Friday, December 21, 2012


The pink cloud is shedding light....on the sheep sheds.  The sheds are on skids and are moved for easy clean up with a loader, tractor, and manure spreader. The metal exterior looks nice and  slows the winter drafts.  The sheep seek shelter in the sheds, especially when pink clouds bring sheets of rain!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fall twin lambs

This ewe had these nice Corriedale lambs this fall.  She has been a great mom to these twins!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fall Wheat Fields

The apple and peach trees are framing the wheat field that was planted earlier this fall.  The wheat and wheat straw will be harvested July 2013. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Creep Gate

These lambs can get a little R and R away from their moms.  They will get plenty of leafy alfalfa hay, grain, water, and nice straw bedding.  

Friday, November 16, 2012

Creep feeding lambs

These lambs are offered grain, nice leafy alfalfa hay, and fresh water in an area adjacent to their moms hay feeder. The moms cannot enter this area.  The lambs, however, are able to move freely into and out of the creep area.  A creep gate, placed between the two pens, will prevent the ewes from entering the lamb creep pen.  The creep gate has openings that are too small for the ewe to enter, but openings big enough for the lambs to move easily through the gate. 
Lambs are offered a creep area so they will be well on their way to a full grain and hay diet when it is time for them to be weaned.  When lambs are offered grain and alfalfa hay, they will continue to grow and gain weight even though their mom's milk begins to diminish when the lambs are 6 weeks old.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

More BabyBQ

Here is BabyBQ up and eating all by herself! She is growing and doing very well.

Monday, October 22, 2012


BabyBQ was born September 27th, her mom is TabbyQ.  She was very small, weighed only 4 pounds at eight days old.  The night she was born, I found her cold and very lethargic.  Her mouth was cold, so she needed warmed up immediately.  We put her in a big plastic bag, with her head peaking out, them submerged her, from the neck down, in a 10 gal. bucket of hot water.  It did the trick!  She warmed up enough so I could "tube" her and then feed her freshly milked colostrum.  I fed her colostrum every 4 hours for the first 24.  I continued to tube her for two days.  She did not respond quickly to all the treatment she was receiving.  TabbyQ was  a very good mother and was always attentive, even though BabyBQ spent all her time sleeping.  I must admit, I said a few prayers to the good Lord for this little bitty lamb!  A prayer for the little lamb to respond and a prayer for me to have a steady hand to insert the tube.  Every day this little bit of a lamb was a little bit better.

"Tubing" a lamb is a very good way to save a lamb.  The tube is inserted, them removed, for every feeding.  The tube is a method to get the life-saving colostrum in the stomach of weak lambs.  Once you get the colostrum in the lambs belly, usually the lamb will respond in a miraculous fashion, in minutes!  From lethargic and limp, to struggling to it's feet to take it's first steps. 

Premier's Equipment That Works! catalog has a very good tutorial on how to "tube" a lamb and all the supplies in which to do so.  Pipestone Veterinary Supply catalog as is a very good source and also carries all the supplies needed.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Bishop Hill Fiber Guild 32nd Annual Spin-In

This fine Hettinger Corriedale fiber will be at the Bishop Hill Fiber Guild 32nd Annual Spin-In.  The Spin-In will be Saturday, October 20 at the East Peoria Events Center on 4200 East Washington in East Peoria, IL.  In addition to the yarn and roving, I will also be bringing some freshly shorn lovely soft Corriedale fleeces.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Time to harvest the soybeans

There is lots of activity on the farm this week.  The soybeans are ready to harvest and that means the cold weather isn't far behind!

Monday, October 1, 2012

First 2012 fall lambs...twins!

We have had a busy two weeks.  Our Corriedale ewes have had two sets of twin lambs and one single lamb so far this fall.  This is the first set of twins at ten days old.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

From A to Zinnias

Our apples, just this week, became ripe and tasty.  I think these zinnias are, by far, prettier to look at.   The fall lambing is close...the ewes are filling out their Sheep Suits!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cool Water

The ewes, coming off pasture, are heading for a cool drink of water.  The two stragglers are kicking up a little cloud of dust.  Most of these ewes are wearing Sheep Suit Sheep Covers from Rocky Sheep Company, to keep their wool clean year-round. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Country Lane

These Corriedale ewes are enjoying the sunny morning.  Finally a respite from the long hot summer.  The soybeans will soon be a sea of yellow leaves, then fall.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Beautiful Saturday Morning

What a glorious, bright Saturday.  Good morning!  This is our front yard, the sheep are grazing the distance. Soybeans, to the right, are maturing and will be harvested the end of September.

Monday, September 3, 2012


These sheep are grazing on established grass pasture.  This pasture needed improved with a higher protein legume forage, red clover. Frost seeding is one way to improve an established pasture with out harming it.  Frost seeding, in central Illinois, is done in Feb/March by simply scattering seed on the late winter snow.  As the snow melts and the ground freezes and thaws, the seeds work their way into the soil for spring germination.  Orchard grass and red clover have a high success rate of germination using this method of sowing.  Frost seeding established pastures like this improves the animal's nutrition.    This picture was taken a few years ago.  Since 2009 these lambs, now ewes, have been upgraded to a little better forage.   

Friday, August 31, 2012

Great Pyrenees

Sugar is our Great Pyrenees guard dog.  These two pictures show how cute she was as a puppy and how she looks a beautiful adult dog!  Sugar is now old enough to guard the Corriedale flock.  Our Great Pyrenees is gentle and loyal.  She will alert us to any strange activity. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


This fantastic roving and yarn was made from Corriedale wool.  The Corriedale fleece, raw wool,  was sent to a wool mill to be washed, carded, dyed, and made into this roving.     Spinners can take this Tangerine Twist and Royal Plum roving and fashion it into the most beautiful yarn!  Roving can also be used for felting craft items. This Royal Plum roving was hand spun into this yarn by a local spinner.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rotational Grazing

Of the two ewes looking at you, Tabby-Q is on the right.  She is an old reliable ewe, raising lots of nice lambs and has been a dual season lamber.  The sheep are contained in the pasture by a permanent fence.  The large pasture is then divided into smaller pastures by temporary fencing.  The lambs and ewes are moved, rotationally, to pastures within the pasture....rotational grazing. The Premier white movable electric mesh fencing, that you can see in the picture, works fantastic for the pasture every few days.  

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Something different.

We have to have a little variety!  This is one of our cats, Cassie.  And our one and only chicken, Miss Chicken,  She does come running when we call her.....Miss Chicken. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Corriedales make great moms.

Corriedale ewes are great moms.  They often have twins and triplets.  My Corriedales will have lambs "out of season".  Most sheep lamb Jan. thru May.  About half of my Corriedale ewes will be lambing this fall, the other half will lamb Jan. or Feb.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Most of my sheep are covered so the fleece stays clean year round.  Individual sheep get sheared once a year, but I shear two groups of sheep twice a year.  The wool is certainly quite lovely on shearing day!  When the fleece is covered the wool looks like this at shearing time.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This ewe had a healthy female lamb.  This ewe wears the cover to keep her fleece clean, she is sheared annually.  Spinners value the clean white Corriedale fleece.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Going to start doing a sheep blog, specifically Corriedales, Haven't gotten everything organized yet so in the meantime here's a picture of some cute lambs to tide you over.