Lambs photos will follow. But first a photo of a good workout. As you can see there is much hay, straw, and poop to remove from one of these pens. So today, this was most of my workout. The mother in the back with lambs was the other part. She wasn’t interested in coming in for two of bonding. She is the 4th new mother in 3 days.
I had a request for lamb photos and these are what I was able to capture today.
Most are Cormos as the Shetlands are just starting to have their babies. This last photo is Shetlands. The mothers yesterday and today had the same color babies, with them being ewe lambs yesterday and today they were ram lambs.
I did find time to gather in a 4 gallon pail of Swiss Chard. It seems nothing discourages this vegetable, which is good, since it is actually good for the body. It is now cooked and in the freezer.
The rush to be St Patrick’s babies started a day early, and maybe because of the new moon. These are Poly and her ram and ewe lamb. She had them yesterday, but still hasn’t decided if she wants to keep both. So it’s possible there could be another bottle baby, but I really hope not.
Then last night Zelda decided she couldn’t hold out another day and had twin ewe lambs. These are Shetlands and 1/2 the size of the Cormos, weighing in about 4#.
This afternoon, Zoe, another Shetland, got it right. These are the St Patrick day lambs. At least as of right now. Sometimes a sheep will not give any indications that she is going to give birth and other times, she looks like it for a week or two ahead of time. Zelda didn’t indicate. We’ve been watching Zoe for 2 weeks. The orange color on the coat indicates it was a difficult labor and will wear off soon.
These sheep will have incredible fiber next spring and most of them will have moved on to their new homes. It will be difficult parting with them
This afternoon we went tractor hunting. We had already looked at the John Deere, so today was Kubota day. There are many choices and though we were looking at the lower end, these creators cost plenty. So how do we find a used one that we won’t have to spend a lot on repairs? I don’t yet know, but will try to learn. Farming is expensive and labor intensive! Even though I don’t want to pay any more than I absolutely have to for my food, I also realize how inexpensive it really is to go to the grocery store and purchase it. I am thankful to those who spend their time and energy in this way.
This little mountain lap quilt is now ready to quilt. It will measure about 53″ square when finished.
We had 15, mostly Cormo sheep left to shear for this year. Elizabeth came with lots of energy, ready to shear the rest of them. She is so calm with them, they nearly fall asleep while she is shearing them. And now 2018 shearing is done
Babies find a mom who will tolerate their climbing – at least until she is sheared. And they do need a ladder to reach into this feeder.
See this handsome fellow? The head and horns are incredible! Sheep are very visual and after shearing do not recognize each other. So there is much noise because babies can’t find their mothers, and the ewes don’t know each other. The two males had to re-establish their pecking order, which meant they were brutal to each other. We have to put the males in a very small pen for a day or two so they don’t have room to back up and get a run at each other and kill the opponent. The two boys were in a 4 x 6′ area with chain link on three sides and 2 x 12″ lumber on the other. They bent the chain link and were trying to go through the wood. They were acquainted with each other enough this morning that we were able to put them back in their big one acre pen with hot wire. If you ever see two of these fellows establishing who is primary, you will have a very good understanding of the word “ram”.
Here is Beau in the car with all the bags of wool. He is making sure the car is not moving without him in it.
Fleece, fleece everywhere and we must skirt it to make it ready to sell. Then there is the web page to make and the shows to enter.
And now have your tissue box ready as this is that funny https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92lofCtx52k
I left the gate lock open so Beau could follow me up to the barn, and apparently when he pushed it open, the gate came tumbling down. When I started back to the house, this is what I saw. This is only one of the reasons, it is difficult to accomplish what is on my list. It is a vicious cycle trying to keep everything from wearing out before one is done using it. In our case, fence posts have been here long enough that some of the posts are rotting.
I have now completed two pattern repeats on “As time goes by” socks. I think I will need 5 repeats, so 3 more to go. This name just seems so appropriate as the time has been flying by.
The big equipment fellows finally came back this week and are once again working. They left the machine here all winter, so I can only assume it was too wet to need it. They are now removing dead trees and blackberry brambles. Then we can plant pasture
Another unfinished project. The iris didn’t get weeded much last summer, but they are still volunteering to come back up and give us a show of beauty this summer.
Some days it feels as if I spend the entire day feeding triplets, even though that is not true. It just seems that way. This morning for the first time in 3 weeks, I was able to spend my hour at the gym. Although I come home tired, it is worth the time. I try to get a rest time on those days, for at least half an hour. However do humans who have triplets manage all this – they can’t walk away for 2 or 3 hours, knowing all will be safe until they return?
This afternoon we made a quick trip to the church with some gloves we picked up for the homeless as JoAnn’s is having their sale to move out winter items. They were at a terrific buy at $.50/pair and perfect for this in barely above freezing weather. This is Beau’s favorite place. He loves it when we can include him in a car trip. I must have 2 dog biscuits. One when he gets into the car, then the second is expected when I come back to the car from wherever it is that I had to go, whether for 10 minutes or for a quick trip to a door. He is such a funny boy!
In between feedings, I also get to slip in the fun things like laundry, cooking, and some cleaning. I’m hoping to visit the sewing studio tomorrow, but there are more plants that need to be put into the ground as well. This is such a wonderful, busy time of the year.
It seems my life is currently measured in 4 hour time blocks.
6 AM: feed babies, check everyone, and let them outside for the day.
Home to a selected project for an hour and a half before prepping breakfast
10 AM: feed babies, sheep check, and give mothers food and fresh water
Home to normal daily activities such as laundry, minimal housework, etc
2 PM: feed babies, again the check on everyone
Usually by this time, I need to take a rest or at least find an activity that sits me down
6 PM: feed babies, feed adults plus water and close the doors for the night.
Family time, worship, and maybe knitting time
10 PM: feed babies, last check on everyone plus any needed water
Home to drop until 5:30 AM time to prepare bottles again.
Bottles babies are a lot of extra trouble, and it only lasts 2 months, but on the other hand, one does have to delegate the time blocks so they don’t get away. After the first feeding, I try to use that hour plus to sew, quilt, plant, or check on my seed growing for the hoop house.
Since we are still doing renovations to the barn, that takes supervision and choices as well during the day. Today, Mary came over for some quilt help and we were both tired enough, we rested while visiting after feeding babies.
Tonight after the 6PM feeding, I was able to get some knitting done, but at this time of day, I am slow. I am knitting this lovely pattern found on Ravelry, using the yarn at the top of this page. It has a 20 row repeat, but only on 12 stitches on each sock. The rest is all knitted and therefore goes quickly.