Raising Finnish Landrace, Cotswold, Border Leicester, and Romeldales, in the Heart of Illinois, as well as working with rescue llamas.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bunny Update

Well, we've had an exciting couple of weeks in the rabbitry. We had a good show in Bloomington, Illinois, with many compliments on the French angora bodies under the wool. That was exciting and a definite nod to our eldest son's skill at feeling under the wool for body conformation and scoring!!!! First, our 8 month old REW doe Jewel got her 3rd leg which I believe qualifies her for her grand championship. YIPEEEE, and she has a great calm personality too so she is definitely one to watch for big things! Next, the little red eyed white buck on our for sale page got a leg a couple weeks ago, another to watch for big things. The little Lilac tort is also showing well, with multiple comments on the body under his fleece.

Sadly, we discovered that our very best satin junior doe has a umbilical hernia, and is no longer show eligible. Several judges recommending keeping her for breeding stock since she has great conformation and the condition is not health threatening nor genetic. I've seen the condition in lambs, but never rabbits. The judge said it is from the Mama doe not getting this particular kit quite cleaned up after birthing. Knowing the Mama, Chocolate, it was because she was so busy with babies coming, she has large litters.

Lastly, a very sweet English lop with multiple legs toward her grand championship followed us home from the Bloomington show this last weekend bring with her a darling otter Mini Rex buck with a very impressive pedigree. We were encouraged to take both to Nationals later this fall, as the breeder thought they would both do very very well. Nationals...hmmmm???

 Happy Labor Day!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


 Hop on over to the Rabbit page and you'll see what we have to offer this summer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Recent Experience....

There was a message about Finnsheep intelligence in the last couple weeks on the Finnsheep yahoo group.... until a recent morning I was inclined to agree with the writer's assessment of Finns being more intelligent than other breeds of sheep. Our Finnsheep have consistently shown us they are more physically able than our other breeds from the minute they arrived here. Some are downright goat like in their abilities. The Finns are more active, physically more able in terms of jumping on top of those round bales (!). Our Finnsheep generally can read human intentions quicker than our other breeds, Shetland excluded. Our Cotswolds and Border Leicesters are so laid back they don’t really care about human intentions just grass, and getting a good scratch now and then... ya gotta love that about both breeds!!

Since we all know physical prowess doesn’t equal intelligence the question remains does moxie equal intelligence?? Here was a recent morning’s Finnsheep related escapade:

Nora is one of my favorite Finn ewes; she is usually clever, calm, and social. She is a great Mama who raised well behaved healthy triplets this year with out even breaking a sweat. She has a nice fleece that she keeps fairly tidy, and all around enjoyable to be around. This morning my eldest went out to do morning chores, planning on starting as usual with taking the feed to the cows and rams. However, Nora had other plans for him. As he walked by the chicken co-op he discovered Nora, darling Nora with her TOUNGUE stuck in the chicken run fence. He quickly got her disentangled. Now I, like you am thinking, 'WHY?!! What on earth could there possibly be in or on that fence that she could possibly need to lick?!' Chicken with the feathers on can’t taste good to a sheep, not to mention the possibility of getting peck right on the tongue. The answer, a chicken flock block about 18 inches  away from the  fence. Thank heavens she didn’t reach it!!! Chicken feed can be deadly to sheep it contains copper and higher protein level than most sheep feeds. While it is comical now, it could have had a disastrous ending for Nora.

I guess the jury is still out on sheep intelligence here……. I can still hear him muttering, about Nora getting tongue being caught in the fence!