Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ah hah moments.

 Sometimes I don't like farming.

 Sometimes I wonder what I am doing here.

Sometimes I don't really like my animals at all.

Sometimes I just want to sell everything, move to town, live a life of abandon. Go out and party every night like I used to. Have no responsibilities. Not even a dog.

This winter has not been fun for me. I won't lie and say that it's been a breeze. It has not! It's been really nasty, wet, muddy, snow, sleet, ice, freezing cold, rain all the time it seems.

I know I am not the only one who is going through this too. I read your blogs and Face Book posts. I know. We are all just plain ole sick and tired of Old Man Winter and all his crap, right?

I'll tell you what I've been really hating the most about farming for me. Feeding time. I just absolutely HATE it. I dread going out there in the mornings. They are the worst. It's when I feed the sheep, goats and alpacas their feed and bread. Have you ever been literally plowed down by 20 sheep, who weigh at least 150 pounds each? Have you ever tried to walk with feed buckets in each hand with 20 sheep on all sides, trying to get to that precious yummy feed? And then have you ever tried to bend over with those feed buckets, because you can't put them down, and clean out poop from all the feed bowls, while 20 ravenous, seemingly starving sheep, WANT THEIR FOOD RIGHT NOW?! Oh my gosh, I just could not do it one more time.

And the goats are just as bad. And I only have 4 of those. But ALL 4 are huge and can do just as much damage as 20 sheep. And OH SO greedy, those sheep and goats. They all think that the other goat's food, which came out of the SAME bucket, is better than what they have! So they go round and round and round. The sheep do the same thing. It's crazy!

So, yesterday, while I was having my 8,978th major melt down, I had an ah hah moment. It's amazing when I have these. I immediately felt so much better and I didn't even have it yet.

I went to the Co-op and bought an 8' feeding trough for the sheep. Now WHY have I not ever done this yet? WHY? My husband went to get it in the truck for me later. It was here when I got home. And he even put a rope on it so I could pull it around. I know. He's a pretty good husband.

So this is how it went this morning. It was rough getting to the trough, but by golly, I poured that feed in there and they all gathered round and started eating and it was QUIET! Alleluia, it worked!!!!!!! I still have some of those green feeders that hook over things that I put some feed in too, that are in the stalls. So they aren't all here in this picture. And Amarillo is still in her stall with her 2 ram lambs. But it was SO nice.

And I gathered up all the bigger black plastic feeder bowls, took them inside and washed them out for the goats to use. Because, goodness knows,a goat is finicky about stuff like that.
There are all 4 goats, each with their very own feed bowls. Happy. That didn't last but a few minutes. Til they all realized there was feed in ALL those bowls. So they had to play musical feed bowls. Silly goats.

Anyway, all this to say that I am feeling totally refreshed and ready for a new start. It's a beautiful sunny day, supposed to be in the 60's! The quads are all doing great. Although, I am bottle feeding the 2 girls and had brought them inside. I did take them out to see their brothers, Click and Clack, and their momma. Just to see what she'd do.

This is when I first put the girls down. She sniffed them.

The ran to the corner and called the boys. You can see the difference in size of the black lamb to the right. He is twice the size of the other 3.  So here is Amarillo with her 2 boys with the girls in the front.

I decided to leave the girls in there but wanted them protected. So put up this little fence in the corner for them. They can see the others, but Amarillo can't hurt them if she decides to freak out on them. The black ewe I named Cameron. She weighs 3 1/2 pounds. The little brown ewe is Campbelle. She weighs just 3 pounds. But they drink a small bottle about every 2-3 hours now. They are doing amazingly well for how I found them 2 days ago, all trampled and cold and wet. I am surprised they have all lived and are doing so good. So I'll leave the girls out here with them and still bottle feed them. I want them to be a part of the flock. But they are SO small, I want them to be a lot bigger before they actually go out in the pasture with the other sheep and lambs. One swift roll-over and that could be it for these little tiny guys.

 I named the boys Click (the smallest) and Clack, after the Tappit brothers that come on NPR on Saturdays and talk all things cars. My husband loves those guys.

So, this is where I am right now. Much better. And I won't sell ALL the animals, just some of them later. I do have too many sheep for this place. Just to figure out who is going to be hard. I have an idea of some that I know I could sell and be ok about.

I hope you all are having a good weather day too, where ever you all are!


2andahalf-acres - Nicole said...

the weather is GREAT today right?! I want to start with the seeds today! I LOVE LOVE the names click & clack :D i never heard from that show (but we don't have cable).
I LOVE feeding time :D it is always a lil crazy but i love it :D

Michelle said...

Glad to hear things are getting better. Sometimes they can really overwhelm us.

Kris said...

Nicole, they are on the radio. You can hear them on 88.1 here in Chatt. I think they're on in the afternoon. Your husband would love them too.

I am washing and hanging out clothes and sheets today! It's amazing out there.

Dolly Sarrio said...

Thank you for sharing about your sheep and goats. I learned a lot about them just from this post. I hope to have some day and will follow you with the feeder for sure.

An At Home Daughter said...

The lambs are adorable. Especially the spotted one. You could put it in a flat rate box, and send it to me. If it fits it ships. Right? ;)

I know what pests they can be. I once had a goat stick its hoove in my mouth trying to get to the grain I was holding up while closing the gate. I don't feed grain when I can get away with it, because it makes the animals so much more aggressive. I have one goat in my herd that her job is to cut me off, when I pull the feed cart into the pasture, and another who loves riding the cart. She will run along with her front legs on the cart no matter how fast I drag it. Hey, Hay! its the highlight of there day.

Question. Do you shear your own sheep? Because we need to buy a shearing machine, but am not sure on what one to buy. It seems as though none have good reviews, so making it even harder.


Abby said...

Wow what a story Mom. I'm glad you are at least satisfied for now with your farm duties.

Iris said...

This is a very interesting story, Kris. I identify with the weather, but it ends there. No animals here, and I like it this way. You always have those cute pictures to go with your narrations! You are talented and clever in so many ways! It's okay to vent for a minute; we'll all listen to you, knowing that, in the end, you'll be o.k.

Kris said...

Dolly, I sure hope don't say anything to change your mind about getting animals. Because everyone has different situations and farms and weather and so many other things. This is just my story and how I deal with things. I so hope you do get sheep and goats. Just not so many? I'll be selling several of these sheep soon, so if you live nearby, come on over and check them out!

Kris said...

Kimberly, I'd love to send you a few of these guys! They ship little baby chicks, don't know why little tiny lambs couldn't travel that way, right?

I did have some shears but they were old and didn't last long. I've been wanting to get some new ones so I can shear them myself. I've looked at Premier, they have some nice ones that are pretty reasonable. But I might get some people from Tn. to come again. They sheared some last year and I got some nice fleeces. And that's what I want, fleeces in one piece!

How are all your lambs doing?

Kris said...

Abby and Mom, it's been wonderful the past few days feeding these sheep! A totally different experience. I don't know why I never had one of these before.

Kimberly, I forgot to say that I only feed the sheep the sheep feed in winter, when there is no grass for them to eat. They also get hay. So after they all have lambs, I'll quit giving them feed. The grass should be growing good by then and I can move them over to the other pasture again. Then, it's MUCH easier! And I have goats to deal with.

An At Home Daughter said...

Our lambs are doing really good. Their growth has really slowed down though, since we stopped bottle feeding them. But they are soooo sweet, and it looks like they are going to have really nice fiber. The little ram lamb is a little bit skittish around us, but I think that's probably a good thing.