Thursday, May 25, 2017

Crocheted bed spread



It is finished! Finally on the bed. It has sat over here in my studio for a year I guess, just waiting for me to finish it. It was calling me today.  I really love it.

So maybe now, I can go spin some wool.

Making...



   washcloths and dishcloths, out of an old towel. I was just going to throw it in the garage for my husband to use as a rag, but decided to make it more useful.

I feel like I am accomplishing something today!

And later, I will spin some wool.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Shearing and castrating...


DONE!

Saturday was sheep shearing day here at Outback Farm! We usually shear in March, but with pregnant ewes, we decided to wait til the lambs were all born. Kind of wish we hadn't waited. But these guys will not have any more lambs!

I had them all in the back yard, waiting, for 3 days. Saturday morning, I fed them, then put the cattle panel up to keep them in this little corner.

Matt decided to shear them right in there.

We got Amarillo first! I was SO glad to get her sheared. It had been 14 months for her. It took a good 5 hours to get all 8 sheep done. He trimmed hoofs and I wormed them all. They all had very pale eyes and gums. And it was so hot too. It really wore them all out.


When the ewes were all done, we started grabbing ram lambs to castrate them. One by one, we got all 7 of them castrated! But it sure was horrible. Those poor baby boys laid flat on the ground for a few hours. I was going to put them all out back right after, but I had to wait a few hours for the boys to recover. I held them and petted them for a long time. But they are all just fine now. I am so glad to have both these jobs done!




Not too long after I got them all out back, it looked like a big ole storm was coming. The sky got all black and grey. The wind started blowing really bad. I had milked the goats a little early and put them up front. They were being a little mean to the lambs. Then I got all the sheep and lambs and alpacas in the barn and shut the fence so they'd all stay in for the night.

Well, I thought they were all inside. Til I saw 3 lambs and a momma up on the hill. They didn't seem concerned at all. So I got them down the hill to the barn, opened the gate and they all went right in! And none of the others went out. I was amazed.

I was taking hay and water to all the animals and it was lightening and thundering all around me. It was scary! And stupid. But I have to take care of my animals, right?

We made it through that crazy storm. But the power flickered on and off for awhile. There were big trees down all over the place, from here to Tn. Real strong winds. And it was all over the country, apparently. Crazy weather. I hope everyone made it through ok.

Now on to some more projects...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Babies!


Sam and Rosie have 4 babies that I can see. There could be another on the other side. They had 5 last spring and they got so big that one of them fell out and was dinner to one of the cats. Poor baby. I love Barn Swallows! But my goodness, these birds and I are going to have a head on collision one day. Me going in the milk room and them flying out!






And today I was going to check my bee hives and saw a Mockingbird fly from the little tree beside the bee yard gate. There's been a nest in it but I thought it was an old one. I have always cut branches out of the tree and there's also a wild rose in it that I whack on all the time. Then the sheep are out there and they eat the leaves. The nest is only a few feet off the ground. But aren't these eggs beautiful? My favorite colors together. I hope they make it. I still have 2 old cats and I've seen a few strays cats around lately.



I also have a redbird couple nesting somewhere near. They come around in the morning when I feed the chickens. I gove them sunflower seeds too. Then of course all the sparrows.

And a few days ago I saw another favorite bird in the apple trees as I was leaving. The American Goldfinch. I LOVE them. So lots of birds around. And I am not planting a single flower this year. For the birds or the bees. And I see the hummers are back too. I need a new feeder for them. My old one had lost all the yellow filter things and honey bees were going up in the feeder and drowning.


Oh sheep!

I had planned on leaving the sheep in the side yard til Thursday morning, then putting them in the back yard, where they will stay till they get sheared Saturday morning, then out to the very back pasture.

Well, I should know better than to make any type of plans where sheep are in them.

Last evening, I was in the studio and I heard lambs whining. Lots of whining. I looked out the front door and saw sheep out in the front garden. And lambs NOT in the front garden, but running along the fence that separates the yard and garden.

So there went those plans.

Here is a picture of the fence that goes from the yard to the garden. This is what I have to do to keep it closed. There's probably 1 1/2 feet between the gate and the fence post, so I have to put that 4x4 landscape timber in between, then wrap the chain around all that, then put the shearing stand in front of all that. Fun, huh?

Well, the ewes decided to change my plans up. they all pushed the landscape timber out of the way (I think the stand had been moved and not put back) and went on it. They didn't tell the lambs though. And of course, lambs being lambs, were not paying attention and doing lamb stuff. When they realized mommas weren't around any more and on the other side of the fence, they all had a little lamb fit.

So here I go, the crazy shepherd, trying to get the lambs out there in the garden. Had to put up little fences and other things so they would only have one way to go. Got them all in the garden, finally.



This is the gate where they went out into the pasture our neighbor let us use for years. But not anymore. So I put some fence up and this piece of tin, and a board to prop it up. And there's a roll of fence that I'll use to corral the lambs to get them to go back out. Because they always seem to go the other way when I want to move them.




So this morning, I opened the gate to get the sheep to go to the back yard and it went pretty good. Had about 10 lambs that we had to herd. Then they all went to the back yard and that's where they will stay til they are sheared.

We will also castrate all the ram lambs  and get that job done.

I mowed the garden and side yard this morning. Then went out to where I want to put the stanchions and mowed it real good. We got our old refrigerator from our oldest daughter yesterday and put it in the milk room to hold all this milk I'm getting now. It takes up a lot of room in our fridge.

So slowly, we are getting more things done around here.If only the sheep would do what I want them to do! I really need a Border Collie to help me.

And the alpacas are out back with the goats. That way they'll be out of the way. And I will just about guarantee that Saturday morning, when we try to get the sheep in the corner where I hold them to be sheared, that every single little lamb will be right there with them. I'd be willing to bet money if I had any.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Getting things done



Just look at all these wooly sheep! And to think that all but Amarillo were sheared back in September. Can you see the 2 lambs in the feeder? Yep, I think I need to make them a little feeder just for lambs. But these guys would still do this.

Had a message from my shearer this morning. They will be here Saturday to shear the sheep and trim feet!!! I can worm them all too then. I also want to see if they'll help castrate the ram lambs. I just want to do it right.

I am SO glad to know they'll be shorn soon! I worry about the sheep and alpacas til it's done. Then I feel like a weight is lifted off my shoulders. It's just one of those yearly jobs that seems to hang over me. I guess because I am depending on someone else to do it.

I'll "shear" Olga tonight when I milk. She really is looking quite shaggy.

Doesn't it just feel good to get jobs done? Me and my husband went out back this morning and fixed the electric fence. And all 3 wires are now hot! He had done a lot of mowing and trimming around and under the fence earlier, so that was done. And I had gotten some more poles, because they seem to be replaced a lot. There were whole strands of wire missing. I have no idea what happens back there, but we seem to have to do this at least twice a year. Maybe deer get stuck and break things. I have no idea. I just know things happen. And I hate to do it, but I think I'm going to spray round up under the fence, just to keep the hay-grass from growing underneath.

It's a bit windy today, so I think I'll wait til it's not blowing at all to work on the bee hives. I have everything I need to do it now. Just gotta get in there! I will be wearing my bee suit and have a smoker going.

I made 2 batches of soap for a wedding order. I need to make one more today. Then cut it all and wrap it. Just 30 bars, but 3 different scents. I think next time I'll say they all need to be the same scent. Or more of each.

And I noticed yesterday evening that the 2 alpacas were whining. Just kind of moping. If anyone has alpacas, they make this sad sound when they are stressed or unhappy. But this morning, Misha, the red one, didn't eat with the rest of them. Then he didn't eat any hay. And he went to the shed and laid down, by himself. So I asked my friend who raises alpacas, what she thought might be wrong. She asked about strange dogs and the poop. I said no dogs, but there are 14 new lambs. She gave me a few things to try. He seems better already. I moved them all over to the studio yard this morning, where the round hay bale still is, and nice good clover and grass. I'll keep them here a few days, then to the back yard to get ready for shearing. Then after shearing, to the very back pasture for awhile. It's getting tall back there.

Anyway, I just feel so good about the fence working again. And getting other things done. And the 2 sheep all better. And then the alpaca.

Npw off to make some more soap...

Monday, May 15, 2017

No more kids!!!!



So ALL 5 of the kids are gone now. My friend Kendra got Thorin, the buck, to use for breeding this fall. He's such a friendly buck. And he was big, at 9 weeks old. I am happy to know he is in a good home.

Then another friend, Cara, got ALL 4 of the doe kids!! She had gotten 2 a few days before. Then when Kendra came, she noticed Morwen, the last triplet of Freya's, had 4 teats. I was SO upset about that. Worrying about what to do with her. I did not want to sell her, then someone turn around and take her to a sale barn or even to slaughter. So I asked Cara if she would take her for free and buy Alva. She did! Now all the triplets and Olga's girl are all back together. They have 35 acres, so plenty of brush and trees and weeds and all kinds of goodies for 4 growing kids to eat! I am very happy to know all 5 kids went to great homes.

Olga and Freya haven't even whined at all about their babies being gone. I think they were ready. 9 weeks is the longest I have kept kids before.

So we are back to twice a day milking again. I have 2 lambs I am bottle feeding and my friends up the road who took 3 of the Annabelle's quads are bottle feeding them too. So between 5 lambs, we need lots of milk! Plus I have 2 milk customers. Then soap takes a little bit.

I have an order for 30 bars of soap for a wedding in early June. Finally got enough milk to make them. 3 different scents too. Trying to come up with molds and a small batch recipe now.

Amarillo is much better now! All the wool is off her left rear now and is healing nicely. I was a bit worried about her. Her 2 ram lambs are still so small. She actually had triplets but 1 was born dead. She had quads 3 years ago and none of them were very big either. But she is a HUGE ewe.

And Darla isn't limping. She hurt her right front leg. Or had foot rot. Not really sure, so I was dipping her hoof in Coppertox and gave her LA 200 too. She's much better now. Her boys, Frodo and Sam, are huge lambs.

It's going to be SO hard letting any of these lambs go. But sometimes, I would like ALL of them to be gone. Especially when they don't listen. Amarillo's boys are the worst. Well, Pippin is. Then yesterday, Eryn, the triplet I am not bottle feeding, and who is the most wild lamb, got out and was on the driveway. It took a long time to finally catch the little booger. I really wish they would know I am not going to hurt them. So I sat with her for about 10 minutes after catching her.

There is still so much to do. The sheep really need sheared. Hopefully sometime in the next few weeks. Then I need to castrate all 7 ram lambs. Then one of the bee hives needs some work done to it. I didn't put frames in the middle of the 1st swarm, so the bees have built comb from the top lid down, so there were 3 combs already made when I checked last week. I need to cut them and put them in frames really soon. Then add more boxes on both hives.

Then I want to make a little milking shed on the side of the barn out back. It's already too hot in that milk room. Then the electric fence needs a lot of work done before I can let the sheep out back.

Always something needs to be done around here...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

And here they come...


A few days ago, I went out to gather eggs from the coop. In the middle one, I saw it. A snake. With an egg in it's stinkin' mouth. I ran and got the shovel. And it is no longer with us. I will not share my eggs!

The nest boxes were on the floor of the coop for years. I decided to screw them to the wall. I got some wire and screws and cordless screw driver. And the husband. It didn't take too long to get it put up. It doesn't have a bottom, that's why the wire.

And I know snakes can climb. But at least this way, I can see behind it and under it, before I go in there. I sure hope they get the hay fields mowed down soon.

So yesterday, I found 2 eggs in a nest and one on the ground under it in a nice little nest of hay.

I went to look awhile ago and there was 1 egg in the same nest and a hen in the nest underneath. I need to make a place where they can jump up on to get in the nest boxes to make it easier for the old girls.

I told my husband. one day, we might get this place looking the way we want it. He just laughed!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

On the surface, it looks good. But...

 

I really love this picture. All the green grass, sheep under the apple tree resting. Beautiful blue sky. Just looks so peaceful right?

Well, sometimes things can be deceiving.

I'll spare you the ugliness that's really here.

I was not able to have the sheep sheared before all the lambs came, like I had hoped to do. Because of my shearers dad not doing too well. And he has to work all the time. So it just hasn't happened yet.

But, as each ewe lambed, I had them in stalls and I would cut as much wool as I could around their rear ends and legs and around their udders. Thought I did a pretty good job.

But I started noticing Amarillo with a patch of wool that was pulled away from her left rear. And of course she is the crazy ewe, that did not get sheared back in September, so she was pretty wooly.  I tried to sneak up on her and spray wound spray on it.

Then yesterday, I was able to pull the wool a little more and almost freaked out at what I saw.

So I called my friend Ron to see if he could come and help me get her cleaned up and he brought LA 200 with him. I got the sheep back over across the driveway. Ron brought his daughter Bonnie and I had Kansas here. So I caught one of her lambs and gave him to Kansas to hold in the stall with the door, hoping she'd go in. But no, she was not going cooperate. So we finally got the other lamb. And I put a fence across so we could corral her in.

Anyway, after awhile, I was up by the gate and Amarillo came over to me, panting and scared. I petted her and put my arm around her neck, while holding Pippin. Ron came up and tied her back legs and we got her laid down.

Then I started cutting wool off. It was not as bad as I had thought. Got it all cleaned up and sprayed with wound spray, gave her a shot and some Ivermec too. Let her up and the lambs out.

Ron said it could have been where afterbirth had gotten stuck on the wool and she tried to pull it off. I thought maybe she had gotten caught on the wild rose bush we had cut down out in the field. I don't know.

I am so thankful for good friends. There are several people I can call when I need help and they come right over. I really don't know what I would do without them. My husband can only do so much. And Kansas is a great help. She held all the lambs while I banded their tails. And she will hold all the ram lambs so I can castrate them too. I told her this will be something she can tell the guys when they get too touchy or annoying!


This morning, there was some blood, so I sprayed her down some more. I'll give her another shot tomorrow.

I hope she'll be ok. And Matt the shearer, will be here next week to shear the sheep!!!!

Then I start the castrating of the ram lambs...

Monday, May 8, 2017

Galadriel...

On her momma Campbell.  So sweet!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Long day...


It started early for me. I had put the goat kids up the night before, so I could milk in the morning. Yes, I still have all 5 goat kids. UGH! My friend Kendra is coming Tuesday to get the buck, Thorin. Really unusual to sell the buck first, and still have all the doe kids. Still trying. So anyway, got the goats milked.

Then out to feed the sheep and move them over to the garden. It's only across the driveway. But I have to make this elaborate fence "tunnel" so they will go where I want them. The sheep are great at it. But now I have 14 lambs. And they are new to all this moving around business. Half of them don't pay attention and get left behind. Then mommas are calling them and running back to find them. Or they don't care about the babies and run out to eat!

So that leaves me to round them all up and get them over with the rest of them. Which is NOT my favorite thing to do. Chasing lambs...

And there was just one little guy who did not follow instructions yesterday. Just one. Little tiny teeny Pippin. I would much rather try to get 50 lambs to go somewhere than just ONE! So ALL over the pasture, this way and that way. Even got the husband to come help. I got some fence and tried to get him in the corner. Nope. Tried other things. Nothing worked.

He finally got tired and went into the barn. Geeze, how simple. Just went in and grabbed the little fella. Got him over to the rest. All was good.

Then I walked by the bee hives. And I heard bees up over my head. Looked up in the cedar behind the hives and sure enough, saw a swarm about  10' up. Great! Another swarm? Just what I needed right about then. Had 1 last Saturday too.

So grabbed a box and some blocks to put the hive on. Jumped in the car and went to the bee store in town to get some frames that I was out of. Thankfully, they had some put together!

Got the hive set up and got the lawn mower under it. Got the husband. He grabbed a branch and pulled it down so I could start trimming. And I messed up. Snapped a branch too fast and all the bees fell down, right on me!

So we tried to get them all off and leave them to settle down. Tried again in a few hours. Got them this time! I thought I missed the queen, but I know I got all the bees off the branch and into the box. They were just some stragglers.

Got them all settled down and saw some of the bees on the landing, fanning towards the inside. So I knew I got the queen!

Only got stung about 10 times. And not from the swarm. Before, I can't remember what I was doing, but got stung 3 times on left arm and belly. And foot too. I cannot wear shoes while working with bees. I can run faster bare foot!

Then later that day, my friend Allan came to check on the hives and it was windy. They were NOT happy bees. Not at all. They were quite pissed actually. But, I only got stung one time as I was running away, right over my left eye. Bees



They are all doing great so far this morning. Lots of bees, all over.



Then my daughter Abby brought the grand dogs to spend the weekend while they went out of town.  They are Boxers. I love them .City dogs come to the country! SO much to do. And chase! And bark at! Oh boy, what fun here on the farm!

Then I had visitors 2 times to come see the lambs. And also we have the 3 2 legged grand daughters on the weekends too.

I also took down some more fence in the garden area. Lambs seem to always get stuck behind fences and can't figure out how to get back around. So all gone! Did some mowing where there are a whole lotta thistle. Hate those prickly things, but the bees love them. But not good for sheep wool.

Anyway, during all this, I had put on a pot of pinto beans. Then the power went out for about 3 hours. It was very windy here. Finally came back on. Had sandwiches for dinner though. I was tired.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Goodbye April!

I think I am happy to see April finally behind me. It's been a really wild month for sure. Crazy weather and all. So, glad to see May!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Bee swarm!!!

So, this morning, as I was cleaning out the 2 hives that didn't make it through the winter,  I noticed a whole lotta bees around the one remaining hive. They had done this a few days ago and I thought they were going to swarm, so I got another box and added it to the hive. They seemed to be ok.

Til this morning. There were SO many bees, all over, heading south to the cedar tree about 30 feet away maybe. So I watched them. And I saw where they were headed. About 10' up in the cedar! Couldn't be any better.

I grabbed a brood box and only had 5 good frames to go in it, which would be ok til I got them in and settled. Fixed a new place to put the hive too. By then, they had pretty much gotten settled around the queen and a good branch.

So pulled the Trooper up under the tree. Got my little step ladder and box and brush and clippers. Trimmed all the branches that were in the way. Got all ready. My heart was pounding, by the way. Got the box as under the branch as I could. Then pulled the branch down. Then counted to 3 and shook it!

They all went in! I did get stung one time on my left middle finger, the one right beside my smooshed index finger. But that was all.

And now, they are on the hood of my Trooper, til I can get them to the new spot. I've been moving the car a few feet at a time, til I can get it over where I want the hive. Tonight, I'll get my hubby to help set it down off the car. Then I'll add the rest of the frames. And see what happens! Hopefully, they will stay put.

If you go up about an inch, that's where the branch is where they landed. Great height for me.





Right now, a few hours later, all but a few stragglers are in the hive. So I know the queen is in there. I did see a lot of bees fanning at the entrance!




So now I have 2 hives. I hope the other hive will be ok and make another queen.

Friday, April 28, 2017

And we are done!!!!

Yesterday was a busy day here. First off, it was stormy, lots of rain. Then Annabelle decided to lamb right out in the front pasture. It was pretty bad for awhile. I had to just walk away and leave her alone. She would not let me get near to help. There was a lamb head hanging out for a long time. I assumed it would be dead when she finally did get it out. So when I came back out to check, there were 3 little lamb heads, bobbing around. I did get them all into a stall and Annabelle followed. Then when I came back out a little later, there was another lamb! She had quads. 3 ewe lambs and a ram. So cute. And all doing well. Except, she really wasn't paying much attention to the last 3.

So I called a friend who has been wanting bottle lambs. She also has 3 young kids. Asked if she was ready for some lambs and she said sure. So they came a little later, after I'd bottle fed them all colostrum. They all seemed t be doing great so far. The first biggest lamb was nursing.

So off the 3 littles went, all wrapped up in towels and carried by their new people. They are all doing great this morning. Carrie was a little stressed about one of the ewe lambs, but she's great this morning, as are the other 2.

And Annabelle's little ewe lamb that stayed with her is doing great too!

So, later that afternoon, Campbelle decided she's had enough and wanted to have her lambs too. Out in the field. It was nice and sunshiney by then. So I went and grabbed more clean towels and a book and sat outside with her.

She finally had this big ewe lamb. She is huge! She was up and going for the milk bar soon after.

I had gone to check on Annabelle after she had that one lamb. I saw that one of the pallets needed adjusted. So grabbed the huge mallet-hammer and proceeded to smash my left index finger. Geeze, that hurt like heck! Ran inside to get my husband to see what I'd done, because I couldn't look. It was pretty bad. The whole tip of my finger is crushed. And it hurts. And I cannot milk the goats. UGH!

Got it wrapped up and went back outside to get Campbelle in a stall. That baby walked by herself most of the way there! And Campbelle followed her.

I got her some food and water and made sure the lamb was dried. Then noticed she was pushing. I thought she was pushing out afterbirth. But no, there was a big head! She was having another lamb. I was sure it would be dead because it had been a good hour since she'd had the first lamb. But he was fine and alive! He looks just like Frodo, the black and white ram lamb of Darla's. SO cute!




Campbelle is my very favorite ewe. And Galadriel looks just like her.




I have named the boy Tom Bomdadil and the ewe is Galadriel. Annabelle's ewe lamb is Goldberry.

So we are officially finished with lambing! They had 20 lambs total. 3 stillborn lambs. 2 rams and a ewe. I have 14 here, 7 rams and 7 ewes. Carrie has 2 ewes and a ram. So 17 live births. And equal males to females. So just get ready for lots of really cute lamb pics. Sorry! But they are so adorable.

It's going to be really hard to decide how many to keep.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Annabelle.

had a little litter of lambs this morning. 4 of them. 3 ewes and a ram. That brought the number of lambs to 18 so far. 3 have died. And I have 1 ewe left to lamb, Campbelle.

I woke up really early this morning with thunder, lightening and very heavy rain going on outside. I lay there in bed worrying about all the sheep, if they had their lambs inside. I finally got up at 6 and went out to check on them.

Annabelle was out in the front pasture. I went to look at her, and sure enough, there was a water bubble. She would not go in, so I left her. I couldn't get close to her. I went to get towels and when I came back out, there was a head out. She would not let me near her to help. So I left her.

When I came back out, there were 3 lambs laying on the wet grass, all alive. I thought for sure that first one was dead, the way it hung there for so long.

So I picked all 3 up and got her to follow me to a stall. She was not happy about it, but she went inside. I didn't want to bother her too much because she was a bit crazy. So I left her again.

When I came back out to check on the lambs, there was another one laying there! Geeze already!

So anyway, she was not paying much attention to the last 3 lambs. So I dried them off as much as I could. I went in and got a bottle of colostrum and fed the 3 smallest lambs. They drank it all. Then I called my friend Carrie and asked her if she wanted 3 lambs for her 3 sweet kids. They came a few hours later, with towels and bottles. Those little lambs will be loved and spoiled before the day is over. Annabelle never even looked at them.

So she has the biggest ewe lamb with her. She's doing great. Annabelle is Buttercup's mother. Buttercup had triplet ewe lambs on Easter Sunday. So between these 2 ewes, they had 7 live lambs, 6 ewes and a ram!

The sun is shining again! It's a big mud pit outside. But the lambs (there are 12 of them at the moment)  are running about, playing and having fun together...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

All the boys...

This is Lambchops. He is Adalaide's boy. She also had a ewe lamb. She is taking such good care of them! I'm really proud of her. I'm so glad I got her in a lambing jug, just in time! But this little guy is adorable! I call him Lambchops because he does have those fluffy sideburns like a man.



These are Darla's boys. The black and white is Frodo and the brown is Sam. She's a really good mother and apparently has rich milk, because these are fat little guys.




And this little sweetie pie is Bilbo, Cameron's boy. He has been limping. Somehow he's hurt his right front leg. One of the big ewes might have hit him, trying to get him away from them. Or Cameron could have done something. Whenever she's ready to go, she nudges him til he gets up to follow her. She doesn't let him get too far from her. But he would rather just lay down and sleep, just like Bilbo Baggins did when he was so old.




And these very small boys are Amarillo's. Goodness, they are so small. As big as she is, I am a bit surprised. But she did have triplets. They both look like her a lot. The smaller one is Pippin and the bigger one is Merry. I love them!




Still waiting on Campbelle and Annabelle to lamb. They are just laying around, waiting too.

I'll take pics of all the girls later. There are 5 of them.

Monday, April 24, 2017

12, 13, 14...

This morning, I got up early and looked out the front window. I could see Amarillo standing in the same place she was laying last night. It was raining. I saw some littles lambs around her. So I got some clothes on, grabbed towels and went to her. I saw 2 lambs standing and one laying, still wet. It was dead. But the other 2 were fine. I grabbed them all and she followed us to a stall. Got the lambs as dry as possible then went to get hay and feed for her. Got them all settled in, then trimmed around her udders so the lambs could find the teats. They did. I found out all 3 were rams . I was happy to have a few more boys. They will be Mariodoc Brandybuck (Merry) and Perigrin Took (Pippin).  Can you tell where these names came from?? Yes, I have Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee, so had to have a Merry and Pippin.

I still need names for Adalaide's 2 lambs, a ewe and a ram.


 So we have 6 ram lambs and 5 ewe lambs so far. There are 2 more ewes left to lamb now.

And I am tired of April already. It has been the most fickle month, like it really doesn't know what to do. Should it be cold? Or hot? Or dry? Or sopping wet?   Well, so far, it has been ALL of these things. And right now, it's SOPPING WET out there! We have had a fire going some days because it's been so cold. Then a few days later, the air conditioner is on.  Oh April, I will be SO glad to see you leave!

And I realize this must be horribly boring to you all, all these lamb posts right now. But this is my life. Like ALL DAY, this is my life. Hauling water, hay, feed, making sure the right lambs are with the right mothers. Rescuing the lambs that went the wrong way at the fence and got on the wrong side. Banding tails. Giving some lambs bottles. Just never ending sheep right now! I am SO tired. And I took a nap yesterday afternoon. Yes, a nap. And it felt SO good!                                        

Saturday, April 22, 2017

And here's 10 and 11...



Adalaide had twins this morning! A ram lamb first. He's black and white, like an Oreo cookie. So cute. Then not too long after, she had a tiny ewe lamb. I thought she was dead, but I got her head dried off then rubbed her chest real good and she breathed! She's brown and cream. SO cute. And both already nursing. Adalaide is actually being a mother! I am so relieved to see her being so good to them.

And I am exhausted. I've been getting up early and running out to check on the sheep. Then hauling water, hay and feed all day and feeding lambs bottles and checking on them. Trying to keep mommas and babies together. I've caught Buttercup's lambs nursing on mommas who have not lambed yet! And they let them!

I will be SO glad when all this is over. I will not be doing this again. It's been so stressful for me and then for the sheep too, I think. And All the stalls are full of moms and babies. And it's supposed to rain alot.

I have the alpacas out back with the goats. They are not happy. They don't really care for goats. They are sheep people. They love sheep babies. They miss them. But I have no room for them right now, til they are all done and it's not raining. They they can come back to live with their sheep.

So, 5 down, 3 to go...

Number 8 and 9...

were born yesterday evening. I had just gotten home with grand kids and saw Cara laying flat out like she was dead. I ran out there and she got up. But I could not get her into a stall. She had actually been in a stall all day and was still when I left. I should have shut the gate.

So anyway, I had to help pull the first lamb out. It was a ewe lamb, all brown and so pretty. I got her dried off and picked her up to try to get Cara into a stall. She followed us in. Then a little later she started pushing again. This one was a little smaller, but dead. So dead. Looked just like the first one, another ewe lamb.

Cara kept moving around, but I got the baby to get some colostrum. Then I went and got a little bottle and gave her some more. It was dark then. So I left them alone. I buried the lamb out behind the barn with the other lamb.

This morning, I took another bottle, just in case she needed it. But she was good and nursed.

So Cara was the 4th ewe to lamb. We have 7 lambs so far. 4 ewe lambs and 3 ram lambs.

I named the new lamb Elanor, after the elf flower that grew in Loth Lorien, the elf city in Lord of the Rings.

The other 3 ewe lambs I named Ella, Emmy and Elsa.

The ram lambs are Bilbo, Frodo and Sam.





Then I finally caught Adalaide in the stall next to Cara. Cara is Adalaide's daughter from 3 years ago. I went out that morning and saw 2 lambs on the ground, One was already dead. Cara was barely alive. Anyway, got her in and she was a bottle lamb. Adalaide didn't want anything to do with her. So I hope she will keep any new lambs. If not, I have a friend who will take them.



AND, we are supposed to be getting storms here later today. UGH!! I don't have mush room left for more lambs right now inside.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Adalaide...

This is what Adelaide thinks of this whole business.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Some more...


Got up early to check on the sheep this morning and found these 2 little fellas. I had a feeling Darla was going to have some real soon last night when I checked. I have never seen her lamb at all. She always has hers about 5 or 6 in the morning. They are always all dried and standing up nursing. Same this morning. And she's always had boys. So 2 more ram lambs to add to the growing flock. 6 lambs so far, 3 ewes and 3 rams. These guys are so cute.

So meet Sam and Frodo.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Meeting the babies...



Buttercup went out for a little while with her triplets. Misha and Sugar got to meet them up close. These boys just love babies! They will be great babysitters. The other 6 sheep didn't even bother coming to meet them. Silly sheep.

Last night I banded all the triplet's tails. I hate this part of having lambs. I waited till nearly dark to do it. They did great. Tonight I'll do little Bilbo's tail. He's so sweet.

No more babies today so far. This could drag on for a month, which will be fine with me. I just don't have room to keep 8 sheep with lambs in these 3 shelters.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Number 4...

When I went out to feed the sheep this morning, Cameron stayed in the middle stall. I had seen her laying down pushing as I walked over. I thought I should put the other 6 sheep and alpacas over next door, but that was a stupid idea. Cameron went all crazy. So got the sheep back over here so she could see them.

It was about 30 minutes later when I saw a white head coming out. I could tell right away it was a ram lamb because I saw little horn buds. The ram I used had pretty impressive horns. But that was all I saw, just a head. No feet. She was pushing and pushing, but not much happening. I went in and found the left leg and started pulling when she pushed. Then tried to get the other leg. He finally came out. But he was weak. I got him dried as much as I could with Cameron's help. He's a little cuties, eye liner and all. He's all white with a little black spot on his right hip.



Then about 30 minutes later, I saw another water bubble. And a foot this time. She pushed a few times and out popped the head. I could also tell this was another ram lamb. But this little guy was dead. Nothing I did got him going. I can see no reason for him to be dead. But he was. I dried him off and left him there for Cameron to clean off. I out him over to the side. Then I buried him behind the barn. So sad.




Little Bilbo Baggins is doing just fine though. He's so cute. I love brand new lambs, they are all legs and big fluffy  head. Too cute.

So 2 down, 6 more to go. And it's supposed to rain later today.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

1 down, 7 to go...

Buttercup was back in the maternity ward this morning. About 1 this afternoon, I heard a loud baaaaing, so ran to check the sheep. It was her, in labor. The little white lamb came first. Once her head came out, she slid on out.  But it was rough for a little while. She's adorable!

I thought she might just have the one lamb, but about 45 minutes later, she acted like she was choking and out popped another one. The little black lamb that's standing was 2nd.

Then about 20 minutes later, I saw another water bubble. I was hoping it was afterbirth, but no, here came another lamb!



2 sweet little black lambs and a white with black spots. I think they are all ewe lambs too. And this is Buttercup's first babies!! She even let me get her teats clear for nursing and knock off some of the hay hanging under her belly. She was so good. I did go ahead and give the 2 black lambs some colostrum in a bottle, because the last one was pretty weak. But when I went back out later to give them another bottle, both black lambs were up and nursing!! I am SO proud of Buttercup!

I told the other sheep that they need to spread the lambs out to about every 4 days or so. I hope they listen to me. If this is any indication of lambing, then we could end up with a whole lotta lambs If they all have 3 lambs, that's 24 flippin' lambs! I hope the rest are ram lambs.



Saturday, April 15, 2017

Maternity ward...


Can you see Buttercup, in the maternity ward? I noticed her this morning, in the middle stall, by herself. Usually when they are by their selves, they're either sick, or about ready to lamb. And she's ready to lamb!

I think I am ready for this now. I've got all the stalls cleaned and ready for mommas and babies. I have hay and feed. I need to get lots of bands for tails Monday. And to castrate ram lambs.

I feel better about lambing right now. I was pretty stressed out about it. Especially after hearing I won't be able to use the pasture next door. But I think they'll have enough grass to eat with the north pasture, back yard, goat pasture and big garden. I fertilized all but the garden, not thinking I would be having to keep sheep over there. Maybe I can do it anyway.

So bring it on ladies!! We can do this! I have a good feeling. Weather is supposed to be great too.






Next pictures will be of lambs...

Friday, April 14, 2017

They're back!



My birds are back! I'm so happy to see them! I've named them Samwise Gamghee and Rosie Cotton, from The Hobbit. They are so sweet. I love these birds.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Any day now...



there will be lambs galore, running, leaping, chasing each other, jumping on mommas! Oh how I wish it were all over and this was happening. But, it could drag on for a month, which really won't be too bad at all . That will give them all time to bond with their little ones. I just hope they all do.

 3 years ago, Adalaide had twin ewe lambs in early morning rain and cold. She just left them there, on the cold wet ground. Didn't do a  thing. One was already dead when I went out to check on the sheep. The other one, Cara, was barely alive. But she made it and is going to have babies of her own soon. I just hope Adalaide does better this time.

And Annabelle has only had 1 ewe lamb ever, and Buttercup is 4 years old and really really huge herself.

Then there's Amarillo, who had quads. We bottle fed the ewe lambs, Campbelle and Cameron. She kept the 2 boys and raised them just fine. The girls stayed with them after it got warmer and she was ok with that. But she is HUGE! It could be that her wool is making her look a lot bigger, I hope. She was the only one who did not get sheared back in September. Thank goodness the rest did, because this would be a mess.

So there are 4 ewes who have not had lambs. I hope they will all be good mothers and raise their lambs. I do have a friend who will take bottle babies if need be. And I have a freezer full of goat milk, just in case.

Speaking of shearing, we are waiting to hear from my guy. His dad always came to help him, but he has prostate cancer, really bad too. It's all over.  So don't know if he's past away or what. I may need to find someone else. And it will have to wait now anyway, til lambs are born.

So, that's what's happening here on the farm. Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Clematis...

blooming on the old fence.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Smelling VWs


This past Saturday, my husband and I went to Bug-a-Paluza at Camp Jordan. There were SO many VWs there, I know I didn't see them all. And it was sunny and hot.

But I LOVE VWs. Beetles, vans, campers, you name it, I love them. They have always been my favorite vehicle. I was practically raised in a VW. My dad was a teacher, so back then, they got a whole 3 months off. We'd take off in our VW camper and go on long road trips across the country. We'd pull over and camp by the side of the road, or a river bed. Such great memories for me.

One of the things I love best about a VW is the way they smell. It might sound strange, but they do have a very distinctive smell. Some have a slight gassy smell, which is fine. Mine always did. But I loved it. And most of the bugs I owned I could see the road as I was driving, through the floorboards.

So I had to stick my head in all the opened windows, just to smell them. And of course I had to touch each one. And I also talk to them. Because each one has it's own personality.

What makes me sad is seeing the ones that have been made into dune buggies. Or some other thing. A lot of the ones there were SO low to the ground. Back wheels turned in. Just all kinds of wonky things being done to them. And most had air fresheners hanging from the rear view mirrors. Why??

I really like the older models better. Like '69 or older. Something about the windows, lights, fenders, luggage racks. I saw a '58 too. Born the same year as me.









But this one brought back some memories too. Way back when I was 16, my brother who was 17 at the time and my sister who was 12, were living in California with our dad.  We all wanted to go back to Ga. to live with our mom. My brother had a VW van. And I had a dog named Ziggy. We loaded that van up with all our belongings and took off. We headed up to Yosemite National Park first, with a friend of my brothers.

We spent a few days there. Got the van loaded up and took off again and the van broke down. Got it going again but it wasn't going to make the trip. We headed back to LA and traded the van in for a little souped up black VW bug. Looked a little like this little guy here.

So we got him all loaded up. It was so full, my sister was sitting on all kinds of things in the back seat, plus my dog back there too. Took us 3 long days and nights to get to Metter. But we made it! Been in Ga. ever since.




And I've had a few VW bugs since too. A brown one that kept shutting off, at crazy places and times. Like once, right in rush hour in Atlanta in the fast lane on 75. Just quit, right there. My kids were little too.

And another one that did the same thing. Then I got the yellow bug. Got him from a neighbor for $800. She let me pay $50 every other week. Had him for 15 years. Probably spent a million dollars on him too. 2 engines, 2 paint jobs, lots of other work, plus new floor boards and carpet, seatbelts... SO much money. Gave him to our youngest daughter and she had it about 5 years. Then sold it to the guy that did lots of work on it for $500. I almost died when she told me. I was driving down St. Elmo Ave one day going to Chatt. when I looked over to my left and saw a tire going past me. It was mine. Whole thing just came right off. Fun times!!

I know someone understands how I feel about these cars and has fun memories of them too.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Soaking up the sun


It's a glorious day here today. After so much gloomy rainy wet weather, this is amazing! I've already washed towels and rugs and hung them out to dry. It's windy and cold, but the sun is out! We do have a fire going in the wood stove since yesterday morning. It's cold! And will be cold til next Monday. April is such a wonky month really. Doesn't quite know what to do. Hot one day, cold the next. Sunny, then rainy. It actually rained yesterday while the sun was shining. So crazy!

I started digging a trench over in front of the sheep-chicken barn yesterday. It's nothing but a stinking mud pit. Poor sheep can't even get inside without wading trough knee deep wet cold mucky mud. It's horrible. So I decided to dig a trench and route the rain water away from there. So far it's working and water is draining out to the field.

I am expecting lambs from all 8 of the sheep starting the 15th. I see udders on all of them now. I am crazy for doing this. I'm stressing out, thinking of all that could go wrong. I'm dreaming that they all have 4 lambs each. UGH... And Adalaide, who had twins 3 years ago, is huge. One of the lambs was already dead, laying out in the cold wet mud. Cara was barely breathing when I found them. I got her inside and warmed up and got her a bottle of colostrum. She joined the other 2 bottle babies on the side porch. Amarillo had quads earlier that month and didn't really want the 2 ewe lambs. And she is huge now.

And I found out earlier this week that I will not be able to use my neighbors pasture next door. I am so glad I didn't fertilize over there when I did all the rest of my pastures. So we will not have a garden this year. Sheep will be in it. We put up a fence Monday to keep them out of the apple and pear trees and will use that little plot between the trees for a small garden. My husband will plant it. I just do not want to mess with a garden this year anyway, after the drought last year.

The kids are growing like weeds. They turned 4 weeks old Tuesday. I am giving Freya's kids a bottle a few times a day. Seems like she won't let them nurse. I have a friend who wants all 4 doe kids. And my friend who disbuds for me wants Thorin the buck. I am so glad to find good homes for my kids.

S now just waiting on lambs and for the ground to dry out here.

Monday, April 3, 2017

I had a cow...


for a few minutes today.

I had just got to town and my husband calls. There's a cow in the yard, he says. A cow in the yard? Yeah, a cow in the yard. Not a big cow. Looks like a baby, maybe 3 feet tall. White with black spots. I said it sounds like a Holstein. So I told him to see if he could get it over in the small yard with the hay bale. It had been raining since early this morning, with thunder and lightening. Anyway, he got him over there.

I called a few neighbors to see if it was theirs. No.

So I called on the way home to see if it was still there. He said it's now way out in the hay field next door. Didn't know how he got over there. So I am about a half mile from home and see the calf walking north on the road. I go to the driveway and start walking back, hoping to run it back here and put it with the sheep in the front, hoping someone might come by and see him. I get to the calf and he starts running north, not south the way I want him to go.

Then here comes an ATV with 2 women in it. They hop out and said it was theirs. They had just got 5 calves yesterday. They live BEHIND us over the ridge to the west.  3 of the calves are still there. So 1 is still missing.

We get him back to my place and put him in with the sheep and alpacas til they go back to get the trailer.



This is what the sheep thought about the whole situation. They ran to the front. The alpacas did their scary screeching noise. I told them he wouldn't be here long, so hang on.




And they came with their big ole trailer. The younger lady backed it in herself. I was very amazed with her. Said she did this all the time. So the cute little calf is gone. I was going to keep it if no one claimed him. The older lady asked how much for my trouble. I said nothing, that's what we do out here, help each other out.

So another fun day in the country!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The boys...




I was walking over to the studio and saw the boys laying by the new hay bale I got the other day. They do like their hay. They are going to alpaca shearing day at my friend Susan's farm April 14th. I have another friend who is loaning us his truck and trailer to take them over there. Last year, I couldn't find a way to get them to the shearers, so they didn't get sheared til mid June. Poor guys were absolutely miserable. I don't want that to happen again. I am so thankful for good friends.

The sheep now, that's a different story at the moment. I'm so glad they were all (except for Amarillo) sheared in September, so they aren't too bad right now. But I think they are all pregnant and I'm worrying about their back ends and udders right now. They aren't due til the middle of April and I'm not really sure if my shearer will be able to come before that. So I'm trying to think of a way to get each one in a place where I can cut the wool from around their udders and back ends. Sure would be nice to have some sort of shute (?) they could go into, that I could also get into to do this. Hmm...

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Baby love


These alpacas just love babies! I told them real soon, they will have LOTS of little baby lambs to take care of.