From the lovely Kendy Sawyer's Peach and Tricia Baker's Misha! Registration numbers OTSC-F-1717 and OTSC-F-156. On 1-16-2022, Peach had a lovely litter of 8 healthy puppies (5 boys and 3 girls.)
Peach is a wonderful sky-watcher keeping the skies free of predators. She is skilled in cleaning the hedgerows and is a very social and steady companion and farm dog. She works with Kendy on her cattle farm, but especially enjoys shadowing her favorite person. Peach is wonderful with children!
Misha is an outcross from our program and was chosen for his proven good health, intuition, and great therapy dog skills. Although Misha does not live on a farm, he has displayed the qualities of a good farm dog. We are expecting great things from this litter! For more information and to apply, please check out www.shepherdshearth.com
Lambing is such a busy time of year. And in some ways so very peaceful. We trim our lives to the very minimum and concentrate on our farm and work together as a family. No distractions. One focus together. There are always tests of character with great joys and some sadness during this time of year. Not all lambs make it and this is something hard, but necessary to accept as a shepherd. All-in-all, this is one of our favorite seasons where we have a good reason to be together and enjoy working for good things with hope for future generations here and for outside our farm. We enjoy watching our lambs thrive at other farms and grow to be loved. Perhaps this especially brings us joy to be able to share this unique in-common sheep love with other shepherds. Seems like triplets are the number for this year. Three more yesterday. These are not them, but I will get pictures of the newest lambs up soon! In the meantime, I wish all the other shepherds out there the blessings of the stillness and complete chaos of lambing. May this time of sleepless bliss and knowing that you are giving them everything you know to have best possible outcomes be precious with beautiful outcomes. It is something we understand together and a precious time of year. One little tiny new "ma-a-a-a" and we all go running to help dry and snuggle and adore together. Peaceful, happy blessings can come is such tiny beautiful packages. A blessed lambing to you all!
Tansy accompanied me into the field of rams. It is still breeding season and so I need her as back-up just in case (Finnsheep rams are usually very respectful, but it is wise to never take chances especially during this time of year.) She knew I wanted to get a good look at my boys, and so without any prompting she found a spot to watch, but gave a good and comfortable distance. She carefully chose well. Close enough to keep the rams cautious, but at a distance far enough away to keep them relaxed enough to handle and visit. I never said a word. When I was done working with my boys, I turned to come back out of the field. Tansy watched my back. As the old saying goes, "Never turn your back on a ram...." except when you have a faithful farm dog with you. Tansy continued to lay in her self-appointed spot. When I was far enough from the rams to keep them from spooking, I prompted Tansy who gleefully came back to where she wanted to be and was in her heart... beside me. Sometimes the best stories to me are simply knowing that I can count on my good farm dogs to think for the good of everyone and keep everyone safe and comfortable as possible. Love this girl's intuition!
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We have decided to focus on our Finnsheep solely and so are listing a starter CVM (colored Romeldale) flock for sale. We think very highly of the CVMs! They have the finest (microns) wool on the farm and are heavyweights. Easy peasy keepers with no trouble birthing thus far with excellent mothering skills. Great hooves and I don't think we've ever needed to worm them. Registered! A very hardy sheep and does well locally even per our vet who has seen other flocks in the area. Would be happy to chat if anyone has any interest. Feel free to contact in whatever form. We are keeping things simple on the farm which means one breed of sheep for us, and Finns are where our hearts lie. Happy Fall y'all!
When you have lambs being born, you always have to plan ahead for the following season especially when you plan to retain. This year, we were able to trade some of our gorgeous brown Finn ram lambs for the replacements that we will need for this fall and next year! Our stock here is all tested and we have not introduced anything new that was not tested. And so our new boys, Clark (Gable and grey) the CVM ram and Burl (brown) the Finnsheep ram lamb were quarantined and had to pass their blood work tests before joining the rest of the herd.
Clark is such the gentleman and has joined his ladies. I'm hoping for some lovely CVMs and Cormo CVM Finn crosses in the upcoming Spring. Clark seems happy and has no complaints. He has been courting and kind to his ladies. Clark comes from Heelside Farms in Benson, NC. This farm is full of nostalgia for us and is where we got our very first sheep while still in NC and just getting started. Carolyn and Ricky were so kind and coached us through the whole process. Carolyn also taught us many things about wool and how to get started in that department as well. It was sweet to be back there and exchange our brown Mugwort for their grey Clark. Mugwort quickly found a new home with his own ladies and will hopefully make beautiful brown lambs for the Beasleys soon!
We also exchanged another brown lamb to the Hambys at Fairwinds Farm in PA. They have named their new fella Brick and our new brown Finnsheep ram lamb from them we named Burl! Funny how these two names are so similar - although I really had a rather woodsy name in mind! I think that both of us are very pleased and it was so good to connect with the Hambys again! We originally met this family at the MDS&W festival and were a surprise YCP recipient of a lovely HST black Finn ewe that was a gift from them. Wow! This ewe was such a great addition to our farm, and we immediately fell in love with her. Of course, it's so very nice to bring in another very stout and handsome ram from such lovely people. Burl will be covering our brown Spring ewes in next year's fall. We are expecting great things from our lovely new boys from dear friends all around! A lovely summer with reconnections and new rams to add the the weavings at WoodSong!
With all the chaos of pups, I have not kept up with writing, but this morning was noteworthy enough to get me to sit and remember my literary habit. This morning during chores, Lorna tracked a grain-eating skunk down in our field. Got sprayed in the face. While we were working out our end, she continued to track so that we could take care of the invader. Problem solved... at least one of them. I can certainly say that she is more than just a pretty face! Poor Lorna.
In other news, the puppies have all gone to their new homes with the exception of Elberta who is waiting for just the right working home. It's so nice to trade the puppy pen for having our living room back! Lots of snuggling and cuddling of my big dogs is in order. Poor Benji has had to be isolated as both girls (Lorna and Tansy) went into a strong heat at the same time. As we had not planned to have so many consecutive litters here at once, I let Lorna know under very certain terms that we were going to be waiting till Spring at least before welcoming more puppies here. Lorna laid by where the whelping box used to be to let me know her position and remained there in that place through much of the heat. She is not happy with our decision, but is starting to perk up a bit at this point! Funny how much she seems to know! She really was disappointed. Having the living room seems a good consolation prize though as Lorna climbed up for a good snuggle together.
As for Tansy, she is still just a pup and in fact just turned a year old! She has managed her heat well and was extra sweet and snuggly also. Love my girls! Both have now returned to their full bouncy selves repelling birds of concern and apparently skunks. Herding also, but more about that later. Benji is now back to roam in his domain and life is returning to a nice normal rhythm with the B( -enji) L( -orna) T( -ansy)s!
New puppies here? But wasn't it Peach's turn? Sadly, Kendy Sawyer, our kennel partner had an accident coming off her horse. So at WoodSong farm, we are raising a third consecutive litter having taken in Kendy's Peach who was bred to our Benji. While Kendy is recovering, we are trying to take care to include her as we can while raising all her new Peach blossoms! Unfortunately one pup (#7) did not make it, but here is a peek at the new pups here.
In the meantime, only Asher is left here from Winter's litter and will be going home tomorrow. All pups are in there new homes from the previous two litters after this. As you can imagine, we are quite busy trying to keep all our duck in a row. (Isn't that the collies' job?) I am so excited to hear how all our babies are doing and always look forward to updates from their new families on our Shepherd's Hearth facebook page. And the blossoms will continue to bloom also! It appears to be a big puppy year for our farm and kennel!
Heroics of yesterday - Tansy walked up to my son and barked and took him down to the chicken gate that had been left open. 7 chickens had already escaped and were wandering the yard. At this point Lorna came to see what was going on and to help. Tansy would corner and hold chickens with her paws for my son to put back in. Interestingly, Lorna brought the chickens to Tansy next to my son to hold down for my son! (I guess the dogs don't have as much confidence in our chicken catching skills! 😆 ) Other chickens had escaped to visit the rams where Lorna took her turn holding chickens and waiting for us to put them over he fence. I love watching the girls team up!
This blog chronicles our very full life here on WoodSong Farm. We will share everything from dog to sheep stories, unique wooly works, to animal husbandry tips we pick up along the way. I hope this helps to give you an idea of what our extended farm family and wooly projects are like, and that we may somehow benefit everyone who reads about our journey.