Growing Gooslings and Ducklings….

It’s a little warmer today with just a gentle breeze and promises of being warmer tomorrow!  Just thought I would show ya how much these guys have grown….
Aren't they getting big...they even honk now!

Aren't they getting big? They even make the cutest little honks now!

I think we ended up with all girly ducks!

I think we ended up with all girly ducks!

These guys are fun to watch...

These guys are fun to watch...

Badgerface Babies…

Keeping cozy by the fire...
Keeping cozy by the fire…

It’s still cold and windy here, luckily we’ve been keeping warm by the fire with the last of this year’s wood.

The last of this year's wood, hopefully it warms up soon!
The last of this year’s wood, hopefully it warms up soon!
Last night after 4-H, it was dark when they all got home and Sawyer ran up to the barn to do his last feeding for his steer and noticed one of our yearling ewe’s with a baby laying beside her.  By the time Mark and I got up there we noticed that there were two lambs on opposite ends of the barn.  We were trying to figure out who had lambed when  we noticed both of the last of the yearling ewes had after-birth hanging out of them. One lamb was still very wet and the other was fairly dried, but both were up and trying to nurse.   It is always nice to be able to go up to the barn and find that a successful delivery had just occured, but I feel a little jipped cause I just like to watch the whole process.  ;D    Oh well!  We then were trying to move mommas and babies to jug’s and the ewe’s were just not too sure about everything that just happened to them and were not real cooperative.  We had to do some quick shuffling of jugs as they were all full, but after a few minutes everyone was settled in their new pens.  Neither of the ewes would stand still long enough to let their baby nurse and decided to move as soon as they would latch on.  So we then threw them some alfalfa and soon each one was able to sneak in and grab a couple quick gulps.  ( I’m always afraid to throw in food to early on these moms, just- in-case a they get too involved in eating and forget their babies!) Each time the lambs latched on, the ewes would stand a little longer and calm down a little more (thank goodness for that natural oxytocin let down that calms the ewes the more the lambs nurse!).  Pretty soon everyone was settled and happy.
Badger one of the horned black badgerface rams...

Badger one of the horned black badgerface rams...

Birth weight: 7lbs. 4oz.
Bronco-The other horned black badgergace ram...

Bronco-The other horned black badgerface ram...

Birth Weight: 7lbs. 2oz.

Only three left to lamb! 

 

Tally for now: 7 rams and 7 ewes!

What’s the buzz about? Peeping toms…

Trip to Murdocks=More Poultry
I *should* know this!
We picked up 6 little peepers on Saturday when Sawyer wanted to find a straw hat.  I didn’t  even have any little kids with me to blame it on this time!  ;-D
A little bronze turkey...

A little bronze turkey...

 

A little giant white turkey...

A little giant white turkey...

 

And then yesterday Mark’s birthday present arrived!

The label...

The label...

Teigen checking them out..

Teigen checking them out..

Mark's Top Bar Hive that he built

Mark's Top Bar Hive that he built

Mark and his bees
Mark and his bees
Mark removing the queen box...

Mark removing the queen box...

Mark dumping the bees in...

Mark dumping the bees in...

Happily in their new home...

Happily in their new home...

He even managed to get everyone into their new home without a sting!

Wet and Cold…

It has been a long day today.  Sawyer and I have been outside all today with a ewe that lambed today and doctoring another lamb that was born yesterday that has scours.  To top things off it has been really cold and blowy sitting up in the barn all day long.  The ewe is a first time mom and had a lovely black grey ewe lamb, she wasn’t too sure she was quite ready to become a mom and sorta snuffed the baby to begin with.  She lambed right in the middle of the breeze way of the barn where it was…very breezy and cold.  I wanted to move baby and mom to a lambing jug and out of the cold, but I didn’t want to scare mom off.  So we just stood and watched mom decide whether or not she was going to accept her new addition.  She just stood there for the longest time dazed and just staring at her lamb as it crawled toward her, she finally decided to take a little lick and then another and another.  Finally she decided that licking this little thing might be ok.  After it looked like she was going to accept the little lady we moved her to the jug where she finished cleaning and drying her off.  She even let her nurse eventually and both are now doing quite well.

Kolfinna's black grey ewe lamb...

Kolfinna's black grey ewe lamb, Bliss...

Yesterday after we came back from church we checked the ewes and found two mamma’s laying down laboring and one little baby running around.  Sawyer’s ewe lamb Astrid lambed and had a handsome spotted black ram.  He weighed in at 8lbs 12 oz.
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The other ewe Dyr also lambed, but her first presented hind legs first so we ended up pulling her.  She required a quick swing and some brisk rubbing and came to life fairly easy.  She is an adorable moorit grey spotted ewe weighing in 6lbs 5oz.  A while later she lambed again (with most of the kids watching of course) to a stillborn  black badgerface ram.  It’s always so not fun to hear your kids plead to a dead lamb to live.  The fragility of life  is one of those things that kids learn early when they own animals. 
Dyr's ewe lamb, a moorit grey spotted ewe.

Dyr's ewe lamb, a moorit grey spotted ewe.

The pigs burrowing down into the straw trying to warm up...

The pigs burrowing down into the straw trying to warm up...

Leeks in the garden with snow...

Leeks in the garden with snow...

Chicken tracks in the snow...

Chicken tracks in the snow...

Strawberries with snow...

Strawberries with snow...

Working the Garden…

The hens were loving were Mark had worked up the garden!

The hens were loving where Mark had worked up the garden!

Mark rototilling the garden, getting it nice and smooth...

Mark rototilling the garden, getting it nice and smooth...

Strawberry rows that need weeding already...

Strawberry rows that need weeding already...

Strawberry plants are up and going despite the cool weather...

Strawberry plants are up and going despite the cool weather...

Raspberry bushes leafing out too...

Raspberry bushes leafing out too...

Asparagus needs to go in soon...

Asparagus needs to go in soon...

Rhubarb too...

Rhubarb too...

Currents, Gooseberries, and Blueberries needing to be transplanted...

Currents, Gooseberries, and Blueberries needing to be transplanted...

Two apple trees and three plum trees...

Two apple trees and three plum trees too...

Friday Farm Daze…catching up on the past week…

These last few weeks we have had a bit going on….
An egg laying party...
The hens threw an egg laying party…
I went to go collect eggs when the boys were gone this week and found three hens (a Buff Orpington, a Cuckoo 
Maran, and a Blue Andalusian) scrunched into 1 nesting box.
A cute cowboy...

A cowboy being too cute...

A beautiful sunset...

Watching a beautiful sunset on another day...

A cute lamb...

Lambing...

Our first milking experience.....

Our first milking experience.....

We had a ewe with clogged teat, the wax plug couldn’t be sucked out by either of the lambs.  This left momma a bit lop sided and sore.  So after restraining her we were able to determine it wasn’t mastitis and unclogged the teat.  We milked her out on that side, froze some colostrum in a baggy and put the hungry lambs back on the newly milked down side and both momma and lambs were happy again.
A tired little boy...

Taking a nap...

The little boys and girls decided to switch bedrooms this week, leaving a tired Teigen who took a nap in a dresser drawer!

Ram stew...yum!

Re-creating supper...ram stew...yum!

We ended up having to butcher one of our rams because of horn issues and we had a leg of ram for Easter that was a huge hit.  It then lived on to be a wonderful stew found here.  I have a confession to make here….I don’t like lamb…there I said it…so why do I raise sheep?  To give me grey hair…oh no I guess that’s why I had so many kids.  ;D  I always thought it would be neat to raise sheep but what would I do with the meat?   Why raise something if you can’t enjoy consuming it… finally bit the bullet so to say and tried the Icelandic version of it…and now I’m hooked!  Even this 2 year old ram was milder than any other lamb I have tried thus far. It was so mild and actually tasted wonderful, not like an old sock.   Problem solved! 

Not sheep friendly....

Keeping predators at bay...

 I think I was nearly scared to death the other night!  At 2 am after checking ewes I checked to make sure the fence was plugged in by making the handle of the gate ark  with the hot wire when I pulled it close.  Last year we had 5 sheep killed by either coyotes or a mountain lion, so making sure the fence is on is very important.  The kids had been out earlier in the pasture flying kites and must not have plugged the fence back in, so I headed over to the pump house to plug it in.  The pump house is just yards from the house…I decided that night to just let Sawyer sleep and went all the way up to the barn in the dark by myself….and of course the whole way up there I’m thinking of mountain lions and coyotes as I walk past our ferocious sleeping-out like a light- guard dog and then all the way back down…so when I pointed my light over toward the pump house and seen two big glowing eyes and the outline of a big coyote…(at least he seemed big to a tired momma at 2 in the morning with an overactive imagination)  I nearly wet my pants… or screamed… or something.  But I must have scared it too ’cause it took off out there almost as fast as I did!  

Anyway, looking forward to more lambs this next week and playing in the garden.

Do you smell what I smell?

I hope not, it’s good thing they haven’t invented a device that lets you smell through your computers yet!  But I suppose it is that time of year again.  Last night Maddie and her daddy got to go pick out fair pigs…
Here is the pair of barrows...

Here is the pair of barrows...

They each weigh around 60 lbs and will grow to the market of weight of between 220-280lbs, all in 4 months time!  Maddie will show the better of the two hogs and sell it at the market sale at the fair.  The other will…well let’s just say he’ll take up residence in our freezer.
What do the other animals think….
What are these things?

What *are* these things?

Aside from their awesome meat, pigs are great little tillers of the land. They push up the dirt in search of little tidbits and gems to eat, leaving behind a well plowed path.  Our plan is to let them into the lambing jugs after the sheep are done lambing and let them clean that up and then let them clean all the bedding out of the barn that has accumulated through out the winter.  When they are finished in there we will then composting the rest for our garden.
What is that smell?

What *is* that smell?

They really aren’t that bad…right now…the poor neighbors, hopefully the breeze will blow away from their house!
They're even sorta cute...right now anyway.

They're even sorta cute...right now anyway.

I’m seeing spots….

But without the dizziness…I think!   ;D   I suppose spots are to be expected though when both our  rams are spotted.  We have been having a lambing-palousa today!   My older kids were going to get up this morning and do chores alone, to let me get caught up on a little bit of sleep.  I heard Tori leave to go feed the calf and smiled to myself and snuggled down in my covers to drift off only to be awaken a minute later by the door bell ringing and Tori yelling something about a lamb coming, but there only being  a head out!  So much for more sleep…it’s highly over rated anyway…coffee is better…lots of coffee…and maybe some chocolate…dark chocolate…yeah!  Anyway I jumped out of bed and threw a baseball cap on, my coveralls, a warm jacket and gloves as I  heard the wind blowing.  Sawyer was already to the barn when I reached the gate and I heard him yell back that everything was okay and that the front feet were there too.  Yeah!  So we watched her (Kaffi, a solid black horned ewe) bring forth a big beautiful black spotted ewe lamb…

Kaffi's black spotted ewe lamb, weighing in at 10lbs. 4oz!

Kaffi's black spotted ewe lamb, weighing in at 10lbs. 4oz!

She has some pretty neat markings, when she was being birthed she was trying to tell us what gender she was.  Do you see the U above her nose?  U for ewe!  She also looks as if she halter on and…
See the heart on her side too?

See the heart on her side too?

Kaffi is our best motherly ewe, she did a great job of cleaning off her lamb and letting her nurse.  We are having rotten weather here today, very gusty winds and spitting snow-not great lambing weather.  I watched the lamb and she seemed to be chilling and shivering so I heated up a rice sock and put on her belly and finished drying her with a towel.
Me warming the lamb...

Me warming the lamb...

While warming the lamb I heard another ewe making noise and *thought* I heard a new lamby cry, but then thought maybe some one was still hungry as the kids just threw some hay into pens to quite them down and came back to watch the birth.  So when I was done and had made sure the baby nursed one more time, I checked the ewes we have in the barn that we were expecting to lamb the soonest.   Nothing going on there.  And then I glanced out to the expecting ewe lamb pen and seen a tiny spotted lamb out there.  I didn’t expect any one to be lambing out there any time soon, but Louisa had.  This was her first lamb and when Sawyer tried to move the lamb into a jug she wouldn’t follow, so he put it back outside with her and we left them alone for a while longer.  After they had bonded for a while longer, I then went out and grabbed the baby and was able to get her to follow into a  jug.  Louisa had him nicely cleaned and he had been up and nursed already.  I guess in the excitement of the morning while I was watching Kaffi lamb and when Tori and Sawyer fed we didn’t notice her laboring, but this definitely added more excitement to our day.
Louisa's moorit (I believe anyway) spotted lamb.

Louisa's moorit (I believe anyway) spotted lamb, Blotch.

He weighed in at 6lbs. 12 oz. a good size for those first time moms.  I can’t quite tell if he is  moorit or black, I’ll have to check again next time I’m out.  What a bunch of cuties and an exciting day!  It wasn’t until when I finally came back to the house at 2 to warm up and eat, that when I took my bibs and coat off that I realized I was still in my p.j.’s!  Oh well, maybe I should just take a nap now.  Sounds tempting.  Anyway this brings our tally to 5 ewes and 4 rams and we still have 8 ewes to left to lamb.
Louisa and Blotch, Sawyer's sheep.

Louisa and Blotch, some of Sawyer's sheep.