Friday, March 13, 2009

Time to set up the "Ewe Tube"/A New Job!

Woo-hoo, the temperature this morning is 14F ABOVE zero! That's 31 degrees warmer than it was yesterday morning. The past few days of snow and brutally cold winds have been made easier knowing that this weekend we're supposed to be up in the 40's. All I can say is thank heavens my shearing is scheduled for NEXT Wednesday rather than this week.

Here are my girls wondering why in the heck I was taking photos when I should have been dishing up their alfalfa hay this morning. I want to get some fleece shots of them too, but I will wait until after their feeding. Look at that bad little Shetland Mule yearling jumping up on poor Leonie's back end. She and her twin have are so exuberant at feeding time!

Also, see that blue piece of twine in the photo above? Well yesterday it become wrapped around poor Rhyn's scrapie tag, which you can see in the photo of my BFL ewes below. I went out to feed the girls and heard the unmistakable sound of a ewe in distress. My eyes scanned the flock to see who was down. Sure enough, there as a big lump of fleece staying put near the fenceline feeder. It was Rhyn, I don't know how long she was stuck like that, but fortunately she didn't rip her ear in two to get free.
This incident makes me all the more anxious to set up the barn cam again. There are so many things that could happen to the sheep while I'm in the house, I'll feel safer being able to tune into the ewe tube channel to see and hear if anyone is in trouble. Last year finding Hannah cast one morning was enough to get me to spring $120 for the barn cam.

I just liked the lighting on this photo from this morning, I feel kind of sorry to be shearing the girls when it's still cold out, but I've tried waiting until May for shearing and that has its own problems. This way my ewes will get their vaccinations and hooves trimmed and I will be able to monitor their condition in the last month of pregnancy.

Hey, I just got a call from the US Census Bureau and I've been hired! It's a temporary position lasting 8 weeks, training takes place in mid-April. The work will be the same time as our lambing, but I have to go for this. We need the money. I know lots of you work full time and manage to lamb successfully, hopefully all will go smoothly for me too. I'll see if I can keep my schedule in the deli down to a minimum too. I do enjoy that job, it's a great way to keep in touch with people from the community.

7 comments:

  1. hey i need a 'ewe tube' too! where did you find yours? and how does it work?

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  2. Wow, love the ewe tube. I am waiting for your response to Garrett because I'd like one too!

    Also, congrats on the job!

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  3. I got it at WalMart.com last year. It really came in handy. It has 30' infared night vision, so I can check on the sheep at night without going outside and disturbing them. It's quite interesting watching their interactions during the night.
    How it works: there's a camera that we set up and plug in out in the barn and a there's little receiver that we keep on the TV and plug in when we want to watch the sheep, we just have to connect the receiver cords to the white and yellow TV jacks, it's very simple. I also used it during the summer to monitor live traps at night.
    But now I'm thinking I should get one that connects to the computer so if I'm on the road taking census numbers, I could maybe check on the ewes at home in the barn...

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  4. We love our lamb cam (ewe tube is so good!). We started with a little Sylvania wireless security camera (less than $100 for 2 cameras and receiver) off ebay, then upgraded a couple years ago to a bigger unit from Pipestone. We were hoping to put it online, but didn't get all the bugs worked out.
    Congrats on the job!
    - Franna

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  5. Thanks Franna! I would love to have to two cameras instead of just one. Last year most of the ewes lambed in a certain corner of the barn so I could watch without disturbing them. But one lambed outside and surprised me. The Pipestone unit looks pretty nice.

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  6. That's fab. Does it matter how far it is from the pasture or barn to the house where the receiver is?

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  7. Yes Claire, the model I've got needs to be within 300 feet. Our pole building is pretty close to the house, only about 150 feet. Our ewes aren't due for about three weeks, but it's nice to have it set up early this year.

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