Thursday, March 26, 2015

The HomeAcre Hop #113


Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop! 



I hope you are enjoying your first week of Spring! It is a little chilly here, but we are enjoying the lambs. They manage to keep smiles on our faces during the daily chores.

Please take a minute and link up your Homemaking, Homesteading, and Homeschooling. I always look forward to your post.

HomeAcre Host


  Each Host will have their own Featured post, Make sure to visit their blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)


My Featured Post


Straw Bale Urban Gardening From Deep Roots at Home

         

Straw Bale Urban Gardening ~ Ideas and Getting Started, how to start, straw or hay, small garden



Congratulations!
We love to read encouraging post about Homesteading. Please stop to congratulate the Featured Bloggers this week. If you were Featured, feel free to grab our button to display on your blog. 


Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shepherdess Notes:Stick With What Works



We have lambs, so there is a lot of smiling going on around here. You just can't help it, when you see them, you smile, at least I do.

But, it is not all fun and games, there are jobs to do when raising lambs. Docking tails, giving shots, tagging ears, etc.

I usually wait until they are around 7-10 days old.  But, after reading  quite a few comments on sheep forums, about docking  at 1-3 days, I thought I would get a jump start and do it early this year.

The lambs were two-three days old, me and my helpers collected up the supplies we would need, put them in our little carry tote, that keeps things neatly organized and headed to the barn.

My helper picks up a lamb and holds it while I give a  CDT shot, place a band on the tail, tag the ear. Lamb is given back to mom (who is impatiently waiting for her lamb) . We move on to the next lamb. It goes pretty quick.

We had one lamb left to do, when I heard a ewe yelling at the gate in the barnyard. I decided to look outside and see what was going on. She was yelling for her lamb, who just happened to be standing right there with her. I watched him try to nurse, it is after all his mother. Her response was to push him away and continue looking and yelling for her lamb. I look at the other ewes in the barnyard and lambs are nursing-moms are happy. I check the lamb pens in the barn, and my old Border Leicester, Mabel, is responding the same way, yelling for her lambs and pushing away the twins what we had just put back in her pen. I couldn't believe it. These are not first time mothers, these are seasoned ewes who have never rejected a lamb. And, I have never had a ewe reject her lamb after she already bonded with them.

I decided to not do the last lamb since 2 out of the 7 ewes were obviously having issues.

We took the ewe and her lamb  out of the barnyard and placed them in a pen, next to Mabel.  I figured she would settle down after a bit.

The next morning when I checked, I was happy to see Mabel's twins eating and she seemed fine.

Unfortunately, the other ewe was still not letting her lamb eat, I had to hold her so the poor guy could get breakfast.

I could not believe I had possibly created a situation where I was going to have another bottle lamb on my hands. I had never had a ewe act like this.

To make things worse, it was shearing day. These sheep had to be put in a pen to get sheared. Like, there wasn't enough confusion going on.

We put the ewes with lambs in their own pen, separate from the rest of the flock. It is always quite a sight when lambs and ewes get put together. Moms running around smelling all of the lambs, lambs crying out for their moms. It gets quite loud but everyone settles down after a few minutes when they  figure out, who's who.

Why am I bringing this up?

Well, after being thrown in this group of ewes and lambs, the ewe that just a few minutes earlier was still rejecting her lamb, in all of the confusion, had decided it must be her lamb after all.

Go figure..

I learn something new every year. What works for some does not work for all and stick to what works. When talking to a vet, many years ago, I mentioned the earlier docking and he was the one that recommended waiting a week. I will continue to follow that advice. Not worth the chance of another episode, like this one.

Raising sheep sure keeps me on my toes!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Shepherdess Notes-The Abandoned Lamb



As mentioned in my last post we are having lambs earlier than expected due to a jail break from our Tunis Ram, last fall. He managed to breed 5 ewe that short time he was out, so lambing season began earlier than planned.

We had a Tunis ewe that we thought looked close to lambing, so we put her in the barnyard so we could keep an eye on her.

The next morning (wee hours) we found a ewe with a lamb.  When heading into the barn we noticed another lamb, cold and abandoned. I am so glad we seen him in the dark! We quickly bought him indoors, to warm him up, he was pretty non responsive. Thankfully, after getting warmed up he was able to drink some colostrum that I took from him mom.  After a short while, we took him out to the pen I had put the ewe and sister in, to see if by some chance she would accept him.

Unfortunately, NO!

I can't be positive,  but I can guess that the ewe got caught up with one of her lambs, and wandered off from her second lamb.  Too much time had passed, the abandoned lamb was too cold, and our first priority, was to get him warmed up, not getting him reunited with his mother.



The first two days, we took him out every couple of hours and let him nurse off his mom, so he could get the colostrum, he needed. We have to coerce/force  her to let him, but that is easier than trying to milk a ewe.

He has now been put on a bottle (not taking him out to the barn at 3:30 a.m.) but he still gets a couple of meals from his mom every day. She never came around to the fact that he is her lamb. She is too aggressive to leave him with her, so for now he is a house lamb.

He is our first 2015 bummer- hopefully, our one and only!










Thursday, March 19, 2015

The HomeAcre Hop #112



Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop! 


It has been a crazy week with quite a few surprises! Lambs in the barn, some expected and some not.

I am hoping we have come to an end of the detour and are back on "schedule".

I would love to hear what you have all been up to!


HomeAcre Host


  Each Host will have their own Featured post, Make sure to visit their blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

Most Visited Post
(that shared a link to the Hop)



My Featured Post

IMG_0160

Congratulations!
We love to read encouraging post about Homesteading. Please stop to congratulate the Featured Bloggers this week. If you were Featured, feel free to grab our button to display on your blog. 


Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shepherdess Notes-The Unexpected.


"Come what may and love it." Joseph B. Wirthlin



Sometimes unexpected things happen on a farm, even when you spend a good deal of time planning.

We have been lambing for many years and can usually predict when the lambs are going to be born (approximately) and who the Sire (Ram) is.

Well, even the best laid plans go awry, when you have Rams who won't stay put! The Tunis ram was on the loose for a very short time, before he was discovered in the pasture with the ewes. This week we found out, even in that short time he managed to breed some of our Border Leicester ewes.

How do we know? They are about 3 weeks early and Border Leicester's aren't suppose to be red.


Border Leicester ewe and newborn ewe lamb.


Not just one birthing surprise but two....


Twins from Border Leicester Mama.


We are a little disappointed for the mishap, as we are trying to build our Border Leicester Flock,but we are happy that they are healthy lambs. The two red ones are girls and they are little
beauties (at least we think so)





This girl was a twin born yesterday, she has been named Iris.

Expected (even though it was a few week later than planned) one of the two Tunis ewes, we have been waiting on, had a single ram lamb-he is doing well. I took plenty of pictures, but not one of them turned out. He doesn't sit still long enough (imagine that) I think some are born with springs in their hooves.

The other Tunis ewe is showing signs that she will be lambing within the next 24 hours.

Expected, or unexpected you never get bored, raising sheep.




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Monday, March 16, 2015

Lamb Visit for a Dose of Cuteness


Instagram, Facebook, Blogger-cute lamb pics,everywhere!

We are not expecting most of our lambs for a few weeks yet. Yesterday we visited a friends farm, he has quite the assortment of lambs.

He raises many different breeds, and so you rarely seen any two that are alike-unless they are twins.





These little Scottish Black Face crosses were so adorable! Cutest lamb award-they would have earned it.



They may look a little like goats, but they are hair sheep.




Lambs that were born a few days ago and lambs that were born in January...

It is always fun visiting the Depew Farm-you never quite know what to expect, other than a wide variety of cuteness!


The Chicken Chick



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Thursday, March 12, 2015

The HomeAcre Hop #111

The "lone" lamb still waiting for friends...He is checking to see if I bought him a treat.




Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop!

We are finally seeing Spring like weather-amazing how just a little bit of sunshine and warmer temps can affect your attitude.

Still waiting on two Tunis ewes to lamb...one is getting as big as a house, poor girl. 

Next week is sheep shearing, if we have the weather he are having this week, it will be perfect, keeping fingers crossed.

Is Spring making an appearance in your neck of the woods?

I hope you join us this week and share your Homeschooling, Homemaking and Homesteading post.

HomeAcre Host


  Each Host will have their own Featured post, Make sure to visit their blogs to see if you were featured this week! (Don't forget to link back to one of our blogs if you'd like to be featured!)

Most Visited Post &
My Featured Post

8 Lessons Learned from the Great Depression
from Graceful Little Honey Bee



Looking to the past can teach us a great deal about the future. Check out these 8 Lessons Learned from The Great Depression.

Congratulations!
We love to read encouraging post about Homesteading. Please stop to congratulate the Featured Bloggers this week. If you were Featured, feel free to grab our button to display on your blog. 


Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week

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