Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Won't Be Long Now

I've been noticing some uddering up from the ewes, so yesterday I went out and crutched everyone (sheared wool from their bellies and hind ends), vaccinated (with CD/T), and trimmed hooves.  I like to crutch the ewes every year because it really helps me see their udders and vulvas and predict lambing times.  I didn't write down breeding dates this year, and I normally do, so I sort of feel like I'm flying blind.  I'll have to be extra careful to pay attention to them and notice when they bag up.

It was hard to get decent pictures of the sheep, partly because my camera is not very good, and partly because the sheep don't really like it when I linger behind them while they're eating. Here are the pictures I did get, more for my records than anything. It's nice to look back and compare udder sizes.

The ram, below...not an udder.

Barley, below.  I think she's the farthest from lambing, but things could change.  

Barley (L) and Darla (R)

Darla (L) and Dixie (R) Dixie is Darla's ewe lamb, I bred her this year.  She's got the cutest little baby udder starting.  

Dixie (L) and Darla (R)

Bean (L), Ram (R)

So I'm sort of thinking Darla or Bean will be the first to lamb, followed by Dixie and then Barley....but that's just a guess.  I think I've got a couple of weeks before we have any lambs.  Hopefully the weather will be a bit more agreeable then.  

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Weekend in Pictures

I finally separated my doe #2 from her son, because she's due next week (not bred by her son). 

Doe #1 is due any day now.

The goats are still in the barn, at least for a few more days. 

Got another round bale.  Foolishly thought I could unwrap it and pile loose hay (all 1500lbs) in the barn.  Ended up with a horrible allergic reaction and half the bale still outside.

The "feed wagon" for the sheep.  Taking wagon loads of hay to feed, and piling on grain or whatever else needs to go that way. 

Buford had fun in the snow.

And so did Elmer...

Ram for Sale

It's time for some new blood in the flock, so I'm selling my 2 year old registered Southdown ram.  He's a proven breeder (I have a daughter of his) and he has always been well mannered.  If you're interested, please let me know!

Thursday, January 23, 2014


It has been cold lately, colder than normal.  Here are some pictures of what goes on here when it's really cold.

Snuggling dogs

Yesterday morning before work I filled up the bird feeder and added 2 suet cakes (made by my mom-she makes the best suet).  When I got home the feeder was totally empty!  I refilled the seed, but they'll have to wait on suet...I'm out.

"Where's the suet?"

The sheep don't really care about the snow.  As you can see from their backs, they lay out in it.

The chickens aren't happy, but they're surviving.

There's lots of ice busting going on.  I love these black rubber bowls for water in the winter.  I can turn them over and stomp on them to break the ice out, with no damage to the bowl.

Sometimes the eggs freeze before I can get home from work to collect them.

And this is now David and Elmer snuggle, except usually Elmer's head is tucked down near David's shoulder.

I checked the 10 day forecast and we're not supposed to get above freezing until maybe January 31st.  It's going to be a long 10 days!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In Progress

My Scoop Neck Vest is coming along nicely.  This picture was taken Sunday, and I'm way farther than it shows in the picture.  I was hoping to have it finished and blocked by Friday night, but seeing as how tomorrow is Thursday I'm really thinking that won't happen. 

I'm knitting it in Fibranatura Mermaid, which I am loving so far. It's 42% cotton, 35% superwash merino wool, 12% silk, and 11% seacell (a fiber made from kelp!).  The colorway is called Turkish Tile.  I can't wait to have this thing finished so I can try it on!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Silent Sunday-Dog Shaming Edition

Sorry, not so silent.  Have you seen Dog Shaming?  Unfortunately we have our own entry now...   I think Buford (the one on the right) did it.  This is the work of 2 chewing sessions, and we think they're caused by our neighbors goose hunting.  We're thinking the dogs don't like the sound of their shotguns being fired repeatedly.  Goose season ends on the 29th, which can't come soon enough for me!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Polar Vortex..

Sounds pretty intimidating...a polar vortex.  Here on the east coast, we're getting frigid temps tonight through Wednesday morning.  They're saying it's the coldest weather we've had in 20 years.  That's just crazy. 

I made sure all the animals outside had fresh bedding and lots of hay.  I decided to bring the goats in the barn since they don't have as much protection (wool) as the sheep.  I'm pretty sure they're happy to be in the barn. Of course I had to give them each their own hay feeder because June decided she couldn't share with Ida.



I hung a heat lamp for Tucker and he loves it. 

I love winter, and I like cold weather, but I'm not sure I love polar vortexes....

Scoop Neck Vest

Last night I cast on for a new project, the Scoop Neck Vest.  I even knit a swatch to test my gauge, which I've never done before.  I'm usually too lazy, but I want this to vest to fit. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

I Finished My First Sweater!

Last September I started a sweater.  I'd knit a while, then put it away for a while (like, months).  I'd get bored with it, which is why it took me so long to knit it.  Finally I could see the end in sight, and I decided to work on it and finally finish it.  It's the Foxtail sweater from Rowan The Tapestry Collection.

My gauge must have been off, because mine is pretty big compared to how others look in the Ravelry pictures. I'm ok with that though..it was a learning experience. 

It's a pretty cozy sweater and I've been wearing it around the house when I'm chilly.

Thanks to Devin for taking the pictures of me!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Like a Stuck Pig

Yesterday the kids and dogs and I were out doing chores (well, the humans were doing chores, the dogs were playing in the snow) and all of the sudden I heard Devin yelling for Buford.  I look over, and Buford had blood all over the side of his head and neck.  It seemed like so much blood, but he was running around acting a fool still.  I looked him over best I could and didn't see any wounds, so my next thought was that he killed something.  He's got quite the prey drive, and I knew Rocky the rabbit was loose in the barn.  Kylee assured us that Buford had not been in the barn at all, because I told the kids when we went out to keep the door shut for that reason. 

I quickly finished up the chores and took Buford inside to the tub.  I hosed him down and didn't see any wounds, and it appeared it wasn't his blood. Just when I thought I'd need to go outside to see what he killed, I saw a fresh drip of blood in the tub.  Turns out there was a teensy little hole where a thorn poked his ear. He must have been running through the brush and got his ear caught.  The sucker would not stop bleeding!

I wrapped his ear up in gauze, then wrapped an ace bandage around his head, hoping to keep his ear still.  He hated it, and kept trying to paw it off. 

So then I tried to wrap part of the bandage around his neck, but that didn't work either.

He even tried to get Devin to help take it off...

Then we tried just a band-aid since the bleeding seemed to slow down a bit. 

That worked for a short time, but after a while there was too much blood for the band-aid.  Then I called my vet friend Lindsay to see if she had any tips.  She said to open the ear up so it's back on top of his head, and try wrapping with vet wrap. 

So I did that, but the little stinker (I wasn't calling him such nice names last night) kept pulling the whole thing off his head.  I kept putting it right back on.  He slept through the night with it on his head, and when he went potty this morning he managed to get the ear loose and it started bleeding again. 

So, thoroughly frustrated, I went to the vets and got an e-collar (aka cone of shame) for him.  He FLIPPED out when I first put it on, but I out-stubborned him.  I convinced him the collar wasn't trying to eat him, and he's finally coming to terms with it.  He's learning to be careful about where he walks, after running into walls, gates, etc.  I think he's getting the hang of it though. 

Hopefully if I leave his ear wrapped for another day or two the bleeding will stop.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Snowy Morning

We ended up getting about 6" of snow last night. This morning it was beautiful outside.  The snow is very powdery, so it was blowing everywhere.  The sky was just gorgeous, too.  I love snow!

It was a pretty quiet morning. The chickens are in the coop, the sheep were fed extra hay in their shelter, and the goats also got hay in their shelter since the delicate little ladies refused to come out and get their tootsies cold.  The rabbits, cat, and rooster are still in the barn.  I let Rocky, the buck, out again to run loose. It's much warmer in the barn, the water didn't even freeze.  It's a little less convenient to feed the animals in the snow, but if you're prepared it's not bad at all.  I do things like leave an extra bucket of water in the chicken coop, so I can refill their water bowl without hauling through the snow.  Little things like that save time in the long run.

I would have loved to stay home today, but I had to go to work.  I am saving up my leave, and didn't want to use it up when I just had so many days off for Christmas and New Year's.  The drive was slow going, but it wasn't too bad.  I carefully snapped a few pictures when I could.

I love my drive to work, it's so pretty.  If you got snow where you are, I hope you enjoy it!  I know I do...the blistering hot, humid days of summer will be here soon enough!
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