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2009 News Archives




Farm life is in full force. Non stop action feeding, still fencing, winterizing clean up, you know, collect, drain and roll all the hoses, till under the garden, gather all tools, buckets, troughs, etc. not in use, and one more time pick up all the garbage strewn across the place, the stuff blows in with the wind ~ and we’ve lots of new lambs being born. Only a handful of bottle babies to feed. We are relieved as 160 of the White Dorper ewes out of Texas are first timers, most proving to be excellent mothers. We want all the lambing to take place in the field, meaning on their own, the ewes have access to a barn, or the recently erected hoop shelter, should they choose, and a few have, but most drop out in the open.

We are happy to see most ewes take their babies inside on cold, rainy or snowy nights. The lambs have started mobbing, always enjoyable to watch them playing, running circles around the flock. Bucking, hopping and bouncing sideways and always the competition of who is fastest!! I am reminded of our grade school recesses. Those were fun days mobbing in the schoolyard. Course, we didn’t know such terminology then. Nor did time fly then.

It has been a rainy, blustering month. I had hoped for one of those dry sunny, cold a night Novembers, but Alas, alack, its eider duck weather.

Once we had the ewes flushed, this is time/feeding management tool of high nutrition with the effect of more ovum dropping, causing retention of multiple births, and then separated into breeding groups by ram selected. We brought the bucks home, O’ the fat boys primed and ready.

Romulus, being the humongous and best built ram, has most of the purebred White Dorper ewes in his corner. Oydne a spring ram has a bakers dozen of White Dorper Kathadin girls.

Fife, Morpheus and Zobia, all registered White Dorpers, too, are in with the main breeding flock. Then we have Hu, he is the Horned Dorset yearling with a variety selected 20 ewes. Same with Cadamus, a Suffolk/Hamp cross yearling. We put 1 each, a Dorper named Yawl, and Utopia a White Dorper ram in with the lambing group to expose any of the ewes not lambing now and those who lambed early in July, Aug, or Sept. There are three rams held in reserve for clean up Tex, the Texel, the Kathadin, Argus and Ganza the other Dorper ram from Texas. They will go into the main flock once we pull the first boys out. We’ll be able to tell during spring lambing by the entirely different breeds and late lambing dates if any ewes were still open. Should provide us with a good over view of the numbers the rams can handle.

We sold the spring lamb crop. The buyer skillfully backed his semi through the drive, to the loading dock, our diligent collie brought them all into the alley and three of us worked the squeeze to the ramp. One of the guard dogs jumped in the truck with the lambs; if his lambs were going he was going to be first on the job to patrol the new domain. We made, MADE being the key word here, Made him get out, twice :/ . Not too long to load, but hardly soon enough for the driver with 14 hours to destination ahead of him.



The last news update we had to get our count from the mountain pasture. We hauled the sheep back on the 20th of October. We hired a livestock hauler and I hauled with our livestock trailer. We had 485 ewes, 310 lambs and 8 dogs hauled by mid afternoon. Friday OCT 23rd we sorted the lambs from the ewes and wormed the lambs. Sunday we sorted the ewes due to lamb from the ewes we will breed the first part of November. We have 300 ewes in the lambing pasture and 185 ewes to put into breeding groups in another pasture. We added 22 of our ewe lambs to the breeding group and also wormed them Sunday. The ewes are gaining well on the flushing rations. We’re nearly ready for the rams. Still a few more finishing details on the fence repairs to complete.

Our calculations show we lost at least 7 new fall lambs, 7 baby goats and 1 ewe while on mountain pasture.

The 30th and 31st of OCT we attended the Washington State Sheep Producers convention in Spokane, WA. We enjoyed meeting the fellow members and listening to the various presentations. We had lots of good conversations about sheep and agriculture. One item that was stressed during the convention was the need to increase sheep numbers in the United States. Sheep numbers have been decreasing for a number of years. The sheep industry as a whole seems to be finally thinking about how to work for a common goal.

So! Each person involved in the sheep industry needs to promote the increasing of sheep numbers. Who can add a few to several more ewes to their flocks? Who wants to start a small flock of sheep for 4-H or maybe just for grass control or wholesome meat in the freezer? We believe that what breed you raise is not important; just that you raise sheep. Find more info at



We went from summer to winter in a week. Last weekend we had record setting lows around 15 degrees. Now it has warmed up a bit with rain which is needed.

The first part of October we went to WSU in Pullman, WA for a Lamb 300 course. The course is 2 ½ days long at the University. You learn from live animal judging, slaughter, cutting lamb into retail specifications to finished product. We had lots of hands on experience. The course was well taught and would be a benefit to any producer, 4-h / FFA leader, judges and anyone in the sheep industry. Amazing how from judging a live lamb to seeing its carcass how things change.

We like to thank those who bought some of are rams. We have sold both Dorset and the White Dorper rams. We still have some nice Texas Dorper rams for sale.

The LGD pups are learning daily out on the mountain pasture. We have three for sale at $400.00 each.

Probably the 24th of this month we will bring back all the sheep from the pasture. The Texas ewes will be lambing heavily in Nov. We have some predator loss on the pasture. We lost three lambs to coyotes on another pasture a few weeks ago. The Wildlife specialist is helping with the predator problems. We are not sure how many we have lost on the mountain pasture. The dogs brought five skulls to the sheep night bedding area. I know of 4 lambs and a ewe that have died or been killed along with 5 kid goats.



Check out the new pictures on our website. We try to keep it updated monthly; both of us work fulltime off the farm. Our days are busy, as many farm families will understand.

The first part of August, we went to Kathy & Paul Lewis’s, in Bonanza Ore. to pick up four White Dorper rams. Wes Patton delivered a couple rams also for us. We will have a good group of White Dorper rams to use on our flock this fall. We are looking forward to see the lambs in April. The ram’s pictures are on our website to view.

We put about 500 ewes and 200 lambs out on the mountain pasture the 18th of August. We hauled with our stock trailer for 3 days to get them all there. Oh! the happy sheep accompanied by proud regal dogs are a uplifting sight to behold. The electric fencing took almost a month with a hired hand helping. The ewes are putting on weight. We are having a few lambs born now from the Texas group. Our spring lambs look to be gaining rapidly on the pasture.

The guard dogs are hard at work protecting the flock. The June pups are busy learning the guard dog business out on the pasture. We still have a couple for sale to be guardians for your flock or herd.

We have some nice Texas bred Dorper rams, also our White Dorper and Dorset rams for sale. All rams are registered. However we do not have paperwork on 4 of the Dorpers from Texas. They have only been on pasture so they are ready to work for you. You can see some pictures on the website.

Once we wean the ewe lambs later this fall we will have some replacements for sale at $125.00 each. They will be twins or better with above average weights at weaning and again at selection.

We have started taking deposits for this falls locker lamb. The lambs will range from 110 lbs to 130 lbs live weight. So! Reserve your lamb today.

We are working on some more pasture lease that would allow us to further expand our flock.

We are looking for some hay field leases to add to our current acreage. Give us a call if you have some acreage.

Also we have a 4 Year old male Border Collie for sale for $1,000.00. He will make a good cattle dog.



Greetings and salutations.   Celebrate your Blessings.

We are making head way YEAH ! with a few of the many tasks on our honey, babe list.

Time is an interesting paradox. The year is seemingly flying by at hyper speed, yet we seem to have slowed to a 3 legged tortoise speed. I’m certain I can accomplish 10 times the amount of things I really get done, but alas the proofs in the pudding, or the lack there of !!

Gianduja (pronounced zhan-Doo-yuh) our Walkaloosa colt is developing beautifully, he is losing his baby coat and true to his name will be the color of candies made from ground hazelnuts and dark chocolate. His nature is sweet and his gaits smooth. He has quickly and easily learned the handling foundation, so important for his future training. Anyone interested in a stallion prospect should contact us before fall as he will be gelded soon as the temps cool.

Admiral our male great Pyrenees was killed in a tragic accident, we are still feeling the loss of his amazing protective ways. Gos has done an outstanding job with her brood of 10. Nearly 8 weeks old they are already on the job patrolling the fence line with their mother. Barking and growling at all unknown sounds and smells, they are totally adorable, bright eyed, bouncing fluffy balls. We are watching closely to see if any of them will have Admirals’ traits. There are 5 pups left to chose from: 2 females and 3 males. The more vet care we provide for them, i.e. shots and spay/neuter will be passed along in price, as well as the continued training and experience they acquire being guardians.

In June we added 2 Anatolians, as a flock guardians, an 8 month & 3 month old. This breed has the same ferocious defense skills, gentle caring demeanor with their charges, only with short hair and less people friendly. Last but not least is the border collie Bobby, we are a work in progress. He mostly knows what he is doing, but is used to hearing Spanish commands, in English works best with hand signals. He is very attentive, but when uncertain gives it up completely. At some point he must have been stomped or hit hard by a ewe as he doesn't work in close confines.

Fencing and haying and fencing and haying have only been interrupted by weather and sheep handling duties. Of course, our regular full time jobs are always worked around as they are the bread and butter of this sheep company.

Is it hot and humid enough ? I break a sweat just stepping out the door for 2 minutes. I should be purified and toxin free by the end of this month.

Lamb sorting is under way. Lambs at 90 days, the sold lambs, the ram lambs, the replacement ewe lambs, the lambs to be finished for our connoisseurs of the finest tasting lamb customers. Seeing the fruits of our labor up close are rewarding, but also humbling, it’s where we learn the hard truth. Numbers they say do not lie. We collected data on their weights, birthing, breeding, feed utilization ratio, over all thriftiness and analyze the numbers to implement improvements.

Life is wonderful ! We are Thankful for our health, agility, the bred in desire, and passed down knowledge that allows us to live and breath farm life.



We have been busy lately with no stop in sight. We have sorted ewes with lambs for the various pastures. We see that with the new pasture lease of a large acreage we will need to adjust our lambing method.
Marva has been busy inputting records of the flock so we know who belongs to whom. We will, God willing, drift pasture lamb…more fencing involved…but then we just group load ewes & lambs into the trailer.

The end of May we went to Sparks, NV for the Nugget all American Sheep Show & Sale. We watched the ewes show and attended the sale on Saturday. We did purchase a Horned Dorset ram to see how he crosses on the ewes. Friday we went to see a band of sheep in California. Saturday afternoon we visited Mel & Mary Thompson of Sierra Farms looking at their White Dorper flock. We enjoyed our visit with them. We added a new web link for them to our site.

Now hay season is around the corner, plus we have a large fencing job to get done ASAP. We call 2009 the year of the fence as well as 2010 probably will be.

We have enough land for a 1000 head of ewes with lambs.
The next few months will keep us busy for years.

Our sheep guard dog whelped June 4, so reserve your pups early. End of July will be eight weeks, and the earliest we’ll let them go. They are currently, and will continue to be raised with the flock. We also have a new colt to add to our numbers.



We have updated or web site, added new pictures of spring lambing. We have been busy fencing leased pasture ground. Spring has been cooler than normal so the pasture is behind in growth. The lambing is winding down with over 200 ewes lambed 386 lambs.

Our learning never stops. We will probably lamb a week later in April to avoid those cold wet days that seem to cause new born lambs problems. Actually buying 180 head of ewes last year our lambing percentage is still good. Naturally our goal is a 200% lamb crop.

You probably have noticed in the pictures we have some wool ewes. They are mostly Polypay cross 2-6 year olds. They are for sale at weaning time around 50 head. We will be expanding the flock over the next couple years; as we are gaining pasture leases. Lots of fencing to get put up, but the sheep are great at weed and fire control.

The 44 acres of new alfalfa field is sprouted. The other hay ground is growing fairly well.

So! Let us know what you think about our changes to the web site. Reserve your locker lamb or breeding stock. Many of our locker lamb buyers “say it is the best lamb they have eaten”. I enjoy eating our lamb knowing how it is raised free from antibiotics, growth hormones or animal by products. Have a great day.

First Lambs were born 2-18-09, a set of twins. First Quadruplets ever born at Clear Skies arrived 3-23-09!

We have been adding and changing the website daily it seems. The most recent changes have been pretty big in design. If you could give us your opinion on the feedback page it would help tremendously. Thank you, Liberty Whitener- Web Developer



We have been super busy the last few weeks. We started lambing a group of 41 ewes in March for the 4-H market and early spring lamb sells. We averaged over 200% lamb crop with this group.

We started the second lambing group in April. We now have 340 lambs on the ground with about 40 ewes left to lamb. Our total lambing percentage is 1.73 including first timers in the group. Having expanded from 60 plus ewes to 240 plus head I am pleased with the results so far.

The lambs are from White Dorper, Katahdin, Dorset and Texel rams. We see the difference in the lambs, but will let the scale tell us how the sires effect them at weaning.

We have 4-H lambs for sale available end of May for pickup.



March finds us exhibiting spring fever symptoms, wanting to get started on all the projects - that are frozen in or still under a foot of snow. Although it is the perfect planning and organizing time, if only the fence building were as easy! These few drizzly wet days I should be cleaning the basement, which somehow has turned into a catch all this winter, but Instead I am drawn to the new lambs, I can contentedly watch them romp and bomp, imagine popcorn in a hot skillet, round robin racing to be king of the hill and then crying mama, mama while searching from ewe to ewe until she is found. Hearty and hale suckling follows, the tail wiggling with the pleasure of mom’s warmth, then just as quickly fold themselves into delicate little bundles of sleep.

A moment captured of exquisite farm life.

Our days are getting shorter on moments, with lambing off to a strong beginning 15 new moms in 6 days. 30 more ewes to drop in the next 2 weeks and then the main flock will start. Along with the melting snow, swelling buds and greening grasses, we’ll be rushing to peel and treat fence posts. Repair the winter damages to existing fences. Construct portable corral panels, along with the miles of fence to raise on the new leases. All in line with having the pastures ready for the lush spring graze. Some time in the thaw we’ll be planting a wind break hedge of trees and native shrubs.

Thankfully we have strong able bodied sons, willing! to spend their off work time helping accomplish these goals. Our grandson, Caleb, is learning farming the old fashioned way, he is the gopher, the caddy and the why and how man, that keeps everyone on task.

We have a week left before planting the early garden starts, although the garden is still deeply tucked under a snow blanket. Already (1AM) its ewe checking time.



Clear Skies Sheep Company

We are preparing for the upcoming lambing season which will start mid March. We keep the herd outside all winter placing barley, wheat or pea straw as bedding. The animals seem to stay healthier as we feed on the snow in a ever widening arch. We ordered some protein tubs to feed prior and through the lambing season until they are on pasture.

We are lambing earlier in March to have lambs available for the 4-H & FFA kids. The main group will start in April lambing on pasture.

Working on some pasture leads to expand our grazing.

We have a few market lambs and a White Dorper & Dorset ram for sale. We can, on request, keep ram lambs as breeding stock if you need some replacements.

We would like to thank Eric JT Harlow for developing this wonderful website. Check him out at



We have added many new photos and information to the website. Please let me know what you think.

This is a trial run of our new website. Please check back often for updates on the farm and family.

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