Breeding Has Started

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We recently put our flock sire, Hudson, out to our new pasture with the ladies. We are looking forward to seeing Hudson’s lilac traits in our February lambs this year. He is currently breeding all of our flock ewes: Ebony, Virginia, Valerie, Katniss, Vannessa, Patricia, Zena and Viola. We are hoping to add at least 6 more ewes to the flock from breeding this year, as well as a new potential flock sire. More updates coming soon.

New Pasture And New Flock Sire

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We have been a little belated in posting updates lately, as we have all been really busy. We recently picked up our new flock sire, Mud Ranch Hudson, from Robin at Meridian Jacobs and moved him into our old pasture with Flournoy Soakie, a soon to be weathered ram lamb. That means our ewes, all nine of them, moved into our newly completed pasture.

After months of work, it was nice to finally see sheep grazing in the new area.

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The ‘ladies’ enjoying the new pasture.

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Out new flock sire, Mud Ranch Hudson.

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The Queen Bee, Hillside Springtime’s Paula, enjoying the new digs.

Flash Flood Warning? Seriously?

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Yesterday brought a nice rainstorm through Flournoy. In fact, it also brought along a ‘Flash Flood Advisory’ from the weather service. All told, we got another half an inch of rain. Our hayfields are REALLY going to be productive this year.

Here are some cool storm pictures:

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Almost Too Big To Hold…..almost!

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The kids are starting to realize that the little lambs from February are now big lambs in late April. In fact, they are almost too big now for the kids to hold. While they still can, though, they love to go out to the pasture and pretend it’s still February.

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Kaylee and Logan with Soakie. Can’t tell who’s trying to be tougher in this picture, Logan or Soakie.

The Lambs Still Love Momma

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During the day, it’s easy to look into our pasture and see the sheep in odd groups: Paula and Viola together grazing, Zena and Valerie laying around, and the lambs all off climbing on things together, or ‘popcorning’ in the middle of the field. Yet come sunset, the lambs all run back to momma to bed down for the night. Check the pictures out below.

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Zena and her ewe lamb Katniss

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Paula and her twin lambs Soakie (ram) and Patricia (ewe)

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Valerie and her twin ewes Vanessa and Virginia grab one last bite together before laying down for the night.

Spring Fence Building

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Before the real hot weather hits Northern California, we spent this weekend driving ‘T-Posts’ in our new pasture. Kaylee, Lauryn and Logan were a lot of help, keeping us all supplied with sunscreen, Crystal Light and more. We used our shade canopy from cheerleading to keep ourselves out of the direct sun, and the kids kept up with us by moving it from spot to spot as we made our way around the longest sides of the pasture.

Our hayfields have really sprung to life in the last two weeks and will be ready to cut soon. As soon as they are, we will be finishing up the new pasture by stretching the woven wire fence from corner to corner and clipping to the ‘T-Posts’ in between.

Our kids seem to be getting big so fast and we cherish opportunities like this to spend time together as a family, especially when we get to collectively accomplish something. Pretty soon out littlest one, Logan, will be heading off to Kindergarten. While we’ve still got him all to ourselves, we love taking his picture (see below).

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Logan was a lot of help this weekend. Here he shows us just how strong he is. (Hint: we KNOW how strong he is. He’s already the strongest guy we know).

New Sheep Arrive

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On Saturday before Easter, we packed up the kids and headed down to Meridian Jacobs in Vacaville to pick up five new sheep to bring up to join our flock. While at Meridian Jacobs, the kids got to walk around and visit with some of the lambs on the farm. It just so happens that we were able to time the trip to coincide with ‘Meet the Sheep’ day at Meridian Jacobs, and it was a blast.

Joining our flock are Meridian Zena, a large four horned ewe with a nice, 75 percent black fleece and a beautiful ewe lamb. Also joining the flock is Meridian Valerie, a well spotted four horned ewe with a cute set of twin ewe lambs.

With the additions, our flock is now nine strong. Before the breeding season starts, we will be adding a flock sire and one or two more ewes. Hopefully, come spring of 2013, we will have a flock of over 20 registered Jacob Sheep.

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Meridian Zena and Meridian Valerie, with their lambs.

A Break in the Weather

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After a huge storm yesterday, the sun came poking through today, giving all of the North State a chance to dry out. Our creek is back to normal, our hay fields are once again puddle free, and the sheep are up and out of their mini-barn. Even our German Shepard puppy Shyla was out running around through the tall grass in our field. We are all venturing out while we can, as more rain is on the way for Friday and Saturday.

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Our puppy Shyla stops running around in circles at full speed just long enough to get her picture taken in the field behind our house.

Rain Pounds Northern California

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As of 8 PM, we have received another inch and a half of rain today, and all signs point to that total reaching two inches by midnight. The storms since Saturday have brought Flournoy almost five inches of rain, our largest cumulative totals for any given five day period this whole wet season. The rain has been a welcome blessing for all the Tehama County farmers who watched rainfall totals throughout the year continue to disappoint.

For the year, we are still below normal, but the extended forecast shows a chance of rain through Sunday, so we expect to get closer to normal before March ends.

Our property is completely saturated, with isolated spots sitting underwater. The creek that runs through our property, which ran all winter and spring last year, has water in it for the first time since June of 2011. The major Sacramento River tributary that it flows into, Thomes Creek, is running at its highest level of the year, too.

All in all, our farm and our community is soaked, as the pictures below depict.

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Our tire swing has been idle for almost a week now because of the rain.

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The creek on our property is running for the first time this year.

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Our creek actually has some mini rapids right now…. Guess we might have to break out the riverboard this weekend.

More Rain This Week

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As we start a new week, more rain is moving into Northern California. At our place, the rain is a welcome sight, thanks in large part to the dismal winter we have experienced. The rain is helping bring our hayfields closer to maturity and insures that we have a little longer to drive fence posts before the soil starts to harden up.

The wet weather we’ve had in the last several weeks doesn’t seem to bother our flock too much. The lambs actually seem to enjoy popcorning around in the puddles.

We are hopeful that we will experience even more rain throughout April, setting us up for a great hay yield. We know the sheep are hoping for that too.

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