Saturday, July 31, 2010


No pictures today, well, because the problem is poo. It seems a few of the sheep have poo that is the consistency of pudding. The color is deep green, no mucus or blood, nor froth. This morning we checked their bottoms and identified two that seemed to be the victims, so they got a dose of Pepto Bismal and Probiotics. They will get the same treatment tonight.

There are signs that a few of the other sheep have very soft poo, so we are keeping a close eye on this as well. The sheep have access to good hay, baking soda, mineral with kelp, and water. They have been in the pasture since Thursday morning, and I am sure that it is significantly different from the pasture of their previous owner, as our pasture is converted woodland and it is a mix of lean grass, saplings, and weeds. It took the transporter five days to get the sheep here, so I am sure they were very stressed by the trip.

Is this possibly normal? Any ideas on anything else we should do?

Friday, July 30, 2010


We think this is our rooster. The stories we have heard about mean roosters make us question this because this chicken is always the first one out of the coop and always greets people who go into the coop area. This chicken is really friendly!

It is filling out well and looks healthy. The chickens love the wood chip base that dominates their coop area. They dig in it all day long and make little pig like wallow holes that they roll around in. We will definitely add more wood chips once the Commander fires the chipper back up.

Our Rooster(?) loves to be held, and eats out of my hand. Heck, he will peck at my hand even if I don't have any food in it, saying; "Where is my food? I'm going to peck you either way."

***Correction*** I have been informed that the above picture is the hen named Bits. Bits likes to be held and is also friendly. The statement about the rooster still remains valid.

The ducks continue to grow and share space with the chickens and then go into the garage at night. I have to finish their duck hut soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sheep Out

We let the sheep out this morning into the pasture. Jeepers is definately the leader, she is the one on the left.

Kia is immediately behind Jeepers, she is the one with the black and white face.

Getting them back into the barn tonight night was a challenge. Instead of Sara herding them they FOLLOWED her around, completely unnerving her. Without Sara's help we had to round them up slowly and direct them into the barn. They were rewarded with fresh hay in a blue bin. Hopefully they will recognize the bin and associate it with food in the future so as to make this an easier process. We can't leave them out due to predators.

The sheep have a Icelandic look to them, and Soay as well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Sheep are Here

The sheep arrived this morning at 0600. I was awoken by the Commander telling me that he needs help getting the sheep off the truck and into their new barn. While the Commander was carrying a sheep to the barn I found myself inside the truck, hunched over, and trying to put a rope over a sheeps horns so I could get him out of the vehicle. Needless to say I won't be doing that again.

I ended up carrying our only polled little lady, Katydid, to the barn. She was a lot different than carrying my wonderful goats! Katydid was well muscled and was struggling to get away while the goats snuggle up against me. Her wool was really soft against my face and I think she is my favorite.

Jeepers, the only yearling of the bunch, is the leader of the flock. Everyone else follows her lead, even the boys. In the barn they are like a bunch of marbles in a can, rolling around the edges doing whatever they could to stay away from us.

Once we got them safely inside the barn they were treated with fresh hay, cool water, sheep mineral, and baking soda. We were going to take the baking soda out but they seemed to like it and were taking it free choice. The sheep were on the truck for a bit over 5 days, so they had to be happy to have a bit of leg room.

We gave them some time to calm down and then had to get back to work, they needed to be treated for unwanted hitchhikers. I have no idea if they have any pests, but since they were in a transport truck we really had no choice. The folks from Greener Pastures suggested that the best way for us to round them up in the barn was to use a long flat panel to crowd them into a corner. It worked great, we were able to take them one by one for their wormer and spa treatment.

No pictures today as it is raining with thunderstorms so the lighting is terrible. The sheep will be confined to the barn far a few days so they learn to associate it with being home, at that point we will turn them loose into their pasture. If they don't think of the barn as home after that I have no idea how we will ever get them back in. Sara may get a hearty workout. The boys will stay with the ewes for a bit as the stress of separating them from Jeepers may be too much for them this soon at their new home.

I have never worked with sheep before, but I am really happy with the Cascade sheeps size. The were (relatively) easy to handle, yet they felt quite muscular with soft multi-colored wool. I can't wait to see how they work out.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Finished....Just in Time

The Sheep barn is finished and ready for new occupants. A bit of red and white paint and the place will look great.

The barn has dutch doors on each end with matching pair windows. Skylights allow light into the loft on the south side giving the inside a nice warm appearance.

This is what the farm area looks like from our driveway. The goat barn on the right (almost painted), the chicken coop to the middle, and the sheep barn on the end. The dirt mound will be spread out over the sand road next week and seeded with grass, giving us back a nice looking back yard.

The inside has a huge loft and plenty of room for stalls, which my dad will build in August when he visits. The sheep arrive Monday, we finished just in time.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Far, Far Away......

Today, in Camas Washington, a trailer drove up to a picturesque farm and an exchange was made. Eight Cascade Farmstead sheep, 5 ewes and 3 rams, were tucked safely away into a private pen for transport. The sheep are now en route to northern Minnesota where they will make their new home. Estimated Time of Arrival - Monday!

To learn more about Cascade Farmstead sheep visit this ( web page. To be continued....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Where are they?

We went out to the chicken coop at dusk today and the chickens and guineas were nowhere to be seen. I don't know why, and I don't know how, but they had all decided to put themselves away for the night! Hurray!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pasture Progress

The new pasture is coming along nicely.

It is full of chopped trees with goat/sheep high edible leaves as well as weeds, grass, and bountiful patches of random sod.

It is dotted with rocks and trees that create a calm atmosphere for the local diners.

The fence falls outside a few large mounds that we hope the goats and sheep will enjoy.


We are making progress on the new sheep barn. This thing is a lot bigger than I expected. We should have no problems with hay storage. The completed building will be 20'x16'.

This thing is going to take forever to paint. It is sorely needed as at dusk this evening we got to listen to a pack of coyotes howl their way through the woods directly behind our house. The sheep will need to be tucked safely away every night, plus the barn will help keep them warm this winter.

It is coming together faster than scheduled, possibly due to unexpected help.

Who knew Chip was so handy with tools?

Addison barking out directions!

The end of a long day of construction.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sheep Barn Prep

Several weeks ago I thought the site for the sheep shed was ready, especially after we had someone come in and remove all the stumps. Turns out that the area was too wet and soft for the size building we had in mind, so we either had to pick a different spot or improve the building area. The improvement wasn't in the budget, but we almost had no choice, so in came the dump trucks hauling dirt. Our backyard had always been low, so a sand roadway had to be put in so the dump trucks wouldn't bury themselves. The dirt mountain to the right is top soil that will be set once the lumber trucks finish their deliveries. The soil will be seeded and hopefully the grass will take before the onset of winter.

The basic outline of the sheep shed was put in place today. The amount of clearing that has taken place is amazing. The fence is about 1/3 complete, a few trees still need to come down before it can be finished. Approximately two weeks before the sheep arrive, will we be ready?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Cooped Up

The chickens and guineas are big enough for us to move them out of the garage hatchery and into the coop. The coop compound consists of; one Amish built chicken coop, dog kennel panels, chicken wire, and bird mesh (over the top of everything.

We added 12" of chicken wire around the bottom to discourage the fowl from trying to squeeze out, as well as hopefully slowing down anything trying to get in. We used black outdoor zipties to attach the wire to the panels. Black is supposed to reduce brittleness due to UV damage.

Addison checks out the construction work and approved. On a sad note Addison's last date of possible birth was July 4th so it looks like no kids, milk, or cheese this year - drat.

Old railroad ties line areas that have mild uneven terrain, again hopefully to discourage invaders and escapees.

The enclosed area has some wood chips, rocks, and a lot of grass. It is amazing how fast the fowl have mowed down the grass. I wonder if the whole area is going to become a barren wasteland?

The chickens and guineas begin the day in the coop, but not even rain can get them to go back in. How do we train them to go back home for the night? Until they learn we have to go in and catch them and put them away.

The coop area is pretty secure yet yesterday a Lavender Guinea managed to escape and was frantically trying to get back in. Don't they know it is dangerous out here?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Parading Around

We have been very busy around here lately and I have regrettably been neglecting the blog. Chip is leash trained and is very handsome, so as fate would have it he was invited to march in the town parade - representing a local Congressional candidate.
I was very hesitant and protective, but I brought water bottles with nipples, goat treats, and a wagon to pull him if he got tired.

Chip did fantastic, everyone loved him. I could hear kids in the crowd yelling; "Look at the cute goat!" On Tuesday July 6th the Commander met four Australians at the airport and he asked them if they enjoyed their visit. Their reply surprised him, they told him about how they went to a 4th of July parade and saw the cutest little goat! They even showed him pictures that they took. They told him Chip was the highlight of the parade for them.

I don't know what I was thinking but I was convinced to take Chip to a second parade the next day. Chip again was a huge hit, he even let some children pet him. Chip finished off the day by visiting the retirement home at the end of the parade route. Chip's exploits got him filmed by the local TV broadcast crew. Chip is now retired until labor day.

At one point I rocked Chip in my arms like a little baby and he drifted off to sleep, breaking the hearts of everyone who saw me holding him.