So How Do I Ship Sheep Anyway?

So you’re buying sheep from across the country. What’s involved from the time you agree to purchase sheep until your new sheep arrive at your farm? Well the rules vary a lot but here are the basic things you will need to deal with. Paperwork Every...

What are those Clusters Anyway?

Black Welsh Mountain sheep in North America are highly inbred. Our founding population was very small so we do not have much variation from which to select. In the USDA’s National Animal Germplasm Program performed a cluster analysis study on the population. This...

Art and Ag Tour 2018

We’re getting excited for the first Art and Ag tour in the North Fork Valley next weekend. This event showcases our many artist studios and galleries and also our wonderful agricultural products. Here at our farm the community is invited to help weave a special...

Ram Evaluations Done!

One of the tasks every year is to evaluate all the sheep and decide who we are keeping vs who is for sale or will go to slaughter. We try to provide top quality sheep as breeding stock and that only happens because we cull heavily. Today was the evaluations on the...

98 Degrees < 10% Humidity What to Cook?

It’s hot, hot, hot! No rain and our temperatures are soaring with the humidity low. I sure don’t want to cook anything and heat up the house but we have severe fire restrictions and no open flames are allowed so outdoor BBQ isn’t an option. Luckily I...

Hay Arriving

Our first batch of hay for the season has arrived. We were expecting to get about 7 tons but the cutting was small so we only got 3.5 tons. At least it’s in the barn now and safe for winter feeding for the sheep.
Wide Load 2

Wide Load 2

One of the Wide Load sheep still hasn’t lambed yet. We are both anxiously waiting. I am sure she will be more comfortable once those lambs are outside!
Wide Loads

Wide Loads

Our expected start of lambing is 22 April. Normally by now we are out on pasture but the grass hasn’t grown enough yet so I’m holding the sheep in on hay for longer. These 2 sisters are some of our top producing sheep with great EBVs. They and their other...

Ram Semen Collection

Behind as per usual in posting here. We spent a week in October working with the USDA NAGP to collect and freeze semen from our rams. Some will be used later this year in our flock as part of their experiment in fine tuning the timing for insemination of synchronized...
Sorting Sheep

Sorting Sheep

Just finished the ewe evaluations for the fall. I’ve updated the sales list to show the dozen yearling we are offering as breeding stock. We are keeping 52 breeding ewes and these yearlings are some great breeding sheep. They are all double registered in the US...
RIP John Ellenby

RIP John Ellenby

We have heard that our good friend, John Ellenby has passed on. One of the companies he founded was Agilis. This picture has been on our wall for years. And in the archives of old hardware we have these, a Compass and a GRiDPad. Here is a good article about John and...
Getting ready for Winter

Getting ready for Winter

We’ve been scraping manure out of the winter feeding corrals and rebuilding them. We hadn’t done a full teardown and rebuild in several years so it was time. Everything is now up and ready for...
Lambing Lull

Lambing Lull

We are now officially in the lambing lull, that break between when the AI lambs and lambs from the AI backup rams are due and the lambs sired by the secondary rams are due. It’s been a busy and somewhat difficult lambing so far. Our AI experiment was a rousing...
Ewes out on Pasture

Ewes out on Pasture

We got the ewes out onto one of the pastures. There isn’t much grass but we need them to start moving so they are in good shape for lambing. They sure like to go out and find the tasty bits. They are moving in and out a lot and that will help with their...
Tree Protection

Tree Protection

The rams spend a lot of time in the front pear orchard pasture. Unfortunately they get bored and tend to bash the trees. So we finally got them protected by some welded wire fencing. I hope that will keep the trees...
Front Yard Elk

Front Yard Elk

End of March and a large 50+ elk herd moved through the front yard. I think this is the latest we’ve ever seen the elk...
Removing Old Fences

Removing Old Fences

Then we started removing the old fences around the Apple Cellar. We are planning to remove it this spring. Got it all down, just in time. Snowing...
Lands End Sculpture Center

Lands End Sculpture Center

There is a wonderful bronze foundry in our town and today we got a tour. Moving the crucible with hot metal ready to pour into the molds. The Molds are pre-heated so they won’t crack. They are placed ready to be filled. The molten metal is poured into the molds...
Sheep Handling System

Sheep Handling System

We’re planning on reconfiguring the sheep sweep handling system when we put it under the other side of the hay barn. But to be sure it will fit and see how the sheep work through it we decided to get it moved up to the main hay barn area before shearing. Here it...
Wider than they are tall!

Wider than they are tall!

Pregnant Ewe The ewes aren’t due to lamb until the last week in April. However, they are really round now. I always tell people that our sheep are wider than they are tall when they are heavily pregnant but most folks don’t believe me. So here is the...
Hay Barn Re-Configuration

Hay Barn Re-Configuration

Now that we’ve made the transition to large square hay bales we no longer need the backstop that the old hay stack wagon used to push the small bales up against. We’ve decided to take it down and see if we can move the sheep handling system under the hay...
Even more Snow

Even more Snow

Even more snow. Ken has to plow every day just to keep a path open. This is the gate into the ram pen. We’ll have to shovel it out again to get hay in. Even the yearling ewes are not going out into their corral much at all. Garvin Mesa Road was completely...
More Snow!

More Snow!

This has been one of the snowiest winters in a long time. The aisle way under the hay barn and the ram pens are totally filled with snow. It’s almost up to the eaves in back of the garage. And the red barn is nearly buried...
Mutton Dinner

Mutton Dinner

We had some good friends over so I made a special mutton leg roast for dinner. No spices necessary, just cooked properly. It came out wonderful and we had a good...
Not a Good Start to the Year!

Not a Good Start to the Year!

Winnie got injured. Emergency vet call to come out and stitch her back up. She crawled through the water tank to get to the other pen of sheep. Something was in there. She got caught on an exposed piece of welded wire and ripped her side...
End of the Year, Sofia is Growing

End of the Year, Sofia is Growing

Last day of 2015. Sofia goes out with us to feed every morning. Here she is learning how to sit quietly and guarding the hay. She also loves the rams. There is one that comes up to her to have his face licked every morning and...
The Elk are Down

The Elk are Down

The deep snow up high has brought the elk back down to the valley. This big bull is eating the old hay we spread as mulch last fall. Meanwhile, Ken is trying to clear out enough snow from the aisle way so we can get in to feed the ram...
White Christmas

White Christmas

Well we don’t have to worry about having a white Christmas! So much snow we probably couldn’t get out even if we wanted to. Solar panels are covered and not producing...
More Snow

More Snow

The snow is now deep enough to block the sheep pens. We’ll have to get it plowed out to feed the...
Lots of Snow

Lots of Snow

Well winter is here, we’re getting a lot of snow. The gate where we come in is getting blocked. Ewes are not happy. Snow even under the hay barn...
Sofia is Growing Up

Sofia is Growing Up

Sofia is growing fast. She is going out with the ewes under supervision and doing well. We are really pleased, she has the best instincts at a younger age than any guardian dog we have ever...
Sheep AI Work

Sheep AI Work

We are again doing research with the USDA National Animal Germplasm Program. This year we are collecting blood samples as well as other data on the ewes to evaluate their ovulation status. The experiment calls for blood collections every hour so we have a lot to do....
Irrigation System Trout

Irrigation System Trout

Every year we have to take the irrigation pipes apart before winter sets in. They are drained out so they won’t freeze and crack. This year Ken caught a small trout that was in the pipes. He brought him down to the big pond. We’ve rescued several trout...
Hunting Season

Hunting Season

Ken got a deer tag this year and today he got a nice buck out back in the cedars. We gave the buck the nickname Trevor. It’s a rather long story but started after Bob and Carolyn shared with us the Australian poet Bill Kearns and his poem Entrapment. You can...
Sofia Meets the Other Dogs

Sofia Meets the Other Dogs

Sofia has arrived and is settling in. She is small enough to get out of every pen and can crawl through the welded wire panels. She is so excited that we are concerned she will run the regnant sheep a bit too much so we are keeping her separate from but adjacent to...
Garvin Mesa Day

Garvin Mesa Day

It’s finally here, we are ready for Garvin Mesa’s Celebrate! event. Come out and get your own personally signed copy of Bob’s book, “Much Ado About Mutton”.
Bluetooth

Bluetooth

Cleaning up before Garvin Mesa Day. Who says backhoes can’t have high technology? Here’s our version of Bluetooth....
More Sheep Moves

More Sheep Moves

While Bob and Carolyn were here we arranged for a visit to Joe Sperry’s flock of Polypay sheep and watch them being loaded onto the truck to come down out of the mountain. Joe has a lovely flock of sheep. He moves them to his ranch in Delta using big trucks...