Odd Teat, Head Rooster and Shearing Old Sheep

odd teat

Our Highland cow Greta was in with a bull until February of this year.  So we do not know if she is pregnant and , if so, when she is due.  So I have been periodically trying to check her udder to make sure it is not enlarging.  It is challenging because she does not like people too close and will kick if you get near her butt.  But today with a side view I noticed something off.  On her right front seemingly normal teat she has this “growth?” coming from the front surface near the tip.  I could not get close to look at it and certainly couldn’t get near enough to touch it so I decided to take zoom photos from about 10 feet away to see if I could see it better that way and figure out what it is.  So the above photo is the best one of the bunch.  The tip of the normal teat is in the upper left corner of the photo and the oddity is in the middle.  So now I need some help to figure out what it is.  Anyone have any ideas?

So our old white rooster died while I was at Black Sheep Gathering.  It is the end of a chicken era here at Schoonover Farm.  He was our head rooster for a number of year, since before Cogburn died.  Now the red rooster is in charge.  White rooster’s harem will likely be distributed between red rooster, “Little Man“, and the 2 Phoenix roosters.

head rooster

I cleaned out a pen to get ready for chicks that are supposed to arrive on Monday.  And then I decided to shear the old skinny sheep.  My strategy with them is not to shear them with the rest of the flock in the Spring, wait for the weather to warm up, and then trim the felted wool off of them to allow cooling but keep some wool on them for the upcoming winter.  I trimmed three of them today before my back told me to wait on the other two for another day.  I did Sadie, Sheila and Bob.  Sadie and Sheila are blind and relatively easy to catch and get on the shearing stand.  Bob, however, is still quite feisty and was a chore to get into the stanchion.  Below are Sadie and Bob after the event.  Hopefully they will be cooler now.

sheared sadie

sheared bob

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Black Sheep Gathering 2014

Jacuzzi tub

I decided to go to the BSG again this year because Judith MacKenzie was judging the fleeces, and I wanted to bring a couple of fleeces to get her opinion.  Originally Tom was going to accompany me again so I reserved a nicer hotel room with a jacuzzi tub to make his stay a little nicer.  But he decided instead to go on a camping/motorcycle trip with my father and brother.  So I decided to spoil myself (and my back) and keep the reservation.  Above is the tub, and below is the fireplace and TV in the jacuzzi’s room.

fireplace and TV in jacuzzi room

I drove down Thursday (7 hours) and dropped off my two fleeces.  Then returned on Friday morning to catch the Shetland sheep judging.  This is the ram class.

Shetland ram classThis is a cool knitted skirt seen during the sheep judging.

cool knitted skirtHere are two cute lambs that hung out with us for a little while in the stands.

cute ewe lambs

Here is some of the Shetland ewe lambs being judged.

Shetland ewe lamb class

After the sheep judging was over, I headed to the wool building to watch Judith judge fleeces.  There I spotted this cool purse that appears to be made with baling twine.

cool twine purse

On Friday evening, I went to the Ocean Sky to join other shepherds in dinner.  It was fun catching up with everyone again.  We were all starving so actually made a dent in the copious portions of food they served.

On Saturday I returned to the wool show to watch the fleece judging.  Here is a beautiful fleece about to be judged.

beautiful fleece

And here is Judith with a Teeswater lock.

Judith and Teeswater lockAnd here are some of the Shetland yearling fleeces about to be judged by Judith.

Judith and Shetland yearling classAnd here is Velvet’s fleece being judged by her.  She had nice things to say but I did not get a ribbon.  There was fierce competition, and my fleece (and sheep) are small and so lost out on size.

Judith and Velvets fleece

The fleece judging was behind schedule, and I was starving by the time the Shetlands were over so failed to get any more photos of the judging including Heidi’s fleece.  I ate a quick lunch and then scoped out the sales barns.  Here is an interesting sweater sheep.

cool stuffed sweater sheep

I then headed back to the wool sale to check out the fleeces before the sale opened.  Here is a cool windshield sunscreen I encountered en route.

windshield shade screen

Here is Velvet’s fleece with Judith’s nice comments.

Velvets comments

And here is a pretty Icelandic fleece.

pretty Icelandic fleeceI am proud to say I did not buy any fleeces at the wool show.  I headed back to the hotel and relaxed, spinning and knitting while watching the World Cup.

knitting with World Cup

On Sunday I headed back to BSG and took in a sock machine knitting demo.  I checked out and then drove home.  Traffic was awful from north of Vancouver through Tacoma.  It took me 8 hours to get home.  The whole time I was telling myself I am never going back to BSG again.  This sentiment may change as I forget about the traffic though.  Here is the loot I bought at BSG.

BSG loot

I did pretty well.  A couple of bars of soap, an emergency skein of white Shetland yarn since I accidentally grabbed camel yarn instead of Lonny’s and needed the white Shetland for the next row of my knitting project, and some camo roving to make something cool for my hubby.  I also got some of the tie-dyed BSG shirts.  Here is the progress I made on my sweater.

sweater progress

I managed to spin, ply, skein and wash the white Satin Angora in 1.5 days during BSG as well as getting quite a bit of the knitting done.  All and all a successful Gathering.





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Hoop House

hoop house

Tom built this house, and today I helped him put the plastic on it.  Now he will plant the tomatoes inside.  Hopefully we will not lose them to blight again this year.

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