Rose had twins on Friday, and boy and a girl. These are Licquorices' grand-lambs :). On Friday, Rose wasn't feeding Miss Lee, and then yesterday, she wouldn't feed Stan. She was butting him into the wall, hard. The poor little fellow sort of just stood there, dazed, then tried to nurse again, only to be butted into the wall again. She was letting Miss Lee nurse, and was hovering over her, but acted like the boy wasn't hers. Weird, as she cleaned them both after the birth, and they were both curled up next to her when I saw them for the first time. So we have a new house lamb, or rather, a garage lamb. He's learning that I have milk, and is drinking well. Scrapie tagged them this morning, and took Rose and Miss Lee back to the others. Once there, Ruthie started head-butting Rose. It was as if she was jealous that Rose had a lamb while she didn't. She sniffed Miss Lee, so I had the brainwave to put Stan in with them, and maybe Ruthie would adopt him. Her udder still looks large, although I couldn't cop a feel :). Stan rushed over to his mum, who promptly sent him sprawling. He landed next to Ruthie, and started nuzzling between her front legs. He eventually made it to the correct position, and seemed to get a mouthful, as his tail went crazy and he was licking his lips. But Ruthie was more interested in fighting Rose. Stan found himself next to Hershey, his dad, who wasn't amused by his testicles being routed about :). But the 200 lb ram was more gentle with his son than his baby mama. We tried to catch Ruthie to take her down to the jug where Stan was baa-ing his head off, but she's a wiley one. Suppose the last time I caught her, I hurt her pulling her dead lamb, and then took her baby away, so it's not surprising she wasn't trusting.
Both Herbie and I had a bit of sun today. He plowed, disc-ed and raked my veggie garden, after raking the ditches out of the back yard from the truck and tractor, while I fixed fences to allow the girls to go down the back pasture, and the boys into the barbed wire pasture. Opened the gate into the channel, and shoo'd the girls down towards the back. Heard a thwack, turned around and saw 5 cattle in the barbed wire pasture. Damn, Saffron had burst through the electric fence, zinging both top and bottom electric strands around the centre strand of barbed wire ! Had to shout for Herbie to switch the fence off, and then realised that I needed a replacement post tack she broke, and tools to fix it. So after spending about 2 hours fixing the fence, had to put another hour in to it. Then couldn't get her back in with the girls. She was having a dandy time, racing around the pasture. I had to wait a few hours until she was milk-hungry, before chasing her back to the frantic Seasaidh.
Had 3 companies come quote for a replacement water pressure tank, water softener and whole house water filter. Wow !! It was shockingly expensive. Ranged from $2,500 to $3,975. Herbie doesn't want to do any installing, but my dad suggested I look on the internet for the items, and he'll help me install them when they come up early June. After all, it's not brain surgery. But looking on the internet gives sooo many options, I can't tell my arse from my elbow. Oy vey !!
Went to the other side of the State for Easter with Herbies' mum last weekend. She was lucky. She had her 3 remaining kids, all 5 grandkids and all 6 great grandkids visiting, plus various spouses and significant others. Unfortunately, I picked up a dreaded lurgey there so have been a little under the weather this past week.
The weather has been gorgeous. Nearly 70 today, and it's only April.
The fruit trees are flowering, but we have don't have any bees again. They were there in February, I put honey out for them as March and April are hard months before the nectar starts flowing, and although the honey is gone, seems so are the bees. I'll open the hive tomorrow to figure out if they just left, or had a problem.
The soil in the veggie garden is turning black and gorgeous in places. 7 years of cattle Wintering in the garden, with added chicken, horse, alpaca, sheep, duck and goose manure, leaves, sticks, plant matter, hay and straw is working ! Hopefully I find a fence solution to keep Maddie, as well as the poultry, out of the garden and we can have a fabulous 2017 garden.
A few years ago today, we had lots of snow on the ground. 2017 is already Spring. The forsythia is beautiful, the grass is greening in the pastures and the asparagus is starting to pop up. Should be tall enough to pick our first spears tomorrow :).
I have the cows trapped in the main pasture, and the bulls in the veggie garden, waiting for the pastures to grow enough to let them eat sustainably without destroying the pasture. Gabriel keeps breaking through the gate into the barbed wire pasture, and I've had to chase the bulls out of it twice already. Herbie did a great stopgap fix - he pulled the broken gate through to the barb wired side, and rested the plastic gate handle on top of the broken gate. So Gabriel can't scratch himself on the it and pull down the electric fence gate with his horns at the same time. It's amazing at how quickly cattle can turn lush pasture into a mud bath - even quicker than the ducks and geese turned our back lawn from green grass to mud holes !
So far there haven't been any more lambs born, just expecting Rose to deliver. She was later than the others last year too. With only 2 lambs so far, and possibly one, or twins, still to come, I won't have to sell lambs at a loss at auction later this year.
I'm beginning to wonder if Eleanor is actually pregnant. When I started drying her up when she was about 7-months pregnant, she was huge. Then she shrank, so I thought the calf had moved into the birthing position. But now I'm not so sure. Her udder is still small and soft, and she doesn't look pregnant. But she hasn't come on-heat for the last 8-months or so either, so I should be hopeful. Having gone through the loss of a vet-confirmed pregnancy with Dolly, also after I started drying her up, I'm just not sure. Suppose cows are like women. If you don't actually see a baby being birthed, don't assume she's pregnant. Daisy May, on the other hand, is hugely pregnant. I suppose part of my panic is being unable to possibly service our herdshare owners if she isn't pregnant. Been there, done that and it isn't fun.
We're being overrun with eggs !! Chicken, duck and goose eggs. It seems to always be so slow starting the egg season here. Then once it's going strong and the eggs start dwindling in the late Summer heat, then I have more demand than eggs. Life. Such a fascinating journey, isn't it ?
Caught up with my sister today :). 2 hours on the phone. She's been putting 2 businesses up, and the 3-hour time difference makes co-ordinating time to chat difficult. With me being tied to the farm, we won't get to see each other in the foreseeable future. But I'm so pleased she's starting to do well, it's about time after all the work she's put in.
Sheila has been an on-going experience. She broke the 60ft wire lead the other day, and went missing for 10 1/2 hours. Lisa arrived back after about 5 hours sans Sheila, so we went looking for her as she was trailing 20 ft of lead. Thought she'd got caught somewhere. When she arrived home she was wet, so she had made it to the river. I went and bought 2 new leads, 30 ft each, and keep her on them when she's not physically with me.
We went Morel mushroom hunting this past weekend as well. Far too early, the May Pops were just starting to peep out the ground, but found 2 of Maddies lost bandannas. From their locations, picked up a better idea on how much she roams. Still 3 missing though. I had Sheilas' lead tied to my waist, my revolver, carrying my phone (for photos), a bag to collect the Morels, my gloves to protect my hands and a water bottle. Maddie was a trooper, followed me everywhere, Anni and Lisa kept close-ish, and Rosco was spotted every now and again. Was something walking over downed trees and branches with a deer bumping into my back and a dog tugging on my front, wrapping herself around all the trees.