Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot for the sheep

Today and tomorrow are going to be scorchers and I feel really bad for the sheep.  I am sure it does not get to 100 degrees in Finland too often so these guys struggle when it gets this warm

We are heading out of town and I worry about what to do if something happens to them.  We have several people on call in case they are needed here.  They have to be able to run the tractor and know what to do if we loose an adult Sheep.  There are strict requirements from the USDA if we find an adult sheep dead on the farm.  So everything is ready and sitting on the kitchen table just in case.

Looks like we might get a little rain and that might help cool down the barn.  But tomorrow should be difficult as well.

Peace Out :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Worm time of year

It seems here on the farm around the 4th of July we run into what we call a WORM WALL.  Even if we worm we start to notice the signs of a high worm infestation within our lamb flock.  It must be the high humidity and heat this time of year.

For instance we wormed the ram lambs 3 weeks ago and this past weekend we started seeing several cases of bottle jaw.  Bottle jaw is a sign of enema from high worm count.  So we wormed again.  Looks like our bottle jaw is corrected but you worry so much about the sheep building up a resistance to the wormer.  We try switching back and forth but someday you wonder if any wormer will work at all.

Peace out!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's all about the Chickens

Well, today I lost an adult hen. Found her dead in the hay pile. I made Tim take care of it. Things like that give me nightmares at night.  I have enough trouble sleeping as it is.

Also lost one of the 4 baby chicks I think it was a snack for the two feral cats living under the neighbors shed. Poor little peep :(

Now there are 3 chicks still kicking (FOR NOW). I have one that seems to wander all over and the neighbor has brought her back 3 times. She will be the next to go I bet. Something will have a taste for Chicken nuggets and snatch her up.

But on a funny note.  The other day I was out at the barn. I had driven the truck over there to drop off some feed. I really had to "Potty" but my foot was hurting so bad and the house was far away so I did what any normal person who really has to go would do, I headed behind the barn to squat and "Pee" well I was not alone here was most of my chickens with this "Whatcha doing look" One decided it would walk right between my legs.  Well most of you know when you are going it is pretty hard to stop so I try "Swooshing" her away but she continued to walk right under "You know" It is what it is.  Don't think I would eat her eggs for a few days.

That's all for now.

Peace Out!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I had to resuscitate a chick

Most people think I am weird to begin with but this will really confirm that.  For those who know I have new baby chicks I had hatch here on the farm.  I have been watching the eggs for 3 weeks and then on Memorial day they hatched. There are 4 little baby fuzz balls out following their mom.  Yesterday I was at the computer which looks out into the yard pastures and barn.  I saw mom and her babies walking towards the house then head back towards the sheep pasture.

A few mins later I went out to toss some salad scraps to them and noticed only 3 chicks. The other one had fallen into the sheep water trough and was struggling to stay a float. I immediately wrapped it in my jacket and headed for the house.  I laid it on a towel and used Tim's hair dryer to get it dry.  I would hold up one little wing then the other trying to resuscitate it.  After several mins under the warm dryer it started to "peep"  It took almost 30 mins under the dryer to get it completely dry and warm.

I then put it out by its mom in the yard on a brown dog bed to absorb the sun rays in hopes she (the mom) would stay around and when it felt strong enough it would follow her.

2 hours later I returned to the bed and it was gone.  She had all 4 of them out in the sheep pasture eating bugs.  Thank heavens.  Now, the joke is, I saved it and it probably is a rooster who will be in the stock pot anyway.  Oh well, a life is a life.

Peace out!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

When will it get done??

OK my garden is well still in the making. I have the plants, got it all tilled, but I do not seem to have any free time to spend planting.  Here it is middle of June and still tons of things are still not done.

We did get the small pasture of hay in, first cutting always is a bit stalkie, we got 275 bales.  Still need to do the big field in the back that is 13 acres and we are hoping for 500 bales, if we can get to it.

Sat. the farrier is coming out for the donkeys. Can't be here though I am going down to the Akron Canton airport on dog business.  So Sat is pretty tied up for me.  Everyone needs me and it seems they need me yesterday.  Tim has been sick so they will all be SOL if I get sick and in bed for a week.

Peace Out!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sugar Corn Pops and Chicken

Since I am currently out of laying mash until this evening, my chickens were pretty upset this morning waiting for their breakfast.  Normally I get them their mash first thing and put it in their feeder.

Not having mash today I improvised and found an old stale box of Sugar Corn Pops in the pantry.  I figured that would make them happy. If they do not get something in the morning they are upset the rest of the day.  I guess they are habit animals.  Anyway, it was like I was tossing money on the ground in a crowd of people.  It is amazing how much they liked that cereal.  So I guess for the next 24 hours if I was to eat the eggs or happen to eat a chicken they will taste like Sugar Corn Pops.

Peace Out!

Monday, May 16, 2011

How about Finn Wool soap scrubbies??

I am thinking on doing felted wool (ours of course) around organic goat's milk soap bars.  I think they would be a big hit.  The reason why I say that is, I was up at the Beachwood Mall which is the east side of Cleveland on Sat.  It is a very high end Mall, and I found my Lush store. I had been to one in Chicago and remember buying this soap that took my breath away.  It was a lemon with lemon peel. It made me smell so good. Maybe more like lemon pledge, but I did not care. Anyway, I bought a bar while I was in Lush and paid $11.99 for one bar of soap. Really!!!

So what would you think about that quality of soap with an ALL NATURAL FARM RAISED wool felted scrubbie wrapped around your favorite flavor of organic milk soap? 

I thought of it last night while taking a much needed relaxing bath and trying to handle my new $11.99 bar of soap which kept slipping out of my hand into the water.  IF it had a felted wrap it would suds up nice help clean like a wash cloth and keep from making a splash down.

It is a thought!!

Peace Out!!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Greener Pastures

Sheep are now officially off of baled hay and on to greener pastures.  Now comes the fun part of keeping them "Worm Free"  UUGGHH

Tim got the ewe fence done. Talk about over kill.  4 feet high of 2 X 2 squared woven wire on all wood posts sunk into concrete, 3 stands of electrified 6, 10, & 14 inches off the ground. Plus paneled gates. Nothing is getting in or out of that fence. LOL

But nice to see them laying around in the lush green field chewing their cuds and being happy.  Happy sheep makes me happy.  And we all know Terrie needs to be happy or LOOK OUT!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Going to have baby peeps, or so I am told!

Ok, I am trying my hand at setting some chicken eggs.  With the guidance of my mom, who is the Chicken Queen of Medford ,Oregon.  I have a broody hen who just loves sitting on the nest so I am letting her hatch out some eggs. She has 4 under her right now.  Since I have a Rooster the eggs are fertilized, now it is up to the mom to do the rest.

It is odd though, there are 4 different eggs under her, so she will actually hatch out at least 3 kids that are technically not hers.  Interesting.

I marked the eggs to make sure those are the ones that stay under her.  My mom said don't let her hatch out more than 7 or 8, she says that makes for a stressful brood to watch over.  Now if they hatch it will be trying to keep them from being someones supper.

I will keep you posted on the up and coming peeps.

Peace Out!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Super soft wool, for sale

I was hoping to keep my fleeces from this year and have them processed, but lack of time and energy has forced me to sell them off as raw fleeces.  I hate to let them go, they are VERY nice.  Pretty soft, lots of crimp and luster.  I am sure someone will make some nice things with them.  Bummed about it, but they are taking up room in the basement.  I think there is 20 fleeces down there.

Peace Out !!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Lambs going to their new homes

Yesterday, we sent off two more ewes to their new homes. A young 4H'r is taking them to show.  He was SOOOOO excited. He got a nice white and a black with white mask. Both have superb fleeces and great bone. He should do well at the fair.

We also delivered 7 lambs and 1 adult ram to IN last week.  They are slowly leaving the nest. Yesterday the little boys dad asked if I miss them. I do when there are none, but still having 50+ loosing 10 or so is nothing.

Peace Out!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Lamb Chops coming soon!

Ok, it is official, Tim and I have decided to offer range, pasture raised, hormone & antibiotic free lamb meat.  After several days of talking and doing research we are going to go ahead and do some lamb for meat.

We will sell it vacuumed packed, in whatever cut you prefer. I think we will have it done in Chops, loins, roasts, racks, and burger.

Finn lamb meat is very lean and sweat.  Not strong or gaming tasting.  I can't vouch for that though I have not eaten one of mine.  But others have and they LOVE IT!!! I have accepted the mental fact of this, and with lamb at an all time high as well as the responsibility as a shepherd this was the most profitable business  decision for the farm. Or so I am told.

Wish me luck :(

Peace Out!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"On the Road Again"

Today is a sheep transport day. We offer our new sheep owners delivery.  Tim does it kicking and screaming but I think it helps the new owners out especially if they do not have the ability to come get them.

We have actually had people put their lambs in small dog crates in their back seats.  That is OK if you are getting one, but all three of these gals are getting multis.

It is just easier for us to meet all three at one location and send them on their way. The Finn sheep travels very well. We have had them all over the country and they just hang out and eat their hay in the pen in the back of the truck.

So we are on the road again.

Peace Out!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The death of a Devils advocate

I would never celebrate the death of another humane being, but there are people on this earth that are nothing more then saten in the flesh.  Since the beginning of time, good always fought evil, and good always prevailed.  It may take many years, but the good always came shining though.

Glad to hear this chapter in the US is now closed and we can move on to make the world a better place.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

May, the month for moms

Today is the start of May and that means the month for moms.  Mother's day is next weekend and the 12th is my mom's birthday.  She will be 29 again :)

Very over cast day, but warmer.  I can handle a slight breeze and clouds as long as I do not need my gloves and hat.  Tim made lots of progress on the new fence yesterday while I was out.  He also sold several dozen eggs to a passer-buyer. I have a sign at the road and he bought what we had in the fridge.  He liked seeing the chickens running around and  under your feet.

We called it a day around 8 pm and headed out to Bucca Di Peppo for Italian.  As we were pulling in a SUV backed into a smaller car, I mean hit them hard, then drove off. But being the good citizen I am I got their license plate number and turned their behind in.  I would be sooooo ticked if someone did that to my car.  I go off when I get a new door ding. Could you imagine a smashed in front.  UUUGGGHHH

That's pretty much it. Nice Sunday, Nice first day of May.

Peace Out!!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Grass grows, sheep eat

Today the sun is going to be out all day, or they say.  I noticed our pastures are just popping.  It seems like they grow inches everyday.  Tim is going to work today on putting new fence in the one ewe pasture so the moms and babies can spend their days on the lush grass.

We had 7 strands of Electric but the little lambs just shimmied under the wires in order to explore the world on the other side of the fence.  We are taking that out and replacing it with woven wire.  That way there will be no escapes :)

Not that they go far when they get out......our front yard is planted and tended to like a manicured lawn and they just sneak out and help themselves. NO big deal,  It takes a bucket and the magic words "COME ON" and back in the fence they go.  So it will be nice to have the new fence up. Less worry.

Still thinking of the meat thing on our lambs.  If you might be interested in Finn meat or someone who might like pasture raised, no hormones, or antibiotic lean sweet meat let me know.

Peace Out!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

TGIF, talking lamb chops

Glad Friday has made it here, not that it matters. I still have work to do everyday.  The sheep, dogs, and chickens still need feed, watered, and cared for no matter what day of the week it is.

I just called one of our local butchers to ask him some questions about the lambs going as meat.  I think if we do decide to go this route we will have them processed and vac. packed for us to sell privately.  I saw on line lamb from pasture raised farms.  One that is hormone and antibiotic free is going for an average of $22 a lb in chops, roasts, racks & burger. (Which is how we raise our sheep.)

It is something we really need to crunch the numbers on.  They would have to go at 70 to 90 lbs in order to get back about 50 lbs of meat.  And if we sold retail that meat for half (minus the processing fee) we would make almost twice the $ per lamb.  So we are looking long and hard at this.  It would be better then taking them to market as feeders and getting $2 a pound on the hoof.

I am very new at the whole lamb meat  thing since I have never had to do ours.  Not sure how I am emotionally going to handle it.  I have pretty thick skin, it still will be tough though. 

Peace Out!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's always the weather

I would love to have some super exciting news to tell you, but unfortunately again today it's about the weather.  Last night we had almost hurricane force wins whip through here.

I had to leave the south barn door open for air flow, and that is what they got. The wind came up from the south and popped the other two doors (which were closed and latched) right off their hinges.

Several trees down. One landing on the ram fence.  All the boys were back there taking an assesment
of the damage and trying to figure out how to jump over the smashed part.

Since it wont be until later when Tim can chain saw it off the fence, I opened up the other part of the pasture with the nice tall grass for them to hang out on.  Tree not so interesting now.

I do see a couple rays of sun so maybe today wont be such a downer.

Peace Out!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Messed up Weather

The sun finally comes out and the wind blows.  Not just, soft relaxing breeze.  We are talking watch farm stuff flying past the window blowing.

I like the fact the wind keeps the barn cool and good air flow is vital in a barn.  I also have the dog's house set up for a cross breeze to keep healthy air flow in there as well.  A stuffy, wet or to warm environment breeds infections especially Upper resp in sheep.

A large gust just blew 2  buckets across the yard.  Oh well the woods will stop them and I will have to go hunt them down.

Looks like we are getting more rain, there are still large puddles Someday it will be dry and when that happens I am sure I will be bitching about it being to dry and when is it going to rain :)

Peace Out!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quiet night

It is 10:30 Tuesday night and I am enjoying a quiet peaceful night.  I originally had all three of the barn doors open since the breeze was nice on the sheep, but looks like mother nature will strike again tonight.  So I trucked out to shut two of them. It is too warm to shut them all tonight. Left the north door open since it looks like the storms will be coming in from the South. The weather channel says VERY bad storms for us tonight and all day tomorrow.  i worry so much since all of my ewes and lambs are in the barn. What happens if it blows away to tumbles to the ground.  I would loose them all.

I try not to think the worst.  I do hate this time of year.  I hate the bad snow and slippery roads along with the spring bad storms. Other than that the weather is great here :)

Had a chat again with Tim about market lambs. Not sure if that is an option for us this year. I think it is to early to tell. Did a lot of research online and asked other sheep people some ?'s about when and where they took theirs.  I would love someone to want 25 ram lambs. That would solve everything this year.  Not holding my breath though :)

Off to bed and wait for the storms.   Peace OUT!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Splish Splash

Wet with lots of RAIN. OK, glad the ewes are still in the barn with their new babies.  It is way to wet out for them to be on the pastures.  Hope it dries up soon.  I am quickly running out of hay.  We feed our own hay we harvest all year to them until it is nice enough for them to be on pasture.

I might have enough to hold me a couple more weeks, so come on SUN.

Sloshed around outside today, getting everyone fed and watered.  Chickens enjoy the rain though.  They splash around in the mud puddles like little kids.  I have to laugh at them, one comes over and rinses off her feet, then another walks over to the puddle to drink.  Guess they don't mind dirty mud puddle water.

We still have lots of gorgeous ram lambs available.  I know several of them have pretty low micron fleeces, velvety soft, really shiny, and lots of substance.  That's what you want. Long body, thick necks, clean bellies, clean tails, great crimp, low micron, and nice luster.  Well we have them. Several years of breeding and we are producing some of the nicest lambs I have seen.  Come take a look or I can email out pictures or videos.

Peace Out :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

It is EGG-tastic today

With Easter around the corner, my chickens are in high egg laying mode.  12 eggs so far today.  I am thinking, deviled eggs, egg salad, and even an Angel food cake for Easter dinner.  All thanks to my trustee peeps.

It is of course drab and raining again today, so sheep are just hanging around in the barn.  I can tell they are egg-cited (HA HA) to get out on the lush pastures.

It has been way to muddy and wet for them to go into rotation but soon it will be nice enough and they will spend every waking moment on the green grass.