Lark Brings Peace
Poor Lizzy was having a tough time with a heavy and deep respiratory illness recently. Lark has not had therapy dog training yet, but she takes her job with Lizzy very seriously. Stayed close and seemed to know that Liz needed her calming faithful presence. Lark brings a lot of peace to our home. Peter was starting physical therapy on his leg after having been in a cast for three months. He was clearly in pain and struggling. Lark came over and simply laid down beside him and put her chin on his foot while he worked through the hard stuff in tears. She seemed to understand not to interfere, but simply just to be there. Such kind acts of love this young friend gives to our family on a regular basis!
A Pounding Moment of Peace
Last night, in the very torrential downpour, while unloading around 1,450 lbs of feed with my husband, I had a beautiful moment. I wish I had been able to get a picture, but as usual, no camera at hand when farm work is being done. Perhaps it was just as well as somehow something mechanical might disturb the pounding peace of the moment.
John had gone out a hair ahead of me to start unloading feed he had picked up earlier in the day. It was evening, and I was thinking how thankful I was for my coveralls and hood and the muck boots that I borrowed from my daughter as mine are just too tight to get a hold of to pull off when things are so slick and muddy. (Yes, my daughter's feet are bigger than mine!) It's not unusual for the sheep to come running when they hear the gate latch rattle on our way to the barn. But on unloading day, the Finnsheep know what to expect... Lorna. Lorna will ask for respect. She will keep space for us so that we can work efficiently and complete our repetitive task. Today was not different. Lorna was there. But so was the rain. The sheep had left the barn for that extra buffer of space, but the pelting rain and thunder left them in conflict. When I lifted that gate latch to enter, they were jogging back to the barn. I thought not much of it as I rarely need to be super aware these days thanks to our trusty helper Lorna. I simply busied myself and thought about how it was nice that much of the unloading was under the noisy but dry metal barn roof. The pile of full feed sacks was getting smaller and the feed storage containers were getting fuller. I paused to take a breath. Then I really started to see... The sheep had indeed come into the barn. And everyone was so peaceful and quiet. They were all watching quietly knowing what was going into the forbidden storage area. But content. To be still. Watching. Waiting. Peaceful and happy to be out of the rain. Trusting...
I looked across from the sheep. Our barn is not huge. About nine feet away, Lorna lay with quite the same expression. One of utter peace and understanding of the situation. How the sheep were showing respect, yet needed out of the storming rain. No one challenged her. Everyone seemed so grateful. The moment was simple, but so meaningful to me. There was a true sense of balance and relationship and understanding between us and the dog, us and the sheep, dog and the sheep, sheep and the dog, dog and us and sheep. A pure dance of gratitude and peace and trust!
It is a moment I am having a hard time putting into words. Almost a decade ago, I would never have imagined us being here. Barn, beautiful sheep, the partnership of our dogs. Heavy rain on a strong metal roof. Benji (our first farm dog) was a start to this. He is gone in a way that was hard, but he was here in a way that was so surreal and perhaps too good to be true. Lorna is here now completing his work. Lark is learning Lorna's ways quickly almost seamlessly for such a young dog. How did we get here? I easily forget the in between times, but they were real. Being in the moment is something I am trying to learn how to practice more and more. This was one very real moment I wanted to share with you. I wish I had a picture, but would not have traded the memory of this. Somehow, it paints the metaphorical dream of the farm that we have wished for. I do wonder if the sheep and dogs see the same things in us? I do believe that this has settled deep in all of us.
Buying ewes that are already grown is a very wise financial investment! Lambs have to be cared for and are generally less hardy than adults. We have decided to offer our keeper lambs from last Spring to those who have contacted us for stock. We have made some hard decisions, and we are offering these sheep for sale first. Most are ewes. Some are young and just at breeding age. Others are more experienced. We will be pricing individually, but purchasing as a group will earn a discount as well! Please do contact us if you see anything of interest or want to know more. Our e-mail email@example.com is likely the easiest way, but PMing on FB is also a great option. Thanks for looking!
PS. Our flock is tested clear for OPP and Johnnes.
YEARLING EWE LAMBS:
1. SOLD "Happy" FBA# 33035 DOB 1-22-22. Very nice, easy, and happy (of course!) ewe lamb we had planned to retain. One of triplets. $400
2. SOLD "Saffron" FBA# 33023 DOB 1-30-22. Out of a very hardy and wonderfully long lived and productive ewe. Brown color. From a litter of 4. $425
3. SOLD "Henna" FBA# 33024 DOB 2-3-22. Very friendly brown ewe lamb and faster growing.
Brown color and one of triplet birth. $425
4. SOLD "Pixie" FBA# 33041 DOB 2-9-22. Increase in spotting on a piebald badger ewe. Spotting on nose that was born with none and you can see progressive spotting since last shearing in the fall here. Twin birth from a first time ewe mom. $450
5. SOLD "Trillium" FBA# 33031 DOB 1-27-22. Piebald from twin litter from first time mom. I am posting lamb picture to show piebald markings with her head-socks-tail white. $425
6. SOLD "Violet" FBA# 33029 DOB 2-3-22. Born as a twin with beautiful badger coloring. Lamb picture posted here also. $425
7. SOLD "Odette" FBA# 33030 DOB 1-21-22. One of four from a fabulous mom who consistently gives quads and sometimes more. $425
8. SOLD "Ember" FBA# 33032 DOB 1-27-22. Carries Paddington blue as pattern on a black coat. Paddington darkens patterns, etc. Greying on back leg as lamb to show the pattern from when she was born as a twin from a first time mom. $400
TWO YEAR OLD EWES (Never lambed):
9. SOLD "Button" FBA# 32279 DOB 1-27-21. From one of our very hardy older ewes who usually has female offspring interestingly. Triplet birth. She has been very hardy here for us. $425
10. SOLD "Poppy" FBA# 32286 DOB 2-1-21. A very fancy from triplet birth dalmation piebald badger ewe. Very gentle and sweet. $450
11. SOLD "Portabella" FBA# 32280 DOB 1-27-21. Brown head-socks-tail white pattern (born as a triplet). $425
12. SOLD "Primrose" FBA# 32278 DOB 1-26-21. Born as a twin. One of the nicest all around ewe lambs we've had. Priced higher for this reason. Brown. $450
13. SOLD "Cornflower" FBA# 31124 DOB 3-25-20. From a litter of three and has had one set of twins as a first time and wonderful mom. So friendly and wants to be our farm mascot when we have visitors come and meet the sheep! $425
14. SOLD "Esperanza" FBA# 31122 DOB 2-5-20. White ewe from triplet birth who had a single her first year and then twins. $400
15. SOLD "Maimie" FBA# 31123 DOB 3-23-20. Beautiful fine fleeced darker grey badger ewe. Had triplets as a first time mom. We suspect she is one of our milkiest ewes based on how well her lambs grew. $425
16. SOLD "Winnifred" FBA #28919 DOB 3-5-17. From a litter of 3. White ewe. Good mom. Twins last year. $250
17. SOLD "Beauty Lil Girl" FBA #30330 DOB 6-10-18. One of twins and lambs with twins and triplets so far. Love this ewe in every way. $350
18. SOLD "Sister" FBA #30329 DOB 6-10-18. One of twins - Beauty's sister (above). She is a very loving sheep. If she could pick a career, we are convinced it would be therapy. Always produces wonderful lambs. $325
19. SOLD "Jane" FBA# 30461 DOB 4-10-19. Jane is a sweet spot for me. Always has beautiful lambs and is very gentle and peaceful with a kind face. $375
20. SOLD "Maura" FBA# 30605 DOB 3-4-17. Born a twin and gives us triplets and quads. A very nice girl - friendly. Brown, but with pattern of self and grey possibly (never fading lambs though, but with sugar lips also sometimes)? Sugar lips, but not faded to white. (She does have slight eye rings and line at hooves indicating the grey pattern.) An interesting ewe! Has been very good for us here. $300
21. SOLD "Daisy" FBA# 31107 DOB 2-19-20. Daisy is a beautiful piebald ewe... However, she is the smallest ewe on our farm. Not from our original lines. She has lambed once and we needed to pull her first lamb which was a good size, but she had no trouble at all with her second lamb who was equal size. Good mom. Very sweet with a nice clear pattern. $375
22. SOLD "Millie" FBA# 31106 DOB 1-13-20. Millie is also outside of our original lines. She is a very friendly girl carrying badger, piebald, and throws lots of colors to her lambs so far (twins her first lambing.) Good mom and flashy! $425
SOLD Bonus UNREGISTERED EWE crossbred 50% Cormo and 50% Finnsheep. Also named Maura. Maura has given us beautiful singles and twins with big and beautiful babies who grow well with dense and lovely fleeces. She was born in 2018 and is almost 5 years old. Maura is friendly and halter broken - very easy to work with and gets a once a year shearing. She has been bred with Finn and CVM rams and done well. $250.
23. Not Available "Burl" FBA# 32379 DOB 3-24-21. From a quadruplet birth. Unrelated to our stock thus far and would pair nicely for a starter flock with any group of ewes here. Has not yet been used over ewes. Interestingly, he really enjoys hanging out with the horses! $350
24. PENDING "Corduroy" FBA# 30306 DOB 2-27-18. Absolutely gorgeous sire and has done amazing things for us here! Highly recommended to help improve any flock. From a triplet birth. Fine wool, amazing structure, brown with head-socks-tail markings. Brought in from ID. This ram carries Paddington with self. Agouti. Great pigment retention and putting this on his many lambs here. $350
25. SOLD "Bluff" FBA# 30347 DOB 3-11-19. Lots of luster in this ram's fleece! He actually is a piebald sheep from a quadruplet birth. You can see the dalmatian and piebald under his fleece every year under his pattern grey that hides this (pattern grey is dominant). I think every year we shear him, he looks different and keeps us guessing. Nice structure. Has thrown nice lambs also and puts his sheen we love on fleeces. $400
26. SOLD "Brocktree" FBA# 27021 DOB 4-17-14. An old ram, yes. But we wanted to give the opportunity for someone to use him in combination with any ewes purchased from us who are unrelated. He has done very well for us here and is much loved! He was born a quad and has been nothing but good to us through all his years sharing his beautiful fleece qualities with his lambs as well. We will be happy to send him to a home with our ewes for no charge.
27. Not Available "Bingo" FBA#33021 is from a twin birth DOB 1-25-22. (Ram lamb from last Spring.) He was born with piebald markings that faded as his grey pattern is dominant. $350 (Picture from 3-22. He has grown!)
28. Not Available "Jasper" FBA# 33022 is from a twin birth DOB 2-16-22. (Ram lamb from last Spring) Black HST pattern (only a bit of white on forehead.) Nice fleece. Not proven as a ram yet, but would help to make a nice starter flock, etc. $375 (Pictures are from 5-22. He has definitely grown and nicely.)
Starter Flocks etc.
This year will be a different year for WoodSong Farm. Our kids are getting older (two in college classes!), and we are wanting to get some important time for making memories before it is too late. Thus, we have decided to offer our keeper lambs from last year and older sheep as well. Our stock are registered and health tested for OPP and Johnnes. This is the stock we selected for ourselves from careful breeding and also bought from around the country to bring in what we considered good for our program. We have already sold a few groups. If you would be interested in our stock, please do let us know. We have some really wonderful Finns and would be happy to talk about good fits for you.
PS. You're welcome to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gone but not Forgotten
Some time has past so that it is easier to talk about this more publicly now, but I did want you all to know that we have lost Benji at the young age of six. Most of you know that he did struggle with Lyme's in the past, and we did find that he had lesions on his brain of unknown cause (Lymes, cancer, injury from an old injury from a horned ram at a friend's farm?) I have so much to thank Benji for. He taught us so much and was our intro into loving this breed and the beginning of our kennel. He saved me and my family many times from extra effort with his control and moving of the sheep or potential threats, tracked and hunted down foxes that were a threat, treed coons that he could not reach or even tried to dig them from their hollows. He loved the lambs, guarded the chickens, saved the kittens from hawks, and always made sure no one was left behind. Benji moused in barns and was a constant shadow and foot warming true and companion. His nose never ceased to amaze us, as he showed us so many new things he was aware of that helped to make the farm smooth. Benji made our world bigger, better, and safer. He was gentle and fierce, perceptive, a gentleman of the old ways, and faithful as the day was long. We have grieved and loved and carry and continue his legacy still in our kennel and hearts. I am so thankful to all of you who have a piece of Benji still here to enjoy and share.
After much discussion, we have decided to offer many of our choice ewe lambs and older ewes for sale. Please contact us via e-mail or FB messenger for discussion: email@example.com or https://www.facebook.com/farmingatwoodsong and thank you!
Ewe Lambs of 2022
Sad to say that all of our ewe lambs are sold for the year. We do have some rams left for anyone looking, but are happy to put anyone interested in more on a waitlist for next Spring 2023. Thank you to everyone who has sent us those lovely updates and for loving our lambs! That makes us all so happy here!!
Today is the ending of an era for WoodSong Farm. This morning, we said goodbye to our last Kerry cow and calf team. Hope-cow, as we often and affectionately called her, was a wonderful girl here for us. Such cream and the most lovely and sweet temperament! We will truly miss her and the other cows, but especially her.
To catch everyone up, we decided to find new homes for our Kerry cattle (as wonderful as they are) due to needing to focus on fewer things to do them better. And so WoodSong Farm is now focusing in full on family and a meaningful life, our incredible Old Time Scotch Collies, and of course our beloved Finnsheep and fiber. (Speaking of which, we will be selling fleeces this fall if anyone is interested in getting on our list!)
We were still very sad watching the large livestock trailer pull out of our driveway this morning taking away our last of the Kerries. We will always love our last cow especially, but Hope itself has not left us. Hope for more family time and bringing our old-fashioned collies along on the journey, Hope for always improving and enjoying our friendly Finnsheep, and Hope for the future and what it will bring. I hope that Hope-cow will bring much happiness in her new home and capture her new owner's heart as she did ours. The Kerries have left their mark here and taught us a lot. We are grateful to them and wish them all happy and productive and bountiful lives. They have left us still Hopefulllll.
2022 Ram Lambs, etc.
Well, we have several sheep that have gone to their new homes, but still have a few ram lambs and some select grown rams left including a brown ram, some badgers, and also some stunning black, and white rams. We think that some of these are particularly nice for potential breeding stock. (All our flock has been tested Johnnes and OPP free. Anything new coming in is always quarantined and tested before introducing to the rest of the flock.)
SOLD - The first ram is Arthur FBA# yet to be determined (we'll send off for registration when we have a confirmed sale.) His parents are (FBA #30324 and #30347). Born 1-12-22. Black with a very small white spot on forehead only. Growthy and was a triplet birth. Nice and consistent fleece as well!
Our next ram lamb is Sergeant FBA# 33020. He is a lovely black ram born 1-28-22 from a twin birth. He stood beautifully from the very beginning and was an eye-catcher. A very tight and nice fleece on this lamb. A very sweet fella too!
SOLD - This next ram stands nicely. We've named him Legacy FBA#33015 as he is from a ewe who had quads at almost ten years old! (We will be keeping all of her ewe lambs.) Comes from really nice lines with a nice fleece. All of our brown lambs have grown seeming to keep with a nice type. DOB 1-30-22.
SOLD - FBA# 33019 Cloud is our only black based grey badger ram lamb left. He is from a triplet birth and was born 1-22-22. Love his coloring and nice fleece. A little standoffish, but I do not see this as a disadvantage in a ram.
Jasper FBA# 33022 is from a twin birth born 2-16-22. Black HST pattern (only a bit of white on forehead.) Recently weaned. Nice fleece.
We also always have white ram lambs born this spring who start at a lower price for anyone who is interested. Can be registered with their own FBA#s. Here is a sampling:
SOLD Proven adult ram Jaimie FBA# 31126 born 2-5-20 has sired some lovelies for us this year. We just don't need his line repeated here as we already carry these genetics. Triplet birth and a lovely dark badger color. Great fleece if you love locks!
SOLD Finnegan FBA# 32270 is freckled with badger pattern. He was born 2-1-21 and is a yearling. Very friendly and nice fleece.
SOLD Checkers FBA# 32274 is also freckled with badger pattern. Born 2-20-21 and is a yearling despite his lamb picture underneath. A cutie and nice manners to boot.
Thank ewe for looking!
The Songbirds Take Flight...
Well, we have thoroughly enjoyed this litter (MR Lorna x MW Keiran 3-12-22 "Songbirds") and believe that these are some very biddable workers who are all also balanced loyal and loving family dogs. I can't believe how fast time has gone with these babies! I'm hoping we get to see many of these pups at our OTSC picnic on October 16, 2022 in Meadows of Dan, VA (save the date!) One pup is left to go to her new home in the beginning of June. It's nice to have Wren around for an extra bit of time to keep Lark company. We have several pups going to breeding and working homes (carefully evaluated for multiple tasks including but not limited to potential for agility, therapy, service, and herd instinct.) Swift, Sparrow, Chickadee, Nightingale ("Evie"), Wren, and Lark - We wish you all the happiness in the world and hope you can continue to pass your happiness and love and helpfulness to the world. We will miss you, but will so enjoy seeing you living life with your new families. Here is a sampling of what we accomplished in life together with the Songbirds while they were here:
...and so much more to come in their new homes!
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.