Tag Archives: sheep

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.

 

Boxes and boxes

Moving is stressful and doing it with a farm full of animals and a baby is even more difficult.  We are however on the home stretch of this whole process.  Our house has sold and so we are just waiting on a closing date at this point.  We have not yet found a new farm to go to yet which is stressful but I have faith that it will all work out.  I have figured out mostly where all of the farm animals will stay in the event we have not been able to find a farm before we close.   I am very much looking forward to this time next year when I hope to have many cute lambs hopping around the farm.img_7385

•••• Winter Wonderland ••••

Well we are still here, perhaps a bit chilly but we are here. Our farm has been covered in a deep blanket… I mean smothered by a layer of snow. Normally I am all for branches covered in a liberty layer of white and a clean fresh snow to make fresh footprints in however not now. My chickens have chosen to stay in their coop for three weeks now meaning I also haven’t had any farm fresh eggs either. The horses and sheep have also preferred to stay in their shelters as well. Henley and I have been hiding in our house as well as it’s really just to cold to do anything outside. Cabin fever has reached a critical level here at the farm and I’m sure my husband is wondering how we will possibly wear all the things I’m knitting up. I hope all of you are stay safe warm and dry as well!

Change is in the air

Fall is quickly taking hold with the trees shedding their leaves and frost on the ground when I wake up. We put up more permanent fencing on the hill for the sheep to winter on.  The waters in the pastures this morning had a nice layer of ice on top that I broke apart for the animals. I realized that I have been feverishly knitting christmas gifts but don’t have a pair of mittens for myself.
I worked Gus today on the sheep he was good but Purdy wasn’t impressed with either of us.  When I was moving the chicken fence down the hill a bit Purdy had this look on her face that clearly said “that’s my hill your giving the chickens you will regret this choice.”  Shortly after the Purdy snuck up behind Gus and snorted on him which startled him. I was pretty sure I could hear Purdy laughing at us.

 

Long days and good dogs

As you all know the first day of fall happened recently.  For me this is a not so gentle reminder of the ginormous list of things left to do before winter.  My amazing husband Jeff has a full time job outside the farm (required to support my wool habbit) so I try to get as much done alone as possible.  

This past week I decided it was time to move the sheep closer to the house up on the hill.   I chose to do this for many reason but they all mostly add up to making winter life easier.  I am hoping that Purdy and the sheep living closer to the house will make them a bit less skittish.  I might be able to make friends with the crazy llama. 

Purdy did resist the initial moving plan as Jeff has mostly been the one feeding her in the morning which makes me less familiar face to her.  I  ultimately chose to leave Purdy behind to move last as she was not on board with my plan (and fight ing with Purdy is not my favorite sport).

Lately Gus hasn’t been super reliable working as he has been getting a lot of ideas of his own how things should be done (we’re working through it).  I chose to not take Gus down as I thought my sheep were well enough bucket trained and we would be going through not well fenced pasture … boy did I misjudge that choice!

I had my bucket of grain, my aunt was gracious enough to come and help watch Hen during all this.   That turned into why don’t you just wear Henley and you can help (two are better than one right!).  So I opened the gait shook my grain bucket and they all stared at me like yeah… we don’t go over there so nope.   Purl being the only sheep I can count on to run me over for grain came over and was grateful for the snack until I put a halter and lead on her and handed her to Annie.  I told Annie to start walking hoping that the rest would follow purl and my bucket of grain… nope.  After 30 minutes in the super hot weather for New York in September I almost had them all to the gate I needed them through (I make a great herding dog when needed I just lack a good bite when it’s really needed) when Ewestace decided she was no longer on board and was going back to her pasture … with her friends in tow.   It was at this point after quite a bit of colorful language that I went to get Gus.  

I won’t lie to you I saw all the ways this could go wrong in my head.  Gus isn’t super strong at his driving and lately he has been very quick with everything.  My big willow girls are in heat and have been extra difficult for the dog which just creates more pressure all the way around.  I sat Gus down on the front porch where it was just the two of us and had a pep talk.  I told him how naughty Ewestace had been and how I really needed his help and shouldn’t have doubted him in the first place.  I told Annie to open the gate when the sheep got there and they could come in a bit quick.  I should add that all this time Purl was oblivious she was all alone and was happy as a clam to be hand grazing with Henley and Annie.  

Gus and I went all the way down to the middle sheep pasture to get be able to come behind the sheep.  Gus made a lot of arguments with me about how driving sheep isn’t exciting and his flowing locks won’t be able to blow in the wind he creates on his bueatiful outruns.  I won’t repeat what I said back to him.  In the end Gus did everything I asked of him he did it immediately and correctly.  It might not have been the most beautiful thing we have done but it took him less than 5 minutes to do what I had been working on for almost an hour.  

In the end I left Purdy in the middle sheep pasture alone to think about her life choices.  She was very dramatic trying to convince me I was making her die a slow painful death.   Jeff was able to help me calmly walk her to the hill after he got home with no problems.  

Gus got many cookies for being such a good boy and saving the day.  Lessons learned … don’t doubt all the hard work you out into your working dogs.  You will always have something that you are working on with them but that doesn’t mean that in the end when it comes down to it they won’t step up and get the job done for you.  

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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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.

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