Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Another week

Morning Dew on Tomato Plant
The humidity here is high right now, seems to sap the energy right out of a person. We had heavy rains earlier in the week, with severe flooding a few counties over. We were fortunate not to experience that, and the rain that we have been getting continues to fill the ponds, rivers and low water tables. Does make for some heavy muck, and of course the harsh penalty of high humidity, but it is summer, after all. I really can't even believe that it is now mid June. Where the heck did Spring go?

I've been working on the place in evenings, continuing to move and pile brush. Right now I'm working on both the ram pens, where nothing had been done since the Ice Storm. All the boys are now over in their other pens, so I am taking the opportunity to get some of the debris stacked. Once I get all the draggable limbs piled, then it'll be time to get the chainsaw in there and start on the bigger limbs and fallen trees. There is a huge 'tree-size' limb that fell in the Shetland ram pen--its on a slant, with the former top of the limb now dug into the ground. This makes a great 'tent' area that the boys love getting into, so its pretty urgent that we can get something done with this-so it won't fall on the boys. What, I'm not sure. My Dad has been studying on it for awhile and I look at it often, but there doesn't seem to be any easy answers. Part of the problem is there is a huge limb that off shoots from this limb, and it hangs over part of the fence...and a little shed.

In the meantime, I'm just working on getting the smaller stuff cleaned up and out of the way. The grass is growing nicely in all the 'resting' fields, but I wish it would grow faster! ;-) The girls have pretty much decimated their current field, but I hope to make them tough it out until the first of July and give the upper pasture more grow time. I've already started feeding Blue (the Merino Ram) and Lanny some hay. I fixed up one of those nifty cattle panel feeders that I saw on somebodies blog a while back. You just attach it inside to the existing fence, with bungee cords and wire, then shove the hay down between the fence and panel. The hay that I'm feeding them is the less than wonderful stuff I bought from the feed store during the winter. They have about three bales of that to go through before I have to start on the good stuff I have left. I may have to start giving the girls some hay to. Once July comes, I'll switch everybody back on to fresh pasture and that should keep them off hay for (if I'm lucky) another month.

I definitely need to work on more cross fencing.

The Shetland rams are happy now though. They have virtually picked clean their current pasture, so now they get out on the front lawn area at night. For three rams this should keep them in 'good pickings' for a month. I mowed their 'day' pasture as it had a few weeds and thistles growing. They happily graze off and on all night and rest in the shade during most of the day. I have an elaborate set up to keep from having to traipse through their pasture every morning/evening to let them in and out. I have cattle panels set up to keep the boys away from the girls area and the garage. The way I have it set up, I can go through the boys 'home pen' that they are shut out of, through one of the closed off paddocks and then straight into the area where the lilacs are fenced. Then its just a quick walk to the end of the pasture, where I have a cattle panel set up as a gate, with the big metal clips. I wired a plastic fence post thingie at the top of the cattle panel, and use this to push the gate open and pull it closed. By wiring it to the fence it also keeps the boys from accidentally closing themselves out of where their water is. The process of getting from 'here to there' sounds more complicated than it is, since I only have one gate to go through and all the other areas have open gates to walk through. I give the boys just a smidgen of grain (which they would happily either kill or die for) to lure them in and then snap the gate closed. The boys run along the fence as I progress to their pen, screeching for that tiny taste of grain. Forget all the lovely grass in the world if you'll only given me a taste of that grain!!

Since my system at home is now all upgraded, I spent some time last night trying to figure out how to load pictures from my camera. It took me quite a while to figure it out and of course it was easy once I hit the right buttons. They also loaded 'The Gimp' which is an open source photo shop program that Allena told me was really cool. I'm excited about that, and hope to be able to have some fun on it.

Fleas have overrun the dogs and cats of the farm---both inside and out---despite the diligent use of Frontline and spray for their bedding etc. I use the Frontline spray for Meshach as the spot application causes him to become bald in that area. After spraying a few fleas will act sick for a day or two, but after that they are just as thick again. So, next try will be with Advantage, which is what the vet recommended, then after a month switch over to Frontline etc. etc. Nasty things, those fleas.

Just random thoughts today, still some bugs being worked out of DSL so I haven't gotten to use it much yet.

Have a good one!

1 comment:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oh, I HATE fleas -- and ticks! Fortunately we haven't had to deal much with either here. But Minnesota was a different story....