Monday, May 19, 2014

Weaned! But NOT happy about it.

My 3 bottle lambs are weaned!! I started giving them less and less milk every day. Then just stopped a few days ago. It's SO nice to m=not have to bottle feed 3 huge lambs anymore! It was not fun at all. It was ok with just 2 of them. But 3 is a pain. And Cara is the biggest, but 5 days younger. She'd knock the nipple off the bottle and get milk all over more times than I can count. So they are done! They're eating grain, hay and grass, so they'll be fine now. A little over 2 1/2 months. I still have my little goat baby I'm bottle feeding, but she's ok.

And this is my little tiny flock of sheep. One of the little black rams isn't in this pic. I'll have only 12 after my friend comes to get his 2 lambs this weekend. And the shearer will be here Sunday to shear the ewes. IF the weather is good. It's been raining every weekend so far. But I am not complaining. We need the rain. These pastures should take off now, if it warms up. And with so few sheep, it should grow better.

See my 3 girls at the fence? They are so sweet.

Those 2 big lambs in front are leaving this weekend. My friend Ron already has Bilbo, the black Hobbit ram, at his farm up the road.

I just have the 2 ram lambs that are from Amarillo's quads. I'll castrate them in the next few weeks. They're not very big boys. They'll be 3 months in a few weeks. They are so cute. And will have some nice wool.

I am going to clean out the little house-barn today. I need to make it into a studio for my wool and sewing. There's a kitchen I can use for making jelly and salve. I'll probably take this computer over there and the tv too. So I think I have a lot of work ahead for me. I sure need more room. It's about 500 sq ft. Big living area. And a bathroom. So I can spread out and not have to put stuff away or move it from place to place, like I do here in the house.

I hope you all have a great week!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Such a relief!

I just sold 8 ewes and 10 lambs tonight!!! All my hair sheep and lambs. Oh my goodness, I feel so much better right now. It was really getting bad around here for me. I was dreading going outside any more. 32 sheep and lambs is just way too many. Plus 9 kids and 6 does. 2 alpacas. 10 hens and a rooster. 2 dogs and 6 cats. And now 2 hives of bees.

So now I have 6 Finn ewes and 6 Finn lambs. I still have 2 of the hair lambs that a friend is getting next weekend. I have all 4 of Amarillo's quads, 2 rams and 2 ewes, Adelaide's ewe lamb, Adele's ewe lamb. That's it.12 sheep. I will try to sell Adele and Darla. They are not full Finn. And possibly Annabelle and Buttercup. I'll see next week when they are all sheared, who I want to keep for their wool.

I'm going to castrate the  2 ram lambs in the next few weeks. And the ewes will be sheared finally, hopefully, next Sunday, weather permitting. So they should all be happy and have more to eat soon. I will not breed any of these sheep again. It's just too much for me.

I would really like to sell Zarah and her 2 beautiful doe kids. And Penelope. And 3 buck kids. And take my 2 borrowed does back to their farm. That will leave me with 2 does in milk and 4 doe kids. So much more manageable.

It sure takes a lot for me to learn what I need to do and not do. I was about to go crazy here. When it's not fun any more, something has to give. I still have some changes to make and animals to let go. I will get there eventually. Right now, tonight, it just feels good to know I only have 14 sheep out in the pasture.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bees are back at Outback Farm!

Monday, my mom and I drove up to Arnold Apiary in Knoxville to get my bees. I had ordered 2 packages of Italian honeybees back in Jan. He said I could come up and get them Monday. I called and left a message on the way. He didn't call til we were almost there. He said he didn't have any packages ready. But that I could have 2 nucs instead. I said I'd take them.

I was using my husband's GPS. She was taking us to this big subdivision. Then said we were at our destination. There were houses everywhere. I mean close together houses. Then I saw 1 little bee hive in the front yard. So we got out to see if we were at the right place. We were. I saw a whole garage full of bee hives and wood for frames and more hives. Then Mr. Arnold came out. I said this was not what I expected at all. He took us around to his back yard. And there were all the bee hives, all lined up in rows. So we were at the right place.

I got my 2 nucs and came home. There were a few escapees on the way but they stayed in the back. Got home and took the heavier nuc to the garden. And the other lighter one out back. Glad I did it this way. A bee keeper friend was going to come Tuesday to help take the frames out and make sure all was well and the queens were in and working. He said to go ahead and open the little tiny doors in front. I did and bees poured out! It was amazing to see them all. Like clowns falling out of a little VW beetle. Cool.

So this is the garden hive. It was the heavier box. When Gary came to help get them out, we saw that the queen was small and young. No eggs in there yet. He said to check this hive in a week to see if there is anything going on. If not, call the apiary and get him to send a new queen. They just don't seem to be near as active as the outback hive on the hill. They stay pretty much in the hive.

This is the view from the garden hive. Lots of clover and dandelion flowers. And Pigeon Mt.

I open the top to check on them. You can see, they are in there.

This is the hive out back in the goat yard. Way back at the top of the hill. When we looked at this hive, the queen was huge and working at laying eggs! He also said these are a mix of Italians and Cerulian bees, He said that's a good thing! These were way more active. They went flying when we opened the nuc. I can see them flying around from the house, that's how many there are up there. So this hive should be a really good one.

If you enlarge this pic, you can see the queen. And you can see the difference in the 2 bees.

And some of the flowers in my "bee garden". I have lots of blue and purple flowers for the bees to enjoy. I love this garden. It's in the side yard, surrounded by 12 blueberry bushes. I have another bee garden in the garden up front.

I am SO happy to have bees again. I missed them so much. I feel better having them here.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

In the milk room tonight.

 I took this picture tonight in the milk room. This is my bottle kid, Mary Piper. (I changed her name from Mirabelle.) She follows me all over. She was jumping up on stanchions while I was milking Jessie. Seeing which one she liked the best. She'll be a good milk goat in a few years, I do believe. Her mother, Zeeboo, is.

Mother's Day alpaca shearing

This is what I did ALL day mother's day. And it did take all day. I got there at 10 and left at 6. And there were 4 alpacas left to shear.

My friend Susan came Saturday afternoon and got Misha and Sugar to take them to her farm. This is them with the boys, waiting their turn.

                                                               Misha, being sheared.

                                            All done!I know he felt much better. And cooler.

                                                                        Here's Sugar King.

                                           He had some big fighting teeth that had to be cut off.

                                                 The boys, all done and back outside again! That light brown one on the left behind the white one, had the most beautiful wool ever. Like 3 different colors all over. So pretty and soft.

These are most of the girls, waiting their turn outside. Susan has some big girls! A few were rescues and hadn't been sheared in a few years. They had full bags when done.


                                   And here are my boys, back home again. Looking for their sheeps.

It was a very long busy day. I kept looking at the alpacas waiting to be sheared and it seemed like they kept adding more to the group! It was like a plate of spaghetti that never gets finished. I was the bagger. Susan had all the alpaca's names on baggies with 2 trash bags inside. One for the blanket, the good fiber, and another for 2nds. She had about 35 bags in a stall of hers. I wish I had gotten a picture of that. I brought home my 2 bags full.

I hope you all had a wonderful mother's day! And have a great week too!

I'll post about my new bees tomorrow.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Thursday, May 8, 2014


My 4 does, patiently waiting to get into the milk room. To eat. And to be milked. I'm milking all 4 now once a day. I also have my friend's 2 does that I'm milking twice a day. Fun! And lots of milk again. I have enough to make cheese. And to give my daughter, who's dog Daisy, had 7 of the cutest puppies 3 weeks ago. And is now pretty tired of being a mom. So she's bottle feeding them with goat milk. Silly mothers. I guess if I had 7 babies at once, I'd be a bit overwhelmed too.