We have been Busy Bees to say the least. We had a bit of snow early Febuary, but it was just a bit and did not stay long, even with warning of 5 to 7 inches, we were disappointed to say the least. We have been waiting for the rain to dry up enough to put in a road at the farm. Finally, it was time and after 12 truck loads of crushed pavement, we have a dry road!! Hooray! I can actually wash my truck.
The picture below is the road to the farm, minus the mud holes and sloppy areas.
Febuary 20th we had a surprise of our first Icelandic Lamb being born to Sarah, one of my ewes. I had put the rams in with the ewes in September hoping they would breed and lamb earlier. The thought is to breed earlier and wean before the parasite season of June, July and August. The little ram lamb is sired by Phantom and is jet black now, but may gray out and doing very well. The picture below is a week later and he looks as if to say... Watch me, I am special....
While messing with Sarah, I noticed one of the cows, Beauty with some mucus on her tail. The next morning she calved a large black bull calf Feb 21st. (left) Then on Feb 25th Christy calved a dark brown bull calf. (right)We have one more cow, Daisy the old cow to have her calf. We are not sure if she is bred and will wait and see. We have not noticed her coming into heat and Brutus is with the cows.
Both daughters of Angel, sired by Buddy have kidded as well. Babette and Alexis both had single doelings. Both are blue eyed. One sired by Flash out of Babette and the other by Mr General out of blue eyed Alexis. The sisters have really nice udders and I am milking them once daily and hope to show them this spring.
We have also been busy building lambing pens out of treated wood. Mr Paul and Billy put together 4 pens before the rain last Sunday and will finish 6 more this Saturday. After messing with hog panels and looking into pricing for metal now, wood was the option. We can fold up the lambing pens when not in use or use them to wean Nigerians in. The wood is close enough not to allow kids to stick their heads through and continue to nurse their moms. Cow and hog panels have enough room for a long neck to reach mom's udder and cow panels are large enough for the Nigerians to squeeze through until they are 5 or 6 months.
We hope the weather will improve and be a bit dryer and warmer. We are still above average for this month's rainfall and the temperature has averaged 15 to 20 degrees cooler then average as well.
Yes, another 3.1 inches of rain... and the usual foot or so of water to slop through. You all can see where I have to park the truck and walk into the water to care for the livestock. Sometimes I wonder why we do this... I know we have a major screw loose, if you know what I mean. Instead of a 4 wheeler, perhaps an air boat would be useful for getting around the farm.
We may need to put the feed room up a bit higher... The water is over the blocks we put it on, but at least the feed is dry for now. The square bales of hay are in the semi trailer shown above. The goats have enough bedding in the shed built up to be on their little island inside the sheds.
We have considered moving the buildings to higher ground, but since the property is flat, that really is not an option. The sheds are car ports and can be moved by removing the pins and taking the sheds apart. But the ground gets compacted and that is where the pooling comes in. So, we have decided to raise the buildings and add fill and gravel, that is, when it drys up enough to get the gravel and equipment in. We want to build a road as well, but again the weather has not been in our favor. The ground is so saturated, the water just sits there until the wind evaporates it. The flooding in the pictures has been an ongoing saga since October.
The poor ram taking shelter (picture below) in the hay feeder is a perfect example of the awful fall and winter we have had. March is our wettest month of the year and we cringe to see what is yet to come...
If the chickens do not drown (just kidding), we will be offering Free Ranged Eggs this spring. We are getting some eggs now, but not enough non muddy ones to sell. We are offering a limited supply of free stained eggs if you want to try some to see the difference for yourself. The mud gets on the eggs and stains them and does not always wash off. We usually eat or give away the stained eggs and sell the pretty ones. We will be offering the eggs for $3.00 a dozen.
If anyone in Selma knows of a farm close by to move some of our livestock to, please let us know. A large barn with several horse stalls which is high and dry would be perfect. We would like to rent for the next 3 or 4 months until we can get into and fill in our barn yard and raise the barn areas. Our phone number is: 334-327-9252. Our email is: firstname.lastname@example.org .