Summer Sheep…

The sheep have been doing marvelous this summer despite the hotter than usual temperatures that have been here this summer.  In their home land, Icelandic sheep typically deal with a summer time average temperature of 78 degrees, we have been having mid 90’s.  I’m thankful that we don’t have a lot of humidity too!  We have been supplementing lots of extra B vitamins in their water tanks everyday along with extra cobalt, selenium and copper.  (Don’t worry, Icelandics need a lot more copper than most traditional sheep to stay healthy.)

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Lambs have been growing quick and have a wonderful fleece on them already!

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X-tra Special…

Well it finally happened.  After 6 years of shepherding we have our first bottle baby.  Right now no one seems to mind and have affectionately called the little ewe lamb, Snoopy.

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This was an extra special feeding since the kids were able to share it with their cousin!  IMG_1877 IMG_1878 IMG_1880 IMG_1883 IMG_1884 IMG_1885

We are hoping to be able to graft little Snoopy onto the next ewe that has a single.

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Doing the rounds…

 

Emma has loved being my little helper!  She makes sure all the lambies get their daily dose of loving!

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Even Thor gets to enjoy her loving…P4271445

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Friday Farm Daze…

Another very busy week here…

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Eggs in a lambing jug…

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A very cute Fleur…

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Handsome Draumer…

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Keeping a watchful eye…

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Birch and Sam…

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Iris

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Very close, I hope, to lambing…

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Part Border Collie, part lamb…little Charlie loves to chase the chickens.

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Proud Mama, Drifa!

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Drifa with her ram lamb Finn, and ewe lamb Fern.

Finn, was the first to arrive and had a perfect delivery.  Little Fern was the last to make her appearance. Her front feet were coming out but no head. She had it way off to the side and twisted back. At 2 am I was convinced this was a headless lamb… I was about to give up fishing for it when it last I caught hold of it. It took several more minutes trying to align it correctly and finally pull her out. She span right to life and got busy looking for something to eat!

Drifa is such a good mamma. She was holding perfectly still while letting little Finn nurse and was licking little Fern off right after she was born. Fern, while trying to figure out her legs kept going backwards and Drifa would stretch her neck a little further and keep cleaning and holding perfectly still!

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The chicken stomper, Miss Freckles! Poor henny was just trying to find a spot to lay eggs, she decided that next Freckles baby was not the spot!

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Eking closer!

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Mr Flint…

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Adorable Miss Freya…

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A happy Thor dog…

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Snoozing

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Snuggling…

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The boys delivering eggs…

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Peaceful…

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The sun came out for a brief moment.

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Mother and last year’s daughter…

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The miracle of birth (Do you see the tiny hooves making their appearance?)

Chicks…

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Yep,we went by the feed store today….P4010017

But aren’t they cute?

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Zayne had to wear gloves cause the baby chick was tickling him too much!

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All settled in.

We came home with 3 Barred Rocks, 3 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 1 Lakenvelders (thanks to Zayne!), 4 Buff Opingtons, 4 Patridge Rocks and 3 Light Brahmas.  All supposedly pullets.  It’s always so fun to have the little peepers around!

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Preparing for Lambing…

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With some of ewes taking on the appearance of swallowing barrels, whole, we have been busying ourselves preparing for lambing…

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Mark moved the sheds to the maternity pen, which will be transformed into lambing jugs.

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Zayne, watching all the activity…

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The best fencing crew, ever.  They are replacing fencing with some hog panels so we will have easier access to both pens.

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Moving manure to one of the many compost piles…

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A first time lamber, bagging up!

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I think we managed to catch these two with artificial insemination!  (We are members of a coop that  imported semen from Iceland)

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We still have a bunch of work to do, it always seems never ending but we are getting closer.   I need to recheck and clean out the vet box and lambing supplies this week and make sure I have everything we might need. Watch for lambs within the next two weeks!

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Trouble!!

Echo and Ewecalyptus; twin, moorit, grey, horned, one winter ewe lambs, decided they could both eat out of the same spot in the feeder….

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It’s not unusual to have a couple mashed together in one spot and all appeared well so I continued with morning chores.  About 45 minutes later ended up running back up to the barn with boys to help them feed the ewes and lambs in jugs.  I noticed these two still in the same spot…yep stuck!   Thankfully they didn’t seem to upset about the whole thing.  Sawyer had to help me unlatch the panels and play untangle the sheep for a few minutes.    Once freed they took off bucking and kicking, excited to be loose.

We’ve been using these round bale feeders for a couple of months and seem to work great, especially for polled sheep and have only had a few minor altercations with the horned ewes.  They keep the sheep off the bale so they aren’t  pooing and peeing on top of the hay.  The feeders extend the life of the bale (for us) from 3 days to 5 without any loss in body condition in the ewes.  They really do help from wasting hay.  We ended up with lots of round bales this year so trying to figure out how to use them efficiently and safely has been quite the challenge.  We only have two of these feeders which are in the ewes pen.    We put a round bale in with the rams and they ate a whole through the bale which then collapsed on top of them killing one.  Urgh!   So now we put the bale on the ground and take the wrap off if it and then push it over on its side.  So far so good.  What a juggling act trying to find that balance.

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Glorious 24hrs…

I just knew it would be a glorious day, the morning was bright with sun and blue skies!

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It had been a bit of a frosty night!

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I’m not sure why these 4 decide to roost outside?

There are signs of spring everywhere…

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I was able to escape the farm and all my responsibilities for a couple of hours and took a little drive to Glacier Park, more blue skies!

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These two pictures are straight out of the camera using a couple of different settings…

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I stayed for the sunset too! 🙂

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Even more exciting this morning,  bright and early,  Hayden ran up to the barn to check the ewes before we left for church and found a ewe missing…

He found her in the barn with an extra!

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The wonderful madness has begun!!!  Maddie’s Suffolk ewe, Elizabeth lambed without assistance in the wee hours of the morning to an adorable little ewe lamb!   Our Icelandics are not due for another 3 weeks though.

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Bedded down…

Post-shearing… (if you missed our shearing experience last week go here)

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Thankfully, the weather has remained fairly mild this week and by Saturday we are suppose to hit 50 degrees!!

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Even though we have several sheds and a barn for them to bed down in, they are just content to lay in the rows of straw next to their feeders.

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There was also a visitor checking out the activities below him….

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