Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Am depressed and tired.  I think I have come to a point in my life where when the going gets tough, it sure would be nice to have someone there to support me.   I get tired.  Just plain tired.  Everyone has highs and lows, that much I do know, but sometimes you just get tired of being tough and tolerating what you are served.

I am so tired from getting to and from the farm twice a day, so much driving.  I am wondering how the hell I am going to get rid of that pile of straw from cleaning the barn.  I am wondering how I can increase my flock without more room for them in the barn.  I am wondering how I am going to get more fencing up and more work done with no money.  I have no idea.  Being poor is nothing new to me, but I have never (in the past) let work get to me- the amount... it's a LOT of work.

I  have to seriously consider exactly what I want to do.  I know if I had a closer place to house my sheep at, life would be distinctly easier.  I did find a place, I thought, but I think that option is no longer feasible.  The owner wanted a LOT of sheep and for me to do the work, but I can't really do all the work alone- and for someone else.  I do not want another boss.  Maybe my problem is the want.  Maybe I need to stop thinking about what I want and just handle what I can now.


This has been my public service whine for the day.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

If it feels right...

So, here it is, Saturday.  Looking forward to it all week, but I've got a headache!  Don't know why..  Anyway, got up early and got some laundry done and cleaned the bathroom.  Just finished pancakes, which I swear I do because the dogs/cat likes them so much.  No, really, I do love them too, but it's a serious high point in my dog's life when I make them.

I went and saw another farm to possibly keep my sheep at.  LOTS of land, 127 acres, but there would be fencing to do (I will not do it) and then there is the issue of lots of tenants around... some are less than, um, optimal...  I always feel that when something feels right it is, and if not, then it isn't.  I may still do it to some extent, but I do not have the funds to get it going.

In a few minutes will head up to the farm and I have to remember to get sheep food too...It's a usual Saturday I guess.  Tomorrow we take my mom out to dinner for her birthday, which will be nice.

That's it for now!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sort of function mode.........

Yesterday, I over slept, and my brain was on sort of function mode.  So tired...  Anyway, I got to the farm and found a new lamb laying near her mom.  She's a big lamb.  She was still wet when I got there.  I dipped her navel and put her in the jug with mom.  Mother is good and attentive.  I left them after feeding, and when I came back to put everyone in for the night, the lamb was hopping around the jug.  Tomorrow I will band her tail and pop them out with the others.  Now, boy lamb (who is smaller than this girl) will have a friend to play with. 

I am so very glad the weekend is just about here.  Busy day at work today, and then I have to hit grocery store, feed store, and of course, the usual chores.  We are getting some weather this weekend (surprise surprise).  Everyone will be kept in during the weather...  I am going through straw like crazy- another cost associated with winter lambing...

I feel much better today, had a good amount of sleep last night, and ate well. I have been losing weight from all this activity, which is a good thing.  Soon, I can go back to the Dr for a checkup and not be embarrassed.

That's all I have for now.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Still here....

No new lambs.  First lamb is doing well.  Other girls getting very large.  One has a huge bag.  I am tired, as one would expect as I am driving to and from the farm twice a day.  I am putting all expectant mothers in the barn at night, and they are let out in the morning.  Cleaning the barn every day, and keeping up at work and home.   I will never lamb this early again!  It's really a no brainer.

Dogs are bored stiff, although they get their walks, the ground is too slick to work them on, and I can barely walk on it myself.   Another storm is expected this weekend, and appears it will be a rain event mostly, for our area.  

This is all I have time for now.  Will stop by again soon ....

Sunday, February 17, 2013

First time moms...

Yesterday, I got to the farm earlier than normal, and when I got there, mom and baby were happily together in their jug.  The lamb was perky and looked good.  It was all good, until... I started to feed.  Mother then busted open the two doors of the jug and through the gate to the large room part of the barn.  Several times I had to put her back in and devise new ways to keep her there.  She just did not want to be away from the flock.  So, then, I fashioned some hooks with nails to keep her in and was working outside when I heard BAM!  and out she came running.  Okay, so you want to be with the rest, that is okay...

But, it was not okay.  The lamb was a target by last year's lambs and the ram lamb absolutely wanted to kill him, I saw it.  So, I got Dan and we separated out the ewe who lost her lamb, and the lambs from last year including the ram lamb, and they were put in the outer paddock.  There was just no way that brand new lamb was up to that beating.

Everything calmed down a lot and only moms to be, and new mom were in small paddock with access to barn.  I left, and I wondered if I needed to get everyone in, because it was going to be cold.  Did not know if mother was smart enough to bring baby in.  I went home and cooked the absolute best steak meal I have ever made, and actually... eaten... and then decided to drive back and get the ewes/baby in.  I could not just bring mother in, as she would hurt herself to be with the rest of the girls... So, I drove back and took one of the panels off the jugs I had fashioned, and made some nail hooks and hung the gate on the inside of the doorway to outside.  Then, I grabbed another bale of hay, and a tiny bit of grain and got everyone on.  At first the lamb wanted outside, he could not understand the gate thing... Then, he finally accepted it.  His mother set to eating hay, like she had not eaten all day.  She was just too nervous.  I knew that lots of nerves is counter to producing milk and boy was she nervous- about being away from the flock.. So, my plan to lock everyone in worked.  Mother was eating like a house a fire and baby was safe.  Given the wind last night I am very glad I locked everyone in.  Tonight it will be even colder; sub 0 temps with wind chill.  Ask me if I will ever lamb this early again?  NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!  This is a really nervous time.

Today I have to clean out the barn, reorganize things and re-configure what I think will be the jugs.. Just not sure, but if I have more mothers like the aforementioned one, I need contingency plans.  No big breakfast today, just toast.  Too much on my mind, and on the agenda.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A great day to be born!

Yesterday was just beautiful.  Fifty degrees, sunny.  As I headed up to the farm, I thought to myself, that it would be a great day for lambing..  As I shut my truck door, and donned my coat, I headed over to the sheep.  All are interested in me, and two are hanging back, with one having an extra set of legs standing next to her... Ah!  So the early girl had her baby!  She's a yearling maiden, so I am glad it went well.  Baby was up, dry and nursing.  That's pretty much exactly how I like it!  So, I got mom and baby into the jug.  Mom did break out once as I went to feed the others, but I soon got her back in with her baby, and baby nursed, and mom fed her grain, set up with hay and water, and left them be.  It really was a perfect day to have a baby....

This wee guy is not real large, but I am sort of happy, as since mom is first time, I don't want stuck issues!  Yes, he is a guy.  I could tell the minute I saw his face... Another ram!  All I care about it that he is happy and healthy, really.  Someone commented that it was too bad it wasn't a ewe lamb... well, that is true, but it's sort of looking a gift horse in the mouth...

I went out to Applebees with my sister and her son for dinner yesterday, and went to bed early.  Got more sleep than the night before, but am still a  bit tired.  It was a great meal and I am glad I got out for a bit.  Oh, and yesterday I got a new book by Earlene Fowler- another GREAT author.

Today is clean up day at the barn, the house and just chill time.  I am still beat.  I think there is another week before any more lambs now.  We shall see!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ate a lot of chocolate

It was really nice outside yesterday.  As we went along on our first lap, Joey decided to go off some where.  Dan and I got all the way back to the barn and I started doing chores, before I saw Joe appear, huffing and puffing.  Don't know where he went...  He kept wanting to lay down in the snow to cool off.  See? Nice and warm!

Sheep are doing well.  I think the one early girl may be getting close, but who knows.  Will happen when it happens.  I wish I could leave them out in the field to lamb, but not with this snow.  Next year, lambing will be later.  Even if there wasn't snow, you just wonder if  mother could lamb, and then leave the baby somewhere (they will do that sometimes) and then you have to traipse all over the place looking for the lamb.  So, this is I guess, a happy medium.

We may get snow this weekend, but the models do not agree, even now, so either a little, a lot, or none... Hmmmm.

I am going to dinner with my sister and her son tonight, and I would really like to go to a movie.  Shall see about that.  Don't really want to spend money...  That's going to be so until the hay is paid off. 

Ate a lot of chocolate yesterday :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Getting in shape

Snow had melted just enough, so that if I felt stalwart, I could/would indeed take a walk.  Can't tell you how happy that made the boys- well, that picture sort of tells it all.  No work in this footing at this point.  This winter has been H E double toothpicks on working dogs!

After chores, I hung out watching the sheep eat yesterday- I always do that, because if a sheep doesn't eat, something is very wrong.  I found that the ewe who had miscarried, had "cleaned" that is, the placenta was ejected- I think it took a few days, which is longer than normal, but I am basing that against a normal delivery.  One thing is for certain, the placenta needs to be ejected, because if it is not, an infection can set in.  I had noticed that after the miscarry, she had looked a bit tight in her flank area, perhaps from cramps?  Anyway, now, after the placenta is gone, she looks rather normal, and brighter? Yes, I think that's the word.

Everyone seems good.  I hemmed and hawed about whether to lock the sheep in the small paddock near the barn.  My sheep really like to walk around, and graze, but there is no graze.  Nothing to eat really.  I almost did not do it, but then I thought how hard it was last year searching the field for the mother and new lamb, and how horrible it would be if she lambed in the snow...   So, I decided to shut the gate (it never got hung, Charlie never came back) using rope.  There is a lot of hay on the ground in there, so if a ewe decides to lamb, should be okay if on the hay...  I am deliberately feeding them all over that paddock...

The walk was great yesterday; two laps and my butt felt it.  That's amazing!  I forgot I had glutes!  The reason for that, all started about 12 years ago when my back went kaboom, and I had fusion surgery.  Your glutes are intimately connected to your lumbar nerves, and well, it becomes difficult to exercise that area, when you have nerve damage... Anyway, it's a long time coming....  Feels good to be getting in shape.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

My two goof balls

My Favorite ewe

How to do it

The following is one of a series of videos of small farmers, raising livestock, growing arable crops, put together by Cornell University.  This woman does it right.  

Loyalty, devotion, trust

I stopped and picked up a couple bales of straw yesterday, and cleaned out the barn, and limed, and added a bale.  Looks good.  There is wetness that comes in near the door and windows, so I am trying to be smart in how I spread the straw.  Sheep are good.  This new shipment of hay is not as nice as the other stuff (no alfalfa) so the sheep are a little annoyed at me ;)

As I walked down the stairs after dropping the hay/straw, Dan came with me, but no Joe.  I realized that Joe had not done the stairs, and since they are open, they can be scary.  I had to teach Danny this, and now it was time to teach Joe.  First, Joe had to over come coming into the dark hallway.  He was scared, but I knelt down and have him a few pieces of cookies, as he came closer.  Once he mastered this hallway (which is dark and has some planks that make noise), we sat there, and I caressed him and told what a GOOD BOY!!!! he was.  This seemed to make the most difference... Then, I backed up and sat at the top of the steps and leaned into him with my face, and repeated it, and he was nervous; he was crying, but he stayed close to me.  Now, Joey is vocal (every morning he yodels at me as I get ready), so the crying was not un-expected.   Then, I went down one step.  I had a piece of baling twine on his collar, not to make him come forward, but to not let him back up.  Anyway, I continued until we got down the stairs.  He did this all for me, for the trust and devotion to me.  I can't tell you how proud I was of him.  Then, we had to go up, which is just as scary.... We mastered both, and now he goes up and down no problem.  This was not a long time effort, just concerted by both of us.  Things like this are what make having dogs, so worth it; their loyalty and devotion, and trust.

After that lesson, I did chores.  I tried to walk the dogs in the snow, but got only 1/3 of the way, and realized it was too deep.  Way too deep.  This is some winter, let me tell you.  I think it's actually normal, we were spoiled last year.

Today, I plan to get the oil changed in the car, and that's pretty much the only difference from usual..

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Working more...........

Yesterday I cleaned out the barn.  I meant to have the guys put some straw onto the hay wagon, but forgot to ask, so now I have to pick some up.  Anyway, cleaned it almost as good as I wanted, and limed it.  Today, on way to farm I will pick up the straw and bed it up nicely.  There is a BIG pile of spent/soiled straw outside the barn, that I will either have to move, or have someone come and pick up for their gardens...  Either way, it can't stay there.  Problem this winter, is that the snow makes lugging the stuff to the hillside extremely treacherous.

So, today will bank up the straw double thick and then plan to get more straw on the weekend.  Sheep seem fine.  No one is looking due to deliver (well, as of yesterday).  They are all eating well.  I hope that one marked early was just a half attempt that never came to fruition and he marked her later when his marker had gotten a bit weak. 

Dogs are fine, albeit bored.  I think I may be able to walk them today (the snow will have melted enough).  We shall see.  They run around a bit when I do chores.  I know Joe would certainly like to be working more...

Well, that's it for now!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Not what I expected....

Yesterday, I decided to clean the barn out.  Soon after I started I saw this small, football sized thing... I picked it up with the pitch fork, and it was an expelled fetus.  A tiny black lamb.  Not anywhere near term.  It looked relatively normal, except maybe no eyes (sunken in).  I was shocked.  It was black.  And, when I think back one of the cross ewes had a bit of wetness on her bum the day before, and I did not think much of it.. This baby, I am certain was born dead, and well, I think it was not meant to be... That said, I rushed off to TS and got my friend and all preg girls got some Penicillin.  I have since learned Oxytet is really the best choice.  The reason I talk about antibiotics, is because *if* this was an abortion caused by a bacteria, I want everyone treated just in case it IS an bacterial infection.  I am NOTHING if not a worry wort....

So, today I will be getting the antibiotics, if vet says I should, in them, and then I will clean out the barn and just be there.  This is how it will be for the next several weeks.  Lots more time there.  I just can't be gone... This lambing is not easy, and I am not even the one having the baby!

Well, not much time to chatter, so I better get a move on.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Got to the farm and had to walk up the driveway to the barn, as the driveway was not plowed and the snow plow made it impossible for my Jeep to get through the several feet of snow.. That was fun... Over my boots and all... Dropped some bales down the hay drop and carried out at the lower level of the barn.  Sheep were  hungry, but several had clearly stayed outside eating during the storm.

Let the dogs run around a while, but no walk because it's over a foot of snow...

It is very cold this morning (4 degrees F).  Have to head up to the farm shortly.  Hope no lambs born last night/this morning, and if they were, she went into the barn... Well, that's it for now!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Not spending money

I did not shovel at all last night.  I know I wanted to, planned to, meant to, but just did not want to go out late and do it. So, this morning, when it was finally light out, and went out to shovel, I wish I had... We got over 12" of the white stuff.  I did get the front stoop, walkway, one side of my car and 1/3 of driveway done.  Had to stop for some sustenance.  So, now, having just finished my traditional Saturday morning breakfast of pancakes and coffee, I am writing a bit, and will then head up to the farm to get hay to the girls, and feed them.  No walks for the dogs, I am afraid, unless we got a lot less than we did at home.  We shall see.  Sometimes I just do it because I CAN!  I gave two full bales of hay yesterday, and put it near the barn, so they would not have to walk that far out to get it if they wanted it during the evening.

Nothing but basics and shoveling this weekend. Oh well... I guess at least I am not spending money!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Batten down your hatches!

I hit the grocery store on the way home from work yesterday.  It was mobbed.  I was thinking to myself "there better be steak, milk and choc chip cookie dough!"  This was my weekly shop and I didn't want to have to not get what I needed... I know, a little self centered.  As it was, everything there was well stocked.  The lines were very long though.  Very long...  I saw one lady just sitting on the floor while she waited... I go to the self checkout line, and thankfully the wait was not bad.

After I picked up the dogs, I hit the animal hospital for dog meds and then got some sheep feed.  These are all things I would normally do on the weekend, but the forecast calls for a lot of snow, so I don't want to drive more than I have to.  Fortunately, forecast says that the worst of it will be overnight, when less people on roads... 

There really isn't much going on this weekend, save for normal animal chores, and maybe some cleaning.  I did not feel well at all last night- I was sure I was going to be sick with something today, but I am okay now. Weird....

Well, that's it for now.  Everyone in the northeast, batten down your hatches!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


So, yesterday I realized that even though I am well educated, self sufficient, and I consider myself to be rather intelligent... the "rather" descriptive can mean NOT!!!!!!!!!

When I got to the farm yesterday, I checked the water, and it was slightly frozen.. "what the heck is going on here,  do I have to buy another heater??!!!"  So, I did the thing I should have done the day before and walked the length of the electric cord... which was unplugged... (shakes head).  See why you check water every day?!  So, I plugged it in, and miraculously the ice was gone...  Shakes head again...  Jeez....

Well, given that they had gotten all fresh water the day before, it did not have time to freeze... Chalk this up to another lesson learned well!

Dogs got three walks yesterday, because I am feeling guilty that I am not working them..  Guilt propels me to do a lot.

Made a great grilled cheese sandwich for dinner last night, I mean, the best ever!  This cooking thing, it's true that if you do it more, you get better at it :)  Not that grilled cheese is hard, but this was scrumptious.

The snow storm is coming.  At least 8" of snow, maybe up to 16" of snow, all starting around 5:00 am tomorrow.  I am going to get the hay down to the lower level today, so I can just go down there and throw it out, instead of pulling my sled through the snow.  If we get a LOT, the sled will have a hard time, or, shall I say, I will have a hard time pulling it...

Today will be grocery day, as I usually do that on Fridays.  Also need to get sheep feed.

We are certainly having a winter this year, cold weather snaps, snow storms.. It is good, because it's normal, and normal is hard to come by in the weather department these days!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

100 oil, 100 hay....

Long day at work, a good one, as I got to do a little teaching, and have not done that in a very long time.. Anyway, when I got to the farm, because I was later than normal I fed the sheep before anything else.  When I checked their water (which I had let get lower than normal because I wanted to dump and give all fresh) I saw that it had frozen... So, I hurriedly kicked through the ice, cleaned and refilled it.  I don't get why with this heater after it gets a certain level down (the water) that the heater quits working... Anyway, never going to make that mistake again.  Will just have to heft the tank... even almost all full...  Sheep had found water in the feed tubs I used to use for feeding (it had rained), and the water in the tubs was not all frozen.  Smart sheep.  One thing I have noticed too, is that given the choice, the sheep would rather eat snow for their liquid... they really like it...  They seem to be doing well. 

Dogs had great time on their walks yesterday :)  When I got home, I saw the oil still wasn't there.  Now I was almost in panic mode.   It was very low the day before.  If you run out of oil, you have to bleed the lines, and it becomes a giant hassle.  I called the company and she told me that the driver was running late and he would be there.  Okay.... He finally showed up at 8:00 pm. Phew.  Hopefully this will be enough oil (100 gallons) to get me through this winter...  Funny how I got 100 bales of hay, and 100 gallons of oil...

Been eating pb/j on Ritz crackers for dinner quite often lately.  So easy, tasty....  I have those great soups for lunch; yesterday was chicken noodle, and it was superb.

We are due to get a big storm on Thurs/Fri/Sat?  This is when one of the ewes is due. I am getting more and more nervous about lambing.  I even ordered a stomach tube and bottle/nipple.... I have two meetings scheduled on Friday, and I bet and hope they are canceled.  They say it will be a BIG dump of snow... as in out of the ordinary/a lot of the white stuff.  Thank GOODNESS for the 4wd....

Well, that's it for now!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Can you? SHOULD you?

I have been ruminating on this post a long time... I have seen many videos popping up on Homesteading/raising livestock at home.  Everything from how to raise a pig, goat, chickens, whatever animal you want, in a small space...

Now, I do see the value in this, because many people are scared to make that leap, and just need some directions, help in how to get started.  But, should you?  Should you raise animals for food?  Can you? Maybe not can you do it, but can you do it right?  This seems to get lost, I feel.  Many of these how to videos focus on how little land you need to house your animals.  One woman said you need only a sixteen by sixteen (ft) pen to raise a pig in. Really?  Some raise them in even smaller areas.  Now, there are two schools of thought to raising pigs- one is the intensive theory- just fill them up with food as fast as possible, get them to processing weight, and ship them off.  Then, there is the more natural (and I believe humane) method, where the pigs have shelter, but are outside, allowed to engage in species appropriate behavior (rooting, wallowing) and the option to move around/exercise.  Pigs are extremely intelligent.  If you don't believe that, try loading them onto a trailer...

Livestock should have access to room to run, play (they do this when they have the space), and generally enjoy life.  They need adequate shelter, clean water, food and the ability to move about as they would.   If you give sheep and cattle, and any other livestock specie, the room to move, they will.  If you lock them up in a small area, they "give up" basically, and just become 100% dependent on us for everything, and lack the initiative to go out and forage.  I see new homesteaders, well meaning ones, with small (as in tiny) pens for their sheep.  These sheep have almost no room to move, are very out of shape, fat, and do no exhibit natural behavior- moving to new grazing areas, kicking up their heels, generally enjoying life.  I don't know about you, but I think we owe it to these guys to allow their time here to be more than "adequate" but we should strive to surpass that. 

If we don't step up and allow these animals room to move, we are no better than factory farms.  We are just smaller.

Now, there are ways to make small areas a bit better for our livestock.  For instance, we can add environmental enrichment, such as big balls to play with, pools for the pigs to wade in, and we can also have more than one small pen, just so they have a chance to be "somewhere different".

Sheep simply want to be able to graze new areas.  If given the option they will cover several acres a day.  Horses?  That is a whole other ball game.  Horses need mental stimulation as well as exercise and training.  The less you do with them, the less they have interest in you. Horses need to know you as the leader.  If you just throw out hay to them once or twice a day, that's not going to get you respect.  Horses also need grooming, foot care, vaccinations (sheep too), and in a nutshell just cost a lot to keep and are high maintenance.  Keeping horses, to those of us who know horses, is a money losing proposition.  We in the know call them hay burners.  They burn a lot of hay, which costs a lot of money- as horses need top quality hay.  They should not be kept in wet muddy paddocks without high dry ground as they will get thrush (yeast infection of the foot) and fencing?  Cheap, shoddy fencing will get your horse caught/cut and cost you a ton in vet bills.  Before you get a horse, think about how much money you have to throw away...

Though this got longer than I thought it would, I really want everyone to come away with this:

If I chose to homestead and raise livestock, will these animals have it better than a factory farm?  Be honest.  The whole point of raising livestock ourselves is so that these animals have a better life than what they would in a factory...  If you can't assure yourself of that (and just because they have a teeny bit of grass for two weeks of the year and have fresh air does not cut it) then don't do it.  Don't do it until you can do it right.

Red lined

Yesterday, I got to the farm and after walking the dogs, and feeding the sheep, I waited for the hay delivery.  They were very late; an hour and a half late... I left a few messages, but they did eventually show up.  Brought the hay in the hay wagon, and it was really not a bad shot for them to back it up to the barn.  I helped for a bit, unloading the hay, but the minute my back starts to cramp, I stop.  If I do not stop, then for every minute I keep going, it's like one minute of pain while doing = one week of horrible misery after... So, my back and I have an agreement, it complains, I listen.  It didn't really matter though, as it was only one hundred bales.  It was done very quickly. 

After they left, I took the dogs for another walk, but then as I was heading out, I heard a sheep baa.  My sheep are not very vocal, so I got out of my car to look.  I see the five lambs, I believe they were lambs, all up in the small paddock - they were probably getting a drink.  Then, they see me... And, as if on cue, they all then look at their flock friends, and take off hell bent for leather.  Now, when they run it is a sight because they are not tall, rather squat looking, and they run with their front  and back legs in unison... very cute.   Then, when they got to the other ewes, who are too old for such shenanigans, they just started darting around them, hopping into the air, just being absolutely adorable.  They were so happy!  It made my day to see that.  Which, after my day, trust me, I needed...

When I got home I was very cold, had a Red Baron pizza for dinner, and then took a hot shower.  Oil coming today, as they did not come yesterday.  Hope so, because I am almost red lined on the bottom of the gauge....

Now that I have my hay, for hopefully the rest of the winter, it's much better...  I would like to have stored more, but there is only so much space... maybe next year, we can rearrange things to work better...  We shall see.

Last night boy kitty knew I needed a little lovin' and he came up and cuddled his cheek to my cheek... Is that sweet or what?

Well, better get going, full day ahead!

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Blog is a good thing...

One reason I like my blog, other than to be able to vent, or record major events, like being beat up by a sheep...  is that I also record when my sheep were marked/bred by the ram... Of course I always mean to write this down, but for whatever reason, I don't...

So, here's what I have gathered from my blog...

First ewe marked by the 15 of Sept, and last one marked by the 14 of October, so due starting Feb 9, until March 10.  So, basically a month of lambing.  I can't be sure WHO is definitely bred, but I suspect that the blackest ewe I have is not pregnant, and that one of the Cheviots is not bred either, but there is really no way to tell yet.  Especially since we have over a month to go for some of them.  Some Cheviots have started to bag up, but that is no real determiner, because some ewes bag up really early, and some just before they deliver.....

The babes will come when they are ready :)

Chewed up and spit out

On Sunday, I got up and wasn't feeling that great; was light headed.  Made some French toast, which was marginal as the "real" maple syrup I bought at a grocery store had very little flavor.  I obviously need to get some real stuff locally...  Anyway, when I went out to go to the farm, I noted it was very cold.  Again.  I am sick of this cold...

I got to the farm, and decided to try and crutch the Border Leicester/Romney girls.  This is not fun for them.  This is not fun for me.  I would LOVE to have electric sheers.   Had to fight, a bit, and one ewe really pummeled me- she struck my right leg, inside, all over.  I feel like I have been chewed up and spit out this morning.  Next time, I will just get them done by a professional- much faster and easier on everyone.  Meant to trim feet, but forgot...

After that, I worked Joe a bit, and he seems to be accepting my lie down commands on the drive better (not disliking them) and is getting a bit of pace.. This is very very good.  Many of the sheep are about one month to go pregnancy wise, and they are slower.  Sure hope the aforementioned ewes have a few ewe lambs, as I want to keep them.  I want to transition to a heavier sheep both for raising lambs and quieter sheep- although.... given how they acted... Hmmmm....

Fed everyone, and then headed home.  Really did not feel well when I got there, and thusly did no house work.  I didn't even watch the Super Bowl.  I just read my book and asleep early.  AND, ready for this?  Been up since 3:30 am again.  I have a very busy week at work this week.  I just gotta keep pedaling...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Gettin' it done

So, headed up to the farm, after noting that it was darn cold out there... Yuck.  Got to Agway to get the staples.  They told me they no longer sell them on small amounts; I would have to buy $20.00 worth of them.  Now, I only needed like 6... So after asking if they had any that fell on the floor... I decided to just check at the farm if there were any left... So, I did and I found ten of them, so, all set.

First thing I did was to walk the dogs.  Then, I got the plastic on the windows, and then I got the panels together to make the jugs.  You have to finesse this, as the metal pics fit through the key holes in certain ways.  Took a few iterations, but I got it done.  Then, I put the gates up on the room doors.  One is good, but the other, I did not leave enough room for the stapled end to open- but that gate I don't want opening at all, so that's fine.  I can squish myself through if I need to.   Then I spread out a bale of straw between the two jugs.   So, other than water buckets we are good there.  Then, I filled the stock tank with water, and then it was time to feed everyone.  After that, one more walk with the dogs and then home to make a steak.  That steak was incredible.  Seared to perfection, juicy, done medium, I think the best I have ever made.  Have enough left over for two meals- made baked potato and Lima beans with it.  Now, I have chocolate chip cookies cooling on the rack...  Soon I will have some cookies, read the paper/books and just veg out.

Am so glad I got the jugs ready.. I was feeling very un-ready...

That's it for now!

Pledge drive

Yesterday I took most of the day off (had to stop at work for a bit) and then down to go work the dogs with my friend.  It was cold.  The wind had picked up and it was definitely glove/hood weather.  I used Dan to sort the sheep, and at one point, I sent him on a blind outrun (where dog cannot see sheep).  Now, he's usually good at this at home, but this was not home... I waited a bit, and sure enough, Dan came around with girls in front, not running them, but looking rather wonderful... I was very happy.

Then I worked Joe in the un-fenced field and he was good, but way too jazzed to do any real driving.  He's just too pumped/keen/young, not worked enough... But I was happy.  Later, my friend held the sheep for Joe and outruns are good, but he seems to want to do that business where he over flanks, and wants to move up to their side as they leave.  So I will have to stop him at the top to get that habit quashed.   His outruns are there- except for that.  He's definitely a natural.

Gas prices went up almost 20 cents a gallon yesterday. I needed gas when I got home and traveled many miles looking for cheaper than what I saw... finally found a place 3 cents cheaper.  They say this is due to speculation of the market.  RIDICULOUS.  This should be freaking illegal.   After filling up I stopped at MacDonalds as I wanted a strawberry milk shake.  Get there, and the milk shake machine is broken.  Sad... So, made due with soda :(

Sheep are good, one ewe is really bagging up, but she should not deliver until around the 15th.  We shall see.  Today I have to get the jugs (small pens) ready for the new moms and lambs to bond in for 24 hours, and will also get the gates in the doorways back up (need to get more staples to do this- another Agway trip!)

Cold out this morning.  Getting oil delivered on Monday.  Hoping I don't need another delivery until prices go down, but do they ever?   Hay coming on Monday as well.

Had a Pledge drive this morning... I drove a paper towel over some Pledge that I sprayed on my furniture.  Living room is much better now!  I have to pull the carpet up and get a good laminate down.  AND I need to get my heating ducts cleaned out.  The dust here is bad.

Made my usual pancake breakfast, having coffee and just chilling a bit before I head up to the farm to get the agenda for this weekend started.   Weekends are busy, but a good busy.