Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Feeding Time

Hampshire Ewe Lamb
Hampshire Ram Lambs
Growing Like a Dandelion
Feeding Time

The Peeps Have Arrived!

Oh my goodness gracious are these little guys cute! They arrived at our post office on Sunday and I could hear them as soon as I walked in.  They peep a lot when they're cold and who could blame them? 

My son raises all 125 for 8 weeks and then we sell them and people eat them and it's the best chicken I've ever tasted!  From here on out they will grow so fast their feathers can't keep up with them and they look a bit naked at times.  They eat a lot and poop a lot too.  It's a hard work keeping them happy but it's worth every bite.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Almost Done Lambing

Last week, 9015 delivered a single ram lamb all on her own. He's had a difficult time finding the mother's teet to nurse so they spent a few extra days in the lambing pen. Then #14 delivered a single ewe lamb last night just before feeding. I found the lamb and the mother in the back stall near the creep pen. It was also past Ned's feeding time which thoroughly confused #14. He was right in the middle of the three of us bleating for attention. I attempted to lure the mother to a pen by carrying her ewe lamb, but Ned was underfoot and the ewe lost interest part way there.  After a few attempts, I opted to just created a pen with the panels against the wall. 

We had an opportunity to visit the neighbor's Dorset lambs. They were easy to photograph and the lighting was great in their old red barn. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

Good News, Bad News

It was a busy weekend, two sets of triplets and a set of twins had arrived. Unfortunately all three ewes are raising one lamb a piece. We lost four lambs in 48 hours and frustration was setting in on both of us. Monday we found #140, "Curl" as I like to call her because she has a curled ear, who was raising two of her triplets after losing one after birth (Her mothering skills are in question looking back at her track record)had stepped on the back legs of one lamb. It was unable to stand even after splinting so it was moved into our heated tack room. Then #5, who was the most recent ewe to deliver, only had half an udder and one of her lambs appeared to go downhill later in the day showing symptoms of lethargy and a cold mouth so it was moved inside too. #4's triplets seemed to be doing well until...Tuesday morning. Upon hearing this after S. had done the feeding, I spent the day trying to save them but in the end it was all for nothing. They died that night. 
S. spent some time reading up on this issue that appeared to be plaguing our lambs. During the cold spell over half of this years lambs were born and not one died! Now with the temperature in the 30's and 40's, we were losing lambs right and left. As it turns out, with the warmer weather bacteria was the culprit. We learned how to prevent it and now we know how to prevent this from happening again. I call it learning the hard way through trial and error. Some might ask why not go to the vet and we have done that in the past only to find inconclusive answers after the cost of time, transportation and vet bills to receive very little information.  Most shepherds network whether it be on the phone or online but they have better luck finding the information they need and save money. I'm headed back to the barn to check on a the latest newborn and feed Ned.
The good news is my sister received her socks AND she wears them! Unlike my other sister who I knitted socks for who LOOKS at her socks!!