Archive for March, 2007


Eleven new babies…

We came home from work to eleven new baby lambs at Mom and Dad’s. Katahdin, Dorper, and Romanov ewes all had babies yesterday. Overall the Katahdins have been really impressive as far as being prolific. We are considering crossing our texels ewes with Dad’s RR Katahdin ram. Hmm…. wonder how that will work.

The chickens are still doing well. We had 10 eggs Tuesday and 7 last night. Hope they keep it up. Still contemplating if we want to hatch out some bantie chicks. Not sure how we will keep track of which eggs we are hatching and which ones we are collecting. They stockpile eggs underneath them like crazy. One chicken had nine eggs under her in one day. They are funny!

We had really bad thunderstoms including small hail last night. Hope all the animals did okay. Our’s were shut in the the building and our llama, Hank, refused to come out this morning when Randy opened the gate. There was still lots of lightening so he probably figured he was too much of a target .~Smile

It’s the end of the work week for me! Yippee!


Good Report…

Dad got a good report at the doctor on Monday. He also got his yucky ol’ cast off, and is now in a walking boot and feeling like a new man. He still can’t put any pressure on it, but to be able to take the cast on and off is great.

He had another ewe have a single (a little boy). She was a yearling Dorper and not 100% sure about the whole baby thing. She’ll come around. We put her in a pen with the two sets of Katahdin triplets. We are running short on pens and still debating on the bottle lamb issue. We’ll get it figured out (just like everything else, we just wing it).~Smile

It’s supposed to storm really bad this evening, tonight, and tomorrow. It makes me a nervous wreck with so many animals outside. They are even calling for hail and tornadoes. Let’s hope the weatherman is wrong! I actually feel almost rested for the first time in weeks. We didn’t get to bed any earlier last night, but I think my body is just adjusting to running on less sleep. Not the healthiest thing, but once dd is back on his feet I will be back to getting a full night’s sleep.

Mom made a great dinner for us last night. She has been making us dinner a lot for helping them out. We had corned beef, potatotes, cabbage, corn, and pineapple. It was really good!

Have a great Wednesday!


Sheep Shearing 101…

We had a good weekend! Friday was spent on the road getting cutters sharpened so we could shear our sheep on Sunday. My dh wanted to learn so a friend of our came out to shear our sheep and give him a lesson. Saturday we got all the chores (our house and Mom and Dad’s) done early because another couple was coming out to spend the evening with us. We had a great time visiting with them! Sunday we planted 60 trees/shrubs at Mom and Dad’s. Mom cooked us all lunch, went home to rest up, and at 3:00 our sheep were getting sheared. Randy attempted to shear one of the sheep, but he was nervous he might cut one of them. Also, they are overly pregnant right now, and he just didn’t feel comfortable. The guy who sheared them for us is going to let Randy go with him when he does another small batch and take notes. Dad also offered for Randy to practice shearing his sheep. The equipment if fairly expensive, so we want to make sure it’s something he wants to do before investing in all of it. Dh has a bad back also, so we’re all a little worried it might be too hard on him. We finally finished shearing and got everything picked up at 8:00pm. We showered real quick, had egg sandwiches for dinner, and off to bed to start another week. Four o’clock came rather early for me this morning~LOL

Still no babies at our house, but one of Dad’s Katahdins had triplets. Go girl! One will be pulled for a bottle lamb, but we still haven’t decided how we’re going to get the little one mid-day bottles since we all work full-time. Possibly a nursing bucket will be put into action. Dad goes to the doctor today to check his broken ankle, so hopefully he gets a good report.

This morning dh and I were really dragging. We both wanted to call work and crawl back into bed. It’s going to have to be an early bedtime for us this evening.


Another tough weekend…

We had a rough weekend with the sheep. We had a mama at Dad’s house go into labor, have problems, I tried to pull the lambs, and couldn’t. We took her to the vet where he pulled twins (not alive). Dad was relieved we saved the ewe, but she died in the night Saturday. Her body had just been under too much stress for too long. The sheep have been taking out the electric fencing on a regular basis and helping themselves to the pasture. There are so many of them and some of them have wool, so they just push right through it hot or not.

We also managed to leave a gate unlatched and the donkey, Dusty, got out Friday. Then, we left a gate unlatched on Saturday and all the mamas and babies escaped into the front yard. Dad was in the house in bed and looked out the window to see about eight sheep eating out in the yard. We had gone back to our house to get our garden planted and received a phone call. Too many people in and out of gates to keep it all straight ~Smile

There is good news, however. When we brought the ewe home from the vet we arrived to a ewe with healthy twins (a boy and a girl). Doesn’t completely make up for the one we lost, but it helps.


Sheep Problems…

I won’t go too into detail, but let’s just say we are struggling with Dad’s sheep.  My db left for firefighting training yesterday evening, so we are short another person.  We had a ewe miscarry a baby lamb last night, however, she is wild and in a pen with 200 other sheep so we couldn’t catch her to separate her into a pen by herself.  If we don’t get her caught soon we risk losing her to infection, mastitis, or who knows what else.  We have another sick ewe, so sick we got her separated no problem.  We are doctoring her and hopefully she will make a full recovery.  It just breaks my heart to see them sick, in pain, and scared.  We are all starting to wear down and tempers and attitudes are starting to show the strain everyone is under.

On a happier note, our little bottle baby is looking better everyday.  He was so happy to see me yesterday (he had already eaten and wasn’t just hoping for food) we couldn’t crawl through the panels fast enough to get to me.  He is like a puppy and makes me smile.


2 pins and a plate…

Dad’s surgery went well.  He needed 2 pins and 1 plate to fix his broken ankle.  He had to stay the night again, so I’m sure he is anxious to get out of the hospital today.  I checked out some books at the library and bought him a crossword puzzle book to occupy his time. 

Mom was home early yesterday to help with chores.  It was a much better evening with her helping out at their house.  I made Tuna Casserole while Randy finished up our chores.  I stocked up on corned beef and cabbage for mom and I since it was on sale for St. Patrick’s Day.

I got my potatoes cut and curing for the garden.  They are supposed to set a week once they are cut, but they are going to get about 4 days.  I missed planting my peas “in the light of the moon” like the Farmer’s Almanac says, but my root crop will get planted in the “dark of the moon” as it advises. 

Besides getting our garden going, another goal for the weekend is to get a permanent area fenced for the chickens.  The girls laid 7 eggs Monday and 7 more on Tuesday.  There are feathers everywhere, so we are preparing for an even greater decline in their production shortly. 

Took pictures, but my rechargeable batteries went dead before I could download them.  The batteries are charging, so I promise to have some soon.

Have a great Wednesday!


Broken Ankle…

Over the weekend my dad was working on the roof at my mom’s store in town.  The ladder shifted as he was coming down causing him to fall and break his ankle.  He is scheduled to have sugery today and will be out of commission for at least 4 weeks, possibly longer.

In the meantime my db, dh, dm, and myself are left in charge of the farm.  He has approximately 300 sheep on his farm most of which are preparing to lamb, need sheared, wormed, vaccinated, etc.  Not to mention the 60 acres left to set posts and fence in and wheat, barley, and milo harvest all coming up.

The four of us are all extremely exhausted from the weekend.  We had to go to the co-op with the gravity cart for bulk corn, the guys went for a load of alfalfa, dh and I drove an hour away to get a pickup, db built 15-20 feeders for the sheep, dh and I put up electric fencing and hung two gates, and along with dd’s place kept up with our chickens, sheep, llama, cats, and dogs.  Whew!

It’s going to be a long spring!

My brother leaves tomorrow for firefighting class, so we will be on our own through the weekend.  Randy and I hope to get an area fenced for our chickens since they keep getting out of the makeshift one we threw up Saturday afternoon.  We also hope to get a few things planted in the garden. 

We are also a rooster down as they have been starting to fight and we had to downsize.  A hen may have gotten involved as well as one was bleeding last night when I did chores.  We are getting a block for them to peck on and hopefully butchering two more roosters this weekend.

Wish us luck!

Adopting one child won't change the world; but for that child, the world will change.

I am the wife to my wonderful husband and joint care giver to the many animals we have acquired on our small farm here on the prairie. This is a bit about our life on our farm. We are striving for simplicity and self-sufficiency, determined to become debt-free, trying to live in tune with the natural cycles of this earth, and challenging ourselves to transition to a diet based on traditional foods. It isn't always easy, and we don't always succeed, but it is a fun learning process. Join us as we stumble through learning how to provide for ourselves, get off the treadmill, and work toward a simpler way of life.

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March 2007
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