Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rambling Update

So many things have been going on here that I haven't even mentioned on the blog.  So here's a quick update.

First off, I think I'll name Lanora's ram Landon. I saw on the news this morning the player who scored the winning goal in the soccer game is named Landon.  I just think he's a gorgeous ram lamb.


I brought home three of our Ile de France sired market lambs yesterday.


 They are only 8-9 weeks old.  I think it's young to be weaning them, but LeeAnne has too many lambs for her resouces so I took the first three and will get the other three in a couple more weeks. The biggest weighed 65 lbs at 8 weeks.  I didn't get him, he went for a wedding this month.  The lamb in side view in the photos is a single out of a Shetland Mule, on the right is a twin  out of a Dorset/Ile de France ewe, and another one of those is in the back.


We're down to 4 hens now.  Only the wisest old girls are left - not the best egg layers, they all got killed by a predator in the 20-30 minutes before a nasty storm blew in last week. Only found one body, the rest vanished.  I'm thinking the mother fox brought her babies in for a hunting lesson.  They went right inside the chicken's little barn.  Ozzie was out in the pasture with me and Shachah was in the house at the time.  He (Shachah) had an open sore on his side and I was keeping indoors to prevent fly strike. Darn!
We still have an old Black Australorp, the two Salmon Faverolles and the Ameracauna.  We'll still get enough eggs for ourselves, but our egg sales will have to stop.  The good news is the feed bill will be reduced too.

Our pond is getting fuller with all the rain this summer. I'm hoping that next spring it will be full due to the snow melt.  The bad news on all this rain is that the farmers don't have any dry days to cut and harvest hay.  Also, the nutritional quality of this fast growing hay isn't as good as hay grown in a year with normal rainfall.  I'll have to keep that in mind when figuring our feeding plans for next winter.  A couple years ago we had the same situation and my girls were frighteningly thin at shearing.
I went to great pains to purchase day old goslings for the broody Shetland geese.  (Okay, it wasn't that bad, just a lot of driving around to find some and then waiting around the auction for hours until they came up for bid.) I bought 6 of them.  In restrospect, I should have introduced them in the evening, but usually geese are such natural parents they will steal young goslings from me.
Well that wasn't the case with the Shetlands.  They hissed at the babies, but didn't attack them.  I locked the two broodies and the babies in the nest and took away the infertile eggs they had been setting on.  I tucked as many babies as I could under one broody and I left them for 2 hours in the dark.  When I came back, all the goslings were huddled as far away from the geese as they could get.  And the geese were still hissing at them.  So now I had myself 6 Brown Chinese goslings to raise up too.  I kept them for a week and managed to sell them at the Pine City Flea Market.  What a relief that was! 
The good news about this is that they are back to their more friendly selves now that they don't have eggs.  They are kind of funny, being so inquisitive at every little thing and they still like to follow me around.

There's lots more to talk about but it's sunny outside today and I've got to hoe and mulch my gardens!



3 comments:

  1. Becky sorry to hear abour your loss of your hens, and then the bad luck with the goslings. The geese look beautiful, and I like your market lambs. They look plump and yummy!
    I don't recall ever having such a wet summer. Good for the pastures, bad for hay. We're still holding our breath to see how hay prices are going to be.

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  2. Landon IS gorgeous! Ooh, I wish I needed another BFL... Those market lambs look very nice! Also, is that Ozzie taking a swim in the pond?

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  3. Thanks Juliann and Terri. Hay prices seem to be holding around here lately. I was glad I bought those 70 bales the week the prices were down. Yes, that's Ozzie in the pond. He loves to go over to the land with us. It was so humid that evening suddenly big fat raindrops started falling with the sun still shining.

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