Monday, September 29, 2014

A Few Months Worth of News

I did not keep up with blogging as well as I had hoped this year, but good for me, the year's not over yet. So, please bear with the catch-up.

Annabelle and Aliyah both had successful lambing seasons this year each producing a set of triplets. This was Cora's first year, and we lost both of her lambs. Two beautiful white ewe lambs. Eunice and Echo. As the weeks passed on, it became evident that we had a parasite problem. A super wet winter, and overpasturing in the spring, we almost lost Annabelle, but she pulled through. I still don't think that she trusts me with her babies. We did however lose a lamb, my sweet little Ellie Bear. And our ram, Barnaby. Losing critters is so very hard. I still miss them so much.

We tried our hand at foster-shepherding. A friend of ours works full time and couldn't care for a bottle baby so we kept Baby Hannah for a few months, which was a complete joy for all of us. Baby Hannah loves being with people and we were so happy to be a part of that with our friends.

Our sweet friends helped us out in turn, by helping us remove Clive from our flock. After Clive rammed one of the neighbor kids it became evident that he was too dangerous to keep on our farm.

We tried to adopt a Great Pyrenees to guard our flock, but sweet Daisy did not like being apart from us and penned in with a bunch of fluffy sheeps. We miss Daisy, but we're glad that she is in a good home with people who love her.

We moved one of our inside dogs, Chaos (so aptly named) outside. He is doing well and loves playing fetch for hours on end. We actually got some corn out of our garden this year and we believe it's thanks to Chaos for keeping the deer and raccoons out of the garden.

I canned lots of vegetables. Papa made some wild plum jelly. I started weeding the flower gardens more faithfully instead of blogging. :)

We tried a new festival in Indiana - The Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. I came home with a beautiful BFL lamb, Esmerelda. And Papa bought Mama her very own lamb, little Edie.

We're still trying to get our hay in for the winter.

We were part of the Kenton County Farm Tour at the Pumpkin Patch and met lots of new people!

We're still scrambling to get ready for the KY WoolFest. Where we hope to see you!

Annabelle's Lambs 2014 "the year of 'e'"

Annabelle is such a good mama sheep. She has your textbook delivery, textbook mothering skills,...she's just great. Not to be outdone by Aliyah, our sweet Annabelles gave us triplets too. 
Late in the evening, precisely during the NCAA Kentucky Wildcats defeating the Wisconsin Badgers game. Not cool Annabelles. I made a note to tell the ewes about KY basketball games before lambing season, so that we could schedule labor and delivery around important games.
She gave us a beautiful white ewe lamb, Eppie.
A black ram lamb with white speckles on his ears and nose, Edmund.
And, I thought she was done, but one hour later, out came little Enoch ram lamb all enclosed in his birthing sack. He was black and white spots all over!
Annabelle is very protective of her lambs and though she appreciated my help, let me know early on that I could go ahead and watch KY basketball, she got this. :)

Aliyah's Lambs 2014 "the year of 'e'"

Aliyah went into labor pretty early in the morning April 1, 2014. I sleep with a baby monitor(only during lambing season) in my room so that I can hear any sounds of labor during lambing season. Well, I heard Aliyah making quite a ruckus. She was pawing, getting up and circling, licking and nickering a lot. Poor darling. I bundled up and went out to the barn to be with my baby. I was in for a real surprise. I wasn't out there 5 minutes and out came the most beautiful black lamb! Little Eva. I immediately grabbed my lambing kit out of the corner and got out the nose-sucker-thingy to clear her nose and mouth of mucous so that she could breathe. I rubbed her little body to get her to wake up. Aliyah appreciated all my help, but she liked to do her own licking of her babies. I didn't fight her for that job.
I ran back into the house to wake up mom and dad who had made me promise to wake them up if any of the sheep started having their lambs. And then ran back to the barn and Little Ellie, our little white lamb, was starting to make her way into the world. "Wow!" I thought. "Two ewe lambs! Great job Aliyah!" But, she wasn't finished yet. About a half and hour or so later, Aliyah started pawing and nickering again. I thought she was just finishing her labor and out came Little Eustace, completely enclosed in his birthing sack. A handsome black ram lamb. We were so surprised! Three lambs!
Aliyah did a great job with her delivery this year. If you all remember, last year was pretty hard for her. And we lost both of her lambs. This year she had a super easy delivery, but she decided motherhood just wasn't her thing. She slammed poor little Ellie into the wall. Which is in some cases normal for a ewe to reject one of her triplets, especially one that's a different color. So, I went to work bottle feeding Little Ellie Bear.
But it soon became evident that though she wasn't hurting Eva and Eustace, she wasn't letting them nurse. My folks and I took shifts trying to get her to work with her babies for a good 48 hours, but it was no use. She didn't want them near her. She wanted to be with her buddies. She'd stare out into the pasture so pitifully. So, finally I opened the door of her lambing jug and let her out. She never looked back. And I got 3 bottle babies out of that deal, and a grumpy ewe to milk.

Eva wants to grow up to be just like her mama, Aliyah.

Ellie Bear