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...
Chasing Down Sheep

Chasing Down Sheep

We got word that one of the range flocks was going to be moving their sheep through town down from the mountains off to the winter pastures. We rushed off in search of the sheep.We found them, passed through the flock and rushed to get in front so Bob could take some...
Sofia our new Guard Dog Puppy

Sofia our new Guard Dog Puppy

It’s time for us to get another guard dog puppy. We need to have dogs coming up all the time to be sure we have enough dogs to guard our sheep. This time we’ve selected a Karakachan puppy. We are eagerly waiting for Hopping Acres Sofia to...
Making Sausage

Making Sausage

Bob and Carolyn are showing us how to make a special boorvoorst sausage. We are using a mix of our mutton, our beef and pork from a neighbor’s pig. The recipe also used cider vinegar made from our apples. Here they are just before we start. The spices are...
All About Mutton Coming to Paonia

All About Mutton Coming to Paonia

This year for Garvin Mesa Celebrate! Day we will be hosting Bob Kennard for a book signing. Bob is the author of “Much Ado About Mutton” a wonderful book on the history of mutton as a premium meat. We will also be serving smoked mutton taste samples. Come...

Farm Shop Update

Most folks do a spring cleaning but we’ve added so many products and sold out of others that I decided to completely re-organize our farm shop. I think it came out very well. I’m adding in many of the new items to the on-line store. We’ve now...

Yard Sale

We’re cleaning out a bunch of stuff so I’ve decided to give away and sell some of it. Nothing will be shipped, you must be able to come pick stuff up at our farm in Paonia on Garvin Mesa. Some things are gone.  I’ll be adding more later. Free Stuff...
Chicken Butcher Day

Chicken Butcher Day

This past Saturday was chicken butcher day. We rent a trailer and hire additional help to process all of our birds. It went very well. After scalding the chickens are plucked. Then into the inside for gutting and chilling and finally packaging. We were a host farm for...
New Chicken Feeders

New Chicken Feeders

We’ve been looking for a way to put food and oyster shell in for the chickens in the chicken tractor. Our existing standard round feeders don’t work well and dishes waste a lot of feed as the chickens scratch it out. I looked at a number of on-line DIY PVC...