Tuesday, April 29, 2014

We Like Goats Too!




Oberhasli/Toggenburg Kids


Believe it or not, it is not all about sheep around here. We do have goats as well.

This winter was hard on our goats. Our two older Oberhasli does did not make it.
They were our first Oberhasli goats and the twins first goats. It was a sad time, they have been missed.

Recital and Soapapilla

I am thankful we have kept their daughters. They were wonderful goats with very sweet temperaments, a trait they passed on to their daughters.

I was worried about kidding this year, after the winter we had, but I am glad to report that the 2014 kidding season went very well, which included two more Oberhasli does, granddaughters to Soapapilla and Recital. We were very happy about that!

It was a doe year here, 5 does and 2 bucks. Opposite of last year.
I am glad that everything went well, all kids are happy and healthy! It was a wonderful blessing!
We are grateful!

Oberhasli Doe and Buck
Oberhasli/Toggenburg Does
Georgia & Rose

Oberhasli Doe
Diane


Regan is still naming them, it is a serious business you know! (haha)
We are enjoying the babies, they bring smiles all around.


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Monday, April 28, 2014

A Rogue Llama

Our weekend  consisted of a crazy llama!




I came home to find a llama walking around the yard. That's a sight you don't see everyday.
She was interested in the sheep and was pacing the fence line. I had seen this llama before, in someones hay field a few weeks ago.  Mike thought he had seen this llama down the road at a distant neighbors. I decided to go and check with them to see if they were missing a llama.
They were missing one, but it wasn't actually their llama, it had shown up at their place on April Fools Day.  She was living behind their place for several weeks. She said that the owners were contacted but after several failed attempts at catching her, the llama remained free and seemed to like living in the field behind their house, eating their hay and grain that they kept for their sheep.

Well, I guess the llama had decided to look for greener pastures, because she had made her way down to our place! She took down my number and said she would try to contact the owners.

I came home to find that the llama had decided she was tired of watching the sheep from the other side of the fence. She was in with my sheep and was chasing them all over the place. I thought maybe after a couple of minutes of excitement everyone would settle down, but she was clearly having too much fun and continued to chase the sheep up and down the pastures. I opened up the barnyard gate and managed to get my frantic sheep in the enclosed area.

It didn't take long before the llama decided that she didn't like having the pastures all to herself. She cleared the fence without much effort and commenced chasing the sheep around the barnyard. That was worse.  I opened up the gate, and the sheep ran back out in the pasture and continued to be chased by this llama!

One old ewe finally collapsed from all of the excitement. Okay, I had enough!
I called animal control-no answer-. I called the Sheriff's office and they said that they knew about this llama, the State Police had tried catching her just the week before.
They sent out some officers and contacted the owners.

By the time the officers showed up the llama had taken notice of the horses next door and was occupied with watching them.

To make a long story short, the llama jumped over the fence, into the neighbors yard. The llama owners showed up and chased her around the neighbors yard.
Llama jumped over the fence and was back in our pastures.
Owners came, chased her around our field.
We managed to get the llama in a stall.
10 seconds later she cleared the 5 foot gate with no problems and ran down the road.
Police left. Llama owners left.

1/2 hour later, owners came back and asked Mike if he would help them get the llama home.
She had been captured and was being held up in a neighbors coop.
Mike hooked up the trailer and helped them get the llama home.

I am not sure what the ending will be for that llama. It is obvious she cannot be contained by a fence.
The owners had purchased her at an auction, and after having her one day she escaped! She had been running the countryside for almost a month!

Many people keep llamas as protection for their sheep. I have never really considered it, and after my exposure to this llama, I can safely say, I never will!

And if for some reason, I did change my mind, I can honestly say, I would NEVER  pick one up at a livestock auction!

BUYERS BEWARE:
Livestock auctions are not the best place to pick up stock! There is usually a reason people take their animals to an auction to be sold. There is a good chance you will be buying someone else's problems.

We still have a couple of ewes that have not lambed yet. After all of that excitement , I expected to see some babies, but we are still waiting...

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Friday, April 25, 2014

Shepherdess Notes: Lamb Watching

2014 Border Leicester Ram Lamb


frol·ic

noun
1.
merry play; merriment; gaiety; fun.
2.
a merrymaking or party.
3.
playful behavior or action; prank.
verb (used without object), frol·icked, frol·ick·ing.
4.
to gambol merrily; to play in a frisky, light-spirited manner; romp: The children were frolicking in the snow.
5.
to have fun; engage in merrymaking; play merry pranks.

(taken from dictionary.com)

Frolic, a perfect word to describe lambs! 
This is my favorite time of year when it comes to raising sheep. The ewes and lambs are all out on pasture and "frolicking" is exactly what the lambs do, and it is quite sweet and entertaining. 

There is a lot of smiling that goes on while lambing watching.

2013 Lambs
2013 lambs



And yes, the goats kids have been known to get in on the fun too!

2013 Kids


I expect the lamb races to start in the next couple of weeks. Those are a blast. They usually are held in the evenings. I have been known to pull up a chair and watch.
These are the moments when you sit back, smile, and think- "Yes, all the hard work does pay off"
This guy is running toward Delaney, he just knows she has a bottle!

This is one of the reasons we keep doing what we do!

Have a wonderful weekend!








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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The HomeAcre Hop #67



Life is slowing down a bit. We are at the tail end of lambing and kidding. Only a few more to go!
The lambs and kids are enjoying frolicking around the pastures. Life is good!
 Now we can start working on other Spring projects.
I hope you take a minute and link up your post this week to share with us your Spring Projects!

HomeAcre  Host


Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Ann@ Summer Acres
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal


Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the 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!)


Featured Post:

What do I do with all of this Milk? from Rebuilding Traditions


WP_20140308_013



Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

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

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured




You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.
          Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 Clearwater Farm Journal



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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Split Pea Soup in the Electric Pressure Cooker


Our Easter Dinner usually includes Ham.
Ham, usually means leftovers.
Leftover Ham, usually means soup.

I decided to use this year's leftover Ham bone in a Split Pea Soup Recipe.

For some reason I was under the impression that I couldn't make split pea soup in the Pressure Cooker. After some research, I found out I was wrong. I am not sure where I got that idea from, but glad that I discovered it wasn't true!







Split Pea Soup

4 cups Split Peas
8 cups water

1 chopped Onion
3 diced Carrots
2 stalks diced Celery

Sort and rinse Split Peas.
Place in Pressure Cooker. Add ham bone, water, onion, carrots, and celery.
Place lid on Pressure Cooker. (follow directions on your Pressure Cooker)
Set to high for 10 minutes.
When timer goes off let the pressure go down naturally.


Add salt to taste after it has been cooked.


Done!~
So fast and Easy. 




I didn't have fresh onion and celery. I used freeze dried celery and dried minced onion. Still tasted great.
I used yellow split peas.


This is a super recipe and a great way to use up that leftover ham!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Goat Kids and Disbudding

Sophie's doe kid 2014



We have goat kids on the farm! They are the cutest little things and they always manage to bring a smile to my face.

I know that many take their dairy goat kids from their mothers when they are born and bottle feed them.
We choose to leave them with their mothers after they are born. The dams take great care of their kids and leave us with little to do.

We also choose to disbud (dehorn) our goats. There are some who choose not to, but most Dairy Goats are disbudded when they are young.  Our girls show in 4-H and no horns allowed in Dairy classes. But even if we did not show, we would still choose to disbud them.

2013 Kids



The first couple of years that we raised goats a neighbor disbudded our kids for us.
After we decided we were going to continue to raise goats and that we would have kids every year we bought our own electric dehorner so we could do it ourselves. It is easier than taking the kids off farm to have it done.

We have been doing the procedure for about 15 years. We have never lost a kid or had any real serious problems. On occasion, we have waited too long and ended up with a buckling with horns. They can grow in pretty quick. The different goat breeds seem to vary on how fast the horns grow in. When we had Nubians it seemed we could wait almost 3 weeks. With Saanens we had buck kids that we could not do at a week. With the Oberhasli and Toggenburg we have about a 7-14 day window to get them done without any problems.

Mike is the one that ends up doing the procedure.  We catch the babies, give them their tetanus shot,  and clip the hair from the top of their heads, but he does the actual disbudding. He has a drawer that he uses to hold the goats, to make it a one man job. 

I am not going to lie, it is not for the faint of heart! But then a lot of aspects of raising livestock are not!  If we actually rated the top ten things we dislike about raising livestock, disbudding would easily be up there in the top 3.


Sophie, who is now a mamma


I am grateful it is a quick process and the kids seem to handle it very well and are back to bouncing around in no time.

For a tutorial on disbudding you can visit:
http://fiascofarm.com/goats/disbudding.htm




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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The HomeAcre Hop #66



Welcome to the HomeAcre Hop!

We are busy with lambs, kids, and now that it is actually warming up, yard work.
We haven't worked on the garden, but I did manage to start some herbs in pots.

I look forward to hearing what you all are up to! 


HomeAcre  Host

Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Ann@ Summer Acres
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal


Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the 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!)


Featured Post:

How to make Milk Kefir from The Toups Address








Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

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

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured




You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.
          Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!
 Clearwater Farm Journal


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Friday, April 11, 2014

Shepherdess Notes: Lambing Part 2




The word  to describe Lambing 2014-"inconvenient"

Sunny, warm, not busy....no lambs.
Rainy, cold, swamped, exhausted...lambs!
That basically describes how the last week has went on the farm.


The ewes have handled it much better than I have. Mike and I were both sick for over a week. I just wanted to sleep!  I may have been able to if the weather had cooperated, but with the freezing rain we had and the colder temps I was outside doing barn checks every hour.

We have quite a few first timers and sometimes they are just clueless and need more help figuring things out.
We also have more "seasoned" ewes.  They are great moms, but this winter was hard on them, and lambing just made it harder. They pulled through, but not without some extra TLC. We are supplementing some of their lambs with bottles.


Yesterday we gave shots, docked tails and put the first group of lambs in the barnyard.
That is always a sight to watch.  Ewes trying to identify her lambs, lambs calling out for their moms. Everyone running around as if  the sky if falling. It takes about 15 minutes for them to realize that the only thing that has changed is their surroundings.




We have had a rough start, but overall it has went well. Our lambing rate is lower than I would like-about 148 Percent. But we haven't had any losses yet, so that is a big plus.

About half of the ewes have lambed. The weather is improving along with our health so this next week should go much smoother. 

And speaking of lambing, Delaney just came in from feeding hay and said a ewe in is labor..
Gotta Go!

Have a Great Weekend!!

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

The HomeAcre Hop #65


2014 Doe Kid (Georgia)

I have been on a blogging break. We are in the middle of lambing/kidding and it has been a little hectic.

It didn't help that the weather was cold and damp and Mike and I were both sick.
This week the weather has improved and Mike and I are feeling a little better.

For the next couple of weeks I will probably just be posting the HomeAcre Hop on Thursday's and a Friday Sheep post, until we are finished with lambing.

I am sure Spring is finding you all busy, I hope you can find some time to share your post with us!!

HomeAcre  Host


Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Ann@ Summer Acres
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal



Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the 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!)


Featured Post:
Covered Raised Beds from Garden Up Green






Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

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

Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured



You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.




Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!

 Clearwater Farm Journal












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Friday, April 4, 2014

Shepherdess Notes:Lambing



As I mentioned earlier this week, Spring lambing season is upon us.
You never quite know what lambing is going to bring, (other than lambs)

Monday morning, Mike was doing a lamb check before he left for work. He found one... in the ram pen. Okay, you don't see that everyday!

It was still dark, we both listened for a mom in distress, nothing! Took a flashlight and the lamb in the pasture. Walked around the ewes, no one made claim to the bleating lamb.
Oh Boy!
Took the lamb in the barn, looked him over, he had been cleaned off, was dry, and seemed healthy.
Gave him a dose of Nutri-Drench (vitamin, mineral supplement) put him in a pen next to the Romney ewe and her lambs. Not much I could do, until the sun came up.

After sun up, I headed out to the pasture, didn't take long to find the ewe who showed signs that she had given birth.  Young ewe, first time mom, makes a little more sense.
Put her in the stall with the lamb, who was an feisty  (good) and started to nurse right away.
We had the ewe tied up so she couldn't complain. First worry, is getting colostrum into the lamb.
After he was finished, we untied her and waited too see how she would react to the lamb.
She was fine. Lamb was fine. Happy Ending!!



Normal lambing- you will  find lamb/lambs with the ewe, hopefully dried off and nursing! (ideal)

I  will usually move the lambs and ewe at that point.  If the weather isn't the greatest, we move them to a pen in the barn. If the weather is nice, I move them to an outdoor pen. 
The reason I move them to a pen is to give the ewe and lambs some bonding time. With them being out on the pasture, we have had lambs wander off after other ewes,(or into the Rams pen) or you get nosy ewes  bothering the new lambs. 

Most of the time, a ewe will not follow you anywhere, but when you have one of her lambs, she will.
We have this nifty sling that we can put a lamb in and carry the lamb along side of us. The ewe sees the lamb and will usually follow right along.

Once we have the lamb/ewe in the pen-
We look the lambs over.
Dip their navel in iodine (tincture of iodine, 7 percent)-an ounce of prevention....
Weigh them
Check the ewes udders and strip the teats if needed.( A ewe gets a wax like plug in her teats)
Get the ewe water/hay

Done!

Ideal, not always what we get, but what we always hope for!


newest ewe lamb, a few hours old


Have a great weekend!


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

The HomeAcre Hop #64

Tunis Ewe Lamb


Spring Lambing is upon us. The next few weeks will be busy.
We have been sorting and skirting fleeces, washing wool, planning a garden, pruning fruit trees,
getting ready to put up some interior fences, etc...

Spring is a busy time around here.
What does your Spring bring?

Share your homesteading, homeschooling, and homemaking post!

I want to congratulate our E-book Winners!
Randi- Freda- Talina- Cynthia


HomeAcre  Host

Kathi@Oak Hill Homestead
Nancy@Prudent Living on the Home Front
Ann@ Summer Acres
Jenny@Black Fox Homestead
Lisa Lynn@Self Sufficient Home Acre
Mary@Homegrown on the Hill
and Me @Clearwater Farm Journal



Each host will feature her own picks from the posts linked the previous week. that means your chances of being featured are even better! Visit each of the 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!)


Featured Post:


Making Herbal Teas for Good Health from Gentle Joy Homemaker





Congratulations!
 We love to read encouraging posts about homesteading. Please stop by to congratulate the featured blogger this week. If you were featured, grab the button to display proudly on your blog.

Be sure to check out the HomeAcre Hop Pinterest Board where we share our Hop Favorites each week.
Clearwater Farm Journal
Featured



You are invited to share your original posts on: Homesteading, livestock care, gardening, environmentally friendly farming, self sufficiency, preparedness, off grid living, healthy recipes, home remedies and herbal concoctions, green living, homeschooling, food preservation, environmentally friendly crafts and home decor, photo posts of natural living and homesteading subjects! Now that’s a lot of information to share! If it fits any of these topics, we want to hear about it.  There are just a few little rules to follow:
  • Family friendly posts only. 
  • Please, no posts dedicated to advertising products.
  • Link as many appropriate posts as you’d like each week. Older posts are great too.
  • Please visit as many of the other posts as you can and let them know you found them here!
  • If you wish to be featured, you must link back to the hop (on either host’s blog) with the button, text link, on the post, your side bar,or blog hop  page and please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and/or Pinterest!
  • Please follow us by email! You’ll receive notice when the hop is open for business. 
  • Only share content that you have created.
  • Please remember that the whole idea of a blog hop is to visit the other bloggers and make connections and friendships…so share the linky love!
  • By linking to this hop you are giving us permission to link back to your post if you are featured. We will also include one photo from your post in the interest of sending visitors your way 
                 To keep things fresh on the Hop PLEASE do not share a post that you have previously linked up.




Any post that does not fit in the guidelines will be removed. Thank you for participating!!

 Clearwater Farm Journal



 photo number2sig_zps2f1f6501.png

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Up to My Elbows in Wool





I have spent the last two days sorting and skirting the natural colored fleeces.

Mike has made the job much easier by building me a new skirting table.



As you can see it does a great job of letting second cuts and debris fall through.
You can also see that sorting and skirting the fleeces is a messy job.

The natural colored fleeces are done! I put the individual, picked fleeces in plastic bags for short term storage. I will start washing them tonight.

I can't tell you how much easier this job was with the new skirting table, I love it!

If you want to know more about skirting-
http://www.mittenstatesheepandwool.com/2013/04/what-do-you-do-with-all-that-wool_28.html



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