Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wow, Sorry. It's been a long time.... But all is well. Sheep are good. Two so far have started bagging up- I can see from the aft view. Their rations are almost at the goal of 11 lbs. Next year I will separate the preggers from the opens so I can not have to feed so much to those who don't need it. They seem in good shape- run to the food and in general feel good, though the obviously pregnant ones are a bit slower. Have to go get some hog panels to make a barn yard area- that will be this weekend.

I have been keeping Lucy away from the other bitches in the house and it's working well. It's not fun, but it's my only solution.

Joe is doing well. He will be 13 weeks tomorrow. He's a bit thin right now, so upping his food. I am starting to enjoy him more, as he transforms from a neonate to a young dog.

This week we are getting some bad weather Weds into Thurs, but it is going to warm up again right away. That's a good thing.

We're up to I think 8 lambs at Johns? On the way over there yesterday as I drove by the big hill along the road, I saw a ewe with a brand new lamb. I had to get them in the barn, but the mare was out there, and she is a total wench, and aggressive. So, I was going to put her in her stall, but John had some chickens in the stall. I spooked them back into the other stall where they belong, but the rooster escaped. I then spent my time getting him back in the barn, but never did get him in his stall. I figured to heck with it, let his chips fall where they may with the mare. Then, I realized that I could not bring the mare past the stallion who stood in a field right near her stall. Oh crap.

So, THANK GOODNESS John showed up. His friend caught the rooster (got a ladder to reach him). We then let the stallion in first, and then the mare, and THEN I got to got get the lamb. By then there were two Turkey Vultures circling. I walked partially backwards ALL the way to the barn from that huge hill. Got them in the barn fine. Then I hayed everyone, watered mommas and gave them some water. Another lamb had been born earlier that morning too.

Let's see what today holds...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Getting back into the swing of things..... I have started reading at night again, and it really helps me to sleep and I wake up much more relaxed. Joe's doing well at night these days. He's starting to become a bit of an imp. For instance, this morning, as I was sitting, he jumped up to my lap, I pushed him off, and he came back each time. They say this is the period where they learn their place in the pack, and who's boss- including humans. So, I best be on my toes...

Brought him to the vet yesterday to get some frontline spray, as I found some ticks on him. They weighed him (on the big dog scale) and he was 17.6 lbs. That's about two more lbs than Dan at that age... He was very good. He was called "handsome" by the vet, which I think he is...

He got to see a horse and some cows yesterday. He was curious, but when the horse whinnied, he got a bit worried. But, these animals were good, none moved fast, or bothered him. He needs to be exposed to a lot of things.

Today, I have to hit the grocery and feed stores, and then, just the usual at the farm. Trying to hang there a little longer each day, makes the end of the day come faster, and then I can rest!

Well, that's it for now.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I was a teeny bit sore yesterday... I just wanted to rest a bit. I did get a little bit of rest, but I really would like an entire day to stay in bed. HA! Like that can ever happen. Joe's big boy crate came and he proclaimed it fit for a King like him.

The rest of this week is supposed to be super warm- upper 50s. This is some February, let me tell you. I hope that we don't get some horrible heavy snows, but we are not out of the woods yet. Even in April, we have been known to have huge snow storms... We shall see.

I started reading before bed again, and it was nice to get back into that routine. I miss it. I sleep a lot better when I read, and it takes my mind off worries.

Not much new this week. I think I will work Dan today. He needs the mental part of it. Lucy, would like to work her too. She's been bad about getting into it with my other bitches lately, and I think she needs more stimulation.

Well, that's it for now.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Put my big girl pants on

I decided it was time to vaccinate and worm the sheep. Now, in the past I have helped (the jabber) while someone holds. I didn't have any help handy, and this week was going to be too busy to try and fit it in later.

When I got to the farm, I drew up the syringes, and went to the barn and loaded up the first measure of wormer. I decided to do the big Border Leicesters first. They know the drill. They are large, but fall nice and gently when I "ask" them. None of them have any evidence of any bags. Zippo. Nada. Nothing. One of them was bred at the end of November, so we won't consider her, but the other two? Who knows. I do know that they don't look preggers, either by belly or by bag.

Then I did the Cheviot ewes. They are nice girls. Yes, a bit jumpier, but once in my calm hands, they seem to trust me. Three of the four have some bag development- not milk, but pinker and fuller. I meant to mark the ones who looked that way, but I forgot. The fourth one, who knows, maybe she was bred later, or maybe not at all.

Then, I did the three ewe lambs. OH GOOD LORD. They were nuts. They jumped in the air and stayed there. When I had them on their hiney's they struck out with their front feet. The last one, I had to lay on her side to vaccinate her. Good Lord. Coyotes would not have an easy time with these girls!

When I was done, I was huffing and puffing. Just plain exhausted. It was those last three lambs. But, the job was done. I have to vaccinate the lambs again in three weeks, but I will be prepared (mentally).

John is up to five lambs, one set of twins. I think there are three rams and two ewes. The twins are both rams.

Joe is doing well. He can now navigate the deck stairs with impunity. Tomorrow he turns twelve weeks. Seems like I have had him longer than that.... Aren't pups fun?

That's the update for now.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Yesterday I washed all my curtains/cafes, and the inside of the windows. Yet another project done. I HAVE to get rid of the carpet, the dust is out of control. It was so nice I even had the windows open for a bit. At the farm yesterday, I wore just a sweatshirt and jeans. This has been some winter so far. I am very grateful for that. This weekend, the plans are to vacuum out my car, set up a crate for Joe pup, and then head up to the farm and maybe do some maintenance there. Tomorrow, the plan is to work dogs with E.

I got a call my from my friend/sheep guru last night, and she said "have they started bagging up yet?" and that sort of drove it home for me. My response was something like "I hope not, they have a month to go!" I hope that everything goes as smooth as silk. I have experience calving, foaling, and even handling rodent births, but not lambs. I *really* hope one of the Border Leicesters are pregnant, because I would like to keep whatever I get from this cross with the Cheviot ram...

Well, just got a phone call and have to start the day, so everyone, have a good one!

Friday, February 17, 2012

No new lambs at John's yesterday. This year is like last; a few early birds and then a ton in March. Only thing is, is that the third week of October we pulled the old ram and put the new ram lamb in. This may be a very extended season.

Yesterday, I brought Lucy, Dan, and Joe to the vet for their spring and puppy shots. Joe was very good. Although I can't believe that the weight they got (on the table scale) is right. The assistant said it was 19.6 lbs...????? I may re-weigh him at some point because there is no way he feels near 20 lbs. Or, maybe my arms are just getting buff ;) Anyway, he was very sweet and loving, and everyone loved him. Puppies do that. Dan was excellent- giving kisses to the vet. He's got one of the best temperaments I have seen in a BC. He weighed out at 36.3 lbs, and vet noted he was "a little" underweight. Lucy weighed in at 33 lbs. She's fit as a fiddle, and EVERYONE LOVES LUCY. The blog name is so apropos. That was the majority of our day.

I made chocolate chip cookies later, and had them and some milk for dinner. MMMM. When I went to bring Joe out for his last constitutional, I was stupid and did not put my shoes on right. I ended up falling down the deck stairs. I was in my bring pink chenille robe and just before I landed, I tossed the pup out of my way. He was fine, but I rolled my right foot and am just generally sore. STUPID me. I won't do that again. We don't land so softly as we age. Joe didn't skip a beat.

So glad today is Friday. I need a weekend. Don't know really why, but I would love to get out of town.... No plans, except to work Dan, much to his elation!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Week is rolling on. So far, Joe continues to dominate my time. It's tough getting schedules set, and let me tell you, as he ages, he is definitely getting more endurance. He goes with us to the farm every day, and we walk two laps- he gets carried for some of it. I am also now tying him up to the fence when I take care of the sheep- more stimulation = better sleeping at night, is how I look at it.

I have gotten back into the swing of tackling one project/job a day at home. Yesterday I took back a cabinet I had used for house repairs/fixing supplies, and moved all that stuff into my storage room. I will continue doing that and chucking more stuff. I want to tackle all the closets.

On the livestock front- got most of my supplies in for the lambing, if it happens. I still want to get a lamb saver kit, so I can be ready for that. Colostrum too. I plan to vaccinate everyone the first week of March. They are now up to 8 lbs of food, and by the end of the week it will be 9 lbs.

I worked Dan yesterday, and what I did was very good for him- I kept the lambs in an area where there was strong pressure to the barn, and there was sufficient room for them to make it if he was too far off, and then, if he covered them on the way to the barn, they would squirt off in the other direction, and he had to be way more careful. It really shaped him up. We also did little flanks on driving and more precise work. He was very happy to work. Joe watched, and he also chewed on a stick.

John had a little ewe lamb the other day. She looks good. Mother is probably a two year old. Pretty ewe.

This weekend, I would love to go work Dan at E's place, but I doubt I can because I don't want to mess up the feeding schedule of the sheep.... Maybe if I show my sister...........

Well, that's it for now!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Let's see... John had a lamb born the other day. When I got there he told me it was probably dead. He could not get the mother in the barn yard. He tried several times to herd the flock into the barn yard but they would not go. When I got there, I see that the lamb is not only alive, but walking with mother. Mother who still wanted to be with the flock. He picked up the lamb and and the mother was really torn. Finally, she chose the flock. Bad momma! The flock had left for the hill pasture and I got Lucy. She's my go to dog. I sent her for them, and she made a beautiful outrun, got to the sweet spot, and they all turned to face her. She gave me a little look and I told her good girl. Then she turned them. See, these sheep have really injured dogs. They do not trust dogs and fight if any are close- and they tag team. Lucy has been on the receiving end of this. Anyway, she got them coming toward me and before I knew it, they were trying to make a quick turn back up into an alcove in the pasture. Lucy knew it though, and she caught them and brought them. I then put Lucy up and we played the two step with mom ewe to get her to go with baby into the barn. Finally, we got her in there, and I left.

The next day I arrive and John tells me that the lamb died. He was very tiny, and maybe the heat lamp warming was too little too late...As I am feeding the sheep I see a dead lamb under the mineral feeder. I ask John if it was the first lamb. It was not. This one was HUGE and had it's intestines, bladder and liver all emanating from it's ventral mid line. Great. What a bummer. Nice lamb. I wonder if he was born that way....

So, every day now I will stop by John's and help out. The ram lamb did not go in until later in October, so we will have a long lambing time (these early lambs are from his older ram).

I got most of my lambing supplies and feel like I am sort of ready. My friend offered to take on any bottle lambs I may have. YES!

Everything else is quiet. I have been walking 2 laps lately, and it is great for the dogs and me. Joey, or Joe, yes, that's his name, loves the walks and I do carry him for part of each lap, as he is still so young. Last night was a red letter night-he stayed in his crate from 11:00 to 5:00. YES! This is my goal, and then to move up the early time a bit by bit.

Really cold today, so holding off on going to the farm just yet. Maybe leave here in an hour...

Well, that's it for now!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Time flies sometimes........ Odd sentence... Well, not much has happened. Just trying to get a good schedule and counting the days until pup is house broken ;) He's doing well. He has so much energy..... Me? not so much.

The sheep are well, but I think my ram is starting to feel his oats. Yesterday when I was checking everyone out while eating, he came out of the flock and walked toward me. Now, he is generally not friendly to me (suspicious of me), so I did not really trust his motivations. I generally carry a stick with me now, because my woman's intuition, or gut, or what have you, tells me he will be one of those spit head rams....but, maybe not.. I just want to have something to defend myself with.

Food for the sheep has been upped a bit. I tend to doubt that the Border Leicesters are bred, but who knows. Who really knows for any of them. I do know that I am starting to get nervous. I have a vet friend who is in Florida with the horse circuit during the winter, but should be back in time for my lambing... I will definitely avail myself of his knowledge and help!!!!!

Yesterday, did two laps with the dogs. I carried the pup for some of both laps. He did enjoy it, but boy am I glad he's leash trained. He's a different pup than Dan was, that's for sure. Oh, and I think I may have a name. Tuff was not working. So, once I am positive I will share my pick!

Well, that's the update for now.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I think we are finally getting a schedule, sort of. Weekends are nice, but hard too. Pup gets used to weekday mornings and weekend mornings do differ these days! But, he held it last night for 6 hours, and maybe could have done more, but I don't want to push it.

Good day yesterday- after the farm, I went to the hardware store and brought the pup in- he wagged his little tail. I carried him everywhere, and several people came up. One person came up and turns out he has a pup from a NEBCA member, and also got his sheep from another NEBCA member. It's a very small world!

Today I am going to help John set up his corral for ewes and lambs, as a few have bagged up and with his lack of fencing, the lambs would be coyote bait. Very nice day again today, albeit colder this morning. That's okay, what a mild winter we have had!

Tonight is the Super Bowl- I will watch it, but am not really that invested. I hope for my friends/family who are Giants fans, that they win.

That's it for now!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just some pics

This boy has a serious look on him most of the time... His ears are a WIP work in progress....

Another of the alert boy

Here is the ram with the Border Leicester/Romney ewe ahead of him

Here are some of the Cheviot yearlings. You tell me if they look fat or fluffy

Here's Bonnie Blue (butt)- she was the first one marked

Here's another Cheviot yearling

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday. It's a time to celebrate, as I have both days off this weekend! Money is tight, so no traveling, but I will make due. Going to make a steak this weekend, that much I do know. Craving good sustenance. Worked Dan the other day, he was great. Pup got to see the sheep, but he thought the moss on the ground was way more interesting ;) I should have named him "Moss". To think that I joked I was going to name two pups, "Peat" and "Moss", and this pup's love for moss......

Tuff, Tuffy, Tuff-e (tuff enough) is his name. So far it's running nicely off the tongue. I think we may be getting to a bit of a schedule. Of course the fact that old kitty likes to get up and walk around at 3:00 am does not help, but he's definitely seeming happier in his crate when in there. He's also pretty fearless. Walks up to the dogs head up, tail up. Not aggressive, but certainly not submissive. He ran around this morning with a stick growling all the way. He's also quite the lover. So affectionate. He's only had one shot, so I am being careful where I bring him, but once he gets one more shot, he will go LOTS of places.

Got the past years taxes organized :)) Was good to get that done. Now, I have more paperwork, but in pieces. I also cleaned a bit. When the pup has down time, I try and get a lot done...........

Well, better get to it.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Wow was it warm yesterday. It was upper 50s. I am amazed at this weather. Last night was a night that I was the one to get the boy up. We were up a few times over the night, and I think it's safe to say that he knows the cue to go :) I also moved him into a smaller crate, and I think that has helped, as he can't really run around in there like the other crate. He's got quite a nice howl when he wants one though... This morning he had more freedom in the house. I watched him closely. He went to Kylie and put his paws across her back. Now, a) that's pretty dominant, and b) Kylie has a sore back so that is also really dumb. She appropriately chastised him. Even though I have heart attacks when that happens, it is best that he learn it now.

Got some cleaning done yesterday, which was great. I have to organize all my previous taxes, and other paper work. ICK. I detest that work.

I had the BEST reuben sandwich yesterday. Good Lord it was good. I topped it off with a slice of Cheesecake straight from heaven.