Meet Woody…

Woody is the newest addition to the farm!  He is a Wensleydale…


The mating of a Dishley Leicester ram with a Teeswater ewe in 1838 produced the famous ram ‘Blue Cap’ who was the founding sire of the Wensleydale breed. He was a striking ram, with blue pigmentation on his head and ears that is now the hallmark of the breed, great size (203 kg as a two-shear) and wool of distinctive quality. The modern Wensleydale has inherited these qualities. It is a large sheep with long-stapled, lustrous wool that falls in long ringlets almost to ground level in unshorn sheep. The breed has a quality known as ‘central checking’ that prevents the formation of kemp in the fleece.

The Wensleydale is a very large longwool sheep, described by the British Meat and Livestock Commission as “probably the heaviest of all our indigenous breeds.” It is a visually striking sheep with considerable presence. It has a bold and alert carriage which is accentuated by its broad, level back and heavy muscling in the hindquarters. It has a distinctive deep blue head and ears, which should be clean except for a well developed forelock of wool. Both sexes are polled.

The Wensleydale breed was developed to provide rams for crossing onto hill ewes, mainly Swaledale, Blackface, Rough Fell, Cheviot & Dalesbred. The female crossbreds develop into prolific, heavy-milking, hardy breeding ewes while the wethers, under natural conditions and on marginal ground, provide quality carcasses at higher weight, with no excess fat.

Today the breed is established throughout the United Kingdom and extends into mainland Europe.

For more info please visit the North American Wensleydale Sheep Association….


Woody will be used on some of our Icelandic ewes.  We feel the cross will be wonderful!  The size (meatiness) and wool quality from the Wensleydale added to the lamb vigor, hardiness, wonderful maternal instinct and mothering abilities of our Icelandic ewes will produce some spectacular crosses!  We will still be concentrating on producing wonderful pure-bred Icelandics, as they are my favorite but, I am hoping this will provide a bit more meatiness for our meat lambs.  I am looking forward to next spring!


Images and information below are also from the North American Wensleydale Sheep Association….


Mature weight:
Rams – 300 lbs.
Ewes – 250lbs.

Average prolificacy:
Yearling ewe – 200%
Mature ewes – 250%

Twin lambs will average 13 pounds each at birth with a growth rate that enables ram lambs to reach 160 lbs. at 21 weeks.

Average lamb weight at 8 weeks:
Singles – 57 lbs.
Twins – 48 lbs.

Wensleydale wool is the finest and most valuable luster longwool in the world.

Micron count 33-35
Staple length 8-12 inches
Yearling Fleece Weight 13-20 pounds

Fleeces are entirely kemp free as a result of the unique characteristics of the wool-producing follicles. This special quality is genetically transmitted to cross-bred lambs, characterizing the Wensleydale ram as perhaps the leading wool improving sire in the world.

Wensleydale wool is used for its special effects and handle in hand knitting yarn, knitwear and cloth and sometimes in upholstery fabrics. Because of its similarity, it is regularly used to blend with mohair.

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The lambs and sheep are looking wonderful!  Their fleeces have grown all summer long….

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The rams fleeces even look exceptional this year!


They are even feeling a bit ramish, those hormones are changing as we creep closer to the end of October.


Thankfully, Brandon was available to shear this last weekend and did a wonderful job!


Some more of the shearing crew…

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Jason, my brother-in-law, even sheared a bit.  He’s shearing my favorite fleece here…


All business…


A happy Dugur dog…


A pretty mouflon…



Two rams getting reacquainted after loosing their fleeces.


They don’t seem to really recognize each other and will fight reestablish the pecking order.  Boys!

What a job!  It took the whole weekend but all sheep came out of beautiful and now I have a ton of fleece to sort through!  Any helpers?

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Fair winnings…



Our little Braaten bunch did pretty good at the fair yesterday….







Tori received Reserve Champion Showman in the Senior division and placed 4th out of about 35 lambs and received a purple top 10 ribbon in the market class!




Garrett also received Reserve Champion Showman in the Junior division and placed 5th in Market and received a purple ribbon.





Maddie placed 4th in the Junior division for Showmanship and her lamb placed 10th in Market getting her a purple ribbon!




Hayden received Grand Champion Showman in the Junior Novice division which had two huge classes of lambs!  He did sooo well his first year showing.  His lamb was one short for making the cut to final round in market.


Teigen even showed in the Peewee division where all the participants wins a ribbon!



Our fiber and breedstock projects did an excellent job as well!  Dodge ram won overall Grand champion in the breedstock division and Blossom’s ewe lamb won Reserve Champion.  Our lambs received the majority of the rest of the ribbons too!  Edge ram won Overall Grand  Champion over all other fiber animals and in his own division.  Feebee won Grand Champion in the ewe division for fiber and we received the majority of the rest of the ribbons awarded!


Wonderful Day!!

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Delight this morning…

Tori went out to check mamas at lunch and found Delight on her back and legs flailing. Tori was able to get her turned over right away and when Delight stood up she noticed she was starting to go into labor.  Thankful for observant young ladies today!


Felicity getting something to eat…


A beautiful black spotted ewe lamb.


Warming up under the heat lamp…


❤ Felicity ❤ Love the heart pattern on her nose.

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Bliss, our pretty blue ewe…


Her twins!


When we did our midnight check last night, I could hear babies crying loudly and knew something was up. Thor, our Akbash LGD, was guarding one of the hoop houses and when I shined my light in there I found these two treasures up and trying to nurse. I thought it was pretty neat to see Thor protecting Bliss and her babies. Thor had to stop by and see how things were this morning. IMG_9727



Chunky ram lamb. He is a spotted grey moorit (brown).


Nice chunky ewe lamb. She is solid black!

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Who will be the next to lamb?  Perhaps Delight?

Who will be the next to lamb? Perhaps Delight?

The other lambs received their BoSe supplements and are now sporting tags.

Miss Fern making herself comfy in her mom's feeder...

Miss Fern making herself comfy in her mom’s feeder…


Finn and Fern sporting their new eartags...

Finn and Fern sporting their new eartags…

Little Fleur and her pretty purple tag...

Little Fleur and her pretty purple tag…

Freyja snoozing with mom, Freckles...

Freyja snoozing with mom, Freckles…

Mr Flint sporting his flashy yellow tag!

Mr Flint sporting his flashy yellow tag!


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Friday Farm Daze…

Another very busy week here…


Eggs in a lambing jug…


A very cute Fleur…


Handsome Draumer…


Keeping a watchful eye…


Birch and Sam…




Very close, I hope, to lambing…


Part Border Collie, part lamb…little Charlie loves to chase the chickens.


Proud Mama, Drifa!


Drifa with her ram lamb Finn, and ewe lamb Fern.

Finn, was the first to arrive and had a perfect delivery.  Little Fern was the last to make her appearance. Her front feet were coming out but no head. She had it way off to the side and twisted back. At 2 am I was convinced this was a headless lamb… I was about to give up fishing for it when it last I caught hold of it. It took several more minutes trying to align it correctly and finally pull her out. She span right to life and got busy looking for something to eat!

Drifa is such a good mamma. She was holding perfectly still while letting little Finn nurse and was licking little Fern off right after she was born. Fern, while trying to figure out her legs kept going backwards and Drifa would stretch her neck a little further and keep cleaning and holding perfectly still!



The chicken stomper, Miss Freckles! Poor henny was just trying to find a spot to lay eggs, she decided that next Freckles baby was not the spot!


Eking closer!


Mr Flint…


Adorable Miss Freya…


A happy Thor dog…






The boys delivering eggs…




The sun came out for a brief moment.


Mother and last year’s daughter…



The miracle of birth (Do you see the tiny hooves making their appearance?)

Friday Farm Daze…

Another busy week on the farm.  We are getting ready for the first of the Icelandic lambs to be delivered which always means that we are busy.

Here are some pictures that I got of Reykur, one of Icelandic rams this week…

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Garrett found a lucky horseshoe while helping me check fence…


And we found a rusty bucket..


The rooster crossed the….


The sheds and hoop houses are set up and we will make 10 jugs in here…


Which is a good thing because little Charlie decided to join us today…

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Little Charlie is Tori’s lamb…P4050451 P4050453

And we should have more soon…


Spring is growing…


Hens are hiding eggs…


Ducks are hanging out…


Cloudy days…


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