Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Elmore County Goat & Sheep Expo...

We had a great time at the Expo, March 13th, selling some wool, making Goat and Sheep sales contacts and generally having a good time.  We took a momma Icelandic ewe and her ram lamb by Phantom.  We also took little Hilly Billy, a Nigerian Dwarf bottle baby.  It rained most of the day, but the event was indoors.  Like last year, the weather was not great, but the turnout was good.  We enjoyed free Hot Dogs and Goat Burgers.  The cook off had some great goat dishes as well.  There were guest speakers and the Goat Show for kids.  The costume class is always fun to watch how the kids dress up their goats.  Every year the Expo gets better and next year there will be more farm products to see and purchase. We will have Sheep milk soap and eggs for sale as well as poultry.

The pictures below & above are of some of our Icelandic Roving and Saxon in full fleece.

Sunday after the Expo one of our horses, Dawn, an old Arabian coliced on us.  We called all the Vet clinics in the area and the one on call refused to come out.  The Farm is 1.5 miles and no more then 4 miles from any area Vet Clinic.  The Veterinarian on call said he did not work on horses at Northside Animal Hospital in Selma.  We could not reach our regular vet, so Dawn received Banamine, an injection for pain and inflamation.  We tried to walk her, but she did not improve.  By Monday morning she had twisted a gut and Dr Lawrence from Selma Animal Clinic examined her and put her down. 

Old Bertha, Mr Paul's Belgan Draft horse seemed to be doing better after a week of treating her for pneumonia. Bertha was close to 20 years old, which is old for a draft horse.  After the ordeal with Dawn, I came over to Bertha's stall to check on her and she was laying down and looked as if asleep in the stall.  Well, she was not asleep and had passed away. 

The rest of the morning was arranging a back hoe to come out and dig a hole large enough to lay the two to rest at the back of the farm.  I must compliment the men who dug the grave and placed the two old mares together.  They were able to use the back hoe to position them in a resting posture.  It is not easy to get large animals into a grave without them becoming contorted.  The extra time spent to respect the old mares was a comfort to us.

Lambing is in full swing and the Cheviots are finished with one more Shetland to go.  We have 5 of the Icelandic ewes who have lambed with many more to lamb anytime and into April.  I will get pictures of the new babies as soon as I can.

We have one bottle baby Shetland ewe lamb we call Tiny Baby Girl.  Her mom had mastitis in her udder and we needed to pull the baby for mom to recover.  Mom is recovered and Tiny is rotten spoiled.  We are feeding her goat milk, good old Ariel has raised 6 kids and now a lamb.  Ariel is a Nubain doe and if her daughter can not reach her udder, we milk a gallon a day.  Her daughter is an escape artist, long necked, half nigerian brat.  I have even considered taking her to processor, but I know she will milk like her mom in a smaller body with a bit higher milk fat.  I have added some Nigerian milk to the lamb's bottle as well and will soon be adding Lamb replacer to make the goat milk richer.  Tiny is black now, but will turn gray as she grows and ages.  Her mom is gray and so is her dad.  Tiny Baby Girl knows her name and comes a running when called.  This is the first lamb we have had to bottle feed, with this being our 4th year.  We will see if she turns into a hudlum like the baby goats and so far has not tried to jump on the furniture.

The weather has been better then expected, but still below average temperatures and this morning, friday, there was frost on the ground, when the weather perdiction was for the 40s.  We are preparing for our Sheep Shearing day.  We have finally been able to get a professional shearer to come and the date is March 27th.  We are cleaning out a part of the shed to pen up the sheep to keep them dry because rain is forcasted for Thursday and maybe Friday, with shearing on Saturday.  The wool must be dry to shear.  We will put the rams into one shed and the ewes with lambs into another.  We will put the lambs in a pen during shearing, which will be a loud protest session from the moms and babies, but the babies will not be trampled and safe.

The picture to the left is a friend of mine, Gary who has helped us shear in the past.