New Kids On The Block

Sheepies! Yeah baby! And to think that this whole farm was started all because I wanted some wool producers to go with the chickens we bought. As you know, I ended up with French Angora rabbits instead of sheep on that tiny quarter-acre, but now I have my sheep at last!

The Frühlingskabine is now the proud home of two Shetland sheep, one ram (dark brown) and one ewe (cream colored). Shetland sheep are a heritage breed –also called a primitive breed– of sheep that originate from the Shetland Islands between Scotland and Norway. It is thought that the breed evolved on the Shetland Islands over one thousand years after being brought there by the Vikings. Shetland sheep are a very docile breed that also make good mothers… an excellent trait considering that our new ewe is due to give birth any day now. Baby lambies! I’m excited.

Shetland sheep colors have distinctive Viking names too. Our ewe is a fawn color, and our ram is a dark reddish brown color, “moorit”.

Eleven main colors are recognized (most including many different shades): light grey, grey, white, emsket (dusky bluish-grey), musket (light greyish-brown), shaela (dark steely-grey), black, fawn, moorit (reddish brown), mioget (honey-toned, yellowish-brown), and dark brown.

Over 30 different coat patterns and markings are recognized, many of which can occur in combination. They include katmoget (“badgerface”: dark belly and dark shading around nose and eyes, lighter elsewhere), gulmoget (“mouflon”, the reverse of katmoget: light belly, dark face with light marks around eyes, dark elsewhere), yuglet (generally light with dark “panda” patches around the eyes), bleset (dark with white blaze down face), smirslet (white marking around the muzzle), sokket (with white socks on the legs), bersugget (irregular patches of different colors) and bielset (with a collar of a differing color).

Now we just have to come up with names for the sheepies. Obviously they need Scandinavian names. If we have a ewe-lamb, I might keep the best one back. Fun stuff ahead here on the farm!

The Results Are In!

Welcome to the Frühlingskabine, Hasselhop!

Our big, fluffy, sweet chocolate agouti-colored buck (boy) has a name! You all submitted names and voted over the last two weeks.

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I have to admit, I was really pulling for Hare-ison Ford. Whoever came up with that one was brilliant. Chewbacca was a good one too. Maybe next time we can do a Star Wars themed name game.

For now, we love this guy named after a certain washed up actor. Wait until he has a “Kit” or two. Har, har.

Friluftsliv

I know, it looks like a cat just scampered across my keyboard. Actually– Friluftsliv is a Norwegian concept that translates as “free air life” and describes a life philosophy that Cami and I are trying out this winter. Friluftsliv has no strict definition, the idea is to simply explore and appreciate nature no matter the season or weather. It can include camping, hiking, meditating outside, taking photographs, dancing, or playing. All you have to do is get outside.

Of course, this is a beautiful day and it isn’t difficult to be drawn outdoors on such a day, but it is winter and it is cold. We are practicing Friluftsliv by sitting in the new winter grass, on the cold and frozen earth. Cami is practicing Friluftsliv by doing yoga with Heidrun. I don’t think Heidrun sees it as yoga, more like eating juicy grass, but Cami likes the thought of goats doing some sort of regimented yoga routine.

I am using my day to take photographs of everyone outside. I like sitting with the goats, scratching their chins, whispering sweet nothings into their ear. Well, I do tell them what pretty goats they are. I’d like to think that if they could talk we would have long conversations in the winter sun about which weeds taste best and what Bridgit and Luna want to name their kids. You may not have noticed, but the two shorties are looking a wee bit plumper than usual. Nothing is guaranteed around here, especially not baby animals, but it’s a nice thought for the end of winter in a few months.

Good Morning Jack Frost

You should be sipping a very large cup of very hot tea while looking at this picture. Every night for the last month we have been getting hard freezes that leaves the farm looking like an ice block. The goat water is frozen an inch thick, the rabbit water bottles are completely frozen, and each blade of grass is heavy with ice. That’s no snow, that is the work of Jack Frost. Most of the farm thaws by midday, but there are a few chilly spots that get little sun and stay frozen all day long. The nice thing is that the remaining cabbage and kale loves the cool temperatures.

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Name That Rabbit! :: eighth edition

Is this the eighth time I’ve had you guys name a rabbit? Or the nineth? I would go back and check in the archives, but that might take the rest of my life on this dial-up internet. But hey, free is free, right?

Let’s do this. This is one of my Chocolate Agouti colored French Angora bucks (male). His first birthday is on New Years Day. He is a lovely, lovely rabbit. Nice weight, beautiful coat, soft and fluffy wool, and a very sweet temperament. He is a keeper/breeding buck now because 1) he has had a chunk missing out of his ear since he was a kit which renders him “un-showable and 2) because he is from Dandelion’s line of great wool producers.

I have been attempting to breed him to Indigo, my Self Lilac doe, so he kind of needs a name before I have to print out pedigrees for his offspring. I am absolutely out of ideas this round and need your help for ideas.

Rules:
* Look through the list of names that other readers have suggested first.
* Add a name to the poll if you want… You know how I like weird and sci-fi names so go hog wild.
* Then, vote! Vote for yourself, have your spouse vote, your kids, your neighbor, your dentist, everyone should vote! People will think you’re crazy, but it’s okay. The world has enough normalites.
* I’ll give it a week or two before making it all official.
* If you do add a new name, I need to go in and add it to the visible list manually. So if you don’t see it show up, rest assured that your name is in there and I will add it soon. Your vote has been counted.

Vote and Contribute Names Here!