Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thistle - GAH

This is White (hair/wool mix lamb), nibbling at a thistle. If only they would eat it. Guess it’s just too prickly.
This past weekend I sprayed all of the thistle since it was getting pretty tall.
We also got 5 sheep sheared on Monday morning, before it got too hot. The rest are getting done this weekend. The shearing actually went well. Only a couple small nicks here and there. We used the stand, but had it on the ground instead of up on its legs. It was easier to get the big sheep into the head rest that way since they really don’t like walking up the ramp (we learned last year!). I sheared the good wool off their backs and sides first. Then Andre would get them on their butts so I could shear the belly wool off that we don’t keep. I even got brave and sheared Romey’s nether regions – Andre telling me the whole time to be careful! Last year I used scissors to clip around that area because I was so scared of hurting the poor guy.
The sheared sheep all look so WHITE after the rain the past few days, and I’m sure they feel much more comfortable. At least this week is not too hot, but we really need to get the rest done soon. Next year I’m going to get shearing done early spring!

Friday, May 22, 2009

6 things.....

Julie P. tagged me with the following blogwork.
I am to list six things that "I appreciate that may, to someone else, seem unimportant, but to me are precious."

1) Having good friends and family and the times I get to spend with them.
2) Waking up and hearing A snore.
3) Wool socks.
4) A comfortable bra.
5) The responsibility of being the caretaker of many animals (along with help from A).
6) Stinky wet dogs, old furniture and tile floors (i.e. not caring if they are in the house and jumping on us or on the furniture).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Baltimore Orioles sighting - not the team!

Last year I kept briefly seeing this orange bird around the house and in our lane. Looked it up in a birding book I have and thought it might be a Scarlett Tanager or a Baltimore Oriole. Two days ago I had the camera out taking pictures of the sheep and the new horses next door, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of orange. There she was, pulling wool off the fence at the other end of the paddock. I couldn’t get close and I didn’t have the correct lens, but I got a couple of blurry pictures. Can you tell what it is? I’m thinking Oriole because the head is black. The Tanager has an orange head. There were two, but the male (darker orange) was too far away to get a picture. Hopefully they are building a nest nearby and I’ll get to enjoy seeing them more often. (click on pics to enlarge)
(edited to add - Could be an Orchard Oriole. Interesting that the nesting information mentions that they line their nests with wool, among other things. )

Here are the lambs eating their dessert – a sheep-lik that has molasses in it! I have to keep it away from the fence or the dogs get into it. (It does smell good – they should make one for people!)

We had two work horses living in the field next to us since we’ve been here. One died last month and the one left was obviously distressed. They were both sweet horses, and were always hanging near the fence line when the sheep were out and I even saw one of them break off a high branch with new leaves on it, and give it to my sheep on the other side! Not kidding! He did it several times.

Here are the new horses. The one on the right is the old one.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Its all in a day's work

What I did on Mother's day.....

We wormed all the sheep and lambs. The little boys got banded (this makes them wethers, i.e. its) and spent the afternoon laying in the shade and crying for their moms. By evening they were up and eating and none the worse for their experience. Next week everyone gets the CDT shot and the lambs get ear tags. I also need to start shearing. I have so much to do around the house with the sheep and dogs and keeping the house clean (impossible) and wouldn’t you know that I have to work overtime/weekends for the next two weeks. Ugh.

One of my beautiful Border Leicester ewe lambs has goopy eyes. I noticed when she was born that they looked different, but determined that she could see because she blinked when I waved a hand in front of each. Recently they have been getting very watery and goopy, so I started putting an antibiotic ointment in them. Yesterday Andre mentioned that her eyes still looked bad. We looked closer and I think she has entropion eyelids. This is when the eyelids are inverted and the eyelashes are scraping the eyeball and this causes irritation and eventually can lead to blindness. I read up on treatments and first tried to tape the eyelid down but I couldn’t get the tape to stick. (I thought duct tape worked for everything!) The next option and the one that most of the books I have recommend, is to inject penicillin into the lower lid (hers is just the lower lid and that is typical), which forces the lid out, away from the eye. I’m not exaggerating when I say this scared the beejeesus outta me. But I had the needles and I had the penicillin, so I did it. I had visions of poking the poor baby in the eye, but I just held the needle parallel to her skin and pulled out a pocket of skin and injected .5 cc under each eye. It did what it was supposed to do. She had two little bumps under each eye and hopefully will get relief from the eyelashes. It is supposed to leave some scar tissue that will keep the eyelid from inverting again. I followed up with antibiotic ointment. I’ll be keeping an “eye” on this one. I’ve named her Helen. She going to be a beautiful girl for wool, but I won’t breed her because this condition can be hereditary. Her mother Bitty had twins last year and they didn’t have a problem.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Back in the Saddle...bags

Finally went back to WW last night. I hadn’t been since the end of October! Thankfully I hadn’t gained any weight since then and actually lost 5.6 pounds. That’s not exactly a lot in 6 months, but I hadn’t really been following the plan/counting points either. Guess some of the good eating habits stayed with me. But I knew that I needed to go back to the meetings to maintain a better rate of weight loss, or I wouldn’t reach my goal weight until I was 80 years old!
I really like the meetings and find them very motivating. I might lace up some sneakers and start walking a mile or two a few times this week. Our lane is 8/10 mile long so just up and back will be a good starting point. Just have to jump over the pot holes that are still filled with rainwater from all the rain we’ve been having lately. NOT COMPLAINING. The sheep are loving all the grass and new leaves on the trees and bushes.
We’ve been using the dogs – different ones each day - to bring in the ewes and their lambs from the big field. It’s fun to watch how the dogs learn to not be as pushy with the ewes or they will turn and run the dog down! That will change when they start weaning their lambs and aren’t feeling so motherly.