

And then washed...beautiful, soft, full of crimp and luster. 
 This will be my first 'from sheep to finish'
Check back in a year or so.....

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Get outta my belly! And some other stuff..

Lamb Update:  No lambs....I am now convinced it will be a mass lambing and they will all go as soon as I get back into bed after my late night check.  Then, when I return to the barn, it will be baby chaos!  This is my view and what a stare at when I do my checks...yeah, it's hard not to look, I know.

Fleece Update:  all fleeces bagged and weighed.  Hmm...some nice soft and shinny wool in those bags.  My biggest surprise was Jan's, a tunis/texal cross.  She has a beautiful crimpy wool.  I have two photos, can you tell which one is the tunis/texal and which is the white finn?  In person, it's easy to tell because of color and texture but in the photo, not so much.

I'm amazed at the quality of Jan's.  (well, in all honesty, she could be a tunis/blue faced cross.  There was a little moment where she wasn't sure and we wanted to save her the embarrassment, you know how hard it is to be a young single mother without a baby daddy)

Duck Update:  Three bachelors left the brothel this morning so now our ratios of boy to girl are back to normal.  No more gang hen attacks.  1 boy, 8 girls.   Hmmm....he does seem to like his odds around the barnyard.  He did seem to be prancing around very proud today.  

New Birds:  Today, Tiffany, from Woodspryte Farm, brought our ram, Dexter, back.  She had borrowed him for a month and with him came, 40 quail eggs.  I will have to get back with her to get the details on the breed but we have them in the incubator...just put them in..and hopefully they hatch.  Secretly, I don't want all 40 but she wasn't sure with the weather and egg collection how many would make it through.   My friend asked me what we would do with all those eggs and I said, "not sure".  We have about 20 days to get a plan.  Any one want a quail??  I just said, I'm amazed loaning a ram could bring such a cool return! 

Dog Agility Update:  Taught many many lessons today and got some really good videos of the students.  I am hoping to put together another agility video of my newest agility crew.  They have been working so hard and are doing so well, I thought they deserved a tribute....

Oh, and Paul worked really hard today to get our washer and dryer installed in our bedroom walk-in cool!  That's where all washer and dryers should be, in the bedroom closet.  

Maybe lambs, tomorrow....

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's been so long since I've been on blogger that I found lots of new settings!! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ewe Tube: lamb updates

No new babies as of this morning, Friday. I do have milk production and even bigger udders. I am glad to be done with the long days at work and school and can now be here to check often. I have a great friend that stops by and gives me updates via text message during those long days. (she has great experience with new little lambs) and of course, my husband, checks for me when he is home. Everyone still eating and I'm sure they are planning a mass lambing.

We do have fleeces ready for purchase. I have 8 available at this time and they are gorgeous. I will be opening bags and doing some skirting this afternoon as the sun is out and there is no wind today. Please let me know if you are interested as they usually go fast. We have brown, black, grey, white, and piebald. I still have to shear the rams and one little grey ewe.  Below are two photos of our fleece before shearing.  One piebald badgerface and the other, black.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lamb Watch

10 pm: no lambs

3:30 am: no lambs

7:30 am: no lambs

1:30 pm: ?

Can't wait til I get off work.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Runner Ducks

Today, we got another egg.  I have some very young hens and 3 very old hens.  So, I'm not surprised the eggs have been absent.  I purchased some very nice grey/mallard Indian Runners last fall and they had just begun to lay when the winter came and we sold the others.  I have 3 older ducks that will always stay here regardless of color, production, or breeding quality.  As long as the number of 'forevers' doesn't increase, I think we can manage the feeding.  Ha!! 

On Sunday, I found three eggs, pretty much frozen but the dogs liked them anyway.  We got 1 egg on Monday and 1 egg today.  So, they're coming back as the daylight hours last longer.  We don't keep a light on them in the winter so, I rely on season for laying.  I need to thank my in-laws for supplying us with chicken eggs during the winter as their birds lay year round.

I love the duck eggs and we are planning out Spring hatching as I'm excited to offer grey colored runners and some trout as the trout (li/li) color is a light phase of grey.   (Grey is mallard in Indian runners)

This is our main breeding male grey runner and some of his ladies. The males carry most of the traditional colors we are used to seeing.  We will have babies and hatching eggs available in early Spring.  Contact us for more information.

PS: no lambs yet

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ewe Tube: pre-lambing

It's been a while since I've blogged and I'm trying to get it all up and going during lambing so everyone can enjoy the babies!  We have built the lambing stalls.  We took our 14x14 stalls and divided them.  So, I can keep prolific moms separate so they can bond with their babies and I can keep everyone straight.  I have listed their due dates in the photos and we'll see how well they play along.  If I didn't see them get bred, then it's listed as unknown and I'll just have to keep an eye on physical changes to watch for signs of lambing.  

Here is Maggie and Jan.  They are our two non-finn ewes and they have produces large lambs.  These ladies our here for a special reason and will stay forever, despite how our breeding program goes.  These girls can't remove their mouths and head from food long enough to see their faces but, this is the view I normally have anyway.  Maggie is mostly hair sheep so we don't shear or save her wool, so messy is fine for her.

This next group is our crazy group.  They are wonderful producers, have amazing fleece, but just are, well, CRAZY.  They all have huge milky udders and love their lambs but are flighty.  I really just try not to cause premature labor with them and keep entering the stall with food.  They like food. 

 This next group is the friendly stall.  They will let you pet, scratch, hug, feel babies move, and do just about anything with them.  They were well socialized with humans and so glad because it's hard not to be involved with lambing and pregnant moms right now!  They are also the first to lamb, I think, because you can tell they are getting uncomfortable.

Finally, last but not least is Beedle and Betty.  They are friendly on their terms, not mine.  I can sometimes pet them and feel for moving babies but not always.  They, too, hardly lift their heads from the hay. 
So, there are the "ladies in waiting".  I will try to keep photos and updates coming throughout lambing and yes, lambs will be available for sale.  All Finns are registered and are available with or without registration. Maggie's and Jan's babies are not for sale. 

There are three additional ewes to lamb in April.  They are last years lambs from me that are at a friend house.  I will be posting those lambs for her coming in warmer Spring!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Many months ago, we purchased a llama and her cria to come and live at our farm.  The intent was to get an adult that would protect our sheep fairly quickly and have a baby that could grow up with us and our sheep and eventually become a protector, too.  So, we purchased an adorable pair and they have been great.  The mamma llama is doing a great job at keeping watch over the pastures however, we have many fields and lots of coyotes. Besides wanting  more to make her job easier..we have fallen in love with these amazing creatures.  I have enjoyed learning and enjoying llamas.  So, we decided to go back for another pair.  I have included a link to a video of our first pair and I'm sure we'll add another one when we pick up our new farm members tomorrow!  I am very excited and glad we have the space and knowledge to accommodate these unique and intelligent animals.