Back to normal…well, as normal as I get!

Shiloh went home yesterday, so it’s just us now here on the farm.  Poor Shiloh.  The people who recently adopted her are totally overwhelmed with the whipworm dilemna: yes, Shiloh has whipworms.  I took a sample to the vet for analyzing after finding a particularly disturbing looking pile of diarrhea she had.  Whipworms are not fun.  The eggs from them live in the ground for five years, so until you get rid of the problem, you have to scoop up the poop, which means no outside without being on a leash…this is just not the way Shiloh’s adopted family operates.  Plus, they have a grand dog who frequents the place, which makes him susceptible.  Shiloh’s had her first series of meds, and is looking much happier. I think the poor girl’s had a belly ache for several months from infestation, and is probably somewhat anemic.  Meanwhile, around here, I was able to find 10 of the possibly 14 piles of poop that she deposited on the grounds in the 8 days or so she was here; I’ve cloroxed all the wood floors and vacuumed all the rugs.  Given that the mature worms lay eggs sporadically (to be declared negative, you need four negative fecal samples in a row.) the chances that Lizzie will walk through a pile and then lick her feet, when there are maybe 4 piles on 42 acres, or more realistically, on the about 4 acres we’ve been wandering around on, are slim.  But I’ll have her checked in the requisite 12 weeks it takes, and then regularly checked for five years.  I feel bad for Shiloh, who’s just gotten used to her new family, but there was a woman here last Tuesday, a spinning friend, and a dear heart, who would like Shiloh.  I have suggested she talk to her vet first to be absolutely sure.  She lives in a place where one can only have dogs on leashes, and must scoop poop anyway, so that eliminates the major difficulties of caring for a dog with this condition.  I hope her vet has no major issues and she will take Shiloh.  Shiloh spent a lot of time with her while she was here.  I think it is a good match, perhaps even a better one than her current family.  It means another adjustment for her, but she is very good natured, and I’m sure will do fine.

Meanwhile, this morning the sheep got their last hay.  This afternoon, hopefully when it is not raining, I will put them out on pasture by extending their winter pasture. Tomorrow, I will worm them and put them out on major pasture, and they will not return to the winter quarters until next November.  Somewhere in there I have to figure out what to do with the goats, where to put them where there’s some browse for them.  And I have to check with Walter about the piglets, which I thought would be here by now.  The cockerals in the barn are almost feathered out and ready to go to their new home.  The straight run chickens which will stay here will then go out in a large cage or two in chicken village, until they are a little older and able to run free, surrounded by poultry netting.  The geese are growing like weeds, and I will have to prop up their netting so they don’t get caught in it.  They still have another two weeks before they can go out, and will then go down behind the shed in the turkey pen.  And the turkey poults will be ready soon.  ARGH!  It will be busy around here starting next week.

To add to that, next weekend is the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool festival in Contoocook, N.H. at the Hopkinton State Fairgrounds.  It is always on Mother’s Day weekend.  I’ve done close to nothing in the way of handwork this last six months, between the healing wrist and hand, and the extra animals…but I do have 22 nice fleeces to sell, raw, clean, skirted.  I’m hoping that it will go well, and that people will like them and I’ll sell a lot.  A few I’ll give to Pogo at Friends’ Folly Farm to process into rovings.  Later I will be sending some to her to make into yarn.  Oh, wait, maybe I’ll be bringing them to the festival: the yarn is a combined project of myself and another jacob breeder, and her shearing is Wednesday.  So, I will be there helping with skirting and can bring home some of the fleeces which will be made into yarn.  That will save us some money on postage.  Good!

If you are of a mind to do so, please drop in at the festival on Mother’s Day weekend: it is a wondrous thing: over 100 vendors, I think, sheep dog demos, camelids as well, sheep show, mini courses, lots to do…and if you come, look for me at the HodgePodge Yarns and Fibers booth.  Sue and I share the booth.  Make yourself known to us.  Happy knitting and spinning!

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