Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Sketches of Spring
I would have a host of pictures, but I have been so busy (and to lazy) to format them for the blog. They shall come....
There was an attempted snow yesterday, but we've had some wonderfully warm days. The orchard is blossoming and daffodils are everywhere. Unfortunately it's been chilling back up just in time for my last ewes to lamb.
Instead of pictures here are some written snap shots of the farm.
~This time of the year the Katahdins spend nearly 24/7 out in the pasture. (If there is rain, clouds, or darkness the goats and dairy sheep stay indoors.) The lambs spend most of the day running from the barn to the pasture and back. So cute!
~Nine baby goats in one pen is as entertaining as TV.
~One of our neighbors (the ones who raised the huge caboodle of Boers) sold all their stock on Sunday. All except one....They very graciously gave back the doe we sold them when they first got started! I came home from church to find a mini Ella in one of my quarantine pens. She's a real blessing and will save me two years on raising a different Ella baby to start milking.
I'm currently working her (formally known here as Nobby and now Capri) milk back up after she weaned her kids. It's going much better then I expected. She is just as relaxed and sweet and all around dairish as her mom. Hopefully she won't follow in her mom's foot steps of being a big ol' boss. I'll just have to wait for her blood tests results to see how she does with them all.
~We had our first Boers go the way Boer's were intended to go. :-P We'll see it if was all worth it.
~Whenever I come down to early or to late for normal chores the critters are out in the pasture. The sheep are easy to get in, and if they weren't it wouldn't matter to much. I don't have to milk them.
The goats? Not so much.
I'm separating Ella and Ginny at night so their easy. The other day I'd finished the inbarn goats and I was ready for the pasture girls. They were not ready. I chugged out to the pasture and called for them. Penny made some half hearted steps back to the barn, but got distracted. I went back into the barn thinking they would surely come back in after the saw me. Nope.
I ran the milk I'd already milked up to the house to start chilling and put Ella and Ginny back with the gang.
Ella, of course, tromped out the pasture with her triplets, told everybody what was what and turned right back around and led them all in. How can they all fear her so much but be incapable of make the simple decision to return to the barn without her?
~Miss Lonely is now the happiest, fattest growing baby on the farm but still considers it her duty to wail hoarsely whenever she sees a human.
~We had our first surprise lambs in 11 years.
Our power was out from about 3-10pm yesterday. When it looked like I wasn't going to have power for chores I hurried down to try and get the five goats milked before the milk room was completely dark. I'd gotten through goat four when I went out to feed the ewe lambs and dairy mom's. Darkness can do funny things, but there really was two itty-bitty lambs in there!
Dotty had delivered two ewe lambs no problem. They were fat, happy, and frisking!
I would have loved to let her grow that full year. She is a gorgeous ewe and hopefully will still grow some more. Lambing early always cuts their growth short.
She was one of my main candidates for a yearling at the state fair. She did well last year and if she's anything like her mom she should be a lovely big yearling by September. We'll see. She's out of Amelia's triplets last year and is my biggest and oldest ewe lamb.
This puts her with babies at 13 months. It could be worse. She doesn't have a lot of milk yet, but it should come in. Two ewe lambs (no matter how tiny) are always a blessing. ;-) Dotty still looks as prosperous as ever. It certainly doesn't seem to have affected her too much weight wise. She's still filled out. Just tiny babies. We'll see how she does next year.
But then there is the big question. How did this happen? Well, the only ram that has been near her is Westlock and back in October at three months. Katahdins do mature early...but that is very early. Do I need to start weaning my ram lambs even earlier?
I think I need to trust my instincts a bit more with the critters. A few days ago I was just remarking to one of the family, "Wow, Dotty has a mature udder for a yearling. Maybe it's just cause she's fat everywhere." Ding, ding, ding. I feel very stupid.
I think that's enough for one day.... Back to the action.
Thanks for reading,
Drowsy Waters Farm