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lsarah
True Blue Farmgirl

256 Posts

Lori
Greenwood Arkansas
USA
256 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  3:59:29 PM  Show Profile
Sheri ~ I am doing it all myself. Yeah, I know, ignorance is bliss! I have one whole fleece and parts of 2 others washed. I have drum carded most of the whole fleece already. I am a teacher, so I am looking forward to being off work in 6 weeks and able to work on getting the fleece done then. I have checked out several mills, but they seem pricey - it will take time, but I can do it. Do you think it will be okay to leave that long before I get the lanolin out? It is stored in my un-air conditioned craft/storage building in plastic bags, but I can move it into the house if I need to.

We got the last four sheared yesterday. They are so much cooler now. I was afraid one would get heatstroke or something. It has rained for the last 24 hours here. Hopefully the pollen will be washed into the ponds and lakes and off of everything else. I am tired of sneezing!

She works with eager hands...Proverbs 31:13
http://www.sarahkatefibers.etsy.com
www.sarahkatefibers.blogspot.com
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  5:49:56 PM  Show Profile
Brenda I did answer to the best of know how over on the Stitching forum about the dye questions. Hope it helped but if you still have questions I will gladly try my best.

Sounds like everyone has been busy. Sounds like shearing is going well - I have done some of mine but the big boys will require me to have the hands of my sons... Washing fleece is a tricky subject. I have designed my own soap which works wonders, I also determine by each fleece the method I will use to wash them. One thing to know is the more grain a sheep eats the more oils you will be dealing with - also some breeds are considered dry sheep which means they just have the same oil in the fleece as we would in our hair - much easier to clean. Your right, never leave a sheeps fleece without washing it or by next year you might as well just throw it away. Mills can be expensive if you only have a few fleeces but when we had over 100 sheep it made dollars and cents to send some and do to some myself.

I have been spinning all of Saturday - YAY!!! Today it was rake up poop all over the farm and I torn the chicken coop down to the floor and cleaned everything. Then rearranged their layout and put it back together again. Both the hens and I are happy campers - nothing like spring cleaning in the coop... I did also make a special layout just in case I can not resist adding some chicks to the farm. So far I have managed to talk myself out of it but I can be weak.

I did have a huge scare this afternoon - after a hail storm came thru I went outside to close things up and there was Kasha laying very oddly half in and half out of her house. I called her several times and no movement. I ran screaming her name - still nothing. As I got to her I was in a panic - just then she awoke but was unsteady on her feet. I sat with her till she was back to normal. Please God I do not know if I could deal with lossing her right now. PLEASE put her in your prayers - she is my heart and soul.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  5:54:35 PM  Show Profile
Kasha is in prayer!

We got done, whew what a job but we still love each other and have learned lots and even more!!!

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  7:31:05 PM  Show Profile
I will definately put Kasha in my prayers. I hope she is doing better now. Glad to hear that you got to do some spinning on Saturday. My son and DIL came this morning and we worked cleaning out the garden since things didn't get done last fall I was so tired after the wedding. It's so nice to have extra hands as it makes the work go so much easier and a lot quicker. I still have to clean out the strawberries - they are a real mess since I didn't take care of the runners last summer. I will get it whipped into shape in a couple of days though.

Glad to hear that your shearing went okay, Rae. Just keep good weather in mind for us on Wed. and Thurs. as my poor sheep need to be sheared. These warmer temps are making them miserable.


Blessings, Sheri

"Work is Love made visible" -Kahlil Gibran
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oldfashioned girl
True Blue Farmgirl

2391 Posts

monica
oatman az
USA
2391 Posts

Posted - Apr 18 2010 :  10:16:58 PM  Show Profile
Grace, I will absolutely be praying for Kasha!

Monica
farmgirls rule!

www.justducky48.etsy.com
www.justducky48.blogspot.com
www.duckystreasurechest.etsy.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2010 :  04:00:36 AM  Show Profile
Sarita if you put the who washing thing out there let me know.

Got all 4 sheep done, whew!!! Not too bad for rookies. They were so gross after not being sheared last year. Now we can start fresh. Sampson is feeling quite "frisky" after he was all cleaned up!!

Sheri hoping for great weather for you! If anyone has rain send it our way. We are in high fire alert and it is just too dry, especially for April!!

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2010 :  04:02:04 AM  Show Profile
Sarita I meant the whole washing thing not who.
Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 19 2010 :  08:00:41 AM  Show Profile
I will let you know if I get the washing wool blog thing done and up on the blog...should have done it Saturday. The sun was shining and I was really knocking down that pile of fleeces. I even got one listed last night on Ebay...I might get another one or two on tonight.
I had a nice surprise this morning when I went out to feed the babies their bottle. A new little black and white lamb laying by its Moorit shetland mom, Belle. I had just said last night that I thought she and Ebby would lamb in the next week but probably not till about Friday.....she sure fooled me. The good thing, she had it on her own.
Aren't you relieved that the shearing is over? I dread shearing every year...dying to get my hands in the wool but hate to put the girls through the trauma.
I got out and took more pics of the lambs in the pastures yesterday. I wish I had camera in hand this morning when all the lambs were running and jumping. What a funny site!
Grace, I am praying for your little special one.
Good Day from a Sunny Missouri
Sarita

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
'Love the people who treat you right Pray for the ones who don't.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13

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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 20 2010 :  08:56:53 AM  Show Profile
Congrat's Rae on getting the shearing done - wished I could say the same here. I spent part of Monday cleaning the girls barn down to the dirt, washing walls and dishes for them - ran out of back strength so I came in the house and filled orders.

I thank you all for your prayers for Kasha - she enjoyed the sunshine witht he chickens and even dug a big hole in the ground to lay in. I could not even get mad a her because I kept saying if you have the strength to do that then we are blessed for that... Casper is also going along - he had fun in the sun and I spent time just rubbing his head and horns... It seemed as if all my old timers including me enjoyed just listening to the songbirds and soaking up the sun. One of my hens who has not layed for over a year spent the day in the nesting box trying with all her might to produce an egg. No luck but what purpose she had - I gave her a couple of strawberries for the effort.

Well, hope everyone has a great day and soon we will all be up to our eyeballs in fiber - that is the best feeling in the world.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  06:25:14 AM  Show Profile
I am doing a bit of an inquire just so I can see what the rest of the country pays for things - would you share??

What is the price for a bale of hay? A bale of straw? What is your normal feed bill per head?

When it comes to prices for fleece do your customers pay for the ounce, the pound or the whole fleece? Do you have many fiber shows in your area or do you travel to sell fleeces? If you travel what are your favorite shows?

I know I sound like a busy buddy but I am always tracking the trends, markets and such not only for myself but I thought it might be helpful for the rest of the group too. I teach many classes on starting off in this business and I really want to give folks a fair picture around the country - I know you ladies are great at what you do so who better to ask. Since I have not traveled in over two years I hope to gather my information this way.

I thank you in advance and hope to hear all you wish to share.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  07:00:27 AM  Show Profile
Grace we pay $25 for a big round bale. I am not sure if others charge more but this is what our neighbor charged us.

No idea on the fleece stuff yet, next year I will have a better idea and will be asking the same question.

Sheep are happy with winter coats gone. Basil "bounces" everywhere!! He doesn't run he bounces
Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  08:31:15 AM  Show Profile
Thanks Rae - glad to hear that Basil is having such fun. There is nothing like watching a animal bounce with joy. With alpacas and llamas they call it pronging.. Whatever the name it is pure joy.

Wow only $25.00 for a round bale - here we are looking at starting over $100.00 for a round bale... Feed has gone thru the roof here - what I paid for a semi load of top alfalfa when I started now only purchases three ton which would be about 89 small square bales of straight hay no alfalfa.

Rae if you want I had a friend drop off another blade for the shears you purchased - she closed down her farm and had an extra blade - so if you want it just let me know.

Rae do you have folks around you selling fleece? Are you a member of a guild? I guess I am just full of questions.

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  08:32:46 AM  Show Profile
Grace, It seems that the price of good hay varies in our area depending on the supply and demand. This last year alfafa was $4-$5 a small square bale. I paid $3.50 for good mixed hay and we baled some of our own this year. Straw was $3-$3.50 but since I purchased over a 100 bales, the guy gave it to me for $1.75 a bale...a nice surprise. I also supplement with grain, green grass...it cost to fertilize and reseed pastures too. Fencing needs to be figured in on the cost of keep sheep too! I also keep salt and good mineral ($30 a bag, 1 bag a month) in front of my sheep at all times. It is hard to get an actual figure on a per head expense due to the divisity of my flock. I have the big Oxford that nutritional requirements of that of a cow and then I have the shetlands that can eat all day and probably eat about a tenth of what the oxfords do. The Corriedales are big eaters too. Don't forget the shearing fee of $4.00 a head or the vet bills or the cost of wormer, vaccines, heat lambs, waters, feeders, and the need to have someone help you give the shots, worm, shear, etc.
As far as the wool sales go, I have a few local spinners that get fleeces every year from me (word of mouth) and I charge $20-40 a raw fleece depending on the weight. I sell some of my wool on ebay and it seems to go better washed and by the fleece and the price has varied the last 2 years, and even the season of the year. I am also trying to develop a breeding program to supply nice soft wool so at this point, I like to wash each fleece, take samples, and see what type of wool each sheep is producing so I know if I should keep her for my program.
I regret to say that we don't have any wool/sheep shows close to us. The colored wool and sheep show in Sedalia has not had enough response and was cancelled last year.
I am not much of a traveler now a days and like being a home body when I get the chance so I
plan to develop an internet business as the rest of my program comes together. (I would like to become a processor but at this point in my life, I shall be content to be a wool producer.)
I enjoy watching the sheep grazing and roaming around the pastures and don't think I want to put coats on them. I am just honest as I can be with wool customers that they will find some vm in my fleeces....Before I had sheep and was buying fleeces, I knew it would cost me a little work and time if I wanted to prepare and spin a raw fleece. On the other hand if I just wanted to spin, I paid for roving and combed top from a processor. I think everyone needs to look at their own inner motive for spinning. As for myself, as I wash and prepare the fleece and spin the wool and knit or weave a shawl or a pair of socks, I think back to the pioneer women and all the work they did and how they had to provide so much of the necessities with so little. It gives me so much satisfaction to relive history.
Grace, when I first got into raising sheep, I didn't have a true or realistic picture of the cost of having a flock of sheep, little lone the amount of work that you inherit with a flock. At this point, I think the production cost for a pound of wool is about $7 a lb, without labor.
You have to love what you do, don't you? Sometimes I think I work another job to pay the expense of doing what I really like to do.

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
'Love the people who treat you right Pray for the ones who don't.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13

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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  10:06:09 AM  Show Profile
Great answers Sarita and I thank you for them. I have been trying to teach folks all those costs that go into raising animals and or purchasing/pricing fleeces. I can not believe the difference in feed costs. I too give minerals, salts, some grains all organic which really bumps up that price and Kelp which has gone thru the roof. I also agree that you first my love to your core what you do or it will never work. One thing I have been thinking about is I might wish to relocate and I am trying to get a feel for the feed prices, fleece markets and shows and then the demand. I too do not wish to travel like I did and have built a great internet business along with several shops that sell my goodies but it never hurts to keep a pulse on the country. As you well know when you own a business that includes animals you never just sit back - you are always on your toes.

I also wanted to report Kasha had a great day digging and playing - again, I thank you all for keeping her in your prayers - this gal is so dear to me - as with your sweet companions they become far more then just your animals...

Again, thank you Sarita for your great answers - I also hope that this information will assist those who are starting..

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  10:29:39 AM  Show Profile
Grace, just let me know if you want to locate to Missouri...the ranch of over 1000 acres with nice buildings and house is for sale south of me...I think a million will take you all the way! But honestly, the price of land and supplies are much less in this area. We have seen people from Iowa, Illnois, Indiana sell their farming land in those states and move here and buy land for lots less. But Grace, you couldn't look out and see mountains, just big hills here in Missouri.
Glad Kasha is doing better!

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
'Love the people who treat you right Pray for the ones who don't.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13

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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  11:30:17 AM  Show Profile
No, I get Grace There is a place with 240 acres a pole building that I believe has living quarters for $290,000!!! There is some other land but just happened to nose in on this one to see what it was.

I don't know anyone who buys hay for higher than $50 around here and seems quite a few are around the $25 and $30 mark.

There is a spinners guild in Duluth, about 60 miles from me but I know there are people starting up with spinning around here.

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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grace gerber
True Blue Farmgirl

2804 Posts

grace
larkspur colorado
USA
2804 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  12:45:18 PM  Show Profile
You ladies are so funny
You would not believe straw this winter was $6.00 a bale if you could find any - I was lucky and stock piled some early but now down to one bale which only is used for the hens.

We have folks just dumping horses along the roadside - so so sad. I have several generational farms fold out here - one's that I purchased my organic hay from since I started. So many of the long time spinners and weavers have closed their farms and moved to retirement communities. Someday's you got to wonder what has this world is doing - then I go outside kiss my sweet goats and do some hard outdoor work and know that for this day I am blessed.

Here is another question - how many of you like working with the washable wools? I purchased some for a birthday gift for me because I wanted to see how it worked up - spun smoothly but just wondering what you gals might have done with it???

Grace Gerber
Larkspur Funny Farm and Fiber Art Studio

Where the spirits are high and the fiber is deep
http://www.larkspurfunnyfarm.etsy.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.blogspot.com
http://larkspurfunnyfarm.artfire.com
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  12:47:20 PM  Show Profile
Hi gals. Took me a while to get caught up here...a few days not checking in and it serves me right to get behind. : )

Grace, alfalfa was sky-high here 2 years ago...but prices have come down to about $160 a ton. Bales sizes vary, got the 3-twine, 2 twine, (no round bales much around here), compressed from the exporters (that's the icky stuff we talked about earlier, nothing but dust and stems), big bales (1/2 ton each), etc. Grass hay isn't much cheaper. We grow our own grass hay so only purchase a few tons of alfalfa for lambing time. Straw from the feed store was very expensive this spring. $8 bale I think. Yikes.

Agreed that there is a lot more than feed going into these critters and it's probably cheaper to just go and purchase fleeces from someone else but that's not what we're in this for is just wool. We all know that. Or at least I'm not. In fact, I get so bored skirting fleeces. I really hate doing it. It's relaxing for a little while, then I just want to be done. This is the reason for the coats. Lazy shepherdess!

So far, so good on the coats, Sarita. They are a tad bit too big even though I took measurements at shearing time. But as soon as the girls grow some more wool should be just fine. I think I will take the coats off once we stop feeding for the summer and the girls are out on pasture. I am only coating a few, mind you. It's an experiment. Lambs didn't seem to miss a meal and have any issues with the straps around their mama's back legs either. We only have 33 acres so I can keep a pretty good eye on the flock and they come in to "dry dock" each night so I can look them over when bringing them in.

Glad your special ones are doing better Grace. I know exactly what you mean about freezing up and your heart beating fast when you see an old friend like that. We have a 15-year old dog who mostly sleeps and finds a shady spot and he is very deaf now. When I let the dogs out in the afternoon (when I can watch them) I have to go up and shake him awake to let him know the gate's open. I always watch to see if he's breathing beforehand and wonder if "this is it" every single time. He's always so excited the gate is open and struggles up and jostles himself out to the yard to check his favorite spots and then find a good one to take another nap.

Sheri, did get lots of gardening done around here too but still have not planted the big garden, just the cold frame. I'm glad as we had a real gully washer last night and high winds. Unsettled my sleep a bit.

What's so bad about the soak method of washing wool, by the way? We all soak it, don't we? Just some of us in bags and some of us in a wash tub, others in buckets. I guess I missed something there.

Later gators.

Jami

Farmgirl Sister #266
http://cookecreeksheep.blogspot.com
http://cookecreekwool.etsy.com
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Sheep Mom 2
True Blue Farmgirl

1534 Posts

Sheri
Elk WA
USA
1534 Posts

Posted - Apr 21 2010 :  3:58:37 PM  Show Profile
Good afternoon all. Grace, my feed prices are pretty much the same as Jami's although sometimes I can get a better deal on the hay as some of the farmers are family friends and like to help out when they can. Chicken feed - now that's another story and through the roof as well as pig food (neither of which apply to your question but are bumming me out because I like to raise my own meat and can't afford to do so right now). I give mine a sheep/goat mineral block which is about 11.99 and I get one about every three months but my flock is very small only 4 right now but I hope to get a couple of more soon. I have purchased roving and combed top from time to time but I usually purchase by the pound vs. by the ounce. I don't raise wool to save money but for the total experience of sheep to shawl (or socks or whatever....) I like to be the source of my supply when possible. I guess it's just the undependence thing for me. I know none of this probably helps your quest for info.

The weather here has been nothing short of schyzo - yesterday it was 80, today in the 50's so today I am cold after waltzing around in a tank top sweating yesterday. I started cleaning out my strawberry beads yesterday, my first real "bent" labor of the season and sure feel it this morning!!

Tomorrow sheep shearing (that's if the rain holds off --- Please, God....they are miserable). Then it will be picking fleeces and washing wool for me...

Was supposed to go to a Dougie MacLean concert tonight but it got cancelled due to him not being able to fly out of Scotland. Hopefully it will be rescheduled.

Have a great day everyone.

Blessings, Sheri

"Work is Love made visible" -Kahlil Gibran
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Toots
True Blue Farmgirl

68 Posts

Barb
Brussels Ontario
Canada
68 Posts

Posted - Apr 22 2010 :  4:45:13 PM  Show Profile
Hey everyone,
I feel like such a come and goer, but, I guess that is my life. So much has happened, where do I start? Well, I have 27 lambs now and they are all doing great! I still have the girls 4H ewes to lamb next month and then we are done until next year I guess.
So glad to read up on everyone. Grace, sounds like you are doing a lot of research. In Ontario we pay per pound for hay. I believe that we pay .08 a pound. Straw here is more expensive then hay due to the shortage. I don't know what this year will bring. It is so dry here. We started planting corn yesterday. The ground is quite dry which is very unusual for our area. Sometimes there is snow still one the ground. Not this year!
I just finished my spinning course Tuesday night. I am so addicted! I had to give my wheel back so now I have nothing to use. I am going to start looking, but I know I am not going to have time to spin probably until fall. I already had my girls sheared in December, but the girls ewes are going to be done soon.
We had a little stud colt born on Tuesday. He is so sweet. Right now the kids named him George, but, my hubby doesn't like it, so we will see.
At my spinning lessons, I met a lady who asked my if I wanted an angora rabbit and a floppy eared rabbit. Angora!! absolutely!! The kids are very excited. Have any of you ever spun angora? Do I mix it with anything? So much to talk about.
Anyway, so good to hear from you all, sorry to carry on so, but better go my hubby needs the computer.
God bless you all.
Barb
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Old Spirit
True Blue Farmgirl

1492 Posts

Rae
MN
1492 Posts

Posted - Apr 22 2010 :  7:07:30 PM  Show Profile
Electric to the sheep house and chicken mansion!!! BIL came and trenched and we put the wire in with the machine so just need to hook it up and yippeee! Sure be nicer than running electric cords across the snow

Thank you Grace for the blade it is greatly appreciated!!!

Rae

Farm Girl #647

...those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles:...
Isaiah 40:31

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lsarah
True Blue Farmgirl

256 Posts

Lori
Greenwood Arkansas
USA
256 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2010 :  04:19:25 AM  Show Profile
Grace ~ Here in Arkansas, hay prices have been all over the place in the last couple of years, too. Now we are giving about $4 a bale for good square bales and round 4x5 bales are $20-$35. Cows, goats, horse and hair sheep get the round bales, wool sheep get the square. We buy our feed in HUGE bulk sacks, I think it is 1500 pounds for about $160. One sack lasts about 3 weeks for 14 sheep, 4 goats, one horse, 2 donkeys, and 9 cows. Cows don't get fed every night now that the grass is coming on. Straw runs about $6 a bale. We keep salt and mineral out for everything, too. Next year we will add hiring out to have them sheared. This is the first year for us to have sheep, and so I don't know how the fleece will sell. I have washed and handcombed some locks and put them in my etsy store, but they haven't gotten many views. Lots of work for not much return, but then again, I am new at this and I am learning along the way, which I am certain adds more time. Compared to our cattle though, the sheep work out percentage wise to be a much more economical investment.
I have also noticed for me, that fiber has more customer appeal than spun yarn. I have dyed rovings, batts and handspuns in my shop on etsy that I started in January of this year. While they all get lots of looks, I have only sold rovings and batts. We contributed to Phat Fiber for the first time this month, and went from only 5 sales in our shop to 15! Lots of work, but worth it!
Fiber Festivals - We have one in Arkansas at Mount Magazine each December. It is very well done and last year had 175 visitors. I will vend this year. Couple in Oklahoma within 2-4 hour driving distance that I have signed up to vend at also. Bunches in central to northern Missouri, but lots of gas money to invest and lodging to be at those. One in Tennessee, but again, lots of overhead. So, I guess, several with a day's drive, but only 3 that won't be a huge gamble for covering upfront expenses. (We live on the western border of Arkansas, about half way down)

Hope that helps!

Losing chickens left and right to gnats right now. Argh! Counting the one that the snake got, that makes 6 of our 19! Hubby went down and doused the rest in Skin So Soft to keep the gnats at bay. Pests are bad this year already. No only gnats, but apparently our home has become well known to the mouse community - over 40 last year and already I have seen 2 this year. This after only catching 5 in 7 years of living here. Snakes are already really bad, too. In addition to the chicken snake, we killed a puff adder at the back steps, one of the largest copperheads I have ever seen on our road, and the boys claim they saw another one up in the woods behind the house. I have seen three more snakes that didn't make it across the highway. (Darn.) It is only April! We usually don't start seeing them until at least mid-May. Has anyone had trouble with snakes and their sheep? I am more than a little worried now that we have seen so many.

She works with eager hands...Proverbs 31:13
http://www.sarahkatefibers.etsy.com
www.sarahkatefibers.blogspot.com

Edited by - lsarah on Apr 23 2010 04:47:13 AM
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2010 :  06:45:53 AM  Show Profile
Lori, would you mind sharing the shows and dates in Missouri, especially in NE or Central Mo.? I know they have the Missouri Spin-In in the Spring but I am always working at the time. I heard they cancelled the colored sheep and wool in Sedalia. The only other one that I am aware of is the World Sheep and Wool show in Bethel in the Fall.
Thanks
Sarita

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
'Love the people who treat you right Pray for the ones who don't.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13

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lsarah
True Blue Farmgirl

256 Posts

Lori
Greenwood Arkansas
USA
256 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2010 :  3:07:02 PM  Show Profile
One is the Bethel show over Labor Day weekend. The other is at a University north of Jefferson City. It was in mid-March and called Fiber Fest. I found it through the Missouri extension office's website. I fogot, but it is for Missouri vendors only, so I couldn't have participated, but you sure could! I had also heard they cancelled the colored sheep show.

Lori

She works with eager hands...Proverbs 31:13
http://www.sarahkatefibers.etsy.com
www.sarahkatefibers.blogspot.com
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Keeper of the Past
True Blue Farmgirl

925 Posts

Sarita
Battle Creek Michigan
USA
925 Posts

Posted - Apr 23 2010 :  4:45:35 PM  Show Profile
I went to Bethel for years and it was crowded with people from all over the US and some foreign countries but I went 3 years ago and there just was not much going on and very few people. I also went to Sedalia to the Colored Sheep Show for years and it too kept declining until no one was participating. It was really bad when the price of gas went so high. I see the big shows in Oregon, Colorado, etc. amd wonder why Missouri just doesn't seem to be able to make it happen.
I am so glad that I have the internet...it is really a tool for us that live so far out of main stream.

www.coffmanspinningcfarm.blogspot.com

Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.....
'Love the people who treat you right Pray for the ones who don't.
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..." Proverbs 15:13

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