Saturday, May 10, 2008

What No Rain ? .......

It's quit raining for the time being but the weather people looked at their tea leaves and said it's gonna rain again tomorrow - to be honest, I'd rather have this rain than the drought we had last year - at least, my pasture is now green with grass instead of the mossy stuff that was there last year.

Speaking of the sheep, they seem to be doing ok. I've been feeding them some alfalfa hay cubes in the morning for breakfast then turning them out into the pasture for the day ( they usually spend the night in the backyard ), and call them back for supper after 6pm for some more alfalfa cubes and pelleted grain mix. They are starting to put on more weight and look 100% better than they did earlier.

I finally got Alyse rooed. I have NEVER had a ewe as filthy as she was. She had soft stool mixed into her britch that was absolutely nasty. It took about 2 hours to get her cleaned up even with some of her wool starting to roo on its own ( of course the little growth - aka Sonni, the lamb - helped roo some of her wool by climbing on her back ). Her wool ( of course, it was her lambswool ) was full of thistle stickers,vm and tons of stuff I don't even want to think about, so it was thrown out. Her new wool shows some spotting over her sides and a nice dorsal stripe. Now, all I have to do is roo Wenny, Lacie, Maddie, Glorie, and shear Linda and TJ and I'll be done for this year. Think I'll invest in a shearing machine for next year instead of doing it by hand - I might be able to have everyone sheared before Thanksgiving that way !!!

The lamb has a name. She will be known as ValleView Sonzarai. I worked with a nurse who was named " Sonzaray " and thought it a beautiful name. Sonni is growing like a weed and as happy as a clam with her " mom's " attention. I think she might be just a little bit spoiled.

The pastures are coming along fine. I actually have enough grass in them to cover the sheep's hooves - not everyplace in the pastures but in most, so the stress is of them and hopefully, they will recover without too much difficulty. Will be keeping the sheep in the backyard and catch pen this fall/winter and do some fertilizing and reseeding of the pastures so they will be better next spring. No lambs next year but maybe the year after, I'll rent a ram for a season and see what happens. Who knows.

Well, Chloe is too quiet so I need to see what she's into. Still can't trust her completely.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

I guess the weekend decided NOT to end ......

When I went out to close the pasture gate on Monday, I found that I was 1 duck short. Some critter had gotten into the kennel over the night and taken one of my duck hens ( and they were just getting started in laying eggs well ). No footprints were found ( it's kinda hard to see a foot print in straw ). So I fussed and fumed until it was time to go to work.

I had told the boy I buy hay from that if he could use a used 75 foot garden hose, it was his and I told him where he'd find it. At this time, I had 2 drakes and 5 hens. He said that all the ducks were there when he came to get the hose.

When I got home around 2 am on Tuesday, I still had the 7 ducks. They were a little flighty, but they would do that if I left them out in the catch pen and not put them in their kennel. So I went to bed.

When I finally got up around 7:30 on Tuesday morning ( I had to have a ppd placed for work was the only reason I was up then ), I went out to close the pasture gate and found 7 dead ducks in the catch pen !!!

They were scattered around the pen as if they had died where they had been runnig to get away from whatever was after them. To look at the ducks, only 1 had visible signs of blood on her until you walked up to the hen at the gate to the front yard - her head had been eaten off !!!!

I had had these ducks for 3 years ( they were 6 months older than Chloe ) and I was very upset.

I talked to the boy I get my hay from and told him how it looked and he said it sounded like a raccoon had gotten in the pen and killed all the ducks but couldn't get them out. I was so upset all I could think of was to find that beast and do to it what it had done to my ducks - I didn't care if it lived or not. I WANTED IT DEAD!!!

I have calmed down since then and will be getting more ducks and some geese later this spring and have been told how to make sure this doesn't happen again. So ...

This is a WARNING to all the foxes and raccoons around here :


Now, let the bastards come around and try for a free meal - they won't like what their next meal will be.