Repurposing The Hay
Saturday, March 21, 2015
As you can see by my post of Feb 10, the sheep and goats love spreading the hay on the ground. They can take a 900 pound hay ring and flatten it to the ground in two days. To repurpose the hay, I made this amish style manual baler. It easily makes 12x12x30 square bales that I can then easily transport and use for bedding, feeding, etc.
Maryann : What an excellent idea.
Winter is Beautiful...
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
We are frozen in. Looks like for a bunch of days.
Gomer : Dont stick your tongue on that glass
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Relaxing on a country beach with my buddies.
Wayne Brady : Looks like you can use a beer
Monday, February 9, 2015
Our sick little patient, Rusty, is one month old now. As you can see by these photos, he is filling out well and has a nice coat. He is gaining weight and is almost as big as the other orphan, Dusty, who is a month older.
Except for the problem of Rusty being blind, I think he will be just fine.
He seems to rely heavily on Dusty being around, and has severe separation anxiety when we try to put Dusty in the field with the rest of the flock. We will have to keep Rusty in a confined space where he can feel secure. He will never be able to be with the flock in open spaces because he will lose his bearing and panic.
We'll remove Dusty gradually everyday until Rusty can manage without him.
Gate Wheel Repair
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Winters around here usually force us to hibernate all season, forcing us to put off outdoor repairs until it warms up.
This week seems to be an exception. While the Northeast is blasted with a severe blizzard, we've had unusually warm days this week. Yes, it was 25 last week, and will probably be 25 next week, but this week it is hovering in the 70's.
Taking advantage of this, I decided to fix the wheel on the 16 foot front gate. With the wheel broken, you have to carry the gate as you open or close it, an awkward and heavy task. The old wheel assembly was years old and rusty, so I had to cut the metal screws off and the brackets with a grinding wheel to free it from the gate. Of course, there's no electricity out there, so the generator was necessary to do this right. After removing all the old pieces, and replacing them with the new assembly, the wheel now effortlessly carries the gate open and closed, and everyone is now happy.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
The egg on the left is a store bought Grade A Jumbo. Inside, the yoke is a very pale yellow. The egg on the right is a typical egg from one of our grain fed freeranging hens. The inside of this egg is a bright orange. For you city slickers out there, yokes start out being a bright yellow, so bright that it sometimes looks orange. As the egg ages, the yellow gets lighter and lighter. Most store bought eggs are already two or three weeks old, so the yoke is already pretty pale. As the yellow goes, so does the flavor. There's no better egg flavor than a nice bright orange yoke.
The only disadvantage we've found about fresh eggs is that they are almost impossible to peel after you hard boil them. Whenever we want to make hard boiled eggs, we set them aside for a couple of weeks before boiling them.
By the way, in the egg world, there is no difference between a brown egg and a white egg.
Phyliss : Too bad they don''t let me raise chickens in the city. Sure would love to have my own farm fresh eggs right here.
One Long Week
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
It has been a week since we started healing this little lamb. He seems to be doing better now, and maybe he will make it all the way. He's gained weight and starting to fill out. Drinking about half a bottle now every four hours, which is pretty good considering how bad off he was. He's standing a little better now, but still a little unstable. We think that he is blind, or has limited vision. We are hoping that after he gets stronger his vision will heal.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
We found this beautiful lamb abandoned by its mother today, half dead and half frozen, out in the field. The ewe had a second throw which she did not abandon. We brought this one inside and immediately started warming him and with the grace of God, slowly started showing signs of life. After about 6 hours of care, the little lamb finally lifted his head. He started drinking out of a bottle, but only 1 ounce at a time. We're hoping that the severe cold (19 degrees) did not do any permanent damage internally. We named it Rusty, since he will eventually move it in with Dusty, another bottle fed orphan from a few days ago.
New Year, New Births
Friday, January 2, 2015
The new year brings new births. So far, our goats gave us 8 new kids. Of course, the weather is not helping as it is below freezing outside. It's strange how the ewes and nannies always wait until it's freezing outside before they decide to have their babies. We have to keep a close eye on the newborns because it takes about a week before the babies can control their own body temperature, and it's rough going when it is so cold outside. They even said it may snow this weekend.
Happy New Year !!!
Thursday, January 1, 2015
Happy New Year to all our friends and neighbors (and people we don't like). Here's hoping for a properous year
and many happy returns (especially at Wal-Mart). May our fields be green and rich, and may the drought go away
Harsh Winter Kills
Saturday, February 1, 2014
This has been the most severe Winter we have ever had here at the old ranch.
As you can see, we don't have an enclosed barn and therefore it is not heated.
Some of the new kids and lambs were recently born and have not yet figured out
how to regulate their body temperatures, and so they succomb to the cold and die.
We lost 10 animals that way so far. Let's hope that this Winter lets up soon...
Betty Delivers One Lamb
Saturday, December 12, 2013
Betty, our oldest ewe, gave us a beautiful lamb today. When Betty was ready,
she went off to a quiet spot in the field and threw the lamb with little effort.
Instinctively, she cleaned the sack away from the lamb and encouraged it to stand up
so that she could walk to the milk sack and get the colostrum all babies need.
We named the lamb Coco, and both are doing well. Notice how green the ground is.
These animals are coping with a severe drought that has plagued this area now for
a couple of years. The high cost of grain makes it difficult for us to maintain a
high count herd, and the price of hay is now unreachable to us. Even if it rained
for a week nothing would grow in the middle of the Winter.
Due to recent budget cuts and the rising cost of gas, electricity, and oil, as well
as current market conditions, the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off.