Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Trying to Stay Positive

This was my view of the yard this evening, and we could possibly get 4-6" total.  I *hope* we do not get that much snow.  It's nearly the end of March, and in Maryland that means we should already have our potatoes planted!  It's too late for snow here!  I'm trying to see the beauty in it, and I know in a few months it'll be miserably hot and humid, but it's not helping me appreciate this (hopefully) last snow. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

For a week I've been waiting for Ida to kid, and every day when I go to work I set up my camera so I can keep an eye on her at work.  Every day is the same..no progress, just more waiting.  Today I decided to put Ida outside for the day, since it didn't look like kidding was imminent.  I checked on her at lunch time and everything was normal.  I went outside to feed at 5pm, and there were twins on the ground, all dried off!  She sure is slick. 

She had a doe and a buck, and they're all doing fine.  :-) 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

GAP-tastic Cowl

Hot off the needles, I finished my GAP-tastic Cowl yesterday. It was a really easy knit, and the yarn was great to work with.  I used Plymouth Yarn's Mulberry Merino, in gray.  I love this color...it's shiny and soft and almost looks a little lavender sometimes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Snow

What is wrong with this picture?!  We're not in New England, it's time for spring now!  We're supposed to be planting potatoes, not shoveling snow.  Hopefully this is winter's last hurrah before she moves over and lets spring in.   

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend in Pictures

This post is going to have a ton of pictures. It was a beautiful day on Saturday...sunny and in the 60's.  We all took advantage of it!

Darla and her two lambs

The ram is on the left and ewe is on the right. 

Dixie and her spotted ram lamb are very photogenic.

Dixie and ram lamb are in front, and Bean and her lambs (the oldest) are to the right in the back.  Barley and her two are to the left.

Barley's ewe lamb is the cutest thing ever.  I just love her sweet face. 

I built an LRD (lamb recreational device, what our old boss used to call bales of straw he'd put out for the lambs to jump on) out of cinder blocks, and the lambs seem to like it. 

David used the tractor with the blade to push the thick mat of wasted hay from underneath the feeder.  Unfortunately we don't have a tractor with a loader, so he could only push it up in a pile.  These piles break down amazingly fast though. I'll probably start taking it a little at a time to the compost pile. 

A week or so ago I mentioned to David that I'd like to clear out the brush behind the sheep pasture so I could get back there. We've got some posts that have rotted and need to be replaced, and there were briars growing up the fence and looking ugly.  He went back there and cleared a really nice area using his tractor and blade.  Yay!

We don't have any sidewalks, so Kylee used her chalk on our front porch. 

She's quite the artist!

Devin did some practicing with his bow. 

And he tried to shoot his BB gun, but it wasn't working properly. 

It was windy yesterday, and I caught a pic of our rooster's tail blowing wildly.  Isn't he a handsome guy?

And here's my Cochin cross hen, looking for tasty treats in the sheep pasture.

David and Devin built a mousetrap for the barn.  It consists of a can with a wire threaded through it, suspended inside the bucket.  You spread peanutbutter on the can, and when the mice step on the can, it rolls and dumps them in the bucket. 

There are great instructions on Youtube.  So far we haven't caught any mice.

Rocky, the buck, has been running loose in the barn this winter. He has gotten brave and tries to escape so he can explore outside.  He's very good though, and I can fuss at him and shoo him back to the barn...

And he'll jump right back in.  Cheeky little guy...

When we were kids, I remember we had a day when we sat at the kitchen table and played with vinegar and baking soda and food coloring...we had a blast putting it into all sorts of containers and watching the explosions.  I told the kids they could do the same thing out on the deck.  They used a whole gallon of vinegar, and a good bit of baking soda, but they had so much fun. Devin was worried when he said they used all the vinegar, but I told him it was very cheap and not to worry.

Vases give the best results!
I even joined in for a bit.  

Today I went and bought seed potatoes and onions.  These will be split between my sister and me.  We got Cobbler, Kennebec, Norland, Yukon Gold, Pontiac Red, Adirondack Blue, and Russet potatoes, and red, white, yellow, and Stuttgarter onion sets.   

And after a lovely weekend with 60 degree weather on Saturday, it's now snowing!  Hopefully it won't last long!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dysfunctional Family

Bean and Darla do not get along. Darla is Bean's, you'd think they would like each other.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Last But Not Least

Barley lambed today, so lambing season is over!  She had a 9 lb ewe lamb (that looks like a Southdown), and a 12 lb natural colored ram lamb.  They're all doing well. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

A+, Two Thumbs Up, Text Book Lambing

Yesterday afternoon when I was doing chores I noticed Dixie's udder had grown since the morning.  I didn't really think it was big enough to signify lambing was close, but I was wrong.  I went out to feed this morning, after a very cold night, and when I got to the gate she came out to get her grain and I saw she had lambed (there was some blood on her udder).  I got really worried, and had to climb over the gate because the chain was frozen.  I hurried into the shelter, expecting to find a frozen (or dead) lamb, but instead I found a dry, warm lamb with a full belly!

Dixie is a yearling, bred as a lamb. I've never done that before, and I was expecting her to need a little help figuring out what to do with her lamb, but I was wrong!  I love being wrong when it's like this.  I shuffled some animals around, putting Darla and her lambs in the hog pen (empty of hogs) so I could put Dixie and her new ram lamb in Darla's jug with the heat lamp.

I couldn't be happier with Dixie. Not only did she have her lamb unassisted on a freezing cold night, she also got him warm and let him nurse.  Sometimes first time moms get confused when their lambs try to nurse.

This little guy is a purebred Southdown, but he has spots.  Black spots are "discriminated against" in the breed standard.  Since he's a ram, not a ewe, it doesn't matter as much since he'll be raised for meat, but it makes me wonder about the ram I used.  Darla's lambs were born with dark markings, much darker than the "gray to brown" in the standard. They also have pink noses, which are discriminated against in the breed standard as well.

He is pretty cute though!

So one ewe left to go, then I'll have a short break until I'll be on the lookout for goat kids!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lots o' Sheep

The two small lambs are Darlas, born Friday.  The others are Bean's lambs, enjoying being outside now.  Still waiting on Barley and Dixie to lamb.  Dixie is pictured above, with Bean. Barley is in the second pen in the barn since we've got super low temps and snow on the ground, and she looks closer than Dixie to lambing. 
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