Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Chickens and Sheep and Goat, oh my!

Last Thursday Jerill and I went to the Evergreen State Fair. It's in Monroe, WA and although it is not as grand as the Puyallup Fair, it meets our needs - it has animals, bratwurst dogs and elephant ears.
Next Spring, after the fence around the back-acre is complete, I have been promised chickens. Although I will be building a chicken coop myself, to my specifications, I am planning on getting chickens more for show and cuteness than for eggs, although the eggs are a bonus. Not that I intend to actually do chicken-showing or use their fancy feather for tying fishing flies, I just like having them around and I think Scott will enjoy it. Scott will actually have to enjoy them as it's very unlikely we'll get ducks since they require so much more work (but, I'm easily convinced too so we'll see how the chickens go and then consider ducks later on). At the fair, they had plenty of fancy chickens on display. We photographed our favorite breeds.

Ameraucanas Blue Wheaten

Black Cochin. Beautiful bird here actually won the Best English Breed ribbon

Cochins Mottled

Leghorn Single Comb White. Okay, if I am allowed to get a rooster, it will be a traditional, Kellogg's Corn Flakes rooster like this one. I LOVE him.

Pymouth Rocks Barred Cockerel

My ultmate favorite, the Silkies Beard White. They also come in tan and black and B&W too I think.

Sussex Speckled

Wyandottes Golden Laced. These also come as a Silver Laced variety, in grey.

We fell in love with this friendly Angora Goat. Such a cutie pie. Jerill was smitten by its persistence to be petted on the nose (and that crazy head of hair it has!)

Okay, various people have told me to not get a bunny because the predators will eat it eventually and I'll be sad. HOWEVER: if I were getting a bunny, it would be an English Angora Rabbit like this. I mean, seriously, those ears and that face?!? It's like a bunny-version of mattie. Grey, fuzzy wuzzy that I just want to squeeze and dote on.

If you think skiing or golf are expensive hobbies, have you ever thought how much dough must go into horse and buggy showing? Sheesh! Gorgeous horses and tack though.

After the fair, Jerill and I stopped by Diane's farm in Carnation. I had left Scotty in her barn while were at the fair. We had a herding-date with Scott and Roo that evening. Diane is preparing Roo for the Nationals coming up in a few weeks and I was trying to work on Scotty's outwork more. So, what we do is stand at opposite ends of a huge pasture field - about 600 yards apart, and then send our dogs and watch them lift the sheep from each other . We have walkie-talkies and can tell each other what is going on with our respective pooches. This particular session went extremely well for both our dogs.
To prepare for these sessions, we have to sort out 5 sheep to use, from a flock of 20 or so sheep. The sheep know why we're there so they are more than eager to run away. This is when a dog comes in handy!
Open the gate slowly. Call dog to 'walk up' so that sheep start to move through the gate.

Here they come! Close the gate! Close the gate! Scottie "LIE DOWN!"

Darn; got more than 5. You can see Scott coming through the gate. He then was asked to bring those 7 sheep back to me so I could push the ram and ewe #1 (Callie the Sheep) back through since we don't want to work those two.

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