Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Finally, Another Shetland

This is the little girl that greeted me just before I went to bed last night:

The best shot I could get this morning, as Abra (her mom) was being the typical Shetland and not letting me get near her. Of course, that's what I like about the Shetlands - their primitive responses to things like lambing. Don't let anyone with a camera get close to your lambs! The lamb looks to be grey yuglet katmoget - sired by Psalm 23 Edinburagh, now gone from the farm, as he tried to kill one of his ewes last fall.

Now to finish my cup of coffee and back outside. We had a set of Coopworth twins early this morning and I want to check on them. One of our Polypays is soon to lamb. And Nutmeg, another of our Shetlands, had a difficult lambing this morning - I ended up having to corral her and pull the lamb. Lamb is a ewe (I think) and appears to be nursing, but Nutmeg is very skittish and I wanted to back off and let them do their thing without me hovering. I thought that was a good excuse to come in for a few minutes and have my first cup of the morning.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

We are just over a week into lambing and we have 35 lambs on the ground. 21 ewes have lambed, with 44 (I think - I have a tendency to lose track at this point and the farm records are on another part of the computer, so I'm winging it here) yet to go. The majority of these lambs are Polypay, Coopworth and crosses. Here's one little guy - or gal - I can't tell from this angle:

This little one was either just getting up from a nap on Mom's back or is using her as a springboard in a game of lamb tag. It's very hard to get action shots, in the barn, at dusk. This was the best I could do.

Nap time in the nursery - our only colored Coopworth lamb so far this year - I can tell you that this one is a little ewe:

And another nap group, this time being watched over by Mom.

So far, only one Shetland lamb. This is Maia's little moorit ewe:

So far, it has all gone fairly smoothly. I do have one set of twins with a good mom, but she doesn't seem to have enough milk, so I have been supplementing them. And on Saturday, when I thought I was going to sleep in a bit, Larry woke me at about 5:30 to let me know that one of the ewes had triplets - two were with her in the barn, one was out in the barnyard. She lost count, apparently, and one was in need of tubing. So I threw my coveralls on over my pajamas and tube fed a lamb on the kitchen floor. She revived, but Mom would not take her back, so she is a full-time bottle lamb. Cute little thing, with a black eye patch. She lived in the "playpen" in the kitchen for about 24 hours - now she is in the nursery with the other moms and babies. I'll try to get a picture of her on here the next time.
Back out to check on sheep again now and do mid-morning chores. Or maybe one more cup of coffee!?!?

Sunday, April 11, 2010


First lambs, born last night between 7:30 (when we noticed she was in labor) and 10:30 (when I decided she was only having twins and they were both nursing). Purebred Polypays. You can see one nicely - only the nose of the other one.

Second lambs, born this morning - around 10:30. Clun Forest x Polypay. I think she was only having twins - once I got her in the jug, she refused to turn around for me so I could check to see if more were on the way. She is very skittish and I don't like stressing her too much when she is in that tiny space with new lambs - so I try to stay out of her way. Fortunately, she is one of the best moms in the pasture, so I don't worry about her too much.
So, two jugs full - many more to go!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No Pictures of Spring Break

Spring break was last week. We took five days and went to San Francisco. We took some really nice pictures and I wanted to show you some of them. However, they were taken with our new camera, which has a much higher resolution than the one I use to take pictures for the blog and the web site. And, since we have dial-up, it was taking forever trying to get them loaded. So I'll just hit on the high points -

We stayed right in the Fisherman's Wharf district - very nice. We rode cable cars and trolleys. One cable car we took to the cable car museum, where we saw the continuously running cables that make the cable cars move. When we attempted to get back on a cable car to continue on our way, they were very crowded, so we decided to walk for awhile. We ended up in Chinatown. I'm glad the cable car was crowded. Chinatown was fascinating - all the shop signs were in Chinese with no English translations. We turned down a little alley and found a little "factory" making fortune cookies (it's actually written up in all the guide books, but I had sort of forgotten about it until we came upon it). I had a nice picture of Chinatown to insert here, but too many pixels.

We took a ferry to Alcatraz - the night tour (meaning we took the ferry over about 6:30 and returned to Fisherman's Wharf around 9:00 for a late supper - I think Nicholas really wanted to take the NIGHT tour, so he could look for the ghosts he had seen on "Ghost Hunters"). Very interesting place, kind of depressing, though - although I guess that was the whole point in putting the prison there. I had pictures of that too.

In Golden Gate Park, we stopped by the Academy of Sciences, where we took in the Planetarium show. We had tea at the Japanese Tea Garden (Nicholas took a perfect picture of the tea garden framed by gorgeous flowers - rhododendrons, maybe - too many pixels).

One morning we took a cab out to the San Francisco end of the famous bridge (picture of that too that you are not seeing). I took pictures at Fort Point, pictures of Sausalito and Alcatraz Island across the Bay, pictures of the Pacific on the other side of the bridge. Lots of pictures, as we walked all the way back to the hotel - must have been 10 miles or so - just kidding - it was probably only 3 or 4 miles. We visited the USS Hornet, had ice cream at Ghirardelli's, saw the port of Oakland - one of the coolest things was just before we landed back in Milwaukee - our flight followed I-94 and I got a picture of Johnson Creek and even saw our farm from the plane (although, in all honesty, the picture of the farm didn't turn out, so you aren't missing a picture of that).

We ate lots of good food, although I didn't take pictures of that, so nothing missing there - salmon, clams, calamari, dungeness crab - we had an absolutely fantastic lunch at a little hole-in-the-wall Japanese restaurant - Kitchen Kura, I think it was called - probably a few health code violations there - but I actually ate my whole meal with chopsticks - they didn't offer stainless (although we did get Nicholas a fork so, as Larry put it, he wouldn't starve to death). We actually do have a picture of the outside of the restaurant, but - oh, you know by now. And I made it to one yarn store - no pictures, but I do have a picture of the yarn I bought - I took that after we got home with my very old, 1.3 mega pixel camera!

Lambing should start any day now. Hopefully not tonight, as we are getting rain at the moment, which sounds like it is turning to sleet and is predicted to turn to snow before morning. I'll try to blog once in awhile after the lambs start arriving.