Yesterday the weather was just gorgeous, today all it did was rain.
The rain didn't stop the Guineas from making their routine patrols of the yard. I guess instead of searching for bugs they settled for worms.
It rained all day and it rained really hard. There was no puddle here yesterday, the whole yard was flooded.
The rams hate the rain, they only leave their tent if they think I'm going to give them some grain. Killarney always tries to slip his head through the fence when I approach with food. He has gotten his horns stuck a few times and I have had to free him. The other day the Commander told me he found Killarney's boy Albion in the barn with his head stuck between the stall bars, unfortunately it seems that the stupid gene may be hereditary. The rams horns are really looking good don't you think?
The chickens spent all day out in the rain, I have no idea why they didn't go back into the coop or at least under it. They hens were all soaked and with their feathers showing wear they didn't look to good.
I blame Leopold for giving the girls a little too much attention. You would think a rooster would know enough to get his girls in out of the rain, or at least seek a bit of shelter himself!
I think Spring is finally here! It was 65 degrees today and all the animals were out and about. I just love how the guinea hens patrol the yard. Let's hope they eat all the ticks!
The goats were out enjoying the sun. Here is Alexander relaxing under the spool.
The wildlife around here is diverse and amazing, I was lucky to catch a quick picture of a mouse before Mocha or Chai Chai ran it off.
I was even able to get a shot of someone 'sunbathing', if you know what I mean...
Actually Becca Boo and Addison will soon be spending the nights away from their bucklings so that I can finally get some milk in the mornings.
The sheep were happy to be out of their stalls and loose in the fenced area. Alas, there isn't much grass yet but I still have hope. You can see two of the lambs in this picture, I will have some closer shots soon.
Below is a quick clip of the goats playing in the sun, they are so much fun to watch.
I broke down and bought some white eggs from the grocery store before Easter so that I had something for my daughter to color. I was told that the brown eggs don't color very well so at the time it seemed to be a good idea.
I put one of the colored white eggs in the Commanders lunch, not really thinking much of it. When he got home today he told me to only give him our fresh hard boiled eggs, "The white eggs taste like rubber." I noticed the yokes on the store eggs were yellow while our home eggs were almost orange, odd.
Turns out the the few brown eggs my daughter colored ended up being her favorites, lesson learned for next year. I don't think I can ever willingly go back to store bought eggs. Can you taste the difference?
Azalia was born this morning right before church. I just had time to get my mother to come out to the barn and we both watched Gardenia give birth. Life truly is a miracle. In almost no time flat she was up and nursing, Gardenia did a marvelous job of getting her cleaned off. She has a broad nose like her father Killarney. What a blessing, an Easter lamb.
Azalia weighed in at 7.5 lbs, a bit bigger than either of Jeepers twins.
In keeping with our naming theme this year (Places in Michigan) I picked the name Azailia for our newest little ewe. A flower name is perfect for the Daughter of Gardenia.
Azalia's current coloring is medium brown fading to a soft caramel with grey highlights. She is very long legged and tall. Here she is with her proud mother.
I am making an effort to hold all the new ewe's in an attempt to get them to be a little more tame than their mothers. The current score is two ewe's and one ram with two more birthings to go.
Alex loves to go on adventures. Today he decided to go to what he thought was the zoo.
He left his chaperon Sara at the gate and the excitement soon began!
"Lil'Man, look at those strange animals! They are so lucky we can't get through these bars."
"I think the humans call this one a 'Gardenia'. I think that means 'fat' in human, look at how big her belly is. I heard the Goat Mom say that the Gardenia is 'expecting' something real soon, I wonder what it could be?"
"OOH, this one is called a 'Jeepers'. I don't know what that name means but it sure is woolly. Hey, there is something moving behind it - look out they could be dangerous! Sara!!!!"
"Alma, did you see how fast those two ran off! Let's go see what kind of lambs they are, maybe they are Gardenia's."
"Albion, for Gardenia's sake I sure hope they aren't her lambs because they have terrible looking wool."
"Alex we're trapped! Those little 'Jeepers' are coming after us."
"Did you close the door Lil'Man? Sara, help! You two stand back, you know what they say about how viscous goats can be once they have their backs up against a wall. Sara!!!!!"
"Albion, do you know what a Sara is? Maybe it is what those things call the Sheep Lady?"
"Don't be silly Alma, the Sheep Lady would be embarrassed to be seen with those things. They don't even have any curls in their wool. Let's go back and see what mom thought of those two strange looking sheep."
"Alma how much did you weigh today? The Sheep Lady seemed really happy that I gained 3 lbs and weigh 9.5 lbs."
I decided to get Nigerian Dwarf goats after Ohio Farm Girl wrote up an excellent post where she gave her dairy goat experiment an A+ grade! I contacted her and she gave me some wonderful advice and provided me with a few humorous anecdotes that got me hooked. So I now have Addison and Becca Boo who each have a young strapping buck and udders full of milk. To take advantage of the milk for drinking or to make some cheese I needed a milk stand, so that is what I got last week. I have tried it a few times and it works great. I can't wait to get a steady supply of milk to experiment with.
I have been having issues with my Rooster Leopold. He has decided it is his mission in life to attack me every time I enter the coop area. I think Leopold may have gotten the idea from the head Ram Killarney who lately decided that I am one of his friends whom he wants to play with. Unfortunately Killarneys idea of play requires him to crash into me with his horns. That may be fun for him but for me - not so much. To keep these amorous males at arms length the Commander got me a Hickory Shepherds Crook. I love it as it allows me to keep all the crazy males around this place at a distance, including the Commander!
I have been spending a lot of time lately covered in various types of animal poo, splattered in birthing fluids, and picking straw and hay out of my hair. I decided it was time to spend a bit of time feeling like a girl, hence the Happy Feet! I went on a little shopping trip where I picked out a matching pair of sparkly tennis shoes for me and my daughter. We call them our Happy Shoes!
Yesterday the flowers were blooming and the grass was turning green.
Today I woke to 2 inches of snow on the ground. What a disappointment.
Yesterday beautiful flowers....
This morning started sadly overcast with steady snow showers, I really needed a pick-me-up.
The arrival of two new lambs made me forget the snow outside! It appears that Jeepers delivered two lambs just before dawn because when I got out to examine them the baby ewe was still a bit wet.
The dark curly girl closest to the camera was 5.5 lbs and named Alma. The 6.5 lbs ram lamb I named Albion. I decided to name this years lambs after towns in Michigan.
Albion is so cute. I can't tell what the exact colors of the lambs are as it is dark in the barn and with the snow there is no sunshine. Albion looks to be a sandy blond and Alma is a dark chocolate.
Alma has a small white patch in the top of her head, she sat quietly in my lap while I took her temperature and gave her a good once over.
Both lambs had their umbilical cords dipped in iodine, were given a dose of vitamin paste, and had vaseline applied to the wool around their rear ends. This will prevent them from having their sticky new born poo clog them up. I got this tip from a lambing video posted over at Saltmarsh Ranch. This is a very informative video that I highly recommend.
Jeepers looks to be doing well and seems to be a good mother. I checked her nipples and they we unclogged and she had been giving the lambs milk. It may be a wet, snowy, dreary day outside but after holding the lambs I feel nice and warm inside!
I noticed yesterday that the dark Guinea girl was limping a little. I didn't think much of it until she spent most of today inside the coop and when I checked on her the limp seemed to have gotten a bit worse. I brought her in the house and examined her feet, the noodles were a treat to calm her down a bit.
He left middle toe nail is broken and she has developed some kind of enlarged hard tissue underneath. It didn't feel warm or excessively hard, but it looks really strange.
I took a look at the other foot and it has a normal middle toe but the same large growth on the outer right toe. What is this?
Here is another shot of the outer right toe. I looked up bumble foot and saw a few pictures that don't seem to match what I'm seeing. The underneath of the the center of her feet were normal. Anyone have any ideas what this could be or how to treat it?
For the lack of anything better to do I sprayed some Blue Kote on her growths, it is a antibiotic anti bacterial spray.
A quick noodle treat and she was on her way back to the coop. She didn't come outside the rest of the evening. When I decided the guinea needed to be brought in the house I was prepared for a LOT of LOUD screaming, she didn't make a sound the entire time - odd.
I would appreciate any suggestions, this has me stumped and I would hate to lose another guinea.
I am an Ocicat. My duties include; security (rodents), counter intelligence (predators), infiltration (sneaking) and night surveillance.
I live in NE Minnesota on 10 wooded acres with; my best friend Mocha, three dogs, chickens, Guinea Hens, Nigerian Dwarf Goats, Cascade Sheep, Icelandic sheep, and a few humans.
When we moved here it was completely wooded, our plan is to turn this property into a working homestead.