Tag Archives: Dogs

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.

 

Dream Big

In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities. -Janos Arnay

I thought it might be time to introduce ourselves since we have acquired so many new followers.  If you have been following us from the beginning you might have noticed that Cacia Farms has been many things. We started out when I convinced my husband we would raise meat rabbits on our 1/4 acre lot in our small town. Well 30 some odd rabbits, 3 cats, 3 dogs, and a horse later I convinced my husband to move to a farm. Let me first tell you about my husband Jeff he is the most patient, kind and caring person I know. Jeff puts up with all my dreams which are many and the best part is that he truly believes I am capable of achieving every one of them.

We have been on our 21 acre farm for a year now and we absolutely love it! Our main focus on the farm is the raising of wool sheep. The breed of sheep we raise are called Lincoln Longwools which are a heritage breed. Lincoln’s are a dual purpose breed that produces a fast growing fleeces that has a wide lock and bold crimp. We also have a livestock guardian llama whose job it is to protect the sheep from predators.

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A Few Misconceptions

img_1844Gus here, I just wanted to clear some things up.  First of all Olive should not be aloud to use the computer no telling what she might say!  Second its very hard to be farm boss and we can’t all be perfect.  I know that Mom thinks that she is farm boss but really my Dad is farm boss but since he has to be at his other job I have to do the job here.  We like to let Mom think that she is farm boss but really someone has to keep an eye on her!  It should be understandable for the tired, hard working Border Collie to have a few accidents in the house.  While I have your attention I would like to address a few other things.  I think that everyone gives that darn Llama to much credit, for all I can tell she just gets in my way bringing the sheep to Mom.  Purdy tells me all the time when we are in the sheep pasture how hard her job is.  She says she has sleepless nights watching the stupid sheep and that the sheep just won’t cooperate with her by sleeping in the shelters where she can guard them easier.  The only thing I agree with Purdy is that sheep are stupid and stubborn.  Overall I am just a hard working tired Border Collie trying to keep this farm together and no one gives me enough credit, they don’t even let me sleep on the bed!

Princess Paws

This post comes from the desk of Olive, she wanted you all to know Gus’s true colors!

Well fall has arrived here in New York very cold (did I mention I come from Georgia) and now it is also raining.  Any good southern girl can appreciate a good mud pile and I am no different.  Thursday it started raining and man did I love splashing in the puddles, but by midday Friday those puddles have turned muddy.  This is Saturday now and the mud puddles are amazing and there is an actual lake forming outside the bathroom window for me to roll in!  I am in love with the rain, mud, and puddles … the border collie however is another matter.  In the morning our dad always lets us out to play while he gets ready for work but when it is raining the stupid Border Collie won’t go outside.  He stands so close to the house (so he doesn’t get wet) and refuses to get his paws wet.  This behavior is not only stupid but creates a huge problem for Gus… he won’t go potty.  When we come back inside Gus makes it about an hour and half before he can’t hold it anymore.  Let me just tell you my mom can yell!  When she walks into the kitchen to find a pile of dog poo she is none to happy especially when there is a lake of pee next to it.  Well of course me being the angel I am I only snicker a little while chewing on my bone.  This has ended in Gus spending some quality time in his crate since mom hates cleaning up pee and poo from dogs who are to delicate to get there paws wet.  Now you might be thinking poor Gus but really he brought this upon himself and an added bonus is that I get to spend more quality time with mom!img_4437

But Why?

While waiting for Purdy to eat her breakfast grain this is an ongoing conversation I have with Purl one of our Lincoln Longwools and my favorite sheep next to Ewestace of course.

Purl:  I see you brought Purdy grain for breakfast again…

Me:  Why yes Purl I did.

Purl:  I see and why do I not get grain?

Me:  Well Purl you don’t need grain to be nice you’re just friendly all the time.  Purdy however will become a feral beast if I don’t bribe her with grain daily.

Purl:  So basically your saying that I should be mean and I will get treats… this seems wrong.

Me:  No, Purl if you were mean that would just mean that I would need to bring the border collie more often to do chores and make you do what I wanted.  Purdy however won’t listen to the dog and she spits.

Purl:  Right new life goal learn to spit!

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Sadly he has no thumbs…

The most useful farm tool that I have is by far our Border Collie Gus, he proves to be helpful more than I can count.  I know that if the sheep we’re to get out that I wouldn’t have to much trouble getting them back with Gus’s help (Purdy is another story) which is a load off my mind.  This morning when I went down to do morning chores I saw that Jenny one of the brown spotted ewes had become tangled in the electric net fence (it wasn’t on which is probably why she was in it).  Jenny has a very naughty habit of eating grass on the other side of the fence… because that’s where it is greenest of course!  This obviously upsets Purdy deeply, she was standing near Jenny making pitiful cooing noises that her sheep was stuck and she also didn’t have thumbs.  As I was freeing the sheep from the fence (which she didn’t appreciated at all) I thought if only Gus had thumbs he could have done this for me.  This is a picture of Jenny a couple weeks ago eating grass through the field fence, it was at that moment I thought this is going to be a problem.IMG_4151

The Sky Is Falling

I was sitting there minding my own business when I saw a giant hand reaching out of the sky to abduct me.  My friends and I were running for our lives when I was snatched, snatched I tell you, plucked right from the earth!  Luckily (at least for me) I wasn’t alone some of my friends had also been taken.  Once caught we were loaded into a transport container, when we were dumped out we all looked up to see the most monstrous creature imaginable…a Border Collie!

Jeff and I went to pick out some baby chicks yesterday and for some reason it made me think that this must be what an alien abduction must be like.  We picked out six chicks total, three Buff Orpington and three Production Reds.  I can’t wait for them to be old enough to start making me some eggs!  Our Bordie Collie is especially interested in the chicks, I think he would be overly happy to just watch them all day. 

Eat Your Wheaties!

Gus and Olive start sheep camp again today at Cherry Hill Training Center.  When Jeff fed Gus his breakfast I heard him pronounce to Gus “Eat up you, got to perform well today!”  Without even thinking I walked into the room and spoke up for Gus “Dad I don’t perform sheep herding, it’s a way of life.”  After Gus and I straightened out Jeff’s line of thought I realized he didn’t say anything to Olive.  I have decided this means one of two things; 1 Jeff has lost all hope that Olive will be useful for anything but a couch dog. 2 Olive is so amazing that she doesn’t need any encouragement or pep talks.  I can’t wait to see Olive and Gus work after all winter off for Gus and Olive’s first real herding lessons.  I will be sure to give you all an update after camp.

Spring Time Busy

We have been busy here with spring time, not only do we have the two bottle lambs but we also brought all the rabbits home this last weekend.  I love having my bunnies back home where I can spoil them and love on them.  One of our adult breeders Sly got to retire and went to a wonderful pet home.  Sly will have other rabbits to be around as well as cats, I am so happy he went to such a good home!  The lambs are getting big and will probably go back to the farm sometime next week.  I brought Gus and both the bottle lambs out to the farm where we take our herding lessons yesterday to walk and get some energy out.  Gus was beside himself to be back at the farm and didn’t understand why we were not doing any work.  Ewestace and Lamb Chop were excited to run like crazy all over the pasture, both lambs seemed a bit confused by the other lambs nursing off the Ewes which made me a bit sad.  I love both my girls and can’t wait until we can bring them home to our future farm.  I have started packing the house here in town and started planning moving details.  It is only 61 more days until we move (not that anyone is counting)!  The picture below is my future view from the backyard of the farmhouse.IMG_3555

Family Feud

I love my border collie, I even love his incredible ability to learn so quickly (most times).  When he was a puppy my husband and I accidentally taught Gus that “Good Boy” meant jump on me and I will pet you.  My husband an I have both been sick this weekend meaning less exercise for the nutty herding dogs.  I have been on the couch for the last hour or so with Snugglepants our black cat sitting behind me.  Gu7893750.jpgs and Snugs have had a long standing feud in this house.  When Gus was a puppy Snugs would stalk Gus and swat him.  This has now turned into Gus stalking Snugs until Snugglepants looses his patience and chases Gus across the house.  Gus seems to get especially upset when the cats sit with me and has been staring at the cat for some time now.  I got tired of Gus’s hot breath on my arm and kept making him back up.  Without realizing he was doing this Gus would back up out of my line of sight then stand really cl
ose behind the couch.  After a few times of me telling Gus to back up I only had to look at him and he would back up.  I soon realized that my border collie had once again outsmarted  me and was in fact standing closer now to the kitty by standing behind the couch.  There is never a dull day here with a border collie in the house.