Thursday, May 19, 2011

Olde English "Babydoll" Southdown ram lambs

These 2 beautiful Olde English "Babydoll" Southdown rams are for sale. I love their stocky little bodies and triangler heads. One one of them has brown patches on his head and legs. It's funny how the boys follow each other around. Last night they were all raising cain.

Spinnakees Fiber Farm - Natural fiber verses Synthetic fiber

Synthetic: Man made, not genuine, artifical, devised! Hmmmm!

Wool: The dense, soft, often curly hair forming the coat of sheep and certain other animals. I can remember my mother teaching me to knit. I loved the creativity of making dolls clothes & headbands. I remember never finishing a pair of mittens because I did not like the feel of synthetic yarn.

Angora: Long silky hair from Angora rabbits. When I started rasising Angora rabbits and made a pair of gloves I had no problem finishing them! I was hooked. I'll let you in on a little secret. Years ago, before I had my critters, I crocheted a blanket using synethetic yarn and wrapped it with raw Angora and I still use it today.

From there I started raising Angora goats then a number of years later sheep. Once you work with a quality wool blend there is no going back.

This is my newer blend of "Babydoll" & Angora. What a wonderful yarn. It is called a light Worseted weight yarn. Is it definately lighter but has wonderful volume. Hummmm. Use it in the fall and spring?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Bond Issue LD 979 in Appropriations Committee

This is the bond issue for the proposed combined Plant and Animal Diagnostic Lab. The purpose of this bond is to support building a new, biosecure lab at University of Maine to improve what our currently separate plant and animal diagnostic labs now do. I would allow our animal lab to help large animal producers (like dairy/beef farmers and also horse/llama owners) and vets to diagnose diseases by performing diagnostic post-mortem exams on animals. It would also offer highly effective containment, helping protect people, plants and other animals against disease.

Our team here at UMaine Orono works with many types of agricultural producers all over the state. We offer services that aren't available elsewhere, and help the veterinary profession but also the farmers directly via service, education and consultation. I hope you'll be able to mention our connection over rabbit biosecurity, and the work we are doing with the sheep industry (

contacting your legislators about our Bond issue (LD 979) which is now in the Appropriations Committee.

Your legislator on the committee would be Senator Roger Katz at 207-622-9921 ( If you could phone or email and tell them you are a farmer, state your support and perhaps give a quick summary/narrate something about our contact or your experience with our lab/my speaking, it would greatly help our chances.

I look forward to visiting your farm (5-20... is that still good with you?) and seeing you at Fiber Frolic. Thanks! Anne

Anne Lichtenwalner DVM PhD
Assistant Professor

University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Dept. of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Director, University of Maine
Animal Health Laboratory

5735 Hitchner Hall, Room 136
Univ. of Maine, Orono, ME 04469