Friday, September 20, 2013

Finn Sheep for Sale

It's that time of the year. A little late, but as we lambed a little later this year out decisions on who stays has been awhile in coming.

So that brings us to a few ewe lambs and ram lambs.. and also a couple of proven adult ewes that are available to enhance or begin your flock.

All of our Finn Sheep are 100% american bred and registered with the FinnSheep Breeders Association.

We also have a second flock of Finn/Cormo cross... what a great wool for spinning and felting, just beautiful.
We are keeping our prices low this year. There seems to have been a LOT of flock reductions this year. Not sure if that is caused by the Midwest drought or just folks growing older. Nice thing about Finns... their smaller size and gentle nature makes them a great sheep for us older folks. Also adding a little finn blood to your existing flock increased your lambing numbers with the first breeding.

Drop me a line if your in the market, or even just want to chat a bit about Finns.
Ziptyacres@gmail.com

April born, 2013, 100% FBA Registered, Finn Sheep Lambs. Ewe & rams available
Reasonably priced to sell, willing to travel 150 miles to meet
Located in Central Illinois.




Friday, March 9, 2012


Introducing MayBe 


Lambing season is all around us. I am so jealous of everyone. I choose to breed late this year, hoping to miss the harsh late winter. Boy was that a joke. The good thing about a soft winter is I am shearing and not feeling guilty that the sheep are cold.

Our oldest girl MayBe is expecting again this year. A big girl, Southdown/Tunnis cross, bred with our Finn ram. Last year she blessed us with 2 hefty ram lambs. We weren't sure how their fiber would be and May's is wonderful, soft, lofty, very easily spinnable and felts like a dream, so we wethered them both and hung onto them. They are definitely looking nice, next on the list to be shorn and I can't wait.

Yes, our MayBe is a big, bulky, bully type of girl, and uses her weight to push her way wherever she wants to be. She was our first "real" fiber sheep and has stolen the hearts of all. Surprised us with her mothering abilities, she is so self-centered, I did not think she had it in her.

So we wait. MayBe is due May 5th, Cinco de mayo. And yes, MayBe is named as such because she too was a May lamb.

So fellow bloggers, meet the real MayBe, named as such because we weren't sure sheep were for us and we couldn't decide to keep her.. thus Maybe...  Maybe we should change her name to Surely! Nahh we already have one of them. We'll save Shirley for another blog. (Fran)

Must be time for that lambersize stretch


Friday, February 24, 2012

Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival

We are so excited to be Vendors at the Kentucky Sheep & Fiber Festival this year. I read about each Vendor last year as they were spotlighted on Facebook and can't wait to meet some of the same in person.

Here at Zip~Ty~Acres we are a very small, family owned farm. We raise FinnSheep, Cormo Sheep, Pygora Goats and Angora Rabbits. All to achieve the softest, next to your skin. fiber.

We use what we sell and sell what we use. All the members of our family spin, knit, wash, create wool products and the "men" folk play around in the sawdust keeping all of us supplied in accessories.

This year we will bring a bit of fiber, raw, washed, spun and dyed.. in all phases of the process so you find exactly what you are looking for.

So please look through all the pages of our blog, make sure you return as we are updating as I type. We look forward to seeing you in May.

Feel free to email with any questions: ZipTyAcres@gmail.com

Fran

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fall Seeds




Seems I always save all the hard work to do at once.

Fall is fast approaching, time to get ready for a snowy winter, make sure housing is proper and warm, figure out a water system, Solidify breeding plans, think about when… yes.. when…
When do I trim rear ends, hooves need to be done.. any worming, search for any burrs and remove them… yes each animal gets a giant thrice over, checking over-all health, which is done on a daily basis, but for some reason the final fall inspections seem to be the most important. This is the time we make decisions if each ewe is healthy enough, old enough, solid enough to really improve our herd and do we breed or not.
Then comes the introduction of the fall grain & hay, with our winters there is not enough pasture to sustain our animals so we not only have to supplement, we must have a total feed plan.
And finally, the girls get to play with the boys… cooties are shared, successfully we hope, and everyone goes to their winter retreat, relaxing, staying warm and incubating those tiny fetus’..
Always seem all is on hold during the winter.. unless you have expecting animals.. then you see such change.. life growing and the younger ewes maturing right before your very eyes. 

NOW, I am ready to go to work… can’t hardly wait until spring!


Fran

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Is it HOT enough for you?



The question this week is.. How is everyone holding up in the heat?
On the farm we are watering 3 times a day, feels kind of like winter, keeping the water fresh and “unfrozen”. As the temps reach over 100*, I will water the underside of a few seep that seem to be panting excessively, cooling off the groin area.  The rams have come to like this.. they turn their backs to me and wait… never running.. I figure it must be good.
Tina, The Llama comes over for her daily hose down.. she loves it, closing her eyes and standing just close enough to get a good soaking
The chickens love to scratch in wet straw, so I have a little section that I water well and watch them scratch and lay in the cool straw.
The dogs.. they lay around praying nothing happens so they don’t have to get up and bark.
As for the shepherd, We broke down and turned our air conditioning on.. I really dislike it, but dislike the heat even more. It is awful nice to come n and cool down after rounds several times a day.
The new barn has been a God-send. Plenty of shade and there seems to be a slight breeze no matter the temps. I even saw a barn swallow.. thinking about building a nest.. I told her NO.. she heard me because she ran off… now to keep the flies out.
Everybody stay cool.. before long we will be complaining about the bitter cold.
Fran

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Always Evolving


SO many changes and life events and good hard looks. Mike and I spent the year in Illinois Farm Beginnings program, we have visited many other farms, we have drawn up business plans. All of these hard core discoveries have led us down the same path yet with much different results.

We have chosen, no more goats... while milk and cheese are wonderful and we will miss having our own.. I cannot justify breeding every year, maintaining a buck and a decent doe just for Mike & I. Hopefully we will be able to find someone to barter with  or we will be making these items from the sheep. I hear it is just as tasty.

The Dogs are getting big AND protective, SO the eggs sales are over, we cannot take the chance of them hurting someone or scratching a car driving onto the farm. The chickens WILL remain.. you cannot have a farm of any sort without chickens.. We will be donating all of our eggs to the local food bank, well, except or our own use.

So where on earth does that leave us?


We will continue with the FinnSheep and have now added the luxurious Cormo Sheep. Both wonderful animals and the perfect choice for us. We will have fiber, unwashed, washed, spun, roving, whatever your heart desires. We will start taking reservations for next year if you are interested just email us and we will talk.

Still have the Angora goats, they will retire here.. we will continue to harvest their mohair as it is very beautiful and shimmery even at their older age.

A few Angora rabbits.. with the most gorgeous fiber...

We also are crafting many "tools" of the spinning/knitting trade and will dedicate a page to that very soon.

Keep watch for all the Happenings on Zip~Ty~Acres

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Its been a very long time since I’ve blogged. Lots have happened since the last post. Life gets complicated.


On the fiber front:

I finally admitted to myself and to friends that the first step in processing lots and LOTS and LOTS of fleece just isn’t my cup of tea. SO I thank my very bestest of friends, Mrs. Beth Sterling who is the owner of ‘Folklore Fibers’ and her processing abilities for taking on the multiple fleece I have and washing them for me. Her turnaround time is superb, and her processing of the ‘small fiber batches for the individual fiber enthusiast is so nice to have. If you’re in need – she has a website (FolkloreFibers.com) and a link to her blog from Facebook also…. Since I’m not in a hurry at this time to add to my already overflowing spinning room I’m glad they are at her house for the time being. (Don’t rush Beth).

I did some dyeing a couple weeks ago. This time using Country Classic dyes. I soaked the fleece for an hour prior to mixing up the dye bath. Put a tablespoon of vinegar in the dye solution and ¼ cup warm water with a teaspoon of the dye. Laid the fiber in Pyrex glass dishes and poured the solution over the top. Mashed it around just a little then I zapped it in the microwave for 4 min. I then checked to see if the dye ‘took’ and as needed zapped it again for 4 min. The second nuke did the trick for almost all batches. The colors I chose were more pastel than vibrant but I am pleased with the results. I will blend on my elect. Carder and spin the cold winter days away. My bunnies are producing massive amounts of fiber also so blending with some of the fleeces purchased these past months will be in the mix also.

Speaking of winter; Christmas is almost upon us. I look forward to the planned visit in Georgia with my grandchildren and Daughter. I of course do not look forward to the long drive down there but again I have my trusty Hansen electric wheel. So instead of dread - I can look forward to the 8 hour drive spending it spinning. (And this time hubby will know not to put his elbow on the center console lest he get it ‘wacked’ by the spinning arms). They say we’ll have snow for Christmas in Georgia. WHAT??? We’re heading south to get away from these frigid temps….Ah well, it will be pretty on Christmas Day.

And of course when we crafters prepare or think of Christmas we always have ‘just one more project to get done…I’ve been trying my hand at Tatting these days. The Shuttle type of tatting just seems to be beyond my comprehension. I’ve tried with thicker threads and still I am unable to see the stitches and reading the patterns is like learning Greek to me. I do have a wonderful resourceful friend Faye who is just a wizard with any ‘thread’ type textile. You should see her Bobbin lace and her Tatted snowflakes. I can only wish for an inkling of her talents. So I’ve resorted to attempting to Needle Tatting instead of Shuttle Tatting for the moment. It’s still got the complicated patterns to read (that continue to stump my brain at every turn) but with the stitches on the needle I am at least able to count them if I’ve lost my place. I think in a way this compares somewhat to learning to spin on a spindle, perfecting your drafting techniques and twist before trying to maneuver the added treadling to the mix. The issue I have with the tatting instructions seems that even with the instructional books there are missing parts, missing instructions. Example: “when the ring has been pulled tightly closed, knot the ball thread and the needle thread RIGHTLY at the base of the ring”. That little bit of instruction took me an hour of research to understand. The word “rightly” had me stumped and I had to research a great many books to finally get the meaning. Anyway enough whining….. Here is a pic of my in progress tatted Angel ornament.



Well if I’m ever to get this blog posted I must cut it short now. My wish for all who read this is that they have a wonderfully peaceful happy Christmas and remember to keep in mind the purpose of the holiday.

Audrey