Archive for April, 2012

The goatie girls have arrived!

April 27, 2012

Wednesday morning, I took Annabelle Goatie-girl to be bred, thinking I had about a week and a half before Hazel had kids, and that would give her some peace and quiet.

Yesterday morning I went out to find Hazel and three doelings. Two were three pounds each and very healthy, all dried off and walking around; clearly they had been born the evening before. The third was hyperthermic (hypo? cold and weak and almost dead!). So, I brought her into the house, gave her a nice warm bath to raise her body temperature, and had to tube her, once she was warmed up, since she wouldn’t /couldn’t suck…which meant I had to go milk out mama!  During the course of the day, I milked and tubed three times.  After dinner, I started her on the bottle.  She took about a half ounce each time, but very reluctantly, unwilling or unable to nurse properly.  But she was up and around, walking, standing, and when sleeping, being a very good girl, all wrapped in a “receiving blanket”, bound tight, and quiet for a few hours until it was time for feeding, peeing, and exercise.

This morning I went out, gave all the lambs their first CDT’s, wormed everyone, and put the sheep out to pasture. Then, I got littlest goatie girl, and put her with mama, who heard her wailing on the way and called back, eager to have her little one back. Mama was very attentive, and baby found the fountain and had a big drink.  I guess she did know how to nurse, just didn’t want that nasty plastic nipple!  (Lizzie won’t drink from plastic water containers either!  She’s a very discerning and particular dog!)  Anyway,  I’ll check every couple of hours and make sure the little one is continuing to progress. Depending on what I find, I may bring her in for the night, since it’s supposed to be below freezing tonight and she was very compromised. She was two pounds yesterday. Today, she is a little plumper, but the other two look to have grown bigger, so she’s about half their size.

This is a too dark picture of the littlest girl inside early yesterday.  She is very sweet, but was quite weak at this point.

Later in the day, she was standing and walking and quite active.

Here are the other two, out with mama yesterday.  Later today or tomorrow, I’ll try to get better photos. It has been very gloomy out, not conducive to good photos.

So, here it is 9:30 in the a.m. and I’ve already done a day’s work and am ready for a nap!  Hah!  Not bloody likely…at least not this morning.  I’m thinking I should do some spinning, or finish up that pair of socks I’m working on.  Then there’s the sweater and the shawl.  The New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival isn’t all that far away. These things should ALL be finished by then.



It’s been awhile…

April 23, 2012

I was reminded by a friend this morning that it’s been awhile since I have posted anything.  It’s been a very busy couple of weeks.  Easter came and went, beginning with the birth of the last lambs, twins, born to Turtle, that morning. Luckily, she finished in time for me to get inside, get freed of birth slime, cleaned up, dressed and off to church.  The following week I was “on” so I spent a good deal of time during the week, continuing the reading on “resurrection” and writing a sermon.  Our son and two of the three grandkids came that weekend, and the kids served as acolyte while Granny served as priest.  It was neat.  Then, the following Wednesday, 12 for dinner, for a “Seekers” meeting, a group of people who gather for dinner and to discuss a pre-chosen topic.  This month, it was resurrection, and not all that exciting.  Next month, it is “end of life” decisions, which I suggested, based on having read an article about Dr. Ira Byock and his work in palliative care at DHMC, and about his new book, which I need to order and read.  He is a remarkable man who began his specialty in palliative care when, while in med school, his father fell ill. He and his wife took his father in and cared for him, while he slowly lived the last few months of his life, dying by bits.  That convinced Dr. Byock to specialize. He declares no one should have to die alone or in pain, and it is his life’s work to make sure that doesn’t happen. He developed an incredible end of life support network in the middle west, and for the past few years, has been at Dartmouth doing the same thing.    I’m hoping we get him to come to our church to speak, as well as talk about end of life stuff with the small group.

So, Wednesday finished up, the tabletop put down in the basement again, (John made me a 4 x 8 tabletop that fits over are smaller kitchen table, so we can accommodate larger crowds for dinner!) life gets simpler for awhile.  It will still be a busy week. Yesterday, I gave a first knitting lesson to new friend, George, in exchange for some acupuncture treatments.  I was getting numb hands when knitting for long periods.  He gave me the first treatment and after knitting last night, that hand did NOT get numb. Yea for acupuncture!  Yea for George!  Who went home with an inch knitted and instructions to keep knitting until it was second nature. Next week we purl, and then do ribbing, and then, choose a pattern, and he’s off and running.  Friend, Candace, came with him. She is making a vest/shawl for her mom, and planned to begin it while here, but forgot the pattern. Nevertheless, she was kept busy, balling up all the skeins, made easier by my “tools” for doing so quickly…ball winder and skein unwinder (not sure what one calls it).  And then she did a swatch. So today, she can start knitting, after a review of casting on yesterday.

Today, I’m off to Sue’s for awhile this morning, antidote to the drearies. It has been raining for two days straight and is gloomy and damp out.  I’m not complaining, mind you, for we desperately need the rain. You can almost hear the blades of grass singing a “Te Deum” for being watered, and I swear, it’s grown two inches in the last 36 hours…which is good, since I only have five days of hay left!  Then, the sheep go out on pasture…so it would be nice to actually HAVE pasture.

Wednesday I take Annabelle Goatie girl to be bred, and that gives Hazel some peace and quiet to deliver her kids, somewhere around May 5.  And I have a couple of people coming for spiritual direction during the week.  I also have to arrange for someone to take our camper up to it’s summer location on Island Pond, as our son is now unable to do it.  Disappointing, but it’s not the end of the world.

The lambs continue to grow. Final count, 19 lambs, five of which are girls.  It WAS a ram-year!  Fortunately, I’ve got orders for six of them already.  And I”ve sold one ewe and her unregisterable lamb to a friend who just wants them as pets.

The piglets are starting to be a little more calm when I go into their pen to give them their morning egg and milk and pig food and water.  Hopefully, they’ll calm down even more in the next couple of weeks. I need to get the electronetting in their pen to train them to it, in the next week or so, and then, once trained, get them out in the woods, while they’re still light enough to carry!  It’s a busy time of year, the farm waking up to the summer system. There is a hen setting on some eggs. I have more eggs to collect for Lucas to hatch out…so I have to move THAT setting hen, for the others keep moving into her box and layig their eggs in it with hers, which is confusing for everyone, including me, who then doesn’t know which eggs are being hatched and which are fresh and need to be removed.  So, I’ll move her and that should end that problem.

Okay, enough for now.  I hope all is well with all of you out there in blogland and spring is springing forth where you live as well.