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.
It’s hard to believe that we are approaching Christmas Holidays and that the brilliant fall foliage has just finished falling. 2020 winter was relatively warm followed by a cold spring and a dry summer. Amazingly, there was an abundance of great garden produce which continued to grow well into October.
As I finally get to posting this update, I am saddened by two more losses. Spaghetti passed over the Thanksgiving holiday without a diagnosis. On observation, she seemed to be crying but had no physical findings apart from the third vet visit which confirmed my observation of new onset of rapid respirations. She will be remembered by her gorgeous multicolored doe Cryssalis who was kept here to join the current milking queue.
Oslo (LoLo) passed just before lambing. She was diagnosed with sore mouth, hospitalized at the clinic based on the contagious nature of the disease, but was without any findings or abnormal laboratory values except for drooling. She experienced short term improvement but then passed, possibly secondary to the prolonged isolation. She will be remembered for her voracious appetite and antics to get at the food bowl. She earned the nickname of the One Horned Wonder when, as the donor for a blood transfusion to a lamb, she struggled so much in the stanchion that she knocked off one of her horns.
Kidding was in early March. Julissa was the first to kid. She had quints, all born alive, but only 3 survived. Ruby was last. Just before he left the farm, her handsome blue-eyed buck broke off one of his horns while playing with his penmates, necessitating a vet visit for horn removal and cauterization. Three doelings, (Zeus from Julissa, Camilla from Snowy, and Cryssalis from Spaghetti), joined the does and the two yearlings, (Mia and Angel), who were also bred in 2021. The doelings have grown well and are quite impish. Rocky and Fireball were again anxious to service the does.
Lambing followed kidding by about a month. There were 17 healthy lambs in 2021. Rada, the first to lamb, had a solid white ram lamb that looked like his sire Charleston, (Charlie). Aurora (Rora) lambed shortly thereafter, once again giving us another nice mouflon and a nice gray patterned lamb, both rams. Leaka, the other early ewe to lamb, had a single solid black ewe lamb. Her lamb quickly started to follow us around and seemed to look for any mischief that would annoy us thereby earning the nickname of curious George (AKA Georgette as she was a ewe). Like her dam, she delighted in a lot of attention and wagged her tail vigorously when her back was scratched. She stayed on as a companion to Undina (Dina), one of the ewe lambs from the mid month birth group.
Mid-month River and Ny both produced gorgeous ewe lambs with flashing, (lambs that appear black and white patterned when you see them). River also had a mellow moorit gray ram lamb named Ulfhrafn that was sold with Uggi, (Lily’s ram lamb), to a shepherd in Iowa. Rosa’s first lambing (with sire Charlie) was quick and produced a solid black ram lamb and a solid white ewe lamb. Nott was the last ewe to lamb (a ewe) in the mid month group. Her lamb was small but healthy even though she lost all her fleece shortly after birth. Since Nott experienced udder edema which limited initial milk supply Undina (Dina) milk shared from Noni who was Nott’s pen mate. Dina stayed on with Georgette and has grown well.
The late month lambs included twin ewes (badgerface and white) from Reyna, a first-time mom, handsome twin mouflon ram lambs (solid color black and moorit) from Ebony, and a badgerface ram from Noni who was a carbon copy of his sire Atlas, (Ulfur). Ulfur quickly became very friendly and it was decided to keep him on as a replacement for Atlas in case Atlas would no longer be able to breed. The last ewe to lamb was Lily who had another SGGM ram lamb and a solid white ewe lamb.
Amazingly, almost all the ewes cooperated for a new carousel of ewes. The current group reflects relatively minor shuffling. Ebony and Eliza came together in Fall 2020 as replacements for Natalia. When it was decided to keep Dina, Georgette was chosen to stay on with her. Total number of ewes is now 16, all displayed in this new carousel.
In late 2020 Charleston (Charlie) and Atlas were introduced as replacements for Dominik and Loki. Nels was bred to Ny, Nott, River, and Rora then was sold. Taejang, Lily’s 2020 SGGM ram lamb replaced him in the 2021 breeding queue. In 2020 Charlie was bred to Rada, Leaka, Rosa, and Lily; Atlas was bred to Reyna, Ebony, Noni, and Oslo.
Shortly after the 2020 breeding groups were split, Atlas experienced a ruptured urethra. Just when it seemed that surgery was successful, he required a second surgery to drain urine from his abdomen. Keeping the drain site patent in the winter cold was dependent on several heat lamps hung in a closed barn so as to prevent freezing. Currently at the recommendation of the vet, he is in a breeding area with River and Rada but the vet was unable to predict whether he would be able to breed.
Charlie and Taejang are in breeding groups also with Miles and Lennon wethers in a pasture with Ulfur.
The 2021 ram lambs were all sold apart from Ulfur, kept as a possible replacement for Atlas as already mentioned. When Uggi and Ulfhrafn’s registration papers were submitted, Uggi was registered as an SGGM ram and it was noted that Ulhfrafn and several other sheep in the flock carried the SGGM gene.
As 2022 approaches the does are close to mid gestation, the sheep are in breeding groups, the verdict on whether Atlas will be able to breed again will not be known for 2-3 months
Based on recent registrations we will continue searching for the sometimes elusive lambs now knowing that the Farm of Beauty Goats and Sheep has bred sheep that carry this designation.
Ulfahn looking for the elusive SGGM gene
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.