Tag Archives: flock

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.

 

Change is in the air…

Fall is upon us here in upstate NY and with that the rush to get everything prepared for winter.  The girls will need to be sheared next month along with trimming their feet.  This will also mean I will have five more fleeces to take to the fiber mill to be made into yarn.  We have made a nice area on the hill to allow the sheep to winter closer to the house to make chores easier in the winter.  The new chickens are integrating nicely with the adult hens and everyone is getting along nicely.  I am hoping to get in some nice knitting time on my porch while I watch the leaves change this fall.

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!

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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Naked Sheep!

Over the weekend we got so much accomplished to finish up before winter comes.  It happened that a warm front is passing through so we were thinking about the coming winter on an almost 80 degree day.  Sunday morning we woke up early and got Lola pig into her travel box to take her to the butcher on Monday morning.  We chose to do this early so that not only would my Mom and I have Jeff’s help but if anything went wrong it wouldn’t be 6:30 in the morning and dark on the morning we were supposed to be dropping them off.  Luckily Lola pig with a little encouragement from Jeff got into her box and seemed pretty comfy in her thickly bedded house for the night.
The next thing we did yesterday was to get the three wooly sheep sheared.  A good friend of ours came over to shear the sheep for us which was a huge help.  I was so surprised by how heavy the individual fleeces were!  Originally we had planned to shear the woolies in the pasture and use the electric outlet from the truck, well that didn’t work out.  This progressed to driving the sheep one by one over to the horse barn to use that electric (Luna was not pleased).  We got The Little Buffalo sheared easily then it was Luna’s turn.  For some reason her fleece did not agree with the shears so we had to take an intermission halfway through shearing Luna to go to Tractor Supply to get a new blade.  In the end all three Longwools got sheared (my Purl was an angel of course).  Purdy wasn’t initially certain we returned the same three sheep to her that we had taken but eventually she realized they did in fact belong to her.

My Mom made a wonderful pecan pie yesterday that was amazing!  Later this week we will finish the chicken and rabbit shelter and then we should be pretty well set for winter to come.  Soon it will be time to start thinking about what the planes for next year will be.  I am already starting to think about what seeds I want to order for my garden next year!

Eggs!!

Fall has officially arrived and so have my first eggs from my girls!  I got the first two eggs from them Wednesday and the third from them today.  We have six hens total three production red hens and three buff orpington hens and I am finally getting some eggs.  They are on the smaller side but thats ok for their first eggs.  We are planning to put together their winter enclosure that will also house Pete either this weekend or next week sometime.  I know the girls won’t lay many eggs over the winter and that is fine but I am hoping to get quite a few before then.