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wpe5E.jpg (4970 bytes) Fibre Works Farm: August Step By Step Journal

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Alpacas    Buhunds    Fibre Works Gallery    Shetlands

Limerick Link


August weather here in central Alberta was still a little rainy but not nearly as wet as we what we had in July.  None of the animals seemed to mind as our pastures stayed in great shape, lush and green throughout the whole month.  This month, Linda was able to attend a two day fibre seminar in Kelowna given by the internationally recognized expert, Cameron Holt.  It was very encouraging and has given us added impetus to continue with our fine fibre focus in our alpaca and Shetland sheep breeding programs.  We have new pictures up of the dogs, sheep and alpacas so stop by the photo pages for the summer pics.

Fibre Works Alpacas: Work continues on the Canadian Camelid Fibre Coop.  The incorporation documents have been finalized and have now been sent around to the industry volunteers for signature.  After they are all signed up, they will be submitted to the Alberta Government Director of Cooperatives for review and approval.  As this group has already given our draft documentation a favorable review, we hope this process will not take too long. Shelly, our premier alpaca female had her cria this month.   Named Moonshine, his fleece is amazingly crimpy and glows with a beautiful sheen.   We think he is likely white but may have a creamy overtone to his fleece.   Lionel, his dad is a light fawn and Shelly is white with creamy overtones.   Moonshine is a very strong and active baby, standing straight and square on all fours.  Shelly is a great mom, very attentive and protective.  You can get to know them both at the alpaca photo gallery.

Fibre Works ShetlandsWe had great fun halter training the lambs this month.  The kids were particularly involved and got to be quite good.  Nicholas would catch and calm and halter.   Adam would gentle and lead them around, then tie them to stand for a short while before ending the lesson.  We used food rewards in the first lessons but gradually moved to chin and chest rub rewards.  Some of the first sessions also had a lot of leaping and twisting and tugging (on the part of the lambs).  All of the lambs made progress and most would lead fairly well after the third or fourth session.   We find that the adult sheep are much easier to handle if they have been halter trained and it is much easier to train them as lambs.  Halo, one of our black twin ewe lambs is for sale.  She is on the right in the picture below.  Her mom is Dailley Sheba, a black, fine, crimpy, single coated twin ewe and her Dad is Mtn. Niche Sheridan, a fine, crimpy moorit/musket.  So far, Halo is staying black, is very soft and seems to be single coated.  Please email for more details.

Halter Training Lambs, August 1999.JPG (21803 bytes) Lambs and Shepherds in training

Fibre, Yarn and the Fibre Works Gallery:  Norma Westcott of West Cottage Weavery finished work on the black alpaca/white reeled silk cloak.  It is a gorgeous piece of work.  The shadow weave structure gives a very unique pattern and the contrasts in matte/shine, black/white and fluffy/smooth make it a very dynamic piece.  You can see a picture of it in the Gallery photo pages under "Sweaters, Vests & Outerwear".  Norma is now starting work on a series of fine tussah silk/fawn alpaca woven scarves.  While these will still have some of the colour contrast, the weave structure will not be quite as dramatic as that used in the cloak.

Bergen Norwegian Buhunds:   The dogs have had a very undemanding summer.  They did help a bit with the sheep but had no regular chores to do (unlike the rest of us).  The sheep managed to ram the dogs a time or two, the dogs getting away through human intervention. We may attend some stock dog clinics before we do much more work with the dogs and sheep.   Given the aggressive nature of our Shetlands, it is very easy to put a dog in harm's way through ignorance.  Coyote watch and the twilight howl did not seem to tax the dogs at all.  The coyotes mostly stayed away from the buildings and pastures though we did have a coyote bitch denning in one of the more remote meadows.  We think the sheep would give the same rough treatment to any canine marauders and those stories of Shetlands killing coyotes may have a grain of truth. 

Farm Stuff: The barn is pretty much finished except for interior work that will likely last for the next several years.   The work crew has started trenching for the power and water but our wet summer has made the ground quite soggy.  Frequent cave ins of the trench walls have slowed everything down.  The delays have frayed everyone's nerves but also have given us enough time to reconsider and change the position of the waterers and the fence lines several times.  Now we just want them put in place as soon as possible. The kids have had a great time clambering about on the clay piles and adding to the general laundry load.  They are the only ones enjoying the extended trenching process.  The green feed and grass hay were cut and baled with little rain.  We got the alfalfa hay put up with no rain so all in all, quite a good hay season for us.

New Barn,
No Wood Stain Yet
New Barn, No Stain.JPG (31271 bytes)

Limerick Link for August:

Our Buhunds are special and rare,
Canine buddies beyond compare.
At shows or the park,
They're always a lark,
With their smarts, their looks and their flare.

Norsk Buhund Ringen





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Linda Wendelboe
Fibre Works Farm,
Box 43, Site 2, RR#2

Sundre, Alberta,  Canada  T0M 1X0

Telephone   403-638-3912
FAX     403-638-8052
E-MAIL     info@fibreworksfarm.com

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Last modified: December 21, 2001

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