Animal Roll Call

Walter at Sugar Mountain Farm suggested an animal roll call, which sounds like the kind of update I am capable of doing at the moment.

Close-up of Egil We’ve got Egil, our Icelandic rooster, currently lording it over his four hens, two of whom are broody, and around 30 three month old chickens. I can’t tell the sex of most of them yet, though we can hear the boys as they practice their crows (horribly). We also have one pet chickie, Peeper. She’s not sure she is a chicken, hangs out with the pup during the day on the front porch.

Bjarki Speaking of which, we have Bjarki, our Icelandic sheepdog pup, six months old now. We were a bit worried that we were going to have to have him fixed and not be able to breed him because he only had one testicle, but the other has descended, let there be rejoicing. We love this guy so much we want to get two girls from Iceland to breed him to. His personality is as wonderful as he is pretty, and he’s a very pretty boy. His instincts are coming out nicely, and I’ll be looking for herding school for the two of us soon.

Our two gilts need names! We have two registered Tamworth gilts (who still need names) and three feeder pigs. We had another feeder, but she’s been sent to fatten up at our neighbor’s. They are having a pig roast in August. Pigs are very different than the other critters we’ve had, and I still don’t have the hang of them. I’m getting there, but we still haven’t got them moved out of the sheep’s winter pens and to where we want them to root up stumps for us. Dang it. I’ve got the gilts set up for a visit to a registered boar this fall, at East Hill Farm in Troy, New Hampshire. That sounds much smarter than us getting a boar ourselves, at least right now.

My pretty horses We have two Percheron horses, Prince and Pearl. Pearl is due any second now (we have wax!), so soon we will have a foal as well. We got them to help us log and clear land. I’ve got Pearl in a friend’s foaling stall down the road from us right now, though, and will bring her and the baby home as soon as I get the baby trained to electric fence.

Misty We have one llama, Misty, who we can’t seem to keep in a fence at all these days. Ever since we lost her sister Mary (who I still miss), she has just been impossible to fence in. She climbed a cattle panel the other day, while we watched. Arg! But being free seems to agree with her — she’s in much better condition. She hangs out with Prince during the day, and is slowly slowly slowly learning not to hate the pigs. She only gives her alarm call at them once an hour or so now. (Progress!)

Minx's girl, the one with scurs not horns We have 30 Icelandic sheep (half of which are lambs) and one Icelandic/Shetland cross wether, Leon. I’m not real happy with them at the moment, though it isn’t their fault, really. It’s the blasted electronet, which just will not keep them in. They got out AGAIN last night and ate my garden. Arg. Grrr. I’m very frustrated with sheep right now.

Ready for a super Last but certainly not least, we have four thriving hives of bees. They are doing fantastic. Three of them have honey supers on them, so we will get honey this year, yay. We started them from new sets this spring, but we had drawn comb and even some honey to give to all of them, so they all got off to a good start, and it is really showing. Go bees.

Princess I almost forgot Princess kitty. She would not be amused. If I mention the dog, I must mention Her Highness. She’s really been enjoying the summer weather, and is finally resigned to having the puppy around. I caught her napping next to Peeper the other day. (If only I’d had my camera!) Shouldn’t everyone have himmies as barn cats?

3 thoughts on “Animal Roll Call”

  1. How do your hives do with mites, etc? I kept bees for about 25 years but then stopped in the mid-90’s due to the mites. Are you having mites in your hives and if so what do you do for them?


    in Vermont

  2. Oh, Lisa! You and I are running bad parallel lives. I “harvested” my wheat patch today, if that’s what you can call picking up the several dozen stalks the escaped sheep left for me the last time they were out….

    And to make matters worse, I invested in a standard electric fence unit to replace my electronet, and apparently I flunked electrocution class. It’s an elegant fence decoration for now, (until tomorrow?), at least.

  3. We keep an eye out for mites, but haven’t seen any. The closest other hives we know about are barely close enough for our scouts to meet theirs, so if we start mite-free we’re likely ok. We did lose all four hives when we were away for basically all of 2006. Unfortunately two of them looked like CCD (would have been in fall of ’05), but it’s hard to be sure since I didn’t do the postmortem till 15 months after the fact.


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