Monday, November 4, 2013

Good Morning From a 54 degree house!

I woke up to the sound of cud being chewed. That content and rhythmic song. It's pleasant, sure, but not the kind of pleasant I am used to hearing in my living room at 5:30AM. I had fallen asleep downstairs by the wood stove on the day bed. On nights like this—when the temperature drops ten or so degrees below freezing—you sleep closer to the stove. The lamb next to be was coincidental.

The ram lamb was in the house because I found him yesterday morning looking droopy and walking as if he was drunk. All the other sheep were fine, but he was staggering like a frat boy at 3AM. I went to check on him and he didn't run off like other lambs, and that was a bad sign. I scooped him up and brought him inside to check on. I looked him over in my bathroom, going through all the signs and stages of a few possible causes of the illness. Finally I decided to go for the standard TLC treatment for sheep: ProPen, Electrolytes, and Observation. He was given a few doses and drenched with some sugar water and now he is recovering well. My house smells like a barn and Gibson is highly motivated to remain indoors.

the little lamb will be fine. I'm not worried at all. I've seen this before and my best bet is some sort of bacterial infection that knocks them out like we get knocked out by a stomach bug. Some meds and softer care and he'll be back up with his mom and brother in no time. And they should be excited about that because the sheep shed that was literally ramshackle (Atlas, my ram, destroyed the walls) was repaired yesterday by my friend Brett. He stopped by to pick up Atlas for his flock and was kind enough to help nail back together the bits of the farm destroyed by his charge. He shook his head though, saying it might be Atlas's last year at his place. Apparently this guy has a bent edge on destruction, wrecking houses wherever he goes. Monday (my up and coming Ram) seems a lot more gentle. It's a plus when the last guy tears down buildings like 1980's rock stars destroy hotel rooms.

Yesterday was nuts. A sick ram lamb. A shed repaired. Livestock pimping. And seven chickens slaughtered. Yup. I got a call the night before from Patty asking if I could come and show her how to dress out a chicken. She has taken care of countless game birds but most of those critters don't get the whole skinless/gutless/roaster treatment. I was happy to help because I had two roosters destined for the pot as well. It took us two or three hours to get through all seven (three laying hen roosters and four GIANT cornish crosses she was gifted) but we got it done. We were disgusted and impressed by the Cornish Crosses. For all their mutant-waddling- grossness they sure do put on the pounds. The bird we had last night dressed out at 11.5 pounds, no joke. That is a HUGE chicken and I have photographic evidence to prove it (see below). Four of us had a meal of just ONE side of the breast and a leg Mark gnawed on. Impressive is indeed the word.

So that's what I have been up to: Lamb nursing, chicken killing, miracle witnessing, Dumb Supper hosting for Samhain night, and dreaming about deer season. Just two weeks or so and I'll be praying for antlers. Wish all of us here luck, and check back soon for more soon. I have a story about dinner with our memories, a new workshop, and sewing updates galore. Lots of cloaks being mailed out, which I am SO grateful to be doing for you fine people.

P.S. I just got a phone call from a neighbor falconer asking if I was allowed a transferred red tail, or if I had to trap a passage bird, since he had a beautiful female ready to be let go or given to another falconer. I sadly had to decline the awesome gift, since I need to trap a young bird and train it myself... I never thought I'd be turning down hawks on Monday mornings from my home office. Life is neat.