Friday, February 27, 2009

Babydoll Southdown Sheep


4/21/09 Update: This is not a purebred Babydoll Southdown. Read the comments on this post to learn more about them.
Today's photo is of our Babydoll Southdown Ram that I spoke of in the last post. He is cute but unpredictable. One minute he charges me, and the next minute he wants to crawl into my lap. This photo doesn't show how adorable he really is.
The wool of the Babydoll Southdown sheep is very soft. The softness is determined, in part, by the diameter of each piece of wool. These sheep have very fine wool, measuring 19-22 microns (a micron is 1/1000 of a mm). As small as that is, there are a few fibers even smaller and softer, including cashmere and angora.

He is our only BS sheep. I purchased him at an auction because he was "cute and cheap". I don't regret getting him, but I don't recommend the "cute and cheap" impulse purchases of animals. Do your research and know what you are getting into!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Flying Roosters


Today was a pretty average day on the farm. I took Ryan to school, came home, fed the animals, paid bills, blah, blah, blah... This morning, our little Babydoll Southdown ram (about 24" tall) bucked me. It's happened before, but today he got me at just the right place and my knee still hurts. That little guy is unpredictable; one minute he is all lovey-dovey, the next he's charging at me. I've been trying to come up with a name for him. Maybe Dr. Jeckyl?

After school, Ryan and I set out to vaccinate the goats. We managed to do 8 of them, the other 2 were impossible to catch. We'll catch up with them when they least expect it. Afterwards, Ryan went out to the woods to work on his fort. When he returned he informed me that he cut down a 150' dead tree with his hatchet. His adrenaline was running quite high after his "near-death" experience. Ahhh... life with boys...

Some people were surprised to learn that we have so many animals, so I took some more photos today to share with y'all. Today's photo is of our crazy rooster. Who says roosters can't fly? He sure didn't crawl up the side of that horse trailer! Stay tuned for more photos in the future.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Starting Our Farm - The Cliff Notes Version

I've been contemplating what direction this blog should take. Should I write about the joys and challenges of starting a new farm? Rural living? Raising fiber-producing animals? Living in a fixer-upper? Our hobbies - spinning, knitting, crocheting (Beth), woodturning (Brett & Ryan), and chopping things down (Ryan)? I think it will be a combination of all these things and more.

We moved from a suburban neighborhood in PA to a rural wooded property in TN in August 2007. Seven months after we moved, we acquired our first farm animals: 2 free bottle baby pigs. We kept them in an extra large dog crate in our house for the first couple of weeks until we finished building an outside pen. It was a little messy, but they didn't start to stink until we weaned them off the bottle and put them on pig food. Fortunately, that was about the same time we moved them outside.

Since then, we've added chickens, ducks, angora rabbits, cashmere goats, llamas, sheep, and dogs to the farm. I have many stories to tell about our adventures to date, and I look forward to the adventures yet to come.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why Today?

I've been thinking about starting a blog for a while, so why now? Well, there have recently been some events that I had the urge to write about, but mostly it is because I don't want to do anything on my to-do list today. Ahhh... procrastination... it can be a terrific motivator!