Friday, January 28, 2011

A snowy walk to the barn

We have been lucky to have missed the really big snows that have been hitting the east coast, but we have had some really pretty ones. This morning is one of those, I am amazed at how things look completely different with a coating of snow.

The garden in winter.

The hens are heading into the tom's pen. They like to roost with the ducks.

Nothing stops the ducks from gathering at the water hole, no matter what the size.

The last hold out hen, she seems to be the smart one and sleeps inside the chicken house.

Amazing icicles.

A brave soul. She didn't spend much time out in the snow.

The barn in all her glory.

I love the view of the mountains.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't forget us

The last 2 days have been all about the babies, but on the many trips back and forth to the barn the other residents of the barn have asked that they not be left out. So I took some pictures and listened to some stories.

Spot likes to remind us of his presence constantly. He has discovered that there is a world beyond the barn, and is frequently spotted, (much to Wallace and Marmalade's displeasure) on the porch. He is sure that the other cats really want to be his friend. We shall see.

Alice has mixed feelings about her lack of horns. She is sporting the hornless look now, a decision that I came to after getting stabbed one to many times in places I would rather not be stabbed. As if there is any place that getting stabbed with horns that is good.

Maple is just wondering what all the fuss is about, she considers herself a baby, and she isn't getting this much attention. She doesn't even get a cute sweater to wear. Oh, well, keep the hay coming.

Esau is right next door to the new residents, he just doesn't understand why he isn't getting the extra grain Oh well, he will just keep pushing his penmates around.

He is wondering if the hay outside the corner of his mouth makes him look cool. Yes Esau, you do look just like James Dean.

And then of course we have Pine, who really has no respect for his fleece. He has lovely locks, which he takes every opportunity to fill with hay. Little does he know that soon he will be leaving his sisters and moving in with the other boys. Poor boy.

Luna would really like to get to visit the babies, she promises she will be good. Artemis said absolutely not, don't you even think of putting that little nose anywhere near my girls.

More Babies!

We went to the barn to check on the boys before going to bed, and it's a good thing. Artemis had just had her two ewe lambs. Yeah!! We dried them off, took care of weighing etc. and of course took some pictures. I am so happy to have 2 little girls, they are of course as cute as their half brothers.
For the girls we did right ear and left ear, until they get names of course.
The boys, of course, slept through most of this.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


After the last post it is fitting to title this one 'Gain'. Today, completely unassisted, our Ewe Persephone delivered 2 ram lambs. They will not have names, but we are calling them tail and butt, because that is where their marks are to tell them apart.
Occasionally I am unable to make it to the barn in the morning, don't worry everyone is set up from the night before. Today was one of those days. We had morning appointments and then I got a migraine. When we got home I went to bed. Mom made the trek tot he barn a little while later, I got a phone call, 'We have a Baby' When I got to the barn, we actually had 2 babies. Not sure when they were born, they were clean, dry and up and around. Both of our Ewe's were still together and Butt was trying to nurse from Artemis. At first we thought they had each had one, but further inspection showed that they were both Persephone's. My main regret is that they are both boys, but I am very happy that they are healthy and everything appears to be just fine.
There is a 4 lb weight difference between them, and that concerns me a bit. Tail was over 9 lbs and Butt is just over 5 lbs. I did try to bottle feed Butt, but he took a little and hopped away. The boys are wearing sweaters that I had knitted, they were an experiment and are too small, but they are very cute. I will have to make more now.
I separated the Ewes, it looks like Artemis will be delivering soon also. Hopefully I will get girls from her.
So everyone has been patiently reading this, saying 'pictures?????' Here they are.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


We are anxiously waiting for the birth of lambs and kids, yet we overlooked the loss that often goes hand in hand with gain. Today we lost our little Oberhasli buckling Pan. Since we got Pan, he has been small and never quite in the best of health. He always got hit hardest from parasites, and because of his size, was the brunt of many a head butt.
For the last few months, he has had his own pen between his favorite girls, he did love Maple and Alice but was too small to deliver. Well, we shall actually see about that, he did enjoy trying.
This morning when I went to the barn, he was down in his pen. I decided it was just time to let him go. I have tried everything in my arsenal to keep him going, but there comes a time when you just have to say good bye.
So Good Bye Pan, we loved you and you will always have a special place in our hearts.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Confused Ewe

Well I thought by now I would have an exciting story to tell about ewe's and lambs. But instead, all I have is a story of false labor and a few pictures of fat ewe's. This all started on Friday night when I went to feed the critters. Artemis was in her pen curled up in the corner. She wasn't eating or drinking, getting up only to stand for awhile. I figure birth was imminent. I gathered all my supplies and headed back to the house. After dinner, Mom, Sarah and I all returned to the barn, I was prepared to spend the night. After 1 1/2 hours, we called it a night and headed back to the house. Arty wasn't showing any more signs other than being very uncomfortable.
Saturday morning I went back out to the barn, no change. I checked every couple of hours, but nothing was going on. Saturday night she seemed more restless and uncomfortable. I continued to check her every hour, finally calling it a night around 10.

I was sure Sunday morning I would find lambs in the pen. Instead, I found both ewes up and around. Eating like food was going out of style. It would appear that Arty has changed her mind.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow and candles

We had a really pretty snow this weekend. The dogs enjoyed playing outside, but only for short periods. I think I need to make Oscar a sweater. Doesn't matter what we feed him or how much he just doesn't gain any weight. Of course Max, aka fat sausage, doesn't have that problem. 4 of the Muscovy ducks have moved into the chicken house, leaving the rest of the ducks out in the cold. They will not enter the chicken house and do not like to go into their 'house'. I suppose they will move inside when they are cold enough. I do worry about them though. One of our turkey hens has also moved into the chicken house. This causes quite a stir amongst the chickens, who will move off of the main roost to crowd on the secondary one. Occasionally they will move back with the turkey, but more often than not, she has the roost to herself. One of the ducks has gone broody, picking the prime piece of real estate directly under the chicken roost, deep in poo. She has been sitting on this lovely poo nest for over a week, and yet she has no eggs. I am actually relieved that she doesn't have eggs, it is too cold for babies. Well baby fowl anyway.
We are still on lamb watch in the barn. The 2 ewes, Artemis and Persephone have now been in the barn for over a week, and look ready to go at anytime. I check for signs twice a day, but nothing yet, only increasing bellies and udders. I think that instead of giving birth, they are actually going to explode. We will also begin to keep an eye on Psyche, though she should have another month to go. I am anxious to get the first lambing over so I know what to expect.
Because it has been so cold, we have been confined in the house more than usual, I have taken this time to make more candles. I took an informal poll on Facebook and got some great scent suggestions.
I have 9 different scents to start with, and only in limited quantities. I will have these candles available on my Etsy shop, so I can release them in small numbers. If the scents do well, I will make more. I have wanted to make candles for a few years, but my old insurance would not cover candles. I made some Christmas candles and was pleased with how they came out. Hopefully my customers who purchased them were pleased as well.
On a more serious note, my RA is still all over the place. I have been in a roller coaster flare up since Christmas, and performing normal tasks ranges from uncomfortable to downright painful. My Dr. has put me back on the original medicine to see if it helps. I was taken off due to some breathing issues, which turned out to be unrelated. But of course, it is a slow process and a bit frustrating as well. Time will tell if the meds will work, or if I will finally have to face the infusion therapy. It has been almost a year since my original diagnosis, and while I don't feel much better, at least the damage has been minimal.