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Date:9/21/2014 11:17:13 PM
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Thanks for your comments, fellow Louisianian! I spent most of my life in New Orleans (and still miss Mardi Gras and a decent King Cake!). I'm going to look into the chicken breeds that you mention. You are RIGHT to build the Fort Knox of Coops!! I was so devastated when I walked into ours to find the dead hen and the broken eggs...and I felt so guilty that I hadn't well protected these poor little ones! We've been blessed with a lot of acreage and a creek running on the boundary of our property, so I am always pushing to turn more pasture into fields! (The farm was originally a horse farm. We board a few but that's all).

We've had good luck with everything so far so that just reinforces me to keep trying new veggies and crops. I'm also going to try some cotton too. ( I have a very patient husband who continues to till, build and fix fences, etc.) Have you tried Mirilton? My mom used to grow that in Covington and boy is it delicious stuffed with shrimp. Hmmm, wonder if it would grow here!

I really want you to know that I admire your ability to weave. It's so incredibly precise and time consuming. I have a high regard for those of you who weave. I took spinning lessons about a year ago. I was started on a drop spindle...it's great fun! My teacher suggests that one learn that way and then try a number of different wheels to determine which is the better fit. In the meantime, I was at the SouthEastern Fiber arts show and found a small, portable electric spinner!! I was amazed.

I've got bags and bags of washed sheep fleece and have finally admitted that I'll never ever have all the time to hand spin it. So, I've researched a number of mills and found a small, woman owned one to which I'll send this for processes...heck, in May I'll have 6 more fleeces to wash! Sheep fleeces from meat breeds (dorsets and suffolks) sell really cheaply up here...about 35-40 cents/pound. And, as I said, I've got bags of both washed and raw. If you'd like a sample to try with the spinning or even dyeing, let me know and I can send some to you.

Dyeing...that's something else I want to try. We've black walnuts on the property and they make great dyes.

Are you familiar with the magazine Sheep! ? There might be additional info for you as you research breeds for your area. I initially wanted Old English Southdown Babydolls for they are too cute and don't get so big.

Well, the Good Lord above had a different idea and thank God he did. There are coyotes in this area. Two Dorsets were already on the property when we purchased it and for a going away present when we moved here, my former colleagues gave me 2 sheep, both Dorsets from the same farmer as the first two). Then two years ago we bought two ewe Dorsets from him. The moral of this story is that these wonderful sheep are now between 150 and 200 pounds. Our vet has told us we really don't have to worry about the coyotes because the sheep are so big. I can only imagine the problems we would have had with
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