Purplequeenvt - New Journal

purplequeenvt

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I started a journal years ago, but as I’ve taken a break from here for a while and have since made some major life changes, it seems appropriate to start a new one. I make no promises to update it frequently! 😜

Where are you?

I grew up and spent most of my life in VT, but moved to central KY in December of 2019.

How many people are in your family?

My immediate household consists of me and my younger sister (Sis3) who lives with me, but another sister (Sis2), BIL, and 4yo niece live next door.

How would you define your farm?

Small, one woman show.

What would you do with your spare time if you had any resources you needed?

I would start a fiber mill and run a larger commercial flock in addition to my registered flock.

Is it a hobby or an occupation?

It is a hobby, for sure, but my goal is to make the sheep pay for at least their hay every year.

In what types of farming will you never choose to do?

Commercial feedlot or dairy

Are you interested in providing more of your own food supply?

Always. Someday I will actually have time to do all the canning I want to do.

Can you drive a farm tractor?

Yes. And a truck and stock trailer. I can back a trailer up too.

Do you make crafts or useful items?

I’m a hand spinner and knitter.

Can you legally have all forms of livestock where you are at? Do you have any? What kinds?

Yes, I live in a rural area. I raise registered Border Leicester and Shetland sheep, but I also have a handful of crossbred wool ewes. I also have a 10yo Jersey cow, but she lives next door with my BIL’s herd of Highlands.

Do you like to garden? If so, what do you enjoy growing?

I like doing herbs and flowers. Sis3 does the veggies.

How much space/land do you have or rent? City farm? Country?

Rural, about 8 acres fenced, plus another 14 or so of woods.

Do you do wood work? framing, finish, cabinet?

I have done some woodworking. I built coat rack for my laundry room recently. I *can* do pretty much anything after reading about it or watching a few videos, but I thankfully have a very handy BIL living next door so I don’t always have to the projects.

If you could live any place you chose, where would it be?

I like where I am, but in my dreams I live in Scotland.

Are your family or friends also interested in animals?

Short answer, yes. There are all sorts of animals in the family. Lots of sheep, some cattle, seasonal pigs, cats, poultry, and lots of dogs (13 at last count between all the family members)

Do you like to cook? Are you interested in whole foods and natural foods? raw milk? farm fresh eggs?

Yes, I do a good portion of the cooking. We eat dinner with Sis2 and BIL almost every night and it’s probably a good thing because I don’t know how to cook for only a couple people.

I love cooking with homegrown products. Raw milk is the best, but I don’t milk my cow anymore.

What skills do you have that help you be more a self sufficient farm?

I’ve been involved in our little family farm for over 20 years now and I’m very much into taking care of as much as possible myself.

I shear my own sheep and can process a fleece from shearing all the way through to the finished product.

I also have accumulated a lot of livestock medical know-how and usually only need the vet for actual emergencies.

Do you process your own meat?

I can do poultry and sheep. I have never done a cow or pig because I don’t have the tools to do the job properly.

—————

My flock (for now) consists of 11 adult ewes, 3 yearling ewes, 3 rams, and 1 wether.

I’ve just started lambing with 1 lamb born on Friday and 2 just a few minutes ago. The next group isn’t due for a couple more weeks.

Besides the sheep, there are 5 barn cats. I didn’t want 5 cats, but they have started accumulating. All 5 are boys and they are scheduled to lose their nuts on 3/4.

We’ve also got quite the pack of canines. I’ve got Hazel, a Border Collie/English Shepherd mix. She’s a weird little creature and is completely useless at anything besides being cute and sweet. My BIL told me today that he can always tell what my mood is on a given day based on how obnoxious Hazel is being. My 2nd dog is Twist, a 7mo Border Collie puppy. Sis2 bred her girl last summer and she gave him to me. H by far one of the most well-mannered puppies I’ve ever met.

Sis3 has Jack, a JRT. He’s a bit of a turd most of the time and he picked a fight with a bigger dog a few months ago and ended up loosing his leg. It hasn’t slowed him down much though. Her 2nd dog is newly acquired. She has wanted a corgi for a very long time and, when we found a nice litter nearby, the whole family chipped in to get her, Evelyn.

I will post some pictures soon, but it’s too late tonight.
 

Baymule

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I’m so glad you have started a new journal. I’ve always enjoyed your postings. You are a wealth of information and experience. Please post often!
 

SA Farm

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Following along and looking forward to pics 😁 :pop
 

purplequeenvt

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Fiona, born 2/19.



Oban (right, ram) and Farr (left, ewe), born 2/21.



It’s been fun having the Shetlands born 1st (they are usually the last to go). It gives me more time to play with them and make them super friendly. I’ve already got all 3 coming up for scratches. The ram lamb is most likely going to be castrated and kept as a fiber wether so I’m not worried about making him too friendly.



A handful of the girls.



2 of the boys. The 3rd has been living next door with my sister’s small flock of Katahdins. She got a few bottle babies and they grew so well she decided to breed them for late spring lambs.



Fern and her children, Howard (left) and Fruit Loop (right). They were named by the 4yo. 🤦🏼‍♀️ Howard is Fern’s calf with an Angus bull and Fruit Loop is Holstein/Angus and I got her at a week old to foster onto Fern.



2 of the barn cats, Crockett and Simon. Crockett came from someone who had found him dumped at 3 weeks old and raised him until weaning. I found Simon in the bushes at work, starving and sick (he had a bot fly larva in his neck).



My boy, Twist. Bestest puppy ever.



Hazel. She’s getting spayed tomorrow so I’m sure she’s going to be extra needy for a while. Good thing she’s cute!



Jack, shortly after his amputation.




The newest addition, Evelyn. She’s Miss Sassy Pants and is completely obsessed with food.

 

promiseacres

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Awesome!
We got a Corgi last November. I'm not sure if he'd ever be a great herder but a GREAT family dog. Which is what we wanted. His name is Ranger. IMG_5616.JPG
 

Alaskan

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What breed is Fern?
And that great sheep picture, with the ewes all looking at the camera...

Could you go left to right and tell me the breeds or crosses?
 

purplequeenvt

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What breed is Fern?
And that great sheep picture, with the ewes all looking at the camera...

Could you go left to right and tell me the breeds or crosses?

Fern is a Jersey. Her winter coat has a lot of gray in it, but her summer coat is a really pale fawn.

The other picture got cut off a little so I’m reposting it here.



L-R: natural colored Border Leicester ewe lamb, white Border Leicester ewe lamb, Shropshire X BL/Dorper/Friesian/Shetland ewe, and the last 3 are Shetland ewes.
 

purplequeenvt

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Awesome!
We got a Corgi last November. I'm not sure if he'd ever be a great herder but a GREAT family dog. Which is what we wanted. His name is Ranger. View attachment 82011
I’m so used to Border Collie-type dogs and it’s been so long since we’ve had a Corgi that I’d forgotten how funny they are. And food obsessed. We’ve actually had 2 Corgi puppies here for a few weeks because my mom decided to get one of the puppies as well. My parents have been here visiting/working on the house, but they leave tomorrow so we’ll have to say goodbye to Evelyn’s sister, Eloise (or Wheezy as everyone calls her).

Is Ranger very opinionated? Evelyn will get in to something and when she’s scolded, she’ll sit there and talk back to you.
 

Alaskan

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Fern is a Jersey. Her winter coat has a lot of gray in it, but her summer coat is a really pale fawn.

The other picture got cut off a little so I’m reposting it here.



L-R: natural colored Border Leicester ewe lamb, white Border Leicester ewe lamb, Shropshire X BL/Dorper/Friesian/Shetland ewe, and the last 3 are Shetland ewes.
Thanks!

Fascinating the breed differences. The Shropshire cross is such a contrast to the others.

And the Border Leicester ears!! Like bunnies.

Also Fern, she is so light in that photo, never would have guessed Jersey.
 
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