Since we decided to keep Albion as a companion ram for Killarney this Winter he was moved into the Ram shed with the other boys. The forecast was for rain so it didn't hurt the boys to spend some time inside and dry. I took a cattle panel and put it inside the shed to cut the area into two separate areas, Albion was in the smaller of the two.
I figured that if Albion slept on the hay that had the other boys smell on it and they got to know him through the fence that they might not rough him up once I took the panel away.
Alder (Wild Man) usually decides to eat with Albion so I hope the big boys will accept him into their click. I will let everyone loose into the ram pasture this weekend, wish Albion luck!
Good - Saturday morning the Commander went out to feed the chickens and look what he found, a little peeper!
Mom chicken (not to be confused with Momma chicken who is raising keets) seemed to be happy and yet a bit torn. She wanted to spend time with her peeper but she had 17 other eggs to still hatch.
Bad - Mom chicken gave up sitting on the eggs yesterday and totally abandoned them today, there were no other hatchlings. In order to make sure the peeper was getting food and water we moved Mom and her little one to the sheep stall. I put a few plastic eggs filled with dirt to give her an idea where she should nest and them set out some food and water. The two of them seemed happy when I left them.
Worse - Juliet is sitting a new nest in the woods. When last I checked it she has 15 or so eggs. It is way too late in the Fall for another hatching, the nights are just too cold. Now what am I to do?
The guineas have calmed down quite a bit, they no longer scream out alarms for the humans or animals that live here. It is odd to see how casual they are when Sara sprints past them at full speed on her way to where ever.
Yesterday I knew something was up when they were screaming in the middle of the day. I went outside expecting to see a fox and what did I see?
A small little yearling! I think this poor little deer has lost its mother as it is always by itself when it comes around. The deer seems a little slim but otherwise healthy.
I'm sure the poor little deer is sick of the guineas crying bloody murder every time it shows up. I hope this little one finds some other deer to hang out with who can teach it how to survive the brutal winter that is coming.
Yesterday I watched as the baby guineas were out free ranging with mama chicken when something spooked them. The babies decided to fly, one by one, over two fences to rest on top of the coop. Poor mama chicken helplessly watched them fly off and then had to run through two fence gates to join them in the coop. I could hear her talking to herself; "Who taught those dang kids how to fly?"
I was outside in the sheep area when I noted a chicken trying to bury itself in a dirt hole. It was cold out and SNOWFLAKES started to fall. I could just hear the chicken saying; "Snow, SNOW!?! I have got to dig faster!"
One of the hens has been broody for quite a while. At one point the Commander had to pick up her eggs because one of them had broke and contaminated the rest. He found three good ones and moved them over to a clean nesting box, he wanted to give her a chance. She now has 18 eggs in her box, 18! I looked in the coop a couple of days ago to see how she was doing and one of the other hens was laying an egg on top of her! How did all those eggs get in there? It is really late to have chicks here but the hens are really giving it their best shot. I just have to shake my head.
This is what the new ram area looked like in July.
This is what it looked like yesterday.
Today. I can't believe how they have defoliated the entire area. Look at how the grass stops at the edge of the fence, amazing.
This is an area where the girls cleared out the forest, not much left.
This area has a temporary snow fence and a bunch of trees the Commander cut down in July. The girls ate all the leaves and foliage, there seems to be nothing left. Looks like a forest fire swept through here. The trees will be cut up for firewood - once we have time.
This area has been vacant for a bit, I don't think locust could have done a better job of clearing the land.
See the snow fence?
While the Commander is at work the sheep are now on hay, when he is home he lets them loose into the forest to graze. These Cascade sheep do just as well on trees and shrubs as they do on grass, why not give them a head start on next years pasture expansion?
Gardenia is happy to have anything green to munch on! I was worried at first about turning the sheep loose into the woods, but when the Commander and I call they always come running. I guess they like living here.
Do you see those fallen leaves? Oh NO! If the leaves are falling then Winter can't be far behind. I took the goats over to see the fallen leaves and they ate them like potato chips, they must be like Lays becasue they couldn't eat just one. Saves us from some raking at least.
Today the temperature reached only a high of 60*, Fall is here! The day was a mix of sunshine and rain with a soft cool breeze all day, it was a wonderful day to work outside.
I took this opportunity to weed my flower beds, clean up the goat barn, and collect rocks. My daughter was outside gathering worms and bugs for the chickens and the Commander was cutting and hauling fire wood.
We fenced off some of the yard for the sheep and they enjoyed grazing on the last of the summer grass. Above is a shot of Kia and her daughter Avalon (who is also her grazing buddy). Those two have different postures and personalities than all the other sheep. They seem to carry their heads higher and are more high strung, but they sure are beautiful.
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.