Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hurricane Irene was, unlike some news sources NOT a dud. There are so many losses everywhere, and so much flooding. We were lucky at my place. Farm lost power, which just came back on last night. I almost dumped the water to give fresh, but thought to ask if there was power, as a tree blocked my way to the farm... Sure enough it took power lines down with it. Power is back on at the farm, so that is great.

Brother is working on another project at the farm, so that means I have to move some fencing, etc. Last thing I want to deal with. We chatted about him getting more steers, but really, another field has to be fenced before we do this. In my area of the USA, we only get 6 months, if we are lucky of grazing. The rest is all hay. For steers, this means a boat load of corn/hay to over winter. Speaking of hay, I finally found some good 2nd cutting timothy. Not cheap, but I know what good hay is when I see it. Have to wait until it is brought in, so that sort of scares me- weather is fickle...

Sheep are good. All have gained a nice amount of weight, and even my thin girl is finally getting better- I wonder if the heat just nailed her bad, along with the flies? The grain may have gotten her system back on track too. Her rumen looks to have something in it now, which for a while it did not.

Dogs are good, ever since they have been on Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream. I am adding pro biotics to their food in the am, and yogurt at night. The difference in their coats, especially Dan and Lucy is amazing.

The baby Parakeets are getting big, and one in particular is hanging out the opening of the box, but has not gathered the courage up to come out. Soon, I hope!

That's it for now!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Well, demos were a complete fail to launch. First, we got the sheep loaded into the trailer so easy! It was just great. Then, as my friend tried to pull out, the truck just could not get traction- it was then that we saw the trailer had a flat- right off the rim. Just great. So, we make a makeshift pen out of a combo panel and lattice, and tied it all together with baling twine- and another friend lifted those huge Border Leicester ewes into it- they are about 180 lbs. By the time he finished putting all four of them into the pick up bed pen, well, he was done. So, we then get to the fair, see that the fence has not been shored up as was repeatedly requested, and that several ponds of water where in the arena, and it's all clay, so you literally get sucked in. They did not set up an easy up to be under and no PA system. After discussing it with my friend, and realizing that our dogs could get hurt in this clay pond, as well as the extreme potential for sheep to get out, and also after conversing with management, it was decided to just bag it. But, we had to wait for the trailer tire to be repaired, and get there. As soon as it go there, we loaded up the sheep (Dan did a great job) and headed home.

After we dropped the sheep back at the farm, we went for lunch where I had horrible pork chops- so tough I could barely cut through them.

I then went home and passed out.

Working today, and then wait for the storm. Lots more rain. Thank goodness there is good drainage at the farm.

Well, that's it folks.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This week has been pretty good. I worked Dan the other day, first time after a couple days off. He worked so nice, that I mentioned the word perfect to him as I joyfully called him over. We started with a fetch, and I flanked him around to drive them across in front of me (to keep his fetch flanks free) and then we drove all over the field- he did, I stood still at what would be the post. It was not a lot of work, but boy was it wonderful.

He had diarrhea again, and now Kylie too, but I think Kylie's pica is rearing it's head and she's eating lots of inedible things. But, liquid diarrhea means no food. So tonight, along with pumpkin I will give her some food. I switched all over to taste of the wild pacific stream and it appears to be a great thing- everyone has less output, and no illness (except for Kylie).

Baby Parakeets are over 3 weeks now and extremely loud. Parents are fighting a bit, not sure why, but maybe it's the time where dad starts feeding them, and mom gets her nose out of joint.

Got some T posts for the new fence line and they are planned to go in tomorrow. I also sprayed my hill field for those HORRID plants that came up. Tried pulling, but my God, just spraying took 2 hours!!!!!! Can't wait for them all to shrivel up and DIE!!!!!!!! That field took too much work and money to have it over run by a noxious weed- that the sheep will not eat!!!!

Got some work done in the house last night, need to keep that up all week. Been feeling better (antibiotics do that to you), so life is back on the almost normal slant!

Well, that's about it for now............

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vet says that the thin ewe looks okay, just probably not getting what she used to out of the forage out in the field. Gave them some grain again, and will continue. She looks absolutely normal, except thin, and vet says, not egregiously so. All sheep got a once over for their travels to the fair, so we are set with that.

Headache AGAIN today. It is getting quite annoying. Hung out watching tv yesterday. Just needed a day to chill. I am so glad it isn't obliteratingly hot lately. I know the sheep and the dogs really appreciate the relief from the bugs and the heat.

This week really nothing going on. I would like to get one of the barn areas cleaned out (clutter) and get my nephew to clean out the steer manure in the other part of the barn, but really, that's it. I do have to clean my house too, at some point.

That's it for now!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Was just thinking, my blog has changed over the past year. I think part of it is the past few months not being well, being busy, working hard and just trying to keep above water, like everyone else. Life is not as romantic as it used to be. Not that that is bad, per se, but it basically means, I don't really have the take on things like I used to...

My one thin ewe remains so- her gums are just the same color as the rest, she is chewing her cud, she does have all her teeth, but man, she's thin. I don't like seeing it. I may have my vet friend come out and give her a once over. I know I said I wouldn't, but I have grown attached to my older girls, plus, they are not THAT ancient yet. I wormed her and gave the old girls just a little grain yesterday, and the skinny girl ate very well.

Have a headache for three days now. Isn't that fun?! Not. Parakeet babies are so hungry. Mom keeps feeding them, but I am truly amazed at the work it is taking and the volume of food they are going through to feed these babies. I had better start looking for homes for them...

Dogs seem to be back to normal with their digestive systems, though I am not real happy with their output- I think the food I feed may have changed their formula or something.

The other day I thought my kitty was out in the back yard when I let my dogs out and so just let the dogs out as usual. Then, I saw that the kitty was still in the house. Two days ago I realized, it was not a cat, it was a woodchuck, and is it not a bit pitiful that my cat is as fat looking as a woodchuck?

Well, vet is coming (just got a call) and have to hop in shower and head up to meet him.

Friday, August 12, 2011

So, one of my elder Border Leicesters is looking decidedly thin. When I score her, she isn't too bad, but she is very hollow behind her ribs. I am going to check her carefully today, and if she is off, I will see if John can take me up to the market on Monday. I can't keep sheep that can't keep good weight on in summer... Especially not with intentions to breed them...

Today is absolutely gorgeous. No humidity. First we have had that in months. Got my lawn mowed yesterday, so that's done.

Took a peak at the Parakeet babies yesterday. The parents CACK CACK CACKED!!!!!!! at me as I did so, so no pics... They are extremely protective. I think there are four, though I am not sure.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weather's getting cooler, and I am getting happier :) I am also feeling better after months of downright exhaustion and being sick. It's a wonderful wonderful thing. I actually weeded my flower bed the other day... It's a MIRACLE!

Worked Dan yesterday and I would say we are about 85% back to normal on our driving work. He is just not mature enough to nail down so hard, and he may never be. Lots of grass for the sheep to eat, and I am again, so gratified that I fenced in the second pasture. Next year, a third, and then one more after that. Just need more $$!

Last night my friend and I went to see the movie "Buck", about Buck Brannaman, a horse whisperer of sorts. I was in tears pretty much the first few minutes. The compelling part of this film for me was how he believes that most times it's horses with people problems, not people with horse problems. He handles horses respectfully, and clearly, and benevolently and does not fool with getting emotional, and has that "way" with horses, that clearly, is not born into everyone. He is going to be in New Jersey next month for a clinic and I want to just go and be an observer. Yes, I have no horses, but by God, what he said can be applied quite liberally to sheepdog training. I am a believer! Made me think of how when things go funky with training my dogs, how I let my temper, or my emotions take over and lose so much ground. With Lucy, specifically, I got too hard on her and she lost some trust with me, and I will never forgive myself for it.

I think I am beginning to see my niche in this sheepdog game, and I have already seen a change in me- none are more converted than those who see why they are...........

So, anyway, that was an excellent movie, and I will be buying his books.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So, the ram lambs are gone. When we got there, another trailer pulled up and I wondered out loud what was in it. Sheep? Well, when I heard a loud BOOM! I knew it wasn't sheep- then I heard the squeel.... We unloaded my two lambs first, and the butcher said they were REALLY small, so be it. At least they can't breed my ewes! I am just glad that job is done.

I moved my sheep to the other pasture last night and they were very happy. I also worked Dan. We have a new issue with me working hard on pace with him- he's lost some confidence, so I am sort of pissed at myself, so now, for the rest of our time, I will ask for pace when needed, but not over do it. He's a handler sensitive dog, and I must remember that. Going to try and start to teach him to shed this week. Lambs are nice and light and we need to learn something new.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Just a small update. I was contacted by the fair to do demos this year, sort of a last minute request, but I have agreed to do it with a good friend of mine. They also asked me to do the sheep/wool festival later this year. Work yes, but fun too (I LOVE the sheep and wool festival!)

The two ram lambs are heading off to freezer camp today, and it will be a load off my mind when they go, as they are not wethered, and I just don't want chitlins off them.

The sheep will be moved back to the other pasture this week, either today or tomorrow. Weather is absolutely gross today (really high humidity/hot) but it is supposed to cool down as the week progresses.

Dogs are finally better from their intestinal issues, and the Parakeet parents are quite busy with their babies.

Life is pretty good !