Alba Ranch Changes

Alba Ranch Changes

I have had a break from most yarn spinning due to goat kid season. Although I have still got a little spinning in between all the Ranch goings on.

Handspun Art Yarn

This time of year brings bottle babies, training new goats to the milk stand, getting used to milking numerous goats again and than the fun times of weaning the goat kids.

Goat Kid Stop and Smell the Daffies

We have also been doing some tree felling, getting the trails back into shape, and some much needed clean up around the property.

Crossover Trail

Of course it has to look worse before it can look better. But here are a few shots during this summer to catch you up with changes here at Alba Ranch.

My Phoebe Mohair Art Yarn Hat

My Phoebe Mohair Art Yarn Hat

I just finished my new hat. All lockspun bulky textured yarn. Pure yummy textile art.

Mohair headband hat

Phoebe donated her mohair from her last hair clip.

I used Tunisian crochet and some pure mohair textured yarn. The handspun mohair art yarn was spun by me. This hat is a wide headband with fringe.

Phoebe Headband Hat

It is so warm. I think if it was all the way closed on the top, I might melt. It is a good thing it is open at the top because mohair is very fuzzy and warm.

Phoebe’s Mohair Art Yarn

I had so many yards and skeins that I had to use 2 rails. Much closer to my total yardage now for some fabulous weaving to come.

Phoebe

I really enjoyed spinning the entire yearling fleece from Phoebe. I enjoyed it so much that she has come to live here at Alba Ranch.

She has stunning pretty fleece and is such pretty angora goat.

Phoebe, a year later
A birthday surprise….

A birthday surprise….

My birthday was a bit of a surprise and shock. My entire goat herd except one bred late, all kidded in less than a 24 hour period.

AND IT SNOWED 8 INCHES!!

Some of the kids

So all babies had to come into the house to save their lives, this broke the bond with their moms and I had a house full of bottle babies.

Twin brothers

I did about zero spinning and lost 6 weeks of my life that are still a blurr with very few distinct memories.

Missed me!
Ike, an Anatolian Shepherd. Livestock Guardian Dog

Ike, an Anatolian Shepherd. Livestock Guardian Dog

October 2014 – October 19, 2018

Ike, a Livestock Guarduan Dog
Ike, a Livestock Guarduan Dog

Ike is an Anatolian Shepherd dog born in with his goat herd. He has guarded goats his entire life. He came to live with us when he was almost 2 years old. He had next to no socialization or training but had been a working livestock guardian dog.

When he came to live with us and guard our goats, we had to neuter him a few months after joining our ranch. His testosterone was raging and he was bark rather aggressively at people who did not live here. Some aggressive barking and intense protective demeanor is necessary and required, but there is also a limit to what is appropriate. After neutering, I started to see a different Ike with people. He was no longer overly intense in his interactions with visitors because he would stand down when I told him to. However, no visitor ever doubted Ike would guard those goats with his life.

Ike, a Livestock Guarduan Dog
Ike, a Livestock Guarduan Dog

Ike was also gentle with his goats and let kid goats climb on him. We had lost our previous head male guard and felt Ike was on his way to being our new “Larick”.

We had some recurring health issues with him that seemed to never fully heal. In 2017, we had a predator attack on the ranch that resulted in my main female Askbash being killed. No goats or llamas were harmed, but we lost our Willow.

I noticed in the year after the attack that Ike seemed unwell. He seemed depressed and out of sorts and was just plain grumpy. He was snarling and snapping at baby goats. He never let them climb on him any more and was getting testy with the other dogs. Ike visited the vet several times and a few health issues kept coming up which we kept treating but he never seemed to feel well. We coukdn’t find anything obvious to explain how he had seemed to age….grow old almost overnight …. and his personality change. I still believe he was ornery because of pain even if we could not find it. The change of how he was with his goats was too much to just be an off day.

We made the decision to let Ike go and rest in peace. His body no longer hurts, he no longer has to work and guard, and he no longer needs to fight with the other dogs or predators in the woods. I really still miss him greatly and the security for protection I always felt he provided. I know he was in pain and was not happy, but now he can rest.