Tuesday, April 24, 2012

farm update

Weekday mornings are a bit more hectic than usual these days. The usual chores of feeding sheep, chickens, rabbits and a pony have been compounded with the morning milking routine, lambing checks, tending to the new crop of laying hens and meat birds and the earliest gardening endeveours. It requires getting up a little earlier than usual, but not much. Bonita and I have hit our stride and she seems to be back into steady production and temperature. I think her problem was I wasn't milking her out entirely, and her right udder kept getting overfilled. I now do it properly, and when we are done milking her teats look like lifeless jewlry hanging under her udder, totally empty. No longer the loud and yelling beakons of MILKMILKMILK. You learn as you go.

No more lambs yet, and it is driving me nuts. Three or more sheep look like they are ready to burst and I am certain at least one has twins. I am locked and loaded for their arrival. I have Iodine, tail docking equipment, syringes, lamb paste, and bottles if I need them. All of my sheep have lambed in the night, so I check before bed and again in the middle of the night, and again in the morning for any new arrivals. It's an exciting time here. Three ewes are already promise to Common Sense Farm, and the rest will either stick around or be bartered. I think Brett and some others are interested in them as well.

On the horse front, things are getting better and better. Merlin and I are practicing regularly, our schooling tasks in dressage as well as trail riding and communication outside the arena. On Sunday Patty came along to help me out, walking with us around the riding stable, across grass, through gates, all of Merlin's vices. He did well and I stayed on and I call that a success. Patty even signed up for a lesson with Steele right after mine on Fridays. What a riot: jenna and her black pony followed up by Patty and her white giant. It'll be fantastic seeing a draft horse in the cross ties at Riding Right though! Move over Warmbloods, time for some cold-ass cart horses to move on in!

Ryan Gosling is still limping, but I gave him some medication for his bad leg and seems to be holding fast. I'll keep you posted.

photo by 468photography


Blogger Christine said...

Gee whiz lady- when do you sleep?! I can barely lift my eight month old out of his crib for a midnight feed, let alone trudge outside to check for lambs. Good for you!

April 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kills me that the gander's name is Ryan Gosling. I laugh every time I read that!

April 24, 2012 at 12:23 PM  
Blogger Moose Hollow Farm said...

Sounds like the days are busy but I'm sure that you wouldn't have it any other way. Cold Antler Farm sounds like your own slice of heaven. Enjoy!!

April 24, 2012 at 12:53 PM  
Blogger daisy g said...

You are livin' large, Jenna.

April 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM  
Blogger becky3086 said...

I do have those days when I think, "I bet my co-workers don't have to come home and do this" or "Who else gets pig slop on them before work?"
You just keep going and if it gets to much you downsize a little, lol.

April 24, 2012 at 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah! Remember when you doubted that ANY of your ewes had been bred? Sounds like the ram earned his pay, after all :)

April 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM  
Blogger Cary ~ My Wool Mitten at Serenity Farms said...

Jenna, you are a joy. A pure and simple joy to read ;) I am old farm woman, lol - well, in my mid-fifties and I grew up "in the life" but I find your enthusiasm and dedication inspiring. I'm surrounded by young people not interested in continuing, so am encouraged to find ones who do.

I don't know if this method would fit into your schedule or not, and it has no scientific data to back it up but it worked for years and years for my mother (the shepherdess before me in our family) and it has worked for years for me. My mom never went to the barn/pasture to check expectent ewes in the middle of the night. She always said, if you wake them up they'll just lamb. If I'm still feeding hay for lambing season, I do so at 4 pm or so, then check at 7 pm and if no one is showing signs, I go to bed till 5 the next morning. In the last ten years I've only had three lambings occur during the night and those were ones who were showing signs, so I was checking on them. If that fits in your work schedule, maybe you could try it?

LOL, of course now I have jinxed myself by sharing this and next year will have lambs all born in the middle of the night! Good luck and stay encouraged. You're doing just fine...

April 24, 2012 at 5:59 PM  
Blogger The Rehomesteaders said...

Having nursed a few children, I can attest to how important it is to get all of that milk out, haha! Sounds like exciting stuff is happening around your farm! We're still waiting on our lamb here...
-Rachael from The Rehomesteaders

April 24, 2012 at 8:06 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Jenna you are amazing...as I've called you before- a whirling dervish! I so love to read your blog each day- thanks for taking the time from all that is your wonderful "Vida Loca" to keep us updated~ I hope little Ryan continues to get better & hope you have all your new babies very soon! Also, I just knew you & Merlin would settle into each other :)

April 24, 2012 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger admin said...

Hope Ryan can heal up...like the little fellow.

Way to go for you and Patty tearing it up with the high class riders!

April 25, 2012 at 1:37 AM  

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