My farm is located in Lodi, Wisconsin surrounded by the gentle hills of the Ice Age Trail which marks the termination of glacial activity in Wisconsin millions of years ago. Farm preservation land, currently planted in corn and alfalfa, surrounds the pastures.
I breed and sell registered Icelandic sheep, dairy sheep, and registered Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats.
Sasha came to the FBGS on March 27, 2020. When I opened the gate to the main barn early on a cold March 27, I stumbled over Ny and her large ewe lamb. I bedded them down in a clean empty pen, set up a heat lamp, then put in food and water. As I was leaving, I went to reposition a feeding trough and discovered a small lifeless ewe lamb almost pinned down by the trough. She was breathing and had a heart beat but could not move and was hypothermic. In a week she was able to move, then suck a bit, then eventually stand.
Since her sucking reflex was poor and momma Ny rejected her, we collected milk from Leaka and fed her via dropper, later by bottle. She thrived and grew, always knowing when I entered the barn. She always looked forward to her bottle of warm sheep milk. She progressed to loving hay and pasture and would roam freely with me as I did my chores, often finding “secret” hiding places like behind hay bales.
On June 4, she appeared to have a slight neck tremor and roamed the garden but with less gusto than usual. On June 5, she did not want her am bottle and was lackluster about following me. In the short time for me to call the vet, she passed over the Rainbow Bridge.
Isa, our oldest doe, passed shortly after the 2019 breeding season. The breeding season was truncated for both the goats and the sheep due to the unpredictable weather swings. She developed an antibiotic resistant pneumonia post breeding. She will be missed as the doe who taught her kids to be independent at an early age and as the doe who surprised me one cold morning with 5 kids. She was sharing a pen with another doe who also had twins overnight and made it clear that the others were not hers. The two shared babysitting duty giving Isa some much needed rest. All 5 were raised on momma’s milk and grew well. The only doeling of the group, Luna, stayed on at the Farm of Beauty.
Precious passed from bloat after a successful breeding. The does were let out to pasture on a nice spring day, giving them a reprieve from their kids. The barn was quiet at the late night check. I found her when I did the early am check. She will be remembered as the first doeling born at the Farm of Beauty and for her incredible mothering skills when Trixie’s two orphan doelings were grafted to her.
Dominik, our phaeomelanin ram passed after a long bout with meningeal worm. He was limping that developed into abnormal walking on both rear legs with resultant skin break down. After multiple bandage changes, the vet felt he was healing. Unfortunately, either the extent of initial damage was small and not seen initially or there was new damage and he was unable to walk and had to be euthanized. He will be remembered for his unique color and his mellow temperament.
Natalia, our four year old mouflon ewe, passed recently. She was limping after enjoying our great spring pastures. Soon after the limping resolved, she was running with her lamb and we noted that her foot was in an abnormal position. The vet diagnosed a probable tendon tear, immobilized the joint, then attempted a joint fusion. She was able to enjoy 3 weeks on dry pasture with her lamb but since the fusion was unsuccessful, we opted to try an amputation. The amputation went as expected until the end when Nat had a problem with the anaesthesia and passed. She will be remembered as a leader sheep, pictured on the page one website header leading the ewes to pasture.
Five does are currently being milked and provide an abundance of milk for drinking and for cheeses. Many of the kids had blue eyes. Spaghetti’s buckling was a carbon copy of her dual color and Precious’ buckling was a carbon copy of her tan and black color. Two doelings joined the herd. Snowy had triplets. We kept her also white colored Mia. Ruby had a single gorgeous doeling who is solid black apart from a white patch on the top of her head. Snowy and Spaghetti, Ruby, Luna, and Julissa, are pictured with the doelings.
The sheep produced some lambs with gorgeous fleece colors. Lily’s ram is staying at the farm as a replacement for Dominick. In the lamb photos, he is the white/cream lamb with black spots on his body. The photos show the gorgeous 2020 lambs individually and grouped with the goats enjoying their favorite past time (eating) through the fences.
Rocky and Fireball buck, Loki and Nels ram, and Miles and Lennon wether were too hot to cooperate for a photo shoot. They all are fine, anticipating the fall 2020 breeding season and the cool crisp weather.
At the end of this early mid-year year update, we find the farm baking in the extreme summer heat and humidity that is blanketing the entire mid country and expected to last until at least early August. Noni, a parasite resistant ewe,contracted pneumonia which the vet attributed to ongoing weather swings. Her two large rams continued to nurse in spite of the extreme heat and she recovered after enjoying the barn fans which are constantly running. A few of the ewes and lambs, and even the goats and their kids, seem to spend most of the day sleeping under the trees, pasturing at night. The vet mentioned cold water sprays in addition to the alcohol drenches that we typically use. They like the cool water so much that it’s hard to get them into the barn even with strong deluges of rain.
The last photo grouping is many of the ewes and Quimby currently looking great despite the temperature in the pasture.
I am a proud member of the following organizations:
ISBONA (Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America), Canadian Livestock Records Corporation, American Dairy Goat Association, Wisconsin Dairy Goat Association, and Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative.