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.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

So Goes Another Week

Hen Party
(That is Sue on the left, for those that remember the Eddie & Sue story)

Summer is clicking along. The weather has been pretty decent, except for the awful humidity. It seems like we have had overcast and rain everyday for a spell. The rain usually comes in about a 1/4 inch at a time, but it adds up. Everything needed a good drink.

Last night I moved Blue and Lanny Wilson over to their second 'pocket pasture' (as Michelle calls them). They were thrilled to pieces and looked very self satisfied by nightfall. This is the same pasture that the ewes ransacked a week or so ago when they went through the chicken pen. The ewes were very displeased to see Lanny and Blue over there. So much so that they set up a ruckus that made me run out, expecting another break out. I also might add that they had just come in off their evening pasture, which still has some good grass on it. I've been doing quite a bit of limb trimming over the past week and always give Blue and Lanny a pile of limbs in the evening. With them moved over on grass for a few weeks, I'm going to stack the leftover limb pieces on the leftover hay stack (that I've been forcing them to eat all summer) and try to burn the whole thing. Then we can move another big bale out for them for the rest of the summer.

Cockleburrs.....I'm pretty sure I hate them more than thistles. At least with thistles they don't (unless the infestation is severe) trash the fleeces. Two winters ago I had some hay with cockleburrs in it. This was good hay from my good hay supplier, so it came as quite a shock. It wasn't all that way, but there was enough to cause hardship with the fleeces and now the aftereffects on the farm. From that bit of hay, almost every one of my little pastures has some cockleburrs coming up. I'm being very vigilant, but if I miss even one, it will reseed and compound the problem. I'm worried the neighbors field will get infested and if it'll be the thistle nightmare all over again. The only good thing about them is that they are easy to pull up. It's just in some places there are so many. The sheep don't seem to want to eat them either, even when the plants are small. So I've been cockleburr plant pulling in between other projects.

If all goes well, both Conway (ram lamb) and Marty (wether lamb) will be going to their new home in Kansas tomorrow. I will be meeting Kim somewhere along the route. First I will swing by the vet's office to get their health papers since they are crossing into another state. Earlier in the week I got their ear tags in. I'm really going to miss little Marty, but have been assured he will gets lots of loving. Conway is pretty standoffish and I'm glad he is heading out this weekend, as he needs to be separated out from the ewes anyway. Last year Kim bought a couple of ewe lambs, so she was ready for a ram to add to the flock this summer. We think that Conway will be a good fit and give a nice variety of color paired with these girls. They should produce some nice spots too. I'm very thrilled Conway is going to a breeding flock as he is a pretty nice fellow. I still have two spotted 2008 rams if anyone would like a nice ram. They need to be moved out before fall, so I'm willing to deal on them. I'm happy though that all my 2009 rams/wethers are sold and moved on to new homes, except Jackdaw, my little black and white flecket that I'm holding on to for a bit.

Fleece sales and interest has been pretty good the last month. I've not really advertised much, since I was trying to get them all updated on the website before I did. So it's been a pleasant surprise to have a consistent interest. I have two fleeces left skirt! Two! Yippee. Both are white Dorset/Merino's so they should go pretty fast. Then I can rake up all the bits of wool from the pavement and put away the panel I've been skirting on and call it done for another year.

What? wasn't sleeping...just resting my eyes...

Boone's talent as a watchdog has been revealed and I must say he is sadly lacking in that area. I knew he was a deep sleeper, but I had no idea how deep. Evidently, Ariel, as deaf as she was getting to be, was the one that alerted him to cars in the driveway, people coming up to the house and me coming home. Last night he scared me to death. I came home, stopped opened/shut gates, pulled up by the garage, unloaded some cans, and still no Boone at the fence. I was getting concerned. As I walked around the side where he was, I could see him stretched out against the gate. My heart dropped and I was yelling, oh no, Boone! Boone! I was sure he was dead. About two seconds after I yelled at him, he raised his head up all groggy, looking around like whaaaa? Then he saw it was me and hopped up and started acting all goofy like he hadn't been caught asleep. I've been thinking that maybe he can't hear, but he seems to hear fine when he is awake! He can hear the neighbors when they are outside and barks, but once he conks out, the world spins without him, I guess.

Couple pictures of my crowing hen....She is around ten years old, and was one of the hens that had bumblefoot a month or so ago. She is walking just fine now.

I started this post during the week, and am just now finishing it up. The weather has turned uncommonly cool and delightful! It's amazing for July to be this cool and pleasant. We got another hard half inch of rain, and everything is growing like crazy. Conway and Marty are in their new home since yesterday. I miss little Marty's sweet friendly face, but I know he will be loved on and spoiled at his new home. Someone has (most likely) dumped a sweet little white/calico cat in town. She is at my Mom's barn now, but not sure what we are going to do. She had a flea collar on, so there is a distant hope she belongs to someone. I'm going to put a 'found' ad in the paper. Most likely though, she won't be claimed, since she is very close to having kittens. People just suck sometimes. Probably will set up the two story kitty condo and put her in it, in my garage so that the kittens will be born there. We sure don't need any wild kittens around. The momma is very sweet and friendly. And so it goes.....anyone want dibs on a kitten??


Vicki Lane said...

So glad you're getting this cool weather too! Usually this time of year is just miserable!

Re the pregnant cat: yes, some people really are heartless when it comes to abandoning animals. And others, Tammy, are all heart -- like you.

Tammy said...

Hi Vicki,
Our good weather continues. It's pretty warm during the day, but not unbearable. The nice part is it cools off at night. It's sure nice isn't it? As for the abandoned really breaks my heart, and the supply is neverending.