Sunday, February 9, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 2-9

Oh….winter…please go away!

 I am not alone in my dislike of the weather.  Squeekie has taken to hanging out on the backporch, making faces and guilting us into giving her cat cookies.

I can’t say we got much accomplished this past week.  We slogged through the mud, complained about the cold and fought an epic battle for internet connection. But, the mud froze…the temperatures moderated and we were able to make our sales despite the frustrations.  Our Winter Customers are awesome.  Thanks, y’all!
Hard to believe that in two months this will be full of green,growing plants
Can't wait!

There was a cloud of gloom over the week as we worked through the loss of our neighbor. The incredible sadness of Friday’s service is tempered by everyone’s fond memories.  Each of us who had the privilege to know her were made a little richer for that experience. She will not be forgotten.

The few things we got accomplished were somewhat noteworthy.

two little lambs sure can make a mess!

We finally moved the lambs from the shop to the barn.  This should have happened at least a week ago, but the weather was way too cold to leave the small, unattended babies on their own.  But, they got to the point where they were moving the entire hospital pen across the shop in their frenzied hunger whenever they heard my voice. Each and every movement scattered pine shavings everywhere and the entire pen was in danger of destruction. It’s so quiet in there now!  If anyone is keeping track, they are both tipping the scale at nearly 20 pounds.

The whole move was fairly anti-climactic and they are beginning to fit in with the rest of the flock. 

Gus has become their watchful companion in the barn. I’m not sure if he’s that concerned about the lambs or if he’s just hoping they will forget about their bottles and HE can have the lamb milk! (we had a very serious “discussion” when he stole the bottles out of the barn…okay, no discussion…just mama doing a bunch of yelling) Gus loves his milk.

working at the barn is incredibly challenging
the bottle babies are ALWAYS looking for food!

the mud was truly epic

All the mud behind the barn that I have been complaining about for so long is now frozen…frozen solid.  That means that the feeders are stuck to the ground.  Completely stuck…immovable. It will probably be Spring before we can move them again.  At least I can't complain about having to do the "dance of the mud turtles" every time I do chores!
(yes, I have seen the TEN COMMANDMENTS one too many times)

The Boss chipped and dug and got the gate to the winter paddock pried out of the frozen mud so that the sheep can finally get out of the barnyard. That gives the lambs room to run around wildly while the ewes feast on hay outside. I must admit to wasting a fair amount of time (and camera batteries) watching lamb racing. It should be a recognized sport…really. I never get tired of watching THIS.

check out the leaping action in the back of this shot

The seeds I started on Monday are germinating.  Hooray!  The sight of all those teeny, tiny little green sprouts in the midst of the cold and gloomy weather is more than a little encouraging and uplifting.  
chard seedlings
LOVE the colors!

More will get started this week…and we may even get to do some real work in the hoophouses. …and there are signs of life in the hoophouses despite the weather.

The pullets are adjusting well to their move and will complete their assimilation process this week. (that means they will be able to go outside)  There are a fair number of pullet eggs, too.  This is a very good thing.  Egg production is WAY off…and demand is way UP.  But, that’s just part of winter.
egg comparison
large egg on left, pullet egg on right

Somebody asked us for the exact definition of “pullet”.  Do you know? It just refers to a young female chicken…some say prior to laying eggs, some say prior to the first molt, some say one year… We use the term to refer to those young hens that are just starting to lay eggs.  The eggs are small and the laying somewhat sporadic, but it isn’t too long before the eggs (and production) are fairly consistent. By the time the Market opens, we should see the Spring flush of eggs when production is at its peak. (well, that’s the plan…can’t say it always works out that way)

…and that, my friends, was the week on the hill.  Hopefully in the upcoming week I will find my long-lost motivation and have accomplished all sorts of exciting things for next week’s post. (don’t hold your breath)
no signs of green yet

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you are having a very

                                              Happy Sunday!

Please come back and visit again.


  1. El lambos are adorable....joie de vivre indeed. You might be interested to see
    what a Welshman has to deal with in terms of mud in his poultry yard in western
    Wales ( Love chard!

  2. Thanks for commenting, Sheila!
    I took a look at the pics of the Welsh poultry yard. I think we've got that one beat. LOL
    We're going to try a new approach this week...stay tuned.
    Have a great day!

  3. So how long are the lambs on bottles? In order to show them for 4H, we have to get one by May 31st, but we'll shoot for much sooner...whenever it's warm enough. Been record cold here!

    1. The lambs are bottle-fed for about 8 weeks (or until the bag of milk replacer runs out) They will continue to look for a bottle for a LONG time after that.One of them jumped THRU the barn gate last night in her anticipation of her bottle. I'm hoping she stayed put overnight.

      I hope you'll write about the whole process.I can't get my head around it, it must be SO different than our market lamb shows. Will y'all need to feed the babies the whole time? Show them with their bottles? How big are they when you show? Maybe I should do some internet research.

      I have seen stories about the weather out your way. UGH Can't imagine trying to start the lamb project in the bitter cold and snow. That's how I end up with lambs in the house. LOL Actually, the weather would have me whimpering under the covers somewhere. Come on Spring!

      Best of luck to you (and Adam)! Please keep us posted.

  4. Lovely to see those first shoots emerging from the soil.,