Monday, March 31, 2014

This is a first!

I woke up earlier than usual this morning because I had a busy day with mom and Mrs. T. so wanted to get all my chores done quick. When I went outside, I heard that familiar sound new momma goats make when they are talking to their babies. I looked all around the barn and saw all the goats but Sandy. Went to look for her outside.

She was under the pine trees with a little wet baby. I went back in to get towels and when I got back out, I saw feet so knew another was coming. The dark brown kid was first. Then the little blond kid came out. I caught her. Got them all dried off. It was cold, so I moved them over to a sunny spot.

I was really surprised. Sandy is always the last to kid. Always! And she didn't even look that big and her udder wasn't anything to brag about last night. So she fooled me!

AND they are both does! And they both have 2 toggles each! They are adorable. This makes her having 5 doe kids in 2 years now.

Sandy is the best mother. So I didn't worry about leaving her outside. It was a very warm day, nearly 80.

But this is where all the kids end up, under the ledge in the first stall. Aren't they so cute? I am thinking I'll name the dark kid Joanie Mitchell and the blonde kid maybe Carly Simon.  Still thinking though. Could be Judy Collins. Joanie and Judy.

It was a great day to have babies! I hope you all had a great Monday too.

Still waiting on Zarah and Zeeboo. I so hope they have theirs this week.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Lambs and bee hives

It finally stopped raining and is a beautiful Sunday. Still a little nippy. We had to turn on the central yesterday, it was SO cold. And wet and just plain dreary. But today is beautiful.

So, I took the lamb babes outside to meet the rest of the flock. And their mothers. Hah. They didn't even know them. Well, Adelaide did follow Carabella and sniff her. But that's ok. They ran and played with the other lambs for awhile. Then started whining for me.

I am just feeding them 3 times a day right now. 8, 2 and 8 again. I really need to get some bigger bottles so I can give them a bit more. I have those big long gray nipples that fit on water or soda bottles. Just need to get some. Then after this week, I'll go to twice a day. I am also giving a bottle twice a day to Click and Clack the Tappitt bros. Amarillo is not the best mother. I do catch her letting the boys nurse but not for long. So for now, they get some extra milk. Plus it makes them more friendly.

It's hard to get good pictures of these guys. They are either running to me or turned around!  Right here, they were still interested in the bottles!

But they are having fun outside. I might put them back inside tonight. It's going to be cold again. But Tuesday, I'm going to get a new sewing machine. So the room they are in will be turned into my sewing room!

And I went to the bee store and got another hive plus 30 frames and these wax things for the other old hive. That's a lot of frames we have to put together. 60 I think. That'll give the old man something to do while he's awake and sitting in his recliner. The would care doc told him to stay off his feet because he has a diabetic ulcer on his ringt foot. Darn it. But he can put some hives and frames together sitting down, right!

Hopefully, these will be put together and painted and in their spots ready for 2 packages of bees the first of May. I'll keep y'all posted!

Would you all please send up some prayers for my sister Heidi? She's my younger sister and has so many medical issues. Friday, she had to be rushed to the hospital. Her left lung had collapsed.  So she found out this morning that she has emphysema. Plus she's allergic to dogs and cats. And she has 5 dogs and several cats in the house! She's agreed to get rid of all the dogs except her oldest dog Duelly who she's had forever. I don't blame her. And she's got a lot of healing to do. So please send up some good healing thoughts and prayers for Heidi. Thanks so much!

Friday, March 28, 2014

1st milking!

I milked Penelope this morning and got a full qt. It was so amazing, hearing that milk hit the bucket again. And see it fill up with good warm goat milk. Both dogs were right back in their spots, waiting for their squirts of milk, just like they'd never had a break of nearly 5 months. It was great! I sure did miss milking. And Penelope is a milkers dream. Just to be back in the milking routine again is just great. I'll milk her again tonight. She's so big and needs to be milked. I do not want her to get mastitis.

Isn't that just a beautiful sight? I'll be feeding this to the lambs. I never liked goat milk til after 2 weeks. It has to be just right for me. And I know the lambs will love it. Straight goat milk now for the little ladies!

Oh happy days again!

1st kids of 2014

I know this is gross, but if you enlarge this photo you can see the bucks rear end. It's nasty! And a pale yellow color and runny. He was a mess when I went to check on them this afternoon. The little doe is pooping the orange normal color and seems fine. He also had a runny eye. I got a bucket of warm soapy water and cleaned the poor boy up and he looks much better. I just wonder if he's getting too much milk or it's too rich? I keep checking them to see how he's looking. I don't know if I have ever seen this before and I've been doing this for 14 years now.

Here he is all cleaned up and frisky. He's so cute. I'm naming the goat kids this year after '60's and '70's folk singers.

                                                        His name is Woody Guthrie.

                                                  And this little lady is Emmy Lou Harris.

I need more suggestions for names. I have Joanie Mitchell, Peter, Paul and Mary, (I hope I don't have that many bucks though!) Bob Dylan. My brain is frozen right now and I can't think of any more. I'm going to Google it now.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

1 down, 3 to go!

Yay! Penelope had twins just awhile ago!!!!

The one that looks like her and John Henry is the first born and a buck. The little black one is a doe! She's so small. They both have little tiny Gopher ears too. So cute.

So yay, we have goat milk again!!!! I am so happy! And all is well. They are in that back stall, all warm and away from the March wind that's blowing like crazy out there today.

And in a few days I can start milking her for the lambs too. She has so much milk.

Hopefully, the other 3 will follow and we will be done with babes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What a crazy day!

Tuesday is my time with my mom. We go have lunch and go shopping and do errands. Sometimes we miss a day here or there. But I look forward to my time together with her.

Today, she wanted to take both her cars in to the Dodge dealer in Ringgold. She's had her eye on a new Jeep Compass. We got there and we test drove a dark blue one. She loved it. So we went in and talked. She wanted to trade both her cars even for this new Jeep. It didn't quite work out the way she wanted, but I do believe she's a happy woman tonight!

She got a totally black Jeep Compass. I mean all shiny smooth cool black, even the wheels. Really nice vehicle. The interior is tan. And the best part about it is that it has HEATED SEATS!!! And believe me, we sure did enjoy those babies on the way home way later.

Because it SNOWED most of the afternoon! Really snowed like crazy snow. It started about 1 or so. We left the car lot and did a few things while they were getting her the black Jeep. They didn't have one there so had to go get it from another lot. And they got it all clean and shiny for her. And a full tank of gas. So while we were in Chattanooga, it was snowing so hard we couldn't see Lookout Mt. Then it would stop. Then start again. All the way to Ft. O and then there was nothing. Blue sky and sun. Then on back to the car lot and it was like a flippin' blizzard! It was coming down so hard and fast, we couldn't see up the road. It took about 3 hours to get all the paper work done. By that time, the sun was back out. But it was freezing. So those nice warm seat warmers felt wonderful. My butt was quite toasty. I want seat warmers now.

And my husband lamb sat for me. He even gave them their 2 o'clock bottles. He love them. They follow him around. I had taken them all outside before I left and had to call him to put them back inside because it had gotten so cold. He's good like that. I think I'll keep him after all. By the way, his left ankle is completely healed and the right ankle that's been giving us so much trouble, is almost healed. Just a very small spot now! He's been going on motorcycle rides on Sat. with his "boyfriends". And he has a Wed. night guys night out thing with some other friends. I enjoy this, believe me. So he is still around and doing great.

I got home about 6:30 and had to move sheep back over to the stalls for the freezing cold night. Supposed to be 24. Good grief already, winter. You can go away anytime now, ok? I am over this. I sure hope none of the goats decide to have kids tonight. I've told them all to please wait a few more days. So far they have.

Wed. I start the Main St. farmer's market again! I made dandelion jelly tonight. I hope it jells so I can take it. I'll also pick dandelion greens and flowers in the morning to take too. Also want to try to get some herd shares.

I have had several people stop when they drive by. They want to know what I have here. Some buy eggs and a couple got one of my chickens I butchered last fall. So we really need to get this place cleaned up. We have been gradually clearing off the fence along the driveway. Just need it to look inviting. I also mentioned to my friend up the road about an "open farm" day. We will be working on that for maybe April and have several farms out here involved. Like on a Sunday afternoon. I am excited about that. One couple came out because of a local magazine that has info about local farms. So this is exciting to me. Lots going on now and a busy time here.

I'll have pictures next post. Sorry this is so long. I am going to bed now! Good night all.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Goat time. And stuff.

It's been a busy weekend for me. I started farmer's market Sat. morning at Brainerd. Right now it's still 11-12, which is great for me with all I have to do in the mornings. There weren't very many people there. But I did get to meet one of my FB followers family. She was not there, but her husband and 2 little girls came right straight over to my table. He told me his wife follows my FB and saw I had eggs at market. So he got a couple dozen. So that  just made my day right there. Then that afternoon, I had to go to a friends to get his 4 goatie kids to take them to my friend who dis buds kids for me. That took several hours. Long day.

Yesterday, the family came for hot dogs and we had a good visit. My mom got to bottle feed Campbelle, one of my bottle lambs. And a cute little couple with a young baby came by to see if I had chickens for sale. They've just moved right over the ridge on Hog Jowl Rd. and just finished their coop. They ended up buying a few dozen eggs and a frozen chicken. And might be interested in a herd share for goat milk!

So now that all the sheep are finished with lambing, I am into goat kid watch! Hubby and I got the goat barn kind of ready. I still want to go get about 8 more pallets to make some separate stalls for them. I'll take you on a tour of the goat barn.

This is it. It was a cow shelter back in the day. There are 2 big sections that open to the South. One is completely open and we have a cattle panel across it. And the other has an old door.

This is the open part with actually 2 sections, with the stalls to the left.

This is the first stall, with the old door, where the goats eat when dry. I started a few weeks ago feeding them in the milk room. So I need to put fresh straw down in here. We had to fix this gate-door yesterday. When I had the 2 pigs in here, they really did a job on it. So that's fixed now and I can actually shut it. I don't know what that ledge to the left is for. But when there are kids in here, they always end up under it. That's where they sleep. And when I had hens back here, they'd lay eggs as far back in there as they could get.

And this is the back bigger stall where I want to make a few smaller stalls to the left. I can also keep the kids in there at night to milk the does in the lorning. Behind the blankets is the cattle panel and the pasture next door.

And here are the very big, ready to pop, does. This is Zarah Belle. This will be her 2nd freshening. And I have been faux-milking her to get her used to it and her teats are a bit longer now! I have the little hand milker that I got to use on her last year. I hope I don't have to use it.

And Penelope Jane. Her 2nd too. She's so sweet and the best udder ever. I love milking her.

This is Zeeboo. I got her 2 Christmas' ago and she did not get bred then. She's making up for it this year! Wonder if she'll have triplets? What do y'all think? And I thought she might go first, but then saw Sandy this morning.

I know some people don't like to see this end of a goat, but right now, it's like THE most important part of the goat. It just about tells me everything I want to know. Like udder size, tail pins, goo, as in Sandy has a string of goo right here. And Sandy is ALWAYS THE last goat to kid. ALWAYS. And usually several weeks after all the others have had theirs. But she could be going soon. I will be watching this one. She's really not that big. But last year, she did have triplets. So if she has a  single, I'll be ok with it. It took a lot out of her having 3 kids. And she dried up not long after I sold them too.

I sure hope they do wait a few more days. It's supposed to be in the 20's and low 30's the next few nights. I can wait a few more days.

So if anyone would like a few kids and wants to bottle feed, I would love to sell these kids as soon as possible so I can start milking. I also need milk for my lamb babies. Next year, goat kids first, then lambs. That way, if anything happens like this year, I'll have goat milk for them. Right now, I am getting the milk replacer and raw cow milk. I'm getting one more gallon, then hopefully I'll have goat milk this week.

And I am seeing green things in the garden! It's been sunny the last few days and all the kale and collards are popping up! I love this time of year. I am feeling SO much better and really want to get this garden started. BUT, I am not going to rush it like last year. It's fine if I'm late. I just want everything to make it the first time. I'll be out there this afternoon tilling and planting some more radishes and lettuce. And Swiss Chard too.

I had an e-mail from Kristin checking on me. That's so sweet of her. I am fine and have not had any more episodes like I did. I am trying to watch what I eat. And drinking dandelion tea. I also found some dried nettles. So have had nettle tea too. That sure gives me energy! Maybe that's why I'm feeling so much better.

I sure hope you ALL have a great week and get a lot of gardens started!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

1st day of Spring!!!!

Well, it was a beautiful day, but still cold. The sky was so blue and the sun shine was amazing. But it was cold. Tomorrow is supposed to be about 73. Hopefully it will feel warm.

I let the alpacas out into the same yard the sheep are in sometimes. The sheep are in the pasture and the yard is right next to it. So they can see each other. They come to the fence and talk. I want to let the alpacas in with the sheep eventually. Any ideas on that, anyone with both sheep and alpacas? They eat the same feed, so thought they'd be ok together. No rams with the sheep except the lambs. And there's a lot of room for them all if they feel threatened and need to run away. I'm going to wait a few more days and see if I get any responses first.

I also washed and hung out clothes. And got motivated to clean off my big kitchen counter. I have been keeping all my cartons of eggs and so many other things on it. And I just got tired of never actually seeing the top of the counter for all the crap on it. So it is CLEAN right now. Probably not for long. I guess I should take a picture of it all clean.

Also went to a meeting with the other caregivers and Mrs. T's daughter to talk over all the changes. Mrs, T got back home last Friday so we are all ready to get back to work. We have a new girl to help now and fill in when needed. I like her a lot.

So a pretty day and a full day for the 1st day of spring. I am SO glad that this winter is officially OVER! But next week, it's down in the 30's at night and not much warmer during the day. What is up with "the winter that won't go away?"

What did y'all do with your 1st day of spring?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My babies

 The 3 little ewe lambs I've been bottle feeding are growing so fast. Carabella, the lamb in the middle, is one week younger than the other two and much bigger. She was a twin. The other 2 are from the quads. They are all so sweet. And good girls.

Here they all are inside, exploring.

 Carabella, nibbling on the corner of the table.

Campbelle and Cameron, trying to see what's up there.

Cameron. She's so cute. I've also been having to bottle feed one of the ram lambs. He's about the same size as Cameron and looks just like her. He comes running whenever I go out there to feed him. I just don't think Amarillo has much milk. The bigger ram sometimes takes milk from the bottle. I have seen them both nursing, but for just a few seconds and she walks off. Just one of those bad mothers. I put an ad on CL today to try to sell all the Finn ewes. I'm just going to be keeping these 3 ewe lambs that are full Finn. And that's all the wool sheep I'll have. I'd like to find a few Shetland sheep some day.

I love this picture. Bubba on the porch, guarding his domain. Such a good boy. He ran off a dog earlier today that kept going through the field next door and making the sheep nervous. Had to get Bubba after it.

And off they go! It's fun in a way to have bottle lambs. I know they will be so much friendlier than the others. But goodness, I am worn out! I feel like a new mom, having to get up during the night. I have stopped all night feedings now. Just feed about 11 PM, then again in the morning and a few times during the day. Pretty soon, they'll just get 2 bottles a day. And in a few weeks, they'll be on straight goat milk!!! And us too!!!

Just thought you all might like to see my 3 cute babies. They are a mess. Once the weather ever decides to be nice, they will go outside. IF that ever happens!

Bridgette's lamb, # 33

So finally, we are DONE with lambing! Yesterday morning, went out to feed and didn't see Bridgette. She stuck her head out the middle stall door, so I knew she must of had a lamb. Went to check and here it is! The 20th lamb born at Outback Farm, Clancey, #33. Just a single ram lamb. I thought for sure, as big as she was, she'd have twins. But no. And that's just fine. For the first lamb, have singles.

At first, she looked like she was pushing him away from her. But I think now he's looking good. I went ahead and gave him and Cora their CDT shots so I can dock their tails. Then I can let them all next door.

He's sort of gray and white right now. But time will tell. He's a little sweetie.

Sunday, my friends came to get Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit Ram. They're also getting Charlotte and Claire when they are weaned in June. Ron sent me a text and said Bilbo is lonely. He has calves that he could put Bilbo in with. I hope he does. It was really like a rodeo trying to catch this guy. Ron put this funnel on his head in the truck. So cute!

I am having to bottle feed the other 2 quads. The poor little guys are not getting the milk they need from Amarillo. She hardly ever lets them nurse. I catch her sometimes letting them for just a few seconds and that's it. The smallest one is always at my feet so I just bring a bottle when I go out.

The other 3 ewe lambs are growing like weeds. Already have gained several pounds. They are still inside due to this crappy weather. I let them out when it's sunny, which it hasn't been in several days now. But they are good. I will be keeping these 3 plus April's ewe lamb, Cheney. I'm selling all 6 of the Finn ewes and all the other lambs. I'll keep all the hair sheep, which is 8 ewes and the ewe lambs. Plus my 3 bottle Finn ewes. So 12 sheep isn't too many for me. I think I can handle that number. I have 32 right now. But by the end of June, I hope to be down to just the 12 sheep. So does anyone need some sheep?

I went yesterday to see the herb doctor. But they are only open Wed.-Sat. So will have to go back later. I am still trying to get over this attack. I feel like someone punched me in the ribs. It hurts to even sneeze. I didn't eat anything til yesterday afternoon. Then just a little bit. This morning I had scrambled eggs. So a little better. But never want to go through that again!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Gallbladder attack

Besides having had a kidney stone episode about 7 years ago, this is the worst pain I've ever been in. And I have had 2 kids totally natural. No problem. Piece of cake. I would gladly have 20 more kids just like that, than to have what happened to me last night ever happen again. It was pure h***. Seriously.

We ate baked potato for dinner about 5 last night. And about 7 I could not hold my eyes open. I gave the lambs another bottle, then headed to bed.

That's when my stomach started really hurting bad. Like a real bad stomach ache that just wouldn't stop. All across the upper middle of my stomach. It was sore and tender too. I'd go to the bathroom, then get faint. I could not get comfortable at all. No matter where I was, laying down, sitting up, standing, walking. It hurt!

When I'd feel flushed and felt like I was going to faint, I'd get nauseous. I did throw up and felt a bit better. But it just would not stop. The pain was horrible!

I finally just laid half way on the bed on my back and I fell asleep. I woke up and was afraid to move in fear of the pain coming back. But it didn't. So I got up and fed all the animals and the lambs. It's good right now. But I don't ever want to have that pain again!

And this happens after we find out that my husband has been "let go" from Heartland because he's been on sick leave over 4 months now. so NO INSURANCE! Nothing. He's getting signed up for Healthspring Insc. tomorrow. Which is just for people over 65. So I'm out. I'm going to look up that darn Obama Care today and see if I qualify for anything there. If not, I'm screwed, big time.

So I am not going to eat ever again. I'm drinking fresh cut ginger tea. And read about remedies for gallbladder. I had just thawed out a half gallon of my organic apple cider a few days ago. I read somewhere to put 3 T. ACV in 8 Oz. apple cider and drink that. So I am drinking it too. And I think I will get back in bed.

I just saw where Kristin had a lot of rain, right after she planted some in her garden. Yesterday, it never stopped raining here. The bed where I had planted 3 rows of radishes had a little stream at the end of it. If that's all that happens, we're good. Now for some sunshine to make the seeds grow? That'd be great.

And STILL no lambs from Bridgette.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Bridgette told me this morning she's putting this baby thing on hold for awhile.

There's just way too many lambs running around here and she's had enough. She said every time she lays down, one or more of the little pests jump up on her. Or they try to nurse when she's up. She's just tired. Everywhere she looks, there's another one of them. They are all over the place!

So she shall wait awhile, maybe til these are a little bigger and not so annoying? Or maybe til the weather is a bit nicer? Hmmm...

Thursday, March 13, 2014

# 31 is here.

 Early this morning, 30 degrees outside and windy, this little ewe had her lamb. Outside. She was still a bit damp and laying beside her mother when I went out to check on the sheep about 5. I got the towel I had out there, just in case, and picked the lamb up to dry it off some more. Blossom had done a good job though. Then I got them both in this stall, out of the wind, til daylight. I thought the lamb was pure black. But she's not. She's really pretty.

Kind of a reddish-brown on top with black legs and ears and face. She is half hair and half wool. So soft.

And Blossom is a good mother. Very protective and wants to know where her baby is all the time.

I looked up names for cold in other languages. The only one I could find that had the "c" sound was Kohra, which means cold in Punjabi. It sounds like Cora. Which is what she shall be called. Kohra, because it was so cold this morning that she was born.

I am still waiting on Bridgette to lamb now. She is so big. I just went to check on her at 11:30 and no signs of labor. I am thinking she will have twins. If she has a ram, he will be called Chilly.

So far, they have had 19 lambs and 2 have died, 1 ewe and 1 ram.  There are 10 ewe lambs and 7 ram lambs. The 1st year, I had 3 ram lambs and 2 ewe lambs. I still have Adele and Annabelle. All the rams have been butchered. Last year, 3 ram lambs and 5 ewe lambs. So my flock has grown. 14 ewes and 1 ram now with all these lambs. Plus a few more. I will be selling a lot of them soon. I'll really need to be thinking which way I want to go. or really which way I need to go. The hair sheep are so much more hardy than the wool sheep. I have Finn and they are more susceptible to worms that the hair sheep are. I don't have any issues with the hair like I do the wool. It could just be this particular breed or from where I got them. So, lots of thinking to do.

Next up, goat kids!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

And the 2nd thing...

 This is Adelaide, my Finn ewe. I love this girl. Her wool is so nice and silky. She's just turning 3 and has never lambed until  last Saturday morning. I knew she was pregnant, just not sure when she was going to lamb. She chose a really cold wet morning. And she just had those 2 ewe lambs right out on the dirty wet ground, in the middle of all the other sheep and lambs. And just left them apparently.

That's the morning that I just took my time to go outside too. I even had a cup of coffee, which I never do. I had looked out and saw all the sheep, so just assumed everything was ok. Well, it wasn't.

When I did go out and get all the feed ready, I got out there and put the feed in the feeder for them. That's when I saw the poor little lambs, laying on the ground. Still sopping wet. The little black lamb was already dead. Nothing I could do for her. I ran inside to get towels, went back out and put both lambs in a stall. Then looked for a mother. It was Adelaide. So grabbed her and got her in the stall with them.

I got the other lamb dried as much as I could. But she was so cold. Even her little mouth was freezing cold. So I just took her inside to get her warmed up. I sat by the wood heater and rubbed her and tried to get her to suck on the bottle of colostrum I had milked from Adelaide. She couldn't even do that. Plus she was shaking. Like convulsions or seizures. It was horrible.

I had a small tube that I tried to use to tube her. But it was too flexible and I couldn't get it down far enough. So had to go to Ace Hardware in town. I left her in front of the heater, covered up. I just knew she's be dead when I got back. And I got some colostrum from the co-op too.

Got home and she was still alive. I mixed up the colostrum and put what I had from her mother in it. Got it all sterilized and put that new tube right on down her throat. I think by then she was warm and hungry, because it went right down where I thought it should be. I put some milk in the syringe and down it went. And within a few minutes, that little girl was up and sucking on a bottle! Just like that. I was amazed at the transformation in her, once she got some good warm milk in her little belly.

And she's been a happy healthy little piggy lamb ever since!

I put her back outside later with Adelaide. She knew the lamb was hers, but she just wouldn't get her to nurse. I kept trying, and she would lick her and was nice to her, but it just wasn't there for her. That mother instinct. And still, when I bring her outside, Adelaide stays right with her. But no nursing.

And of course the little lamb follows me now.

So I have 3 sweet little bottle lambs. All ewes. All full Finn. I will be keeping all of them. I'll probably sell Adelaide and Amarillo now. I have been supplementing the Tappitt Brothers with a bottle a few times a day as well. I named this little gal Carabella. She is 5 days younger than Campbelle and Cameron, but twice as big.  I went ahead and docked her tail a few nights ago along with the other 2 and 3 more outside.  And they are all doing fine now. A few days ago, she weighed 7 pounds.

I hope I don't have to tube feed a lamb again. I hope these next 2 ewes will be good mothers and take care of their lambs. They are Katahdin mix ewes and they all have been good mothers so far, I am just waiting on these 2 and we're done. Tonight is supposed to be in the 20's. I so hope they have them today or wait a few more days. But I am thinking tomorrow morning. That's when most of the lambs have been born, early morning. We shall see.

Monday, March 10, 2014

2014 gardens underway!!

It has been amazing here the past week. No rain. March wind drying things up.

So I got outside. I got 2 wheelbarrows of really good alpaca poop that's been composting out back. And 2 barrows full of compost me and the chickens have been working on. And several bags of leaves that mom gave me and have been sitting along the driveway for way too long. All that went on just a few long wide rows. I worked it in real good. Got collards, kale and lettuce planted already!

I really love this tiller. Tiny got it going for me last week, so it was ready to go with just one pull. Great tiller.

I got about 3/4 of this garden tilled. I'll be doing 2 more garden spots as this one fills up. I am ready for a good gardening and market year this year. After the bad one last year, I am all set to get started and make this a good market garden. I just hope we don't get flooded like last year. I need to make a trench up in the yard above the garden. Maybe divert the little creeks that come from the back of the property.

When we first moved here almost 10 years ago, this garden was nothing bur red clay. It was awful. I have been adding compost, leaves, animal manures and whatever else I can find to add to it. It actually looks almost like brown soil now. Still hard in some places where I haven't been tilling. But I plan on using this whole garden this year.

I am so thankful for such beautiful weather here. I was looking at some blogs up North and they still have several feet of snow on the ground. I can't even imagine. We are in the 70'2 here. But in a few days, we'll be back down in the 20's at night. I'll have to cover blueberry bushes.

Are there any other market gardeners out there? What's going on in your gardens right now? Or are you just dreaming of when you can get to it?

The first thing I've never done before.

 It had been a little more than half an hour since April had the ewe lamb and nothing was going on. And she had these 2 water bags hanging out. She wasn't pushing or sitting, just concerned with the little ewe lamb.

I was getting a bit worried by then. It just felt like something was wrong. So I just went on in and felt around. I have never done this before so didn't know what all I was feeling. At first I felt little round things. Of course I thought testicles. But no, it wasn't. I finally did feel some feet, but no head. When I pulled and got them out I saw they were the back feet. April was contracting then and pushing. So I pulled when she pushed. I pulled downward toward her back legs and out he came. He was alive! I was so thankful. I got his little head all dried off and let her do the rest. She seemed good after that.

And he's up and headed to the milk with his big sister.

These 2 guys are so cute. Both pure white and full Katahdin. I won't have to dock their tails! The ram has a little brown spot on his side and his ears stand up. The ewe lamb's ears hang down and she looks like a little rabbit.

I names the ewe Cheney and the ram Chandler. They are both doing great. Got their CDT shots this morning along with 7 other lambs. All are out enjoying this beautiful day.

I'll post about that 2nd thing later. I am out in the garden, tilling and getting ready to plant some kale, collards and lettuce. And getting beds ready for onions and radishes. It's supposed to be in the 70's the next few days, but the end of the week we are in for some freezing nights. I have 2 more ewes to lamb and I trying to get them have their lambs today. It's not working yet. But they've had 18 lambs so far.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I did 2 things I have never done before.

The first thing is a little later in the story.

This is April. On Friday about 11:30, I noticed her up front in the pasture and she had a water bubble. It was time, finally! So I grabbed some towels and some coffee and headed out there. It was a beautiful day to have some lambs!

She would walk around. Then sit down.

Then she'd get back up. The chickens came out to help her.

Then some sheep came out. They had been having their mid-morning siesta.

I grabbed some blocks and sat down. Had some chicken company.

Then she started pushing. I saw some feet and a nose, so I knew it would be just a few minutes and she'd have a lamb. She did this a few times, then she'd get back up. Then down she'd go again. It was nearly 12.

Finally, the cutest little white lamb was here. Looked like her momma. # 28, a ewe lamb. I helped April dry off her face and let her do the rest.

She was up within a few minutes, looking for some milk. April was huge, like a dairy goat. She went back there and found the udder and had some colostrum. Then this happened. Some of you will know what this is.

And this is where the first of the things I have never done before happened in about 20 minutes or so. I'm going to finish this post tomorrow. I am tired y'all!