Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rain, rain, hot, hot ... see the crops grow!

First there was a drought. Then, it rained! and it rained and it rained and it rained ... Okay, it rained over a few weeks 3", but I cannot complain. Now it is hot, hot, hot - again, not complaining! The heat is making the crops grow AND the pastures too!

The pastures that the ewes came off of will be regrown in a few weeks!! The best part is that I have enough grass to put all my Shetlands on until the newer pastures grow back!! (yes, I told my husband he couldn't mow 1 acre of the lawn, but ... )

Last year at this time we were supplementing with hay and started full hay feeding by August 14th. I'm so hopeful that we will make it through to fall without digging into the hay. Speaking of hay, it's delivered and all but 117 bales are stacked in the hay sheds.

What a lovely site!! The ewes & lambs on new pasture!!

So, last year I purchased a Gotland/Finn/Shetland mixed lamb. By 6 months she was nearly the size of the mature Shetlands!! She's lovely and so is her fleece. So, I put my black katmoget ram on her and she had twin ewe lambs. One, a lovely black and the other black katmoget, but look at her, isn't she lovely!! I hope the colour of her fleece stays, what do you think??

Well, need to finish some portable fencing so the boys can have new pasture. Happy summer!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lambs, ewes and rams ...

It is, afterall, a blog about a Shetland Sheep Farm! :)

I've listed several 2009 lambs and two mature ewes on my other blog ( Take a look and let me know what you think about my lambs.

Windy Grange Farm is also pleased to have brought in a new mature ram, Nier Lakes Emmet S28304! He has Dailley genetics and has a slightly more primative fleece than my other rams. He and my ewes with a similar fleece should produce some lovely lambs.

I've sold off most of this years fleeces and realized I only saved myself ONE!! The few others are for teaching. I did purchase a few fleeces from the Olds Fibre Week Fleece Show and Sale, so I should have enough to keep me busy.

Tomorrow we move hay. I guess I should say, the boys move hay. Because of my lacerated & sutured hand, I'm unable to toss the small bales (and was strongly lectured by the ER doctor not to). So, I get to supervise and to BBQ for the hungry boys. Luckily, we have hay and it's from the producer I like to purchase from. His hay is some of the best in the area!! It always tests at the high ends for protein and other micro/macro nutrients!

Thursday I need to move the ewes and lambs. It's nearing time to seperate the older lambs, but that will have to wait until next week. This week? we are going camping!

Have a happy week.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quick update ...

Lambing season has come and gone. 27 live lambs and one stillborn to 13 ewes. Since, we've been busy, busy, busy ...

We are in a drought again! I was sure we'd be feeding hay again next week, then the clouds opened up and blessed us with 3 inches of rain over the last week and a half!! Now for a little warmth and the pastures will be in good shape for the Shetlands!! Unfortunately, the hay crop is lacking so some farmers are scrambling to train or truck in hay from the East. I'm fortunate that our neighbour is our hay supplier. He normally bales (small squares) 9,000 but only baled 1,500 this year. Our hay is being picked up Wednesday, now I'm set for the winter - or earlier if need be.

I've also injured my hand. My husband has been after me to use leather gloves, but I so hate wearing any type of gloves when I work. What happen you ask?? Well, I was moving a ram into the trailer and he tried to scoot under the trailer door and, having him by the horns, my hands/arms went with him. I scooted him back under the door to load him into the trailer when I realized I was bleeding. So, in the trailer he goes, the doors get closed and I inform my friend it was time to go to the hospital for sutures.

I spent a week down at Olds College for Fibre Week. While in Olds I was able to see Linda Wendelboe, who let me come to her farm to see her Shetlands. Thanks Linda! I had a wonderful time chatting, you farm is lovely. It was also great to see and pet a few Shetlands, I always start missing my gals so! I've finally learned to use my wheel properly, so as soon as the hand heals I'll be spinning to the hearts content! I purchased lots of toys, some fleeces and met some wonderful people. I cannot wait to go back next year.

More updates later, but I will leave you with a picture of my orphan ewe lambs. Aren't they lovely?? They are becoming extremely friendly, perhaps I should continue to work with them to be show Shetlands?? Now to find a show ... lol

We took the ewe lambs to a family gathering because I thought my nephews and niece would enjoy seeing and petting them. I found there were more children there, cousins children. The Shetland lambs were a HIT!! I'm still the coolest Auntie "ever"! As you see, they no longer fit in a box, so it's time to find a large dog carrier for them.

While at the family gathering at the lake cabin, a storm blew through. Huge chunks of hail pelted us! I ran in the house, looked out the window to see hail pelting the poor lambs!! My husband and I ran back out into the hail storm to save the poor things! They were very happy to be back in their "box" and out of the hail. When the storm was over, this is what was left.

The pen where the lambs were. Look at the size of that hail!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Adventures of three chicks and a lamb ...

Two chicks were watering the sheep. One ram lamb had a icky looking eye. The two chicks decided to investigate and while one chick went to get antibiotics, the other chick decided to try to catch the lamb. When the chick with the antibiotics returned, the other chick had caught the lamb, but tripped and fell thus releasing the lamb. *sigh*

The two chicks run after the lamb, who hid by his mom and brothers. The two chicks corner the mom and lambs - Yay! Well, the mom escaped with one of the lambs, the other two decided to try to escape through the electric fence thus sending jolts through the one chick. One lamb escaped, but the injured lamb was captured and looked after. Unfortunately, the lamb had a HUGE cut on his eyelid needing stitches, on a Saturday evening - Oy!

So the two chicks put the lamb into the nursery and went to call the vet. She was pissy with the one chick, but agreed to come in but had to emphasize that she charged $100 just to meet at the office - in GP no less!!! *le sigh* So, the two chicks get ready to leave and the third chick decided to come along for the fun.

So, two chicks decide that the pregnant chick should NOT hold the lamb, he may kick her and she is, after all, pregnant! So, the three chicks get into the truck with the lamb and head to GP to see the vet.

Not far down the road the chick with the lambs says the lamb just pooped. "Are you sure?," ask the other two chicks, and she replies, "yes, they hit my foot and bounced off, I am sure." Just then, the pregnant chick opens the window in disgust and states that the smell is so horrid, "... pull over and get rid of the poo or I'm going to puke," so we did.

We giggled the rest of the trip to GP and we were nearly to the vets office this chick with the lamb states, " leg is feeling awfully warm, I think the lamb peed on me." "What did you do with the towel I gave you to wrap him in?" the chick in the drivers seat asked. "I think it moved when the lamb tried to kick me..." the chick with the lamb stated. The pregnant chick laughed.

We got to the vet office, in one piece I may add, and the chick in the drivers seat grabs the lamb and jets in to see the vet. The other two chicks join us in the vets office where the one chick says, "I hope you weren't intending to wear your green sweatshirt that was in the truck ..." The three chicks laugh, the vet looked confused.

Then the vet gives the three chicks instructions on the care of the lamb. You try putting ointment into the eye of a lamb that you can hardly catch!! Oh, and the "dye" in the eye of the lamb will not harm his cornea, it is meant for the eyes of sheep! It is, after all, a antiseptic and has a bit of dye in it so you can see that you got it in their eye!! Duh!

During the entire drive to the vet, all three chicks were discussing food. It was late, after all, and we hadn't eaten in a long time. I don't think the lamb was thrilled that we thought of going to the Greek restaurant and offerning him as food was such a nice thing. Meh.

The story ends with the vet fixing the lamb, the three chicks end up with pita's because everything else was closed and the lamb happily returns to his mommy!

Post Note: The lamb's eye is healing nicely and the nice vet used stitches that will dissolve! :0)

PSS ... After writing the Post Note, the said lamb had ripped the corner of his eye and has been back to the vet. She figures it will heal nicely this time and that he hasn't lost much of his eyelid. This time he wet upon my friend Lance! lol Oh, the adventures I have with my friends with my Shetlands!