Greener Pastures Farm - Current News

Jon kneels down to let the pregnant Cascade Farmstead ewes check him out. Visit our website to learn more about these great little low-maintenance, no-shear, meat sheep!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lollipop Lollipop

I have a bottle lamb as of yesterday. Lollipop got trapped in some mud, and when I found her, her dam was having a fit and bleating her head off, and the lamb looked dead.

I went to pick up the dead lamb, and she moved!

Rescue mode kicked in.

I fed her, then dunked her into a nearby water bucket to get most of the caked mud off of her, and when no paper towels or anything was in sight, I took off my coat and then my shirt, put back on my coat and rubbed her as dry as I could with the shirt. She was so cold and barely alive and I made an instant executive decision that she was coming to the house and would likely be a bottle lamb. She had a warm soak in a plastic dishpan while I held her head above the water, until her legs were no longer cold as ice, and I got out the bottles and nipples and fed her some whole cow's milk. We learned years ago that it has more fat than goat's milk and thus is better for a bottle lamb.

I held Lollipop to my chest for hours, she snuggled against me and slept, but kept trembling. After about 3 hours she was alert and ready for another feeding. Who would have thought that just a few hours ago she was so near death. They do bounce back so quickly, and she does have such a will to survive. I hate to think how long she was stuck in that mud with rain coming down on her face and body.

Now she's sleeping next to me in a big box with a towel. She had a busy morning; I took her out with me to check on the ewes and see what new lambs had arrived. We discovered 2 more sets of twins! They are huge compared to Lollipop.

I don't know if Lollipop will become a breeding ewe or become leg of lamb this coming autumn. I don't know if her dam will remain a breeding ewe or become tasty burger. We do cull heavily on our farm. But I can't allow babies to suffer, and this one is getting very good care.

~ Ronda

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Phrase I Never Thought I'd Hear

"Well, since we used up all of our antacid breaking out of jail..."

Jamie Hyneman

(The Kid is addicted to this show, and rightfully so!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Today Included a Double Take

We've seen this before. Several times. But each time I'm startled and do a double take, even when I hoped that a particular breeding pair would produce something like this.

This is Greener Pastures Lorelei with her dam, Greener Pastures Hollyhock. Lorelei's sire is as dark as her dam, but both parents have white with spots in their ancestry.

Bright white. Pristine white. Pink nose and white hooves. And those markings on her face and neck!

And our most recent lamb is another little girl, this one from Greener Pastures Evening Primrose. I saw her being born from inside the house, and got out here just as she was getting up.

Her first meal. I forgot to check her skin color; it could be brown like her sire's, and thus affect her adult coloring. Her dam is quite a looker, and poses nicely for the camera. But she didn't want me near her lamb.

I couldn't get close enough to her dam to read the eartag, so I took a number of closeup photos in hopes of being able to magnify the photo and get a reading. I did, successfully, but just had to include this photo expressly for...

Chai Chai!

It's a good thing the back of the eartag was clean and readable. And what's that? Some brambles in the wool?

~ Ronda

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Lambs and Pregnant Ewes

We had a couple lambs born on Easter morning! Both boys, and both from ewes born last year! This is Kittiwake with her cute little boy. He has brown skin, a white cap and 2 white socks on his back legs. His coloring will change dramatically within a short time. His daddy is Jackpot, who can be seen in yesterday's post.

The other boy was in the barn with his dam, where photos always come out badly, so I'm waiting for a better photo opportunity.

This was apparently the Play Group on Easter; Kittiwake was hanging out in this area and Valerian stopped by to see the new baby. Her son is very curious. Very soon we will see the Lamb Races and these boys will have loads of fun together.

Turning my camera to the left, here are a couple of my favorite ewes, Lavender and Honeysuckle. Lavender is a new "auntie"... she has 4 half sisters on three other farms. One of her nieces was born on Easter and can be seen here. Lavender is also a Grandma. Her granddaughter Lollipop was shown in yesterday's post. I can hardly wait to see what she gives us this year, and Honeysuckle never fails to amaze with her lambs.

And here are pregnant Cascade Farmstead ewes ranging in age from 1 year to my beloved 4-year-old Belladonna.

Obviously, more lambs are coming!

Have I mentioned that I love lambing season???

~ Ronda

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sheep. Sort Of.

Here's our Day Before Easter lamb: Greener Pastures Lollipop! And if you scroll back to the post on April 21st, you can see that the "next ewe to lamb" was the big whitish one right ahead of the ewe and her babies. Greener Pastures Jazz is the fabulous lamb shown on our A Life in the Day web page.

And here are a few photos taken Saturday of a few of our adult rams.

Greener Pastures Jackpot has wide horns and is in the early process of rooing his fleece. He was utilized as a breeding ram last fall, and is Lollipop's daddy. Lollipop has brown skin and will likely be blonde like her Pa.

Greener Pastures Jester, Jumping Jack Flash and Redwood are lined up for a photo shoot. You can see how much Jester's and JJ's horns have grown since January if you look at the previous post. Redwood was utilized as a breeding ram last fall. I am surprised that his horns are not quite as wide as I would like... his sire had really wide horns, and his dam carried the genetics for wide horns. Because he has genetics on his sire's side that I really needed, I utilized him carefully with selected ewes whose sires had really wide horns.

I have photos and thoughts on body structure to share in my next post. Oh yeah... and hopefully more lamb photos!

Happy Easter!

~ Ronda

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Catching Up On Ram Photos

While we wait for more new lambs, I'm catching up on all the photos I took last summer and winter.

These handsome boys are just a few of the Cascade Farmstead rams in our flock. Greener Pastures Indigo on the left was nearly 3 years old at the time this photo was taken; Jan 2, 2011. Quite a rack of horns, huh? His twin brother lives in Missouri, and I'm hoping to see photos of Juniper sometime. You can see a larger photo at the bottom of this page.

Greener Pastures Jumping Jack Flash (black with super wide horns) and Greener Pastures Jester are shown at right. At the time of this photo they were nearly 2 years old. JJ's horns are wider than we normally see, and are quite useful when breeding to a ewe that we know carries narrower horns.

Indigo was utilized for two breeding seasons; once as a flock ram for his group of allotted ewes, and I was so pleased with his progeny that the following year he had another breeding group as well as performing duties as a "clean up ram." Last fall I kept him just as pasture decoration and as my Grandpa Ram in the Bachelor Boy pasture. If the economy hadn't sucked so much, I would have kept him longer, but since I no longer needed him for breeding, we ate him. And that's what this breed is for! Several rams were butchered at that time and we processed them into the best tasting burger we've ever had.

More photos to go through, so you'll see more activity on my blog than you've seen in a long time! Woo hoo!

~ Ronda

Thursday, April 21, 2011

2011 Lambing Season Has Begun!


I love lambing season!

We discovered our first lambs of the year today. The twins were nearly dry by the time we learned we had lambs, and we scrambled for our lambing equipment: the camera.

The Kid took photos of the Mister and Me. The lighter colored lamb is a girl and she will become blonde or a butterscotch color as she matures... this brown color is her lamb coat.

The black lamb is a boy, and the white bits on his head and neck might fade to nearly nothing, or they may indicate a color change coming. We shall see. He's only a few hours old, and has some sturdy one inch horns that are mostly covered with hair. In a week or so they will be more visible.

Good girl Valerian!

Which of these beautiful, fleecy girls will lamb next? Some of them are already beginning to shed their fleece.

I love lambing season!

~ Ronda

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I saw this on a couple other blogs and just had to share it:

 44% DONE.

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And on that note, I'll continue to wait for lambs, which are due very very soon. : D

~ Ronda