Monday, September 24, 2012

Ram Updates

We have succeeded finally in decreasing our ram flock and making life easy on ourselves.  Not that having 6 rams was a problem but it had potential to be one.  Seems to me the more rams you have the more potential problems you have.  Don't get me wrong, I love our boys.  We have been blessed with some sweet personalities and for the last few years they have all gotten along.  Except for a "break out" during breeding season about 4 years ago it has been peaceful over in the ram paddock.  But having 6 rams to breed 3-5 ewes seemed like overkill.  We were very fortunate to find great homes for the ones we wanted to sell; they deserved it.  So yes, now down to four.

I thought it was time to get some updated pictures of them so here is my attempt.  Attempt, I say as they did not cooperate.  Somehow the camera to them meant "come".  So you see I had challenges and you can see why I didn't get any great side shots.  Also you can see that I don't have a nice, green grassy backdrop.  We are still waiting for rain here in Oregon.  Dry as a bone.


McTavish Jasper
Jasper is the oldest of the bunch and he is in charge although he is a very mellow leader.  At six he is still soft as ever and a real gentleman.


McTavish Schroeder
 Schroeder is the ham of the group.  I could not get a good picture of him because he wanted to be right next to me, wanting pets, wagging his tail.  He is a 2 year old and I think his fleece is finally developed into what it will be.  He seems to get his fine, dual coat type fleece from his dad McMeadow Rowan   (micron count of 23 with the undercoat peaking at about 18!) and his lovely steel grey color for his mom (McTavish Shawn who inherited a super silky fleece from Mtn Niche Aberdeen, her dad). 
McTavish Schroeder




















McTavish Stetson

Next one in line is Stetson.  He is a well behaved yearling with great structure, also a real sweetie.  He has a more primitive type fleece but the outer coat seems very soft so I think the coat is over all more even in fiber diameter.  He is black down deep but, as his mom is a moorit, he should produce some brown babes as well.  Oh and his sister, Miso, won Reserve Champion at the Black Sheep Gathering this year.   Stetson might have done better if he didn't have such a poor hair stylist (ok we had a few problems : )  )

McMeadow Dover
Dover

Meet Dover the youngster of the bunch.  Just a lamb but a beauty.  His fleece is fine, hence the vegi matter that sticks to it! He is a gulmoget out of a line of them from Sheep Ridge.  We hope to breed him this year and have just the gal.  Hope for some little gullies this year at McTavish Farm. 


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Apples Not Oranges



 
Seems like every summer season there are lots of something and not so much of other things.  This year is no different.  Haven't had but a handful of tomatoes and peppers seem scarce.  Not even very many beans.  But there are lots and lots of apples.  All our old and young trees alike are loaded with them.  I did my best to thin, but seems I didn't do enough (it is so hard kill those little baby apples!). And I hate to see them go to waste.   So far I have canned about 24 quarts of applesauce and have dried up several containers of them as well.  Not sure what I will do with it all but at least I feel good about not wasting all those apples. 

The sheep are very happy about all the apples.  Apples are like candy to sheep.  They all have special ways of eating them too.  Some find it preferable to smash them first with their heads, I guess so they are easier to eat ( makes for a nice, sticky hairdo too). Others run around and take one bite off of each one I throw out, that way no one else will want them (who want sheep germs!) and they get to have them all (my little piggy sheep).  Yes the sheep will be sad when the apples are all gone.

Grapes are ripening, great for juice!


Hops are drying up and ready for harvest

morning sunrise with rare clouds