AGM!

Even though I loaded my camera along with my sheep, this is the only picture I ended up taking during the AGM weekend.

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Loaded up and heading out. My old minivan morphs well into a sheep hauler. I think the sheep like the AC.

The JSBA AGM was held in the Athens GA area, with days spent at UGA and evenings at Hedgerow Farm, the home of our hosts Bill and Lisa Douglas.  Everyone enjoyed their hospitality and their lovely farm.  And we are still talking about the food! I’m seriously thinking of making the 90 mile trip back to the area to get some more of those cheese biscuits.

While I didn’t bring home pictures, I came home with memories and much to ponder. As always, when a group of Jacob Sheep people get together we talk sheep and exchange ideas.

Ingrid Painter spoke Saturday night after supper. I’ve always been in awe of Ingrid since I first heard of Jacob Sheep.  She has said much over the years that has helped to educate new breeders. Nothing she has said over the years touched me as much as her story about her first Jacobs.  After a long search she finally had some. They might not have been the best in the world, but they were Jacobs and they were hers and she was excited to have them. We all know where Ingrid went from there – building one of the foundation flocks (Puddleduck) in JSBA and producing exceptional animals that contributed to flocks all across the country.

I still remember how excited I was to get my first Jacob. He wasn’t as great as I thought he was, but he was a Jacob and he was mine! I loved him!! Well, until he hit me in the middle of the back when I wasn’t looking. And until I learned enough to realize his horns weren’t really all that good. But he started me on a path that led to some better sheep.

Somewhere there is someone that just bought their first Jacob and is just as excited. It’s their first Jacob!!  Thank you to Ingrid for sharing her story and thank you to all the new breeders that continually remind me that of the excitement of that first Jacob Sheep. Moose Mtn Natalie, brings the excitement of that first Jacob Sheep to Alena and Jack.

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You’ll seldom see a picture of me on my blog. I’m behind the camera, not in front of it. Royal Unzicker sent me this picture from AGM.
Jacob Sheep, good food and drink, a lovely venue, and good friends.
What could be better?
(left to right – Shannon Phifer, Elizabeth Strub, Tony Phifer, Theron Phifer’s cap, me, Lisa Douglas, unknown sheep, Never Winter Brena (I think))

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Girls Just Want To Have Fun

“When the working day is done
Girls – they want to have fun”

Even though a working LGD’s (livestock guardian dog) working day is never done, girls still want to have fun.

Sadie loves playing with sticks. I was going to say fetch, but she doesn’t bring them back to me. She just tosses them around and waits for me to throw another.  Fetching sticks is not her job. Guarding sheep is. Sticks are fun.

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2 + 2 = 4

2 horns on the left +  2 horns on the right = 4 horns

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As Captain, Hektor, and Pilsner are happy to demonstrate.

Except when 2 + 2 =2

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Belton is an evenly fused four horned ram. He looked like a two horned ram when he was born. As his horns grew, the seam became visible and is apparent in this photo.  His horns are taking a very wide sweep as often happens with evenly fused four horned sheep.

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Patrick is also a fused four horned, but his horns were separate at birth and are just now becoming fully fused. It seems that when horns fuse later, the direction is not always as wideswept as when they are fused at birth. One horn (usually the top) tends to pull the lateral in whatever direction it’s heading, rather than the two horns pulling evenly as when they are fused at birth. When the horns begin to fuse seems to play a part.  This is just a bit of speculation/observation/WAG  (not SWAG, as there is no science in my guess).

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And then we have an easy one – 1 + 1 = 2. Hickory is a solid two horned.

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Sometimes 2 + 3 = 3.  Cindra is fused on one side. She appears 3 horned, but is actually 5  horned.

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Sometimes experience contrives to turn 2 + 2 into 1? 1 1/2?  1 1/8? Elsa managed to tear off both laterals when she was gone by getting caught in a hay rack. I take responsibility for breaking the right top 😦  At nine years old, she still shows some horn regrowth.

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But she won’t ever have the horns she had as yearling –
when 2 plus 2 equaled 4.

 

 

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Pasture Walk..

Okay – not really an actual pasture. It’s a small fenced piece next to the barn lot. It’s hilly and a pain to mow. I’d rather put up fence than drag a lawn mower.

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I love this little salad bar patch. It’s an eclectic mix of native plants and seeds I’ve tossed out. Today was mowing day for the sheep. They love salad, too.

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Porter picked out all the radish tops. He even ate the radishes.

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Captain likes the sericea.

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Stacia prefers to browse

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Holly eats everything – including the curly dock.

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And for Fancy – the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. There is one in every bunch!

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24/7 A Working Dog’s Day

I’ve always loved working dogs – bird dogs, coon dogs, herding dogs, tracking dogs.. it’s so amazing to see a dog doing a job he loves and was born to do. It’s exciting.

A livestock guardian dog is a working dog of a different sort. Most days aren’t very exciting. The best days are spent just hanging out with the flock. IMG_9673

Visiting with friends

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Patrolling

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Making sure that stray dogs and coyotes know that protection is 24/7

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A livestock guardian dog works 24/7 for too short a time..

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Goodbye Sam,  my friend and a true working dog.
Sometime in 2002 – May 23, 2014

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Snippet – and what color is lilac, anyway?

“a small piece of information or news, a small part of something”
Snippet – the word of the day and the theme of this post. Because sometimes ….that’s the way it is.

What color is lilac? Well, it’s not the color of my pretty new spiderwort plant (a present from me to me).. more like the color of a Snickers candy bar (another present from me to me. Snickers bars are my one candy craving.)

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Since I blogged last, we are deep into spring with summer fast approaching.

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I love this rose! A $5 unmarked variety I found in a sale bin years ago.

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“Lambing is over” really deserves more than a snippet.  And there will be a post soon introducing the 23 new additions to the Patchwork flock.  Fancy is enjoying the green grass of spring!

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And shearing is over! Alicia’s fleece is the first one to hit the wash tub and the carder. One down, 27 fleeces to go.

 

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Just The Facts

Sometimes finding the time or the creative impulse to sit down and write an interesting blog is not only difficult, it’s impossible.

So prepare to be presented with just the facts…

Since the last blog, we’ve had 9 more lambs – 6 rams and 3 ewes, bringing the count to 8 rams and 3 ewes . It’s been a heavy ram year. It made Badger’s twin ewes especially welcome. Hello ladies!

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Nine more ewes left to lamb. Updated pictures are frequently posted at: http://patchworkfibers.com/newlambs.html

 

 

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