Archive for July, 2008

Hot and humid…

July 19, 2008

…but the truth is, having spent four days last week in Massachusetts and New Jersey, this is very bearable! I had forgotten just how humid and hot it can be in New Jersey. We both wilted…and I came back sick, but that was then, and this is now. I’m glad we went, as we were able to be there for Peter’s birthday (grandson, turned 9 on Tuesday), but oh, so glad to be home again.

This morning I was out at 6 to get stuff done before the heat set in. Changed the girls’ pasture once again (a perpetual chore!), started to set up a new pasture for the meat lambs, put the breeding stock lambs back inside the shed/high tensile pasture space. Tomorrow or Monday I will give them their CDT’s and then put the boys in with the boys, the girls in with the girls. And by August 1st, hopefully get rid of the meat lambs. Then, I expanded the goats’ pasture. They were down to sedum, which they don’t seem to eat. Now they have more rocks to climb, lots of wild blackberry bushes, and other yummy ground covers and brambles to sample. Then I checked the pigs’ food: NONE! ARGH! It was only a week ago I filled their feeder with 100 pounds of food! Rushed off to the grain store for 150 pounds of food for them; meanwhile gave them milk and a bunch of boxes of cereal I had bought for John to try when we eliminated high fructose corn syrup from our diet; he rejected a few boxes, and they just sat there. This morning, the pigs ate them, along with a gallon of raw milk. When I got back, I hauled the grain bags out to the pasture behind the house where the pigs live, emptied them into smaller pails, more reasonable to carry and lift, and filled the feeder with all 150 pounds of food: 100 pounds of whole organic grain and 50 pounds of pig food, mixed. That should hold them for a while. Then I replaced the big piece of plywood I put over the feeder, since I found out it leaks and the food gets all nasty inside, and came inside ready for a nap.

Here’s the goaties, at least Rose and Violet (Daisy was off hopping on another rock) cavorting in their new space:

And here’s LIzzie on one of her frequent trips to check up on the pigs. She is fascinated with them, and insists on checking on them eight or nine times a day. She just stands there, close to the fence and watches them for as long as I let her do so. They often come over to check her out as well.

I’ve been busily knitting baby sweaters and such for Lizzie’s vet, for the store, for Bobby’s daughter, who is expecting in November. I have most all of them done and now just need to do the finish work, weaving in ends, putting buttons on…all the stuff I really hate to do. Then, I have to get started on socks. Only six or seven weeks until the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival, and another week until the Tunbridge World’s Fair. It will be a busy September. But first, a differently busy August, filled with visits of grandkids, cousins, friends, and our trip to Burlington to see Prairie Home Companion at the Champlain Valley Fair…I’m tired just thinking about it all.

Here’s Frodo!

July 12, 2008

I can’t say this is a great photo of him, but I’ve been out all morning mowing and moving fencing and re-doing the pig feeder which apparently is not waterproof, so it got water in it and molded all the food, and feeding the animals, and I’m wiped, so this is the photo I was able to take in a short time, before coming in out of the sun and heat for awhile.

I hope Carl and Cheryl are as pleased with the little guy they took of mine as I am with Frodo.  I think they were disappointed that he didn’t have a name…this was such a bad March and April: I was still grieving for Margaret who died in February, and looking forward to the new puppy, and trying to get caught up with stuff, and lambs came quickly with my not paying a whole lot of attention to the process nor to ‘friendly-ing them up.’  Sometimes you just have a year like that.  On the other hand, now they can name him whatever they want to!

I got a lot of mowing done this morning.  And the new pasture fenced in so I an easily put them in in the morning.  This afternoon I still have to change the boys’ pasture and figure out where the lambs go from here…probably they’ll stay right where they are for now, until they’ve had their second CDT shots next week.  I just have to find a way to make more grass accessible to them.  Later!  First lunch and a cat nap.  Have a great weekend.

Progress…

July 11, 2008

On July 4th I finished separating all the lambs, and gave CDT shots to the last ones.  Then, they were separated into two groups: one group which would be sold as breeding stock, and a second group, which I am not willing to sell as breeding stock, even if they pass muster, for they just aren’t good enough.  I won’t sell a lamb I wouldn’t also buy.  There are six definites in that “not good enough” category.  And a couple of iffy’s I haven’t quite decided about.  There is one little boy who is beautiful except for some mild split upper eyelid issues.  I was just going to cull him, but Royal suggested that perhaps I oughtn’t to do so, since they aren’t severe problems.  I’m thinking about it.

Today Carl and Cheryl came up from Massachusetts with my new little ram lamb from them, Frodo.  Tomorrow I’ll try to post his picture. I think he’s quite wonderful.  We put him with the other ram lambs in a small pen to get used to each other for two hours or so, while we looked at the farm, talked, and ate lunch.  Then, they picked out one of mine (we traded), and packed him into their truck, and let the others out into the field.  They seem to be doing well.

They left, after helping me load Thomasina, an older ewe, into my truck, and I delivered her to a woman in N.H., who had two elderly sheep, and one needed to be put down.  She wanted another elderly sheep.  So, Thomasina went to N.H.  I will miss her, but she isn’t being bred anymore and she’ll be coddled throughout old age at this little farm with just two sheep.  So, it’s a good deal all around.  It’s hard for me to keep sheep who aren’t producing more sheep, given the unbelievable rise in grain and hay prices.  They’ve more than doubled, almost tripled, but the prices for sheep have pretty much remained the same.  It’s hard to even break even anymore, much less make a profit.


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