The Boys and Their Lambs…

It’s always a busy time of the year when the kids pick out their fair lambs in April.  The next 4 1/2 months are busy spent training, walking, washing, shearing, their lambs.  This year they went to a 3 day camp in Bozeman to learn more about showmanship, lamb care, shearing with a jackpot on the last day.    IMG_9114 IMG_8894 IMG_8846 IMG_8834 IMG_8828 IMG_8824 IMG_8816-2 IMG_8743 IMG_3727

Kids walking their lambs…IMG_3676

Garrett shearing his own lamb…IMG_3655

Garrett helping some kids with showmanship…IMG_3732

Getting ready for fair…IMG_3731 IMG_3728

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Thank goodness for grandmas who will stop and feed the starving kids on her way home from work.  The first couple days of fair are extremely busy and we generally eat really late but grammy had pity on us and fed us.IMG_3736

Practicing with his lamb…IMG_3735

Then show day!

Waiting for his turn to show…IMG_3808

This year at fair they worked very hard and Garrett and Hayden ended up being in the final round for showmanshipIMG_3805 IMG_3790

Even, Teigen did very well in showmanship for his first year.IMG_3785 IMG_3782 IMG_3780 IMG_3777 IMG_3771

Waiting for the “market” portion of fair.IMG_3767 IMG_3764 IMG_3746 IMG_3742 IMG_3739

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Hayden even won a purple ribbon in market placing in the top 8 out of 60 lambs for market.  🙂IMG_3820 IMG_3771 IMG_3764 IMG_3750 IMG_3741

Then comes the last day of fair, the last day of the project.  They have sold their lambs to local businesses and they have to load their lambs up on the trailer that is headed to the processor.  There are generally lots of tears and sadness but the kids understand where their food comes from and have a deeper appreciation because of it.  Something that is lacking in todays culture..

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American Robin…

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Cool Facts

  • An American Robin can produce three successful broods in one year. On average, though, only 40 percent of nests successfully produce young. Only 25 percent of those fledged young survive to November. From that point on, about half of the robins alive in any year will make it to the next. Despite the fact that a lucky robin can live to be 14 years old, the entire population turns over on average every six years.

  • Although robins are considered harbingers of spring, many American Robins spend the whole winter in their breeding range. But because they spend more time roosting in trees and less time in your yard, you’re much less likely to see them. The number of robins present in the northern parts of the range varies each year with the local conditions.

  • Robins eat a lot of fruit in fall and winter. When they eat honeysuckle berries exclusively, they sometimes become intoxicated.

  • Robin roosts can be huge, sometimes including a quarter-million birds during winter. In summer, females sleep at their nests and males gather at roosts. As young robins become independent, they join the males. Female adults go to the roosts only after they have finished nesting.

  • Robins eat different types of food depending on the time of day: more earthworms in the morning and more fruit later in the day. Because the robin forages largely on lawns, it is vulnerable to pesticide poisoning and can be an important indicator of chemical pollution.

  • The oldest recorded American Robin was 13 years and 11 months old.

For more information please go here…

Going on outside our office window…

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Wild Bird Wednesday

The BIRD D’pot

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Rurality Blog Hop #74

Lambing!

To say it’s been a busy past week and half around the farm is a bit of an understatement!

Our first delivery was a horrible, terrible, no-good thing.  Aubrey was absolutely huge, we figured she would have two large lambs or even triplets.  I noticed she was starting to go into labor and was chasing other ewes and chickens out of one of the hoop houses we had built.  She would lay down, push, get up, lay down, push, get up… but she wasn’t progressing.  I could tell she was tiring and was having a hard time getting up so we jugged her and checked her.  She was only dilated just a little bit, so we let her keep working.  We checked her again in about a half hour and found she was pretty much fully dilated but her membranes where still intact.  So my husband decided to the dead and break her waters and oh my… There was soooo much fluid, we could visibly watch her shrink and were afraid we would get washed away in the flood.  I have never seen so much fluid out of a sheep.

We checked the ewe to see how the lambs were presented but could only feel the tip of a hoof way in deep, so we let her work a bit more.   When we checked her again, things had not changed and had to really work at getting the lamb out.  At times we thought we had parts to two different lambs… After working hard for two hours we were finally able to get the little guy out.  Unfortunately he didn’t make it, and after checking her again we found that was the only one.  😦

After some research we found out the ewe developed Hydrops, which means there was most likely something wrong with the lamb that made the ewe produce so much amniotic fluid. And since the ewe’s uterus was so stretched out from the amniotic fluid her contractions were ineffective. Almost always the lamb dies and the majority of the time the ewe dies as well.  It has been reported in cows to actually split the pelvic bone from so much pressure.  Others report that mamas die from malnourishment, once again caused from so much pressure of the amniotic fluid squishing the stomachs and the ewe not able to eat enough.  So we felt fortunate enough that ewe lived, generally this won’t happen again and she will hopefully go on to have normal sheepy pregnancy next time.

Oiy, after that ordeal, I was a bit hesitant for the next ewes to lamb but so far just about every delivery has been about perfect!  We have had a couple of deliveries with only one hoof and a head and have had to fish out the other leg.  Lambs have been vigorous and up within minutes of delivery looking for food.  We’ve had a couple of first-timers that weren’t too sure about this whole mama thing, but with a little time and a little help have turned out to be great mothers.

This picture was of one of our first deliveries that a few of the kids had gathered to watch…IMG_4076IMG_4034 IMG_4036 IMG_4042

A very handsome black grey spotted ram lamb…IMG_4048 IMG_4053 IMG_4060

A little watcher…

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A handsome moorit (brown) mouflon ram lamb…IMG_4077 IMG_4086 IMG_4090 IMG_4098

A sweet little  white patterned ewe…IMG_4102

A beautiful black mouflon ewe lamb…IMG_4107

Ella and her two ewe lambs… IMG_4115 IMG_4124

Lots more lamb pictures to come!

Springing Out…

Sure has been feeling like Spring around here, yesterday we had almost 80 degree weather!  It’s ‘only’ 62 here today, and we can really feel the difference.  IMG_5076

Some of the trees are budding out…IMG_5073 IMG_5074

Even the bushes are growing plump buds…IMG_5106 IMG_5106 IMG_5099 IMG_5111 IMG_5115

The Service Berry bushes and starting to leaf out, this one even has an old berry still attached that the birds missed.IMG_5123 IMG_5134 IMG_5201 IMG_5156

Crocus are popping up too!IMG_3675IMG_3671

Oregon Grape is starting to get flower buds on it too!IMG_5176

Macro Monday

Today’s Flowers

Shine the Divine