Sunday, January 15, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 1-15

sunset over the barn

Lows and highs, ups and downs...that’s been the story of the week. While this is always true, the past week seemed to change course without direction and then the pendulum would swing wildly in some sort of over-correction to the other extreme. 
Well, then...
we know we are not dead
And, that's a GOOD thing!

The week started off with the coldest weather of the season. Coming on the heels of the snow last Saturday, every trip outdoors was like a trip to the Arctic. Maybe 5* doesn't sound cold to you, but it is unusual for us.

snowy Mbrk


melting icicles

...and just like was over. By Thursday, we were out of our coats and coveralls as it suddenly felt like March. Complete with howling winds.
Gus was so hot he "melted"

But, not so Friday evening we were under a winter weather advisory and it looked like Saturday morning would start off with at best the dreaded “wintry mix” or the worst...ICE. There was a tremendous icestorm tracking across the country, its exact track unknown early in the week.

The weather, combined with the fact that I fell victim to “the crud” (the miserable head cold that’s been going around) on Sunday, made it far less difficult to cancel our anticipated sales run for the week. But, that’s always a hard call to make. This time of year cash-flow is all one way...OUT. No sales means no income. And, well, NO income needs no further explanation. But, we can’t recklessly endanger our customer-friends!

In the end, the weather wasn’t as bad as predicted and while there were a few icy droplets in the trees and on the fences, the roadways were perfectly fine. I know, we ended up going to town for lamb milk replacer first thing Saturday morning.
frozen raindrops

But, I’m getting ahead of myself...

Like I said, it was a week up ups and downs.

“The crud” laid me low. Knocked me down...way down. I was out of commission for three days before I finally started feeling better. I managed to get my barn checks done, but little else. I even skipped grocery shopping and the Boss did the feed run.

Thankfully, I was feeling better in time to make my healthcare appointment. After feeling “off” for what seemed like FOREVER, it was amazing to see that all the lab work finally connected the dots and I was given a protocol that has the potential to completely change the way I feel. There’s no real way to express the relief  I feel that this is not just “in my head”. So, a big THANK YOU to Lisa and her team at  Femme Care. I’m looking forward to a whole new me and the opportunity to learn about health from a little different angle.

But, in keeping with our theme...”the crud” made some sort of comeback and presently I’m left wondering if it’s finally time to head to the doctor or just continue to ride it out with home remedies. The most worrisome part of this is that the Boss is beginning to show symptoms...

...and we simply cannot be sick this week!

He’s got the Farmers’ Market Annual meeting to run.  I have a “pet lamb” who needs me ‘round the clock. And, the big week of lambing season is upon us. So, hoping for the best, we will muddle through somehow.

And, speaking of lambing season...

...and still we wait...

After last week’s great start, you guessed it...this week has been one of our worst. Ever. We’ve lost two ewes and at least three lambs. *sigh*
checking out the ewes at breakfast time
I think  they are plotting

barnyard antics have begun

The prolapsed ewe apparently had other internal issues. Our only guess was that metritis set in after the prolapse and didn’t respond to the antibiotics. She got sicker and sicker and despite my best efforts and a last moment rally, she ended up dying along with any lambs that were inside. This was a disgustingly smelly mess that had to be cleaned up at the beginning of the day.

I figured that if the day started with a job that had me literally retching that things would simply have to get better. 

I was wrong...
the full moon is said to bring on labor...

As the next two ewes started laboring, all seemed well.  The first ewe dropped twin ram lambs and at first they seemed healthy enough, although one never seemed very lively. Since I was not there for the actual moment of his birth, I cannot be sure of this, but, it appeared that he had been stepped on and may have had some sort of internal damage. ...and you guessed it, he succumbed the next day.

The second ewe dropped a little ram lamb and acted as if she was laboring with another. We waited. And waited. When I did an internal check, I discovered an enormous twin. An enormous, mispresented twin. This lamb was mispresented in the worst possible way, with its head turned all the way back over its shoulder. Often, this calls for a cesarean for the ewe or dismemberment of the lamb. Either way, the possibility for any sort of good outcome was slim at best.

To make a long, tragic story somewhat manageable...the outcome was not good. Not good at all. Actually, the worst. (the details may seem gruesome, so feel free to skip down a couple of paragraphs)

Despite my best efforts and the Boss’ help, I got the lamb out, but, it died in the birthing process. Like I said, it was enormous, well in excess of 15 pounds. That was not good for mama-sheep, not in any way. But, she was taking care of her other lamb and we dosed her with antibiotics (a precaution whenever we go “inside”) and pain meds (I had to have my entire arm inside her trying to get the lamb re-positioned). All of that was too much for the ewe’s reproductive organs to take. And, in the morning, her insides were on the outside. Very much on the outside. And, once again, I was more than a little grossed out. (I must be getting weak in my old age)

This time, the Boss had to put her down since there was absolutely no way she would recover. Then he had to dispose of her remains. And, all of this happened before breakfast.

Now, I had an orphan to deal with. We had hoped that the first ewe (that lost the lamb) would “adopt” this little guy. Fostering on lambs (or any other livestock) is an iffy proposition at best. I rubbed him with a rag I had used on the ewe and her lamb. I gave both the lambs the same oral nutritional supplement. Then I stuck him in with mama-sheep. He went right for the teat. (yay) He sucked. (yay) ---maybe this will work---Then, Mama sheep figured out he wasn’t hers. (boo) Mama sheep butted him across the stall---blam! Okay, let’s try this again...

After several attempts it became evident that this whole fostering thing was simply NOT going to work. (whole lot of boo’s here) and, now I have a “pet-lamb”. For the record, I really didn't want a pet and the term doesn't mean quite what you might think. Read THIS one.

All of which explains why we were out heading to town for lamb milk on a Saturday morning while there was a winter weather advisory in place. Honestly, this was never my intention. Really.

Last week, I stopped by the Farm Bureau for a bag of milk replacer. (just in case) The lady in front of me also wanted the same thing and they just told her they didn’t have what she wanted. She simply got something else and went her way. Since we’ve been dealing with this store for years, and I know the cashier, (and personally, I wanted what I consider to be the superior product) I asked if perhaps they had it at one of the other stores in the county. They checked, they did. I asked them to get me a bag. They said they would. It should be in the store Friday. I hate to say I didn’t put much stock in that, but I figured worst case scenario, we would drive to Fairfield (a town about 20 miles away) and pick it up ourselves at the first of the week.

Friday, with all its sheep crises, came and went without a call about my milk replacer. I had a little bit in the freezer from last season (“always be prepared”) so, we were ready for any emergency. But, just barely. When it became obvious that the orphan couldn’t be fostered, the Boss decided we would head to Fairfield after breakfast.

However, when we came inside from chores, there was a message from the Farm Bureau that our replacer was in the store waiting for us! And, we’re up again. Yay for the Farm Bureau! I guess I should apologize for ever doubting.

bottle baby 2017

With the bottle lamb eating well and thinking I’m his “mother”, I reckon the week ended on an up note.
another positive...
I think I've figured out how to recreate Whole Foods yummy sourdough bread
(more on my winter food focus another time)

Here’s to a week of successful lambing, a complete recovery for me and some sort of miraculous healing for the Boss! (who insists he’s not sick…he just doesn’t feel good)

Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 
even the old, dead queen anne's lace is pretty in the sunrise
Thanks for stopping by. Come “visit” us again real soon.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 1-8

Greetings from our little spot in the frozen Valley where it is a whopping 10 degrees this morning!

 It was 6* when I got up and I must admit, I don’t notice any difference.

We’re on our way to a predicted high of 16 along with some wind gusts around 20 mph, so we’ll be spending a fair amount of time pretty close to the woodstove today. And, the temperature is supposed to be below zero overnight. Brrrr  Winter is here!

snowing pretty hard

wintry farm
dogs on sentry duty

snowy creek paddock

after a snow, starlings join the flock to eat

In addition to the cold and the wind, it snowed yesterday. So, we’ve got the whole “Frozen” theme going. I know, I know, it’s winter, it’s supposed to be cold and snowy. I must say, I’m not a real fan...but, it was pretty.

one even got INSIDE the henhouse

that was enough excitement for the hens
they refuse to come outside today

no snow-lovers at the barn!
We were both glad we didn't have a delivery scheduled as the snow surpassed the prediction of “a dusting” and we received about 4 inches.  None of the residents of the hill seemed to impressed. Except for perhaps Gus and Ellie. They have made trails all through the pristine whiteness tracking the odd scents and barking at snowplows. But, as the winds picked up, they headed to the barn to snooze with the ewes.

Pyrs LOVE snow

And, other than the snow, there’s not much going on around here. With the seed orders placed and the gardens planned, we are in a waiting mode. The greenhouses need cleaning and organizing, but that job can wait until it gets warmer.  Like Thursday. Seriously. Later this week it’s supposed to be near 60 degrees! Wait. Didn’t I just say it was winter?

by the end of the week the wintry weather will be just a memory

Thankfully, we are not in the midst of the big lambing push. (next week!)  That would be truly miserable in the current weather. There are a few ewes due later in the week, so the break in the weather will be most providential and appreciated by the shepherd. I know somebody somewhere is wondering WHY we even think about lambing this time of year. So, THIS ONE.

the three amigas playing in the snow

Last week’s lambs (and their mothers) have re-joined the flock with little difficulty. It’s so funny to watch the babies in the snow. And, I saw the first of the season’s lamb races yesterday. In a just a couple more weeks, the barnyard will be bursting with activity.

Right now it’s pretty boring. Just a lot of eating and ruminating. And, the occasional complaint that there isn’t more hay!

As is par for the course this time of year, we’ve got an ewe-patient in our hospital pen. It seems like there’s always one. Different ewes and a new and different problem every single year. Here's what happened a couple years ago.

This year’s issue is that prolapsed ewe I mentioned last week. She has gone off her feed and is acting punk. Short of attempting to deliver the lambs, I’m at a loss as to what else to try. Although with at least 10 days until her due date, I’m more than a little hesitant to attempt that. We’re keeping her going with liquid nutrition and trying to boost her appetite with probiotics. We have treated for pain and possible infection. That’s the best we can do for now. One visit to the barn and she’s up...the next she’s down...

The frustrating thing about our “patients” is that we only have about a 50/50 survivability rate. While we have had some amazing recovery stories, we’ve also had some truly dismal losses. I am always torn in such a situation. I know other shepherds would break out the rifle and end the problem right then and there. And, I know some folks who would turn heaven and earth to save the animal. We’ve followed both courses of action. All I can say this time is I am certain we’ve done the best we can.

However, only time will tell. And, unfortunately, I think it’s going to be a long 10 days and a LOT of trips to the barn. (it's already been a lot of trips to the barn in the dark)

But, so far, in all my nocturnal trips to the barn in the past week, I’ve only seen one rat! (not counting the two trapped ones) That’s good news, really.

Rats are a real issue in the barn (and even more in the henhouse), I’ve seen as many as seven at a time. And, we’ve killed scores of them over the years. The cats and dogs do their fair share, too. Recently, the problem seems to have gotten worse, so the Boss has become somewhat obsessive in his quest to eradicate them. He’s been researching all sorts of methods. I had no idea there were countless Youtube videos on building rat traps until my grocery list included raisins and a cheap pizza pan. I kid you not.

I can assure you that Raisin Pizza was NOT on the menu!

I see a rat-trapping post somewhere in the future. (with some sort of disclaimer for the faint of heart) Because I, for one, really want to know what happened to the raisin-pizza pan combo!

But, for now, we are listening to the wind howl, watching the snow fly past the window and making plans for the next egg retrieval mission. (to prevent frozen, cracked eggs they are gathered hourly in frigid weather)

Hope you’re warm and safe and having a Happy Sunday! 

Thanks for stopping by! Come back and “visit” again soon.

And, in the meantime, THINK SPRING!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Twenty Years of Learning

"archived" artwork from Mama's old calendar
-courtesy of Amanda
circa 2000
Twenty years ago today, we became “official” residents of the Shenandoah Valley. As we woke that first morning in Mt. Solon, we were filled with anticipation of the adventure that was about to unfold. We had spent the past year planning and prioritizing and making down-sizing decisions. We were debt-free and ready to take control of our own destiny. We had a plan and it was well on the way to becoming a reality.(for the record, our plan did not involve a covered wagon)  It was more than a little exciting to know that we were embarking on a journey to live out what others only dreamed of. 

Little did we know that a short six weeks later it would all blow up in our faces. There was no way to know how we would question our decision and wonder if we had truly seen a vision of the pit as life suddenly went “to hell in a handbasket”.  When we made the move to Middlebrook, it was with broken hearts and dreams and without any sort of nestegg for the future. And, that in some way that experience would dog us every step of the way. But, that is not the story here. The story is more about all that has happened in the ensuing twenty years. 

Twenty years. Much has changed in those twenty years. And, I can prove it. I don't have many photos of the early days, but I do have my planning calendars. They tell quite a tale.

In the midst of our annual planning meeting seed orders, I started looking for old garden notes for comparison. So, I dug out my planner stash. My daybook calendars date back to 1997, when we first started this adventure. 20 years ago today. They are full of penciled notes, bits of paper and the odd and random doodle. Those old calendars bear record of far more than just planting schedules and menus. There’s a lot of living, learning and growing and even some dying in those pages. Stories of great successes and dark, dismal failures. With a little effort, you can see some pretty amazing progress.

20 years of calendars
a treasure trove of farm facts

The things we’ve had to learn are myriad. Building this place from scratch on a shoe-string budget required a great deal of ingenuity. There are notes about construction, animal husbandry, weather prognostication, pest management, marketing and varietal choices.  Dates for planting, harvesting and breeding were tracked. Animal births and deaths are in among the birthday reminders. Amounts of food preserved for winter and the menus utilizing all that bounty were duly noted. It’s not unlike a time capsule. More than one person has suggested a book.  

I agree. There is definitely a book in all those cryptic notes and old receipts. And, I honestly thought that I would have it completed for our twentieth anniversary here on the hill (hasn’t happened yet, but the year is young...) However, I’m certain it isn’t what anyone might expect. While we’ve garnered copious amounts of knowledge regarding homesteading, small-scale farming...the farmers market, and countless other topics, I just don’t see an instructional guide in the future.

Surely there's a book in here somewhere
maybe Remy can find it!

You see, I can’t write a “how-to” book as that would imply this was our plan all along. That we actually knew what we were doing and hadn’t spent the past twenty years “flying by the seat of our pants” while doing our best to make what looked like an impossible situation work into some sort of viable enterprise.

I am incredibly proud of our accomplishments in the past twenty years.  It might not be what we thought it was going to be…strike is absolutely NOTHING like we expected and planned…but, we made it work.  Although, I would be hard pressed to tell you WHAT I expected of my life at this point, I can assure you it didn’t include midnight trips to the barn, over 600 Saturday Farmers’ markets and no promise of any sort of stability for our old age. But, that's okay. It's all good. We took a bad situation and can honestly say we are successful.

In some ways, it’s been exciting to be a pioneer, forging a life out of nothing. On the other hand, it has been truly terrifying as we (I, in particular) wondered if we weren’t screwing up royally and saddling our children with awful “baggage” that could potentially affect future generations.

all sorts of things have been memorialized

There among the garden notes and the bovine heat cycles, between the amounts of food preserved for winter and the lamb birthdates is the story of our lives. Those little penciled notes are the only record of some tremendous life lessons. There’s a lot of living wrapped up in that stack of old calendars.

No, I don’t think you’ll find a “how-to” book in my old daybooks, but there is a story of faith and hard work, of endurance through the pain and disappointments and the joy that living brings. And, honestly, that’s what life is all about. Even if it doesn’t go according to plan. That's something we can pass on to the next generation.

things have certainly changed
I'm a shepherd with grandbabies!

Another change...
at the PARK!

As I start filling out calendar #21, I’m looking forward to seeing what changes it will detail and the lessons it will chronicle. The notes I make today will serve as guidance (and perhaps amusement) sometime in the future.

Because another twenty years will fly by before we know it.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 1-1-17

Here's lookin' at ewe!

So…here we are.

It’s the first day of the NEW year.

Time for the first “farm tour” of 2017.

…and, um…it looks pretty much like yesterday, last week…last year. You must say one thing about life on the farm, if nothing else, it is dependable. Pretty much the same pattern all the time, year after year after year. 

         ...except we have lambs! (But, I’ll get back to that in a minute)

I think (I know) I’ve said this before, but that can be good in that it’s comforting and re-assuring. On the other hand, I worry that reading about it may get more than a little monotonous.

December sunrises are always pretty

flying geese

a foggy, frosty walk to the mailbox

winter afternoon

the first snow of the season

snow flurries in the valley

However, with the holidays behind us, it’s time to start thinking about the 2017 season. Forget just thinking, it’s time for action! Seriously. Planning and ordering are second only to maintenance and repair on the to-do list right now.

Since it’s been two weeks since I posted a “farm tour”, you might think that there would be something incredible to report. I hope you’re not disappointed.  But, then again, you may remember that it is indeed the “off-season” and your expectations may be a little low. I think that we’re smack-dab in the middle here, so here’s to making everybody happy.

vaccination time
In keeping with our focus on farm healthcare in December, we ran all the ewes through the barn for vaccinations. This shot keeps all the “girls” safe from a number of nasty clostridial diseases for another year. And, by giving them their shot at this point in their pregnancy, we grant the unborn lambs some immunity as well. (they will get their own set of vaccinations when they are about one month old) 

Thankfully, the entire vaccination deal went off with no major incidents. For the record, one bent needle (because one ewe freaked and jumped) qualifies as “no major incidents”. Although, the Boss’ knee took a pretty good hit from a big, fat ewe who thought she could push him out of the way. (he’s okay)
getting the ewes ready

Gus on guard
Then, it was time for the dogs’ annual check-up and vaccines. The absolute worst farm job is taking Gus to the vet. He becomes a quivering mass of long white fur and gallons of drool. He won’t cooperate and I’m just a little fearful that one day his anxiety will cause him to bite me. He totally freaks out and tries desperately to get back home. He actually escaped the vet techs once and since the clinic is right next to a busy road, the possibility of a squished farm dog does nothing for my own anxiety levels. Definitely not a fun time. While Ellie is far more cooperative (she will even jump in the vehicle)                                                                                                                                                there is still the issue of fur and drool...everywhere.

So, imagine my delight when I found that our vet had recently introduced a mobile vet truck to their services. Now, we know all about farm visits from the vet...more than one vet has met us at the barn in the middle of the night to doctor a cow with milk fever. They’ve been out for other things as well...the pony, lambs, calves, and pregnancy checks for the cows.  But, the cows are long gone and we generally vet the sheep ourselves, so it’s been years since a veterinarian came out to the farm. Because, guardian or not, dogs are considered pets and farm visits don’t apply. But, the new mobile vet clinic is specifically designed for pets that don’t travel...and believe me, guardian farm dogs don’t travel well.
waiting for the vet

I didn’t even think to ask how much it would cost for this new service. Honestly, all I could think was how fabulous it was I didn’t have to attempt to pick up 100# of quivering, drooling Gus. I don’t think you could put a price on saving my back and my sanity. However, it was less than 50 bucks. So, needless to say, I’m thrilled. And, the dogs are vaccinated and heart-guarded for another year. A big thank-you to Dr. Jenna and her assistant Ashley. And, I plan on being a loyal customer forever.

Then, the Boss and I took a little day trip to Natural Bridge. We had taken the girls nearly 15 years ago and he had been talking about a return trip for a long time. It’s a nice woodland hike and the weather was fine for late December. It granted real change of pace for us, and he was glad to have something different to photograph.

Learn more at the Natural Bridge website

sunlight through the bridge

the trail

the size is amazing!
look closely there are people underneath
and Route 11 runs over top

Lace Falls at the end of the trail

The next day saw us making a trip over the mountain to C’ville. I am not a fan of travelling I-64 over the mountain, especially on a foggy day. But, the view of the Rockfish Valley was pretty amazing. (and the fog burned off and the return trip was beautiful) 
Rockfish Valley shrouded in fog

We stopped by Whole Foods for what we call a “reconnaissance mission” (oh, okay, and we bought some salad stuff because the lettuce in the hoophouse isn’t growing as quickly as I would like). I like to see what else is out there in the way of food products from time to time. The high-end groceries tend to have pretty displays and unusual offerings. This sparks our own creativity and helps to get us enthused for another season. It also encourages us when we see that our quality is above the standards of the store...and our prices are nowhere near as high. (we saw eggs for $7.79!)

love the colors!

Wow...just WOW
$7.79 for a dozen eggs

wonder what LOCAL means in this case?

look at the variety!

It is time to look ahead to next season and we spent the better part of one day planning out the gardens for 2017. The Boss maps everything out and it’s my job to calculate seed starting dates and get the orders placed after taking stock of the seed inventory we already have. One more order, and I think we’ll be ready. It will be time to start those seeds before you know it! (early season broccoli gets started in February)
plotting out the 2017 season

Ordering seeds with Remy's supervision

When we returned from our little trip over the mountain, I went to check the sheep since lambing season was fast approaching (first predicted due date 1/1/17) and found we had a slight problem. One of the ewes had what looked like a pink baseball bobbing under her tail. Oh, bother! (confession...I actually said something far less “family-friendly”) The pink thing was a vaginal prolapse. And, I can assure you that’s not something you want to see. Ever.

**I will spare you photos (only because I didn’t get an opportunity to take one) But, you may want to skip ahead a few paragraphs if the thought of such things bothers you.***

that's her in the middle with her red harness

Oddly, I had just been thinking about the time years ago when Blondie and I met the vet in the middle of the night at the barn to address an ewe with a similar, recurring problem. Definitely not an experience I wanted to repeat. Thankfully, this particular prolapse was nowhere near as severe. (and I now know what to no midnight vet calls)

Essentially, part of her “insides” were now on the outside. (blech) This generally happens to older, fatter ewes whose sphincter muscles have been compromised or weakened. It can also happen if the ewe is tiny and the lamb, or lambs are extremely large. Since none of these situations seem to apply, we’re at a loss as to the reason. Although, her mother did have a tendency to triplet, so maybe that’s it. (we’ll have to wait and see) In any case, the problem resolves itself once the lambs are delivered.

Regardless of the cause, or any future resolution, some sort of action was necessary. One of the reasons we call them “insides” is because internal organs do not belong flapping around in the breeze. The risk of infection is great when mucous membranes are exposed to the barn environment, and the delicate tissues can be easily damaged by the other animals. Besides looking gross and disgusting, it can be a life-threatening condition (to the ewe and the lambs). She has at least two weeks until her due-date, so we couldn’t just let this slide.

If caught early enough, it can be corrected with relative ease. By putting a special harness on the sheep, pressure is applied across her back-end and the internals stay in place. This harness is removed as lambing begins and she should be able to deliver the babies without difficulty.

There is always the chance that this procedure won’t work, and there is a more invasive (read, really gross) correction technique. That explains the middle of the night vet visit years ago. However, I am hoping we won’t have to go that route.

The prolapse slipped back in without human intervention. (that is a good sign) Then it was simply a matter of catching her and applying the harness. We will keep a close eye on her for the duration of her pregnancy (making sure the harness stays in the proper position and that she is able to void without problems) She seems to have adjusted to her new “outfit” and it seems to be holding everything in place. Yay, success!

However, once an ewe has developed this particular issue, it will more than likely occur in subsequent pregnancies. She will also pass the tendency to her offspring. So, she will be heading on out of here after her lambs are born and weaned. That may sound harsh, but such decisions are necessary to keep the farm operational and somewhat profitable. To my mind, keeping her as a breeder knowing the issue is a far more cruel fate as it could potentially lead to a long, lingering illness and death.

With that issue corrected, it was just a matter of a waiting game for the ewes. According to my calculations, the first lamb(s) were set to arrive sometime after New Year’s Day. But, those ewes were first-timers, so I was keeping a pretty close eye on them. Nothing was happening at chore time...

So, I reckon you can imagine my surprise when I walked in the barn for the last check of the evening and the beam of my headlamp caught a lamb taking its very first steps!

Not only was there one newborn lamb in the upper part of the barn, but there were twins in the lower corner. They were all cleaned up and getting their first meal. Wow! I certainly didn’t expect that one.

building jugs

It was a good thing that the Boss had decided to get the jugs built after we made our delivery to town! (I wanted to wait until the wind stopped blowing...) Since the new mamas had done such a good job delivering their lambs, all I had to do was put the new families in jugs, give the moms some alfalfa hay and water and dip the babies’ umbilicals in iodine.

A middle of the night barn-check revealed two well-adjusted ewes chewing their cud and three healthy little lambs dozing under the heat-lamps.

A good start to the new year, I must say!

one of the new babies

And, so lambing season begins...there are a couple of ewes due in the upcoming days and most the rest of the flock due the following week. It will be a round of late-night checks and feed trough exams for the next couple of weeks. For a short while I will be the “on-call ovine obstetrician”. Here’s to many easy, uncomplicated births!

Now, I’ve rambled on for a good, long while and need to bring this post to a close. A fair number of other things happened around here, but we’ll just have to save those for another day.

Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 

Thanks for stopping by. Come back and “visit” again real soon.

                                    Best wishes for a great 2017!