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December 4, 2006

Sheep heading uphill to dinner

Winter has arrived, with about 8 inches of snow falling in the first week of December. Here, some of the SkyLines flock heads uphill from the water tank to the winter feeding area in the woods. They've just heard me start up the four-wheeler and they all know that means dinner is on its way!

Angus the Great Pyrenees always accompanies me out to the woods to feed sheep. Shown in the foreground, he's making sure everybody knows that he's on duty . . .

Angus and Daisy's pups are six weeks old now, and have just started leaving the security of the barn to venture outside and hang out with mom, dad, and the sheep. One by one, they're each getting acquainted with the sheep and trying to help mom and dad as they patrol the pasture.

The first of the original five pups left yesterday for his new home in southern Idaho. The next pup that was reserved, the boy with the dark face, will leave for his home in far northern Idaho next week. The remaining three pups will stay here for a while and learn from mom and dad how to be the tough, hard-working sheep guardian dogs they were bred to be. In the meantime though, I'm sure enjoying these cuties!

November 20, 2006

Daisy pups 4 weeks

Daisy pups 4 weeks with boot

The new Great Pyrenees pups have been growing at an amazing rate. Here they are at four weeks old. They're now running (well, waddling), playing, beginning to eat solid food, and barking their little puppy barks at at me when I go out to visit them in the barn. Good dogs - they're on their way to being real LGD's!

October 27, 2006
Angus/Daisy pups are finally here!

Daisy pups and mom

Daisy pups - sausages

After two and a half long years of waiting for Daisy to fully mature, we finally have our first litter of Great Pyrenees pups! The babies were born in a protected corner of the sheep barn and are only four days old in these photos. Their eyes won't open for another week or so.

I'm so looking forward to watching them evolve from the chubby little sausages they are here to the fabulous, hard-working livestock guardian dogs their parents are! (Sorry, these pups are all spoken for.)


October 10, 2006

2006 ewe lambs

This year's 71 SkyLines breeding ewes are all in with their respective rams now, and the 19 keeper ewe lambs have moved to the fall lamb pasture till the end of breeding season. Come spring, these sweet girls will either become permanent members of the SkyLines flock or be offered for sale as yearlings to other shepherds.


October 8, 2006

Rosie and Peaches

The newest member of the SkyLines family is a pretty Quarter Horse mare named Root Beer Rosie (shown here half-dozing with guard donkey Peaches on a sunny afternoon). Rosie and Peaches quickly became pals, but I wondered how she would get along with the sheep since she'd never known any of these wooly critters . . .


Rosie settles in

. . . Within a couple of days it was obvious that Rosie had settled right in with her new family!


August 28, 2006

Rams Max and  Andy

August has been hot and dry as usual, and everybody's just taking it easy. Here, SkyLines Romney rams Max (left) and Andy while away the afternoon under an ancient Hawthorn bush.


June 5, 2006

Summer pigging out

The ewes and lambs have all been out on pasture since April, and heavy rains and high heat in May caused an explosive growth of grass.

Everybody's reveling in the lush greenness and growing incredibly fat. Here, a very well fed Romney ewe named Summer lifts her head from the task at hand for just a brief moment to see why I'm calling her name. Needless to say, a photo opp isn't nearly as fascinating as this smorgasboard!


Ewe nursing chunky lambs

And it's not just the ewes who are packing on the pounds. This unidentified Romney ewe is doing an admirable job of nursing her chunky lambs. At about two and a half months old they're way ahead of the normal growth curve around here. That's just fine with me!



Romney-Montadale yearling ewe Dottie lounges in the cool grass during a break from the pig-out.

Actually, I'm not too concerned about overweight sheep. I've always kept my sheep well fed anyway, spring is always flush with green grass, and this excess of nutrition is great for the lambs and great for the 2007 fleeces. The ewes will start dropping the extra weight as summer progresses, the rains slow down, and the grass hardens off.

In the meantime, these are some sublimely happy sheep!

April 11, 2006


Angus, one of the Great Pyrenees guard dogs who protect the SkyLines flock, surveys his sheep and his domain on this glorious spring morning.

March 20, 2006
Lambing season in full swing
with over 80 lambs so far!

Ariel's two-week-old lambs stick close to mom.


I think Charlotte may be fed up with my photographing her oh-so-darling lamb.


A surprise overnight snowstorm doesn't phase these ewes and lambs.


First-time mom Frances cuddles her newborn boy.


Gina and her sturdy twins.


Another great first-time mother, Hanna takes her job seriously even as she sleeps. This lamb's not going anywhere . . . !

February 11, 2006
Annual Shearing Day

Shearing day is a major event around here, and it gets more intense each year as the flock grows in size. This year we sheared a total of 93 natural-colored and white sheep. The crew of 10, including shearer extraordinaire Martin Dibble, put in a long 11-hour day carefully shearing and meticulously skirting every single fleece as soon as it came off the sheep. This is always a long day, but I think it's well worth the effort when customers rave about their incredibly clean SkyLines fleeces.

In this photo, some of the freshly shorn ewes are eager to get back outside, even if it is going to be cold without their warm winter coats!

 January 3, 2006

Where's winter?? The SkyLines flock normally spends most of the winter in paddocks near the barns, where I can more easily haul hay to them through the deep snow. This year, however, a major thaw and a solid week of rain in December washed all the snow away and the pastures are bare again. So, the expectant ewes are back out in one of the woods pastures, enjoying the warm temperatures as they spend their days hanging out among the trees.


The sheep spend a good part of the winter months taking it easy - hanging out or lounging comfortably on a bed of soft hay, chewing their cud and waiting for me to serve the next meal. It looks like a pretty easy life but these girls are still busy, growing luxurious, long-stapled fleeces and strong, healthy babies at the same time. Here, Romney-Montadale ewe Natalie models a typical SkyLines variegated fleece about 6 weeks before shearing.

The SkyLines flock continues to grow! This past fall I chose nearly 30 of the best 2005 ewe lambs to keep for myself. About 3/4 of the sturdy new girls are natural-colored beauties like these, ranging in color from solid dark grey nearly black, to variegated with shades of dark grey, soft pale grey, and oatmeal. Their lamb fleeces are soft and beautiful, and will be available in March 2006. These girls will increase my total number of available fleeces to about 90!

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SkyLines Farm 4551 Highway 6 Harvard, ID 83834 208.875.8747
Purebred Romney and Romney-Cross Sheep