Archive for June, 2012

Leaving tonight for California…

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Only 12 more hours until I leave for California to pick up Octavian. Leaving around midnight, I should be there to get him first thing in the morning. I’m very excited to meet him and see how he acts compared to Dasher and Edie. I’m going to try and make a video blog of my trip, but we’ll see how it goes. In any case, I’ll definitely have something to post on Friday when I return.

I’m a little nervous because I found out that the extra large dog crate I bought doesn’t fit in my car and I’m not too sure if Octavian will fit in a smaller one. My car is a hatchback, so I improvised with some netting to prevent him from coming over to the driver’s side and I also affixed my folded down seats with a tarp and blankets. I’m driving with a friend though, so I’m a little relieved that I’ll have someone to sheep wrangle, if Octavian is afraid. I know when I transported Dasher and Edie in my car they were perfectly fine in my hatchback with no crate. Other than that, I am super excited and ready to hit the road tonight!

Camels 101

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The second part in my series of videos on how I care for and raise my animals. I really enjoyed making this one and I hope it’s informative without being too boring. Baby and Nessie were wonderful as always and I think they enjoyed all the attention. The video is far from being perfect, but I think this was an important video to make; there is just not enough information available on basic camel care in the english speaking world that’s visual and not out of a big boring textbook. :)

There is a few points I’d like to clarify that maybe were not so obvious in the video, but I can only remember two of them!

- In the video I mentioned that camels have no upper top teeth- just a hard pallet. This could be taken to mean they have NO upper teeth at all, but what I was trying to say is they have no upper FRONT teeth. They do, however, have teeth in the back.

- It’s dangerous to get in-between or even stand near two camels that are quarreling over something. If you ever find yourself in that situation, it’s much safer to get yourself on the opposite side of the fence and not stand around and talk about it like I did.

If there’s anything else that was unclear or you have any further questions about anything about camels ever, feel free to contact me.

Enjoy the video!

Got a new pic of Octavian!

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Octavian

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I have something very special to write about today.

At the end of this month I’ll be driving to California to pick up a sheep.

Photo by Dave Pape

Photo by Dave Pape (Creative Commons)

But not just any sheep… a beautiful Mouflon ram.

The Mouflon is believed to be the ‘wild’ ancestor of all domesticated sheep. As I understand it, originally these sheep were found in the mountainous regions of Anatolia and then were introduced to the Greek islands, eventually ending up in continental Europe. Today, wild Moulfon can be found in Iraq and Iran. They’re most distinguishable feature is their large impressive horns. Which unfortunately means these animals are plentiful here in the United States on game ranches, where people pay to go ‘hunt’ one down.

When I decided to raise sheep, I knew I wanted a ram that could bring in a fresh dose of vigor to his babies. Comparing a Mouflon to a domesticated sheep, is like comparing a wolf to a German Shepherd. Most people know that German Shepherds are overbred, which has caused the breed to suffer. The same thing is true with America’s stock bred sheep. But Mouflons are extremely disease resistant with little problems with parasites, in fact they have little health problems at all. They’ve never been farmed industrially and they’ve been allowed to retain their natural vitality.

And it doesn’t hurt that they’re gorgeous, too.

My intentions are to breed Mouflon hybrids. A cross between my purebred Mouflon and domesticated ewes. The resulting babies will retain some of the desirable domesticated qualities of their moms from centuries of farm use, but will also receive a healthy vigorous set of genes courtesy of dad. Some day, I’ll probably get a Mouflon ewe too, but for now these crosses will be very valuable to sheep farmers who want to liven up their livestock.

So why am I driving all the way to California?

Well, that’s the closest place I could find purebred Mouflons! I’m very excited. I reserved my boy months ago and I’ve been receiving pictures of him as he grows. He’s being bottle fed right now, because Mouflon can be very skittish if not handled regularly from a lamb.

Look at this baby picture of him from Feb. 29th! *melts* What a cutie!

His name is Octavian, btw. I didn’t name him, the breeder did. He said I was welcome to change it, but I just think such a regal name suits such a majestic animal.

I don’t have an exact date yet of when I’m leaving, but I’m aiming for the night of June 19th. It should only take me about 7 hours to get there, so not too long of a trip. I’m going to be doing a video blog-style of my adventure, so in a way you’ll get to pick him up with me!

Sooo excited just typing about this! I can’t wait for him to meet Dasher and Edie!