Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  Well, once again I have neglected writing for far too long.  I think three months might be my new record!  I promise to try to be more diligent with my blog updates (for any of you out there that still read it). 
   Since September (again, sorry!),  Robb has moved back to Ramsay Farms.  Garrett put him on the scale and he weighed in at 90lbs.  I was happy to deliver such a good looking ram lamb.  In exchange, Rachel and I have picked out one of his ewes that he will be breeding to a gulmoget ram.  We are excited to see the progeny from her. 
  Our ram, Bucky, went out with the girls the second week of October.  We are hoping for mid-April lambs.  Little Giant Bucky x WhitePine Rush will be the only purebred cross on our farm this year.  We are slowly, but surely, expanding our purebred Shetland flock.  We are hoping for some ewes in the spring!
  Spring seems a long way off at the moment.  Here in central Minnesota we have just received over a foot of snow!  It was very pretty as it fell, but now we are stuck trying to maneuver around the drifts.  Rachel and I took a road trip with the pickup to get round-bales to feed the flock through our long, cold Minnesota winter.  It was the first time since I had the timing mechanism replaced that I did any pulling.  Thankfully, everything worked great.  And now, with some help from my dad and his larger tractor (the bales were very heavy), we have hay stored for the winter.  The flock was very happy for the rich alfalfa after cleaning up what grass was left in the pasture.

   Such is life here in the snowy, Northern plains.  Winter pastures are all too often just dreams and we must revert to feeding hay.  Moreover, our area has a high density of coyotes and we have spotted tracks going through the far pasture.  So, I shut the gates for the winter and am praying the coyotes don't find our sheep before I find the coyotes.
  The chickens are also "cooped up" and my parents and myself have resumed the associated chores.  Call me silly, but I swear the eggs taste best when I collect them myself.
  In other winter news, I have just attended a sheep shearing school at South Dakota State University.  It was very informative and a great learning opportunity.  I also met some great guys and look forward to going back in future years.  I hope that I will be able to use some of the skills and tricks I was taught when I have to do my shearing this spring. 
  That's about all I have right now.  Take care and stay warm!