Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday Walkabout 3-18

Nothing much went according to plan this week.

It was one of those weeks where I began to appreciate the advice “expect the unexpected”. Although when you think about it, that is just silly. If you’re expecting something, it can no longer be considered “the unexpected”, right? (I know, I give far too much thought to the odd and random)

But, back to the week…

Every evening, after supper, I head out to do another round of chores. I let the puppy out for a quick run, check the plants in the greenhouses, closing the windows and turning on the heaters. Lately, the sheep have needed a little bit more hay. And, since they’re eating a lot of dry matter, they drink a lot of water. Add topping off the stocktank to my checklist.

One of the reasons Karma is still in her little pen is because she still fits through some of the fencing with relative ease. “Puppy-jail” is more for her safety than anything else. Particularly, since she thinks it’s great sport to eat Gus’ food…and Gus doesn’t share food!

But, she’s growing like Clifford the Big Red Dog, and her fuzziness is misleading. So, at first I thought it was funny when she poked her fluffy head through the fence behind the stocktank to drink the water flowing out of the spigot.  But, when she couldn’t get it back out again, she howled in terror. I turned the water off and figured I could get her out with relative ease. Nope. Stuck tight. I tried again and she screamed. I tried to let go to go get bolt cutters to make the hole in the fence bigger but when I let her go, her face went down in the tank, her breath bubbling under the water. Yikes! That won’t do.
I didn't realize the danger of the situation

She was going to drown if I didn’t do something. If I held her up, she wouldn’t drown. But, if I held her up, I couldn’t get anything to solve the situation. I was totally unprepared, no phone, no tools.

So, I did the only thing I could think of.

I screamed.

Surely, the Boss would come to our rescue.

There were a few problems with this scenario. First and foremost, I am not the loudest person (okay, family…stop laughing!)  The barn is about 70 feet from the house. The house was closed up tight because it is winter. The Boss was inside the closed-up house. I was almost certain he was watching television. And, whether he wants to admit it or not, his hearing isn’t the greatest. So, it was a longshot at best, but I didn’t have any other ideas.

With the first scream, Gus came lumbering up. His helpful solution was to smell my hair and then romp around. I suppose he thought I was playing a new game. Karma yelped and wiggled, wanting to play as well. But, I couldn’t let her go. As long as I held her above the water, she was safe. Unhappy, but safe.

I screamed again.

And again. And again. It sounded so loud to me, I was surprised the neighbors didn’t come running.

When I was just about to give up hope, the kitchen door opened. “did you call me?”

My hero!

With a couple snips from the proper tool, Karma was free and none the worse for wear. And, there is now a doggie-access panel on the back side the stocktank (although she hasn’t gone near it since)

So, I am under strict orders to remember to carry my phone…

                …in case of the unexpected. (in other words---all the time!)

 And, stop screaming…it scares the Boss to death.

on Monday
after the time change
Can you say UGH!?
As you may recall, we were expecting some wintry weather in last week’s post. When it arrived, it dumped a rather unexpected 8 (?) inches of fluffy snow on us. It was beautiful, even though I will be the first to admit, I’m not a big fan of the white stuff. The dogs loved it, romping around like crazed polar bears until Karma was completely exhausted.

Pyrs LOVE snow!

Karma got on everybody's nerves

catching snowflakes

SO MUCH fun!

romping in the snow

hens do NOT like snow!

And, I don't think this ewe is too impressed, either.

Pretty snow

this went on for hours

all tuckered out
(I think she needs a bigger bed!)

The following morning, there seemed to be more chaos than usual as the sheep milled around the barnlot waiting for their breakfast. At first I thought it was just a bad case of cabin-fever after the snow. Or in the case of the sheep, I guess that would be barn-fever.

As my brain sorted out the noises, it was obvious that one lamb was screaming with regularity. And, that could only mean one thing. He, or she, was stuck somewhere. I focused on the sound and found the culprit, caught by her woolly little hams in the creep feeder. It was a quick and easy fix and I hurried to get the rest of them fed as the cacophony was overwhelming.
Help, I'm STUCK!

But, as I poured the feed in the feeders, I became aware of something else. What was that? I knew the sound, but it was unexpected.


I hear babies!

Sure enough, there in the middle of the barnlot was a newborn lamb, wandering along behind its mother, bleating piteously. What?

The last old ewe wasn’t due to lamb for a week. Maybe I had miscalculated?  My mathematic prowess didn’t matter at the moment, that was definitely a new lamb standing there. And, wait a minute. I think I hear another one calling from inside the barn!

I hurriedly finished dumping the feed. The hungry horde swarmed the feeders in the usual crazed stampede. Mama-sheep was torn between the newborn and her postpartum hunger. As she gave in to the hunger, I grabbed the lamb and headed into the barn. There I found another baby, all dried off but screaming for her mother.  After a few hurried bites, Mama-sheep ran back to her lambs. I stuck the new family in a jug, got mama some food and water and went back to chores.
last lambs of '18

Despite the unexpected start to my day, the lambs were healthy, and everyone settled down after eating. And, I can now say that we are “officially” done with lambing for 2018. We’ve got 24 lambs, 12 rams and 12 ewes. We had a very respectable 175+% lambing rate. They’re all thriving and I only assisted in ONE birth. All in all, not bad.

Then it was time to work all those lambs (except the newborns). All the sheep needed de-worming. All the lambs needed their booster vaccination. And, the ram lambs needed banding. (our preferred method of castration)  A bit of team effort and we could mark that job DONE.
ready to get started

getting everyone situated

end of a productive day

With time marching ever onward and Opening Day of the Market fast approaching, there is plenty more to do. Although, I must admit, most of the jobs don’t make for good photo ops.Although, we did complete our last sales delivery for the “off season”, make a dump run and emptied one freezer.

growing fast
won't be long 'til fresh chicken!

The broilers are growing well and will be ready for processing in FOUR weeks. Good thing, batch #2 arrives this week! The tomato seeds have been planted and the transplants in the greenhouse are finally getting some size to them. And, the radishes in the hoophouse FINALLY germinated. The weather has not been our friend this winter.

dark greenhouse
(snow covers the roof)

tomato seeds

garden in March

Another “winter” storm is in the offing and your guess is as good as mine when it comes to what we should expect. Personally, I am hoping for a MISS this time. We got an email that our strawberry and asparagus plants are headed this direction and the guy at the produce company is supposed to have our seed potatoes ready for pick-up. And, then there are those broiler chicks…

Because…ready or not, it’s time to get busy on the Spring planting season! 

the "robin snow" is supposed to be the last one for the season

I do wonder what unexpected challenges we will encounter this year. Only time will tell.

Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 

flowers are popping
after the snow

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

1 comment:

  1. Just reading this has made me tired! My favourite crocus - the purple striped.