Well that’s awful…

I pulled my very first lambs ever last Friday and only the little ram lamb survived. Mom didn’t want the little lamb and he was really struggling so we brought him into the house to feed him as a bottle lamb. Over 24 hours he did great and I was really hopeful for him! When the little buffalo had her lambs Purl the ewe’s lambs I had pulled Friday seemed extremely interested in them so Jeff and I brought the little ram lamb out to see how they did. Surprisingly Purl was so happy to see her lamb and I made sure her milk was still coming out which it was and he nursed really well. I watched Purl and the little lamb on the camera all night and they did so well. Today we brought the little guy in to dock his tail and when we came back out to bring him back to the barn he had died. Jeff my husband who happens to also be a veterinarian believes he had some sort of problem from the beginning and his death was coincidental to doing his tail. I am super bummed that both of Purl’s lambs died but there is nothing I could have done to prevent either death. She does however get herself redeemed as mother of the year for taking her lamb back even though he didn’t live.

Wonder Women

Yesterday was International Women’s Day which I spent being wonder woman here at home.  A week ago I had a csection to birth my beautiful second daughter and I am supposed to be home taking it easy.  Both of my parents are here to help with the farm and watching my older daughter (wonder woman in training) while I am healing and taking care of our newborn wonder woman.

Yesterday after lunch I decided that I wanted to walk out to the barn to check on my animals and move the barn camera so I could better see in the sheep area in case anyone was hiding and having lambs.  We have been waiting on lambs for weeks now and I keep telling myself any day now they will come out!  Upon arriving in the barn we moved the camera and Henley said hello to all the sheep and her barn kitty.  I looked down from bungie cording my camera to the barn (because bungie cords and duct tape will fix anything) to see blood dripping all down my favorite Ewe’s backend.  This was a sure sign that lambs would be arriving any minute.  We brought Henley inside to hang out with my mom and her new baby sister while my dad and I went out to make sure that the lambs made it safely into the world.

As we were shuffling the rest of the sheep out of the stall to give Purl some room and privacy Purl’s water broke followed by her birthing a tail.  Well for those of you that are not sheep farmers my heart sank when I saw only a tail present as lambs need to come out front legs and head first.   All of my sheep are first time moms this year and this is my first year lambing so to say none of us know what we are doing is quite accurate.  After calling my sheep mentor who confirmed that I would have to pull this lamb I put on my Wonder Woman pants and marched out to the barn with all my supplies and my reluctant dad.

After getting everyone settled and gloving up I had my dad hold Purl while I reached in to see what I could do to get this lamb out for her.  I could not get the lamb positioned exactly the way I wanted it since it was so far down the birth canal but I did manage to get the little guy out.  This one was a healthy ram (boy) lamb.  He took a really long time to stand up and nurse most likely from being wedged in the birth canal for so long.  I thought we were done and only having one lamb until Purl pushed out some legs.

Purl began pawing furiously at the ground and laying down and standing up repeatedly.  She pushed out two legs and then part of the body unfortunately it wasn’t a rear end or a tail.  This lamb was coming out front feet first with its head turned back making this one unable to come out on its own as well.  After considerable effort I got this lamb in far enough to turn the head and pull the lamb out.  To no fault of the sheep or myself this little lamb which was a ewe (girl) didn’t make it.

After some time little ram lamb was finally able to stand and nurse with some help.  Purl has not won the mother of the year award as she refused to let the little guy nurse.  We left Purl’s head tied up overnight to try to get her to bond with little lamb and make it easier for him to eat.  Unfortunately between Purl not letting the little guy nurse and stepping on him coupled with him continuing to become colder and weak we had to bring the lamb inside to bottle feed.

Henley is in love with her little house lamb and has been super helpful with feeding the lamb.  We are hopeful that with some tender loving toddler care and a watchful border collie the lamb will thrive and do well.

 

Build A Village

Raising children and running a farm is no easy task. Our oldest daughter is now 2 years old just old enough she thinks she can help and do everything herself. For the last 9 months I’ve been growing her baby sister. As the days grew closer to my due date I wondered how my princess would respond to no longer being an only child. Henley however surprised me once again by being the best big sister ever so far. She takes her responsibility as big sister very seriously! She likes to make she baby sister has a blanket and a binky and is very concerned when she cries.

It’s also time on the farm for lambs so as I was in the hospital with my new born I was watching the barn camera. Henley stayed with my in-laws all weekend and we have the best hired barn worker. It truly takes an entire village to raise a family and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the people who are a part of my families village!

Welcome Audrey Rose Cacia to the family!

Knits

Knitting definitely helps me deal with the ups and downs of farming. I find the repetitive motion very soothing. Here are a few of my recent finished projects! How many of you knit?

Farming is never easy…

Last year was a particularly difficult year for me. I had several losses including my first dog I ever owned, my grandmother, and lastly we lost Purdy at the very end of the year. I had my Labrador since my 16th birthday and she was with me through all my major life changes. My grandmother always called immediately after reading my blog posts and we would talk for awhile about it. I never realized how important that was for me until she was no longer there. We also moved to a new farm this past year. I had so many big dreams for my previous farm and it was emotional and hard for me to let go of those dreams. We have a new farm and have spent the last 6 months or so building new fences and planning our new farm.

The most recent thing that happened was Purdy our livestock guardian llama became injured somehow while out in the pasture. We thought that she was going to pull through but on Christmas Eve she took a turn for the worse and sadly passed. I spent a considerable amount of time in the barn while she was sick which only made me more attached to her and harder when she passed.

We are starting this new year off with my daughters second birthday which was wonderful to see the joy of life on her face. I have started setting up our nursery as our second baby is due in March which is scary but also wonderful. Our ewes are due to start lambing any day now and today was llama delivery day.

I decided Cacia Farms wouldn’t be the same without a llama and today our new boys were delivered! Willie and Waylon will grow up to be our new livestock guardians for our sheep. They are only 1 1/2 years old so they have several months before they can go in with the sheep. In the meantime I will be socializing them and getting them used to all the farm things (this translates to llama snuggling and walks)!

I hope everyone’s new year is starting out as wonderful as mine has been!

Christmas Presents…

Everyone has that place or activity that soothes their soul mine is spending time in the barn with my animals. I find all aspects of it relaxing including cleaning the horse stalls. This morning I was minding my own business cleaning out the stalls and listening to the sounds of my barn. Our barn cat BC Mouser was in the loft growling at some sort of prey he was after. Occasionally I heard Mouser pouncing away upstairs while I was cleaning. I decided to take a short break and go look out at my sheep and horses out the back door. As I was walking under the loft area I get something drop on my head. I thought perhaps Mouser had knocked so hay off onto my head. Well as I reach up to knock it off my head it moved… yes it was in fact alive. Mouser had dropped a half dead mouse onto my head. The mouse was still alive enough to scurry off after I had a small heart attack and got it free from my hood much to Mouser’s dismay. I’m grateful I have a good barn cat to keep the mice under control but I do wish he would keep them to himself!

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