Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quick Update......

Claire's handsome moorit ram
My son is graduating from Newman Central Catholic this week! My baby! So, I am busy getting ready for out of town guests, getting the farm ready for a big party on Friday, as well as keeping the sheep happy and healthy, gardens planted, mulched and weeded, house cleaned,
oh the list goes on and on! Glimmer's sweet black grey ram

This time of year, we move the sheep constantly. They are fat and happy with all of the lush spring pasture.

Handsome Harvey--sold!
Lambs are growing,
some nearly as big as their mommas.

Handsome Haydn, meaty boy with heavy, heavy horns
We spend as much time as we can, taming the ewe lambs. Many are calm and adorable. Who cares about a clean house when you have sweet lambs to spend time with?

Stella's triplet girl, sweet and friendly with the silkiest fleece ever!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Website updates

Is there anything more frustrating than trying to publish or update your website? I don't think so! We've sold a few sheep and lambs over the past few days, so I'm working on the website. I am very particular and persnickety (if that's a word) about the website. I have a bachelors degree in fine art, with an emphasis in graphic design. Unfortunately, this all happened before computers were introduced into the curriculum. So now, I'm learning this computer design on my own. UGH! One of these days, someone will figure out a program to make it easy. But until then, I am frustrated.
And, why is it, that the website looks fine on my computer, but when I look at it at on another computer, it looks all funky? I certainly don't want my customers to think I'm all funky! I'm not!
Maybe I'll just go out and spend some time with my sheep. They don't care how my website looks. They don't want to be sold, and would be happy to live out their lives here.
Sorry, girls, that's not the way it works..........

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yes, turkeys really are THAT STUPID!

You've heard that turkeys are stupid, well, yes, it's true! We bought these heritage turkeys because they were supposed to be somewhat more intelligent that the modern breeds. I don't know about that. Our hen hatched 8 poults. One died when she decided to live out in the rain last week. I can accept that, survival of the fittest and all of that.
Well! We had thunderstorms blowing through the last couple of days. I figured they'd be OK, in the barn, but no! Momma turkey freaked out sitting on the nest and crushed all but one of her babies! Stupid, stupid momma turkey! Note to self: next year, take away all babies after they are hatched!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rain, rain, go away!

A view from our bedroom window

There is over 4" of water in our rain gauge from just the past two days, and it's still raining! The NW section of our property (the lawn) is on a 100 year flood plane, as in it's apt to flood once ever 100 years. Now that the farmers have tiled all of their fields, it floods once every year (at least!). Well, the good thing is that our house and outbuildings are all up on the hill, so we never have water damage to those.The ducks love it when we have a small lake on the lawn.
My husband always wanted a home on a lake,
and now we do!
Looking out at the bridge

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The psyche of sheep

Learning to understand the spirit and soul of a sheep is something that I strive to do. It really helps when handling sheep, to know just what their actions might be. As I grow older and my flock grows larger and my back grows weaker, I am constantly looking at ways to improve the routine handling of sheep. If you have sheep of your own, you know that they are quite intelligent, but a different intelligence from our own.
Which leads me to our "Bridge of Peril". If you haven't seen our YouTube video from last year, click here.
We have access to a wonderful, varied planted pasture north of our creek. We have a small wooden bridge for the sheep to cross, which they have become used to, and readily use. We've had some flooding in the last couple of days, which has washed the bridge downstream a bit. We repositioned it, just 10 feet away from the original spot. Well, this has totally upset the routine of our sheep. In the morning, when we move them from the barnyard to the N. creek pasture, they run toward the creek in glee, kicking up their heels. But then they arrive to where their bridge is supposed to be and look at the creek bank in dismay. Where is the bridge? How will they cross to the lush north pasture?
Hello!? It's just 10 feet west of the original spot!

So, I spend some time trying to coax and lure the sheep across this new bridge. Most aren't convinced, but the gullible little lambs trot across without a thought. Several of the ewes, and some of the lambs lept into the creek, and swam across to their verdant pasture. Crazy, when all they'd have to do is cross across the bridge just 10 feet away.
If you thought sheep couldn't swim, yes, they can! They are great swimmers!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Party time!

Look what the UPS man brought me today!
Two of my favorite things!
The yarn is some of my Icelandic that I had Stonehedge spin for me. They always do a fabulous job. The oatmeal and creamy white yarns are loosely spun 2 ply done up in (aprox.) 4 oz. skeins/125 yd. per skein. The rich moorit brown is also a 2 ply but in a sport weight skein of 225 yd./3 oz. So nice! I also received 3 colors of roving from them last week, black/grey, (very) black, and moorit brown.
Now, for some sheep pics:

Fellicia's little black ewes Helen & Helena. We have SO MANY black lambs this year. I've always loved black sheep,
and now our fields are overflowing with them!

Evra, and her badgerface twins (ram & ewe).

The girls love when I open the gate and they can forage in the woods. I sometimes wonder how they manage to find their way home, especially with those young lambs.

Although Charlotte has already twinned, she looks like she could have a couple more in there. (I'm glad she didn't)

Delphine's 3 white triplets, 2 ewes and a ram.
They have the pinkest noses and ears!

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Saturday Surprise!

Since we were officially done lambing, I decided to sleep in a little on Saturday morning. Got up, had a couple cups of coffee, and decided to take a walk out to the pasture to check on everyone. Look what I found! Glimmer with a little 6 lb. black/grey ram lamb!
I had suspected that she was pregnant for the past month. She had that poochy rear end that just says "I'm pregnant". Then, we sheared her a few days ago, and she had no udder. Zero, zilch, zip. She didn't even look that round. I was relieved.
Well, now I'm relieved that she had him OK. I've begun supplementing her with some extra feed to hopefully get that udder producing more milk. The little guy is warm and vigorous, so she must be doing OK with him.
So now, yes, I believe we are done lambing!
(Do you hear that, girls??)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

More new life!

Turkey babies! Our blue slate hen successfully hatched out
eight little poults this week. We have her cooped up in the barn for now.
It won't be long until they are out cruising the gardens foraging for insects.
The blue slate turkey is a nice variety for the small farm.
It is a heritage breed and is considered critically endangered.
This is the proud daddy.
He considers himself to be king of the barnyard.