Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Periodically, I like to check out what kind of vintage dresses etsy has listed.  Here are a few.  My oldest gasped when she saw the brown velvet one.  I think that means she really liked it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More lambs and some gross stuff

Last week, #2 had a lamb and I could tell she was not done having lambs, so I hung around.  The first one was a beautiful, mottled girl who we now refer to as Mable (marble without the R, Dear named her).  As I was waiting, I could see she was having difficulty and I was concerned it would be another Gigantor and #2 may not be able to handle delivering it.  I could see a nose and a hoof, but not the other hoof.  It is normally best to let them lamb unassisted, so I waited some more.  A head popped out, but still only one hoof.  I called the vet and he told me I needed to reach inside and grab the other leg and bring it forward.  My arm and hand was clean and I needed to do this pretty quickly, so I removed my ring and slipped my hand inside.  (Note to self, keep elbow length disposable gloves on hand and close by.)  I was up to my mid forearm and I still could not find the leg.  I felt her pushing and with each push I loosened "stuff" and slowly slipped my arm out.  I must have done something right because the lamb came out.  I called the vet to let him know all was well and the lamb looked healthy and to ask him if I should start giving her antibiotics since I had my arm inside her.  He thought that was a good idea and told me the dosage.  So, for three days we gave her an intramuscular shot of penicillin.  She is looking great and so are her two lambs. 
This morning, Dear went to the barn to give Igor and Tae their bottle and almost missed a new little guy.  Yes, another merino ram lamb, ugh!  Princess had a healthy boy.  She looks like she is a very protective mother.  We locked them up in their own pen so they would not be disturbed and we gave her some fresh water.  Water is very important to a ewe that just lambed.  (Do I say, "a ewe that" or "a ewe who"?  Ewes are not people, but they are not things either.)  They are pretty thirsty right away and they need the water to help with their milk flow.  I will check on them again in about 15 minutes.
We also picked up our chickens and turkeys last Thursday.  The chickens are not doing the greatest.  Some of them are very strong, but we have lost a lot of them.  It is pretty annoying.  I will get some pictures of everything later.


Igor has lived a blessed life so far.  He is currently living in the barn, but before that he was our "dog".  He has oddly sweet behaviors.  When he lived inside, he would curl up on the floor next to my desk.  He does not like to face you when he pees and will often find a corner.  He always makes noise when he has to pee and poo so we knew and he did not want to lay on a towel he had peed on.  He likes to be held and will nuzzle your neck.  He is still odd looking and definately not a breeder, but he is very sweet.  I gradually got him used to the barn and the other sheep, but before that he would travel with me, even to Pilates.  He has found a friend in Tae since they both get the bottle and he has learned how to hide himself from the big sheep.  Thankfully, he no longer thinks the turkey will give him food, but he is very curious about everything.  We banded his tail and his testicles yesterday.  He did not like the feeling at all, but he was not in pain.  In a few days he will need to be vaccinated.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Brand New Ones

I went out to the barn to give Tae his bottle (my oldest named him and his brother, Kwon, because she is in Taekwondo) and I found these two new ones. 
Kanga gave us a sturdy and huge boy (the brindle face white one) and a normal sized girl.  I am very pleased with this outcome because I wanted a suffolk X merino ram to breed my suffolks to.  We chose two suffolks to breed to Pee-Wee.  Kanga was chosen because I thought breeding to a merino would give her a smaller lamb since she had the problems with retracted tendons.  She had the largest lamb I have ever seen, though.  I felt bad for her and I hope the lambing was not too bad.  For her first time, she is doing fabulously.  She has a ton of milk.  We will have to check her regularly so she does not get mastitis.  So far, they will not let her get away, they are very agressive about getting food.

Igor (eye-gore, as in Young Frankenstein)

Igor was born a few days ago to Evie.  Evie was a first time mom and, although she loved her little guy, she did not know it was her responsability to feed him.  He also liked to play dead.  He did not lay like normal lambs, more like dead ones.  He was taken into our home and given the stomach tube with colostrum and electrolytes every four hours Sunday and he drank from a syringe on Monday.  He has an odd look to him, one side seems smooshed and his eyes are not even, but he is strong and curious.  He now drinks from a bottle, although, he did think the turkey might feed him milk.  The turkey just sat on his head and he was stuck.  He wiggled for a little bit, and then gave up, waiting to be rescued.  Igore likes to take naps at our feet and follow us around outside.  He is very docile.  Obviously he is not a breeder, but we still enjoy him.


Last Tuesday the kids had to go to the "big" town to take some tests for school.  I got up early to take Dear to work, fed the sheep, and made breakfast for the kids.  Before we left I checked on the sheep and noticed there was a new lamb.  I saw she was standing and looking strong and everything was fine.  I did not have time to investigate further.  The kids' test is a requirement for the school and unless they are hospitalized they are to be there.  They could be kicked out of the school if they fail to show for these tests.  So, we left.  I got back home 6 hours ater to find a very weak ewe lamb, so weak she would not get up.  I felt terrible and responsible.  I tried to get some milk in her and finally got her to stand.  She was very weak and I did not have any colostrum at home or electrolytes.  We left so the kids could finish their last day of swim class and test.  While they were testing in swimming, I went to the vet to pick up a few things for the ewe lamb and any others that may come along.  We were home about 90 minutes later.  Dear and I put a tube down her throat and got some colostrum in her and we monitored her.  After about 30 minutes of near death, she stretched and stood up.  She was baaing forcefully so I brought her to her mother.  I gave it about 15 minutes and she did not try and nurse.  We took her back inside and made sure she got the required amount of fluids, but after 12 more hours she would no longer open her eyes.  I waited until Dear got home to take care of her and tried to make her as comfortable as possible. 
Meanwhile, another ewe, Na-Na, lambed and had twin ram lambs.  I had been watching the barn and checking ever 1-2 hours for signs of lambing, still feeling terribly guilty.  When I saw the one lamb I quick got her into a pen with the help of all of the kids who were on a vacation from school because of the testing.  She looked like she was taking good care of her little guy and she had another lamb.  The lamb still had its hindquarters in her and she looked tired and as though she was done pushing.  I tore the sack open and cleared the lambs throat, grabbed the lamb and carefull pulled him out when I could tell she was having a contraction.  The umbilical cord of a lamb gets severed when it exits the birth canal so it is important to get to them quickly and get their mouth cleaned off so they can breath.  After I got it out of her I laid it next to her other lamb and noticed he too was a boy.  It is also important to get the lamb where the ewe is focused so she accepts it right after she gives birth.  If you do not, she may not reckognize it as her own and can even try and kill it.  Our merinos have never been rough with a foreign lamb, but the Suffolks are brutes and can be quite mean.  I then iodined their navels because bacteria enters there easily, stripped the waxy plug that protects bacteria and infections from entering the ewe's teats, and attempted to show the new guys were to go.  The ewe needed some quiet, so we left her in the barn for a little while.  When we returned, we noticed that the first ram lamb (easily identified from the iodine that spilled on his leg) was not nursing.  We turned him around so he could find the food and he turned back around to her front legs.  He was quickly given colostrum through a stomach tube and we hoped he would figure it out.  Nope, he is stupid.  Even after a few days, he still goes to the front legs.  Obviously we have been feeding him, every 4 hours.   
The little girl was put to rest that evning.  It took me a while ot get over the feeling of guilt, but I decided to focus on the lives saved.  I know we will have more lambs and some will die, I have to learn to deal with that.
We also had another ram lamb two days ago, but that is another story.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Wait, wait, wait

Our ewes are overdue.  Well, not all of them, but a few of them have gone past the 154 day mark and bagged up over a week ago.  2 of our ewes have dropped significantly and they all grunt and roll back their top lip when they sit.  Last night we even had 2 restless ewes licking their lips.  So, with all of the signs, where are the lambs?  I am getting alittle impatient, especially when everyone asks, "Any lambs yet?"  Oh well, they will come when they are ready, hopefully I will be here because it is the first time for 5 of them.

I had a dream last night that they all lambed at the same time and the 2 neighbor dogs were guarding pigs in the woods next to us (there are no pigs there in awake life).  One of hte dogs jumped the fence and took a lamb back to his side and ate it, I could hear the bones crunching.  I freaked out.  Then, I saw the neighbors walking towards me and I told them about it and told him how much it would cost them and he seemed OK about it and hugged me.  Then he asked if my husband was ready to give him his hir cut?  (I have had some really weird dreams lately)  I said he was up until 2AM with me observing and caring for the sheep (that part is true) and he said he would get his hair cut later when Dear was rested.  Then, I went to check on the sheep and their lambs.  The sheep were the size of rabbits and their lambs were the size of newborn bunnies.  I had to keep picking up the bunny sheep and move them closer to their moms because the moms were stupid.  After all of that, I woke up.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nifty inventions

Last Christmas I bough a set of cake strips with a gift certificate from Williams and Sonoma. I have always had a problem with my cakes having a dome. When you want to layer the cakes, domes are not fun. So, I thought I would try the cake strips. So far I have baked 2 cakes with them and both have turned out perfect. I love these things.