What a morning it turned out to be! I had to be to work by 9:00 a.m. and I knew the Shetland goslings would be arriving by Priority Mail from Holderread's in Oregon. The post office was to call us around 7 a.m. when the truck came in. Above is a photo of the four Shetland goslings right after we picked them up - they looked great! I gave them cut up spinach for their first meal...the two smaller males are on the outside and the two larger females are in the middle. One male had mildly splayed legs which I quickly hobbled with some handspun yarn. He's doing fine now.
Shetland goslings are autosexing, which means you can tell the males from the females at the hatch. I was expecting the male goslings to be all yellow, but they have some grey areas as well. Just not as dark and defined as the females. Their bills are lighter colored too.
Here they are again after I put them in with our week old Brown Chinese goslings. Can you tell which one is the Brown Chinese in the photo below? LOL.
They all seem to be getting along fine and they are less anxious with a bigger crowd of their own kind. Of course the Brown Chinese are very imprinted on humans, and they want me to stay with them constantly. I would have killed for a broody hen to raise them up for me.
I didn't get much sleep last night, anxious about the Shetlands coming and the fact that I left the Brown Chinese goslings out in the kitchen overnight rather than lock them up safe from our killer cats. The past few days I'd been leaving them out with the cats while I've been outdoors or away from home. I've told the cats "no" whenever they check out the goslings and I wanted to see how they would be in my absence. Thankfully the cats are pretty smart and they seem to know that these are MY birds. Now that I think of it, they didn't eat any of our 30 hatchery chicks last year...
Not to be outdone, we woke up to find that our Shetland Mule, Elsie, delivered her lamb this morning too. I was hoping that she wouldn't choose this morning to be in labor because I knew things would be busy with the goslings. But this worked out okay. By the time I found her the placenta had been delivered, the lamb was already jumping and hopping around. All I had to do was jug her, clip and dip, and give her some water and good hay.
I had hoped for a moorit ewe lamb, but she's got the English blue pattern (teardrops and ear markings) and is black. Her eye rims seem rather brown toned to me though. She is 3/4 Shetland, sired by Bo (a moorit smirslet) and 1/4 BFL. Her dam Elsie carries moorit and black. So she's BB/Bb.
Elsie really wanted out of the jug this afternoon and her lamb is vigorous and following closely, so off they went after I wormed Elsie.So hopefully this time it's true -- this is our last lamb of 2009! We end the year with 8 ram lambs and 8 ewe lambs. I'm NOT complaining.
Yes, all was going pretty good today. But the best thing was when I got the mail, there were two letters from the unemployment office. One of them said I had been underpaid by $503 back in December (after I took the deli job) and they had deposited that amount in our checking account yesterday! I couldn't believe it. I am scheduled for outpatient surgery next week and our deductible is $500 for hospitalization. Can you believe it? :-))