Thursday, April 29, 2010

Lambing is almost over...

Yes it is great to be almost done with Lambing.  I prefer the lambs to be born early and will try and get everyone lambing in Feb and Mar next year.  The lambs and ewes do better in the cooler weather before it gets to hot.  It would be nice to wean the lambs by the end of May.  We wean all our lambs at 3 months of age.

Today it is in the 80s and a nice breeze is blowing.  It has been dry with low humidity, so it is nice.  We still have 3 ewes to lamb.  One is old Luthien who is bagging up, but probably will not lamb until May.  The other two are 2 year olds, one is the lovely Ulani and the other Blackie.  Neither one lambed as a yearling and Ulani may be pregnant, but Blackie I do not think so.  We will have to wait and see.

The barn is finished and we have put in over half the garden.  To date, we have tomatos, lettuce, cucumbers, sweet corn, collards, sweet potatos, squash, some herbs, and green beans planted.  I hate to say this, after all the rain this winter, but we could really use some rain.  The pastures could use some rain to get the grass to jump a bit and we hope to cut our first hay in May.  The garden could use a bit of rain as well.  We are watering from the well to get the crops going.

We will be skirting fleece and sending it off to the processor.  If there is enough, I would like to have socks made.  I am thinking large and extra large socks, mid calf height.  Let us know what you think.  We will only be able to carry a couple of sizes and right now, everyone we know has big feet like me...

We are experimenting with raising some turkeys.  They are Broad Breasted Bronze Turkeys.  We have six turkey poults, which are baby turkeys.  They are straight run, meaning both male and female.  We have had them for a week now and they are growing quickly.  We are feeding chicken starter 18% plus a bit of soybean meal to up the protein to 22%.  We will make a moveable pen out of an old trampoline and place wire around it.  It will keep them safe, give shade and shelter, and can be moved daily for them to free range on pasture.  We will keep everyone posted on how it works. 

We took the two lambs I bought from a friend to the processor and we have had lamb chops and steaks the last couple of nights.  Wow!  They are good, not as sweet as the Icelandic, but pretty darn good.  We grilled the steaks on the grill and boy, they were worth the effort to run to the other farm and carry feed and water over there as well.

Oh, Mr Paul has fixed the water lines and we were able to move the cows to the back pasture.  I had been fusing at Mr Paul for hitting the line with a trencher.  When we dug it up, it had been crushed, more then likely by the fence builders when they put in the cross fencing.  No matter...  We now have water to the back pasture and several water access points to fill water quicker and finally put in the auto waters.

My little lamb Baby Girl is sooo cute (the picture above and to the right is of Baby Girl.)  She is a shetland ewe lamb.  She is black now, but will gray out.  She is a pure Shetland ewe lamb and is my baby.  She follows me everywhere and hollars if I get out of site.  She even helped me catch a yearling Icelandic Lamb with her newborn by hollaring and getting the young mom to follow her up to the barn.  She is more help then the herding dog.  Baby Girl is now at the farm.  I wanted to pen her with Hill Billy, who is now a nigerian wether and have him teach her to eat better.  Hill Billy wanted to knock the baby around and be mean, so Baby Girl is by herself until we come up with a solution.  She is nibbling grain & eatting some hay, but needs to learn to eat more.