Yesterday afternoon the Commander looked out the window and saw little Belle (top right corner) laying motionless in the yard wrapped in the electric netting. The netting wasn't energized at the time because the batteries were low and the Commander figured the sheep were wary of it from previous shocks.
We both rushed out (with me being barefoot) and as I approached her I was sure she was dead. When I touched her she flinched and I tried to figure out how to untangle her. She was foaming a bit from the mouth and it was obvious she was having trouble breathing. She was wrapped up good so I had to run into the house and grab some scissors.
As I ran back I felt a squish under my feet and of course I had stepped into a pile of dog poo - great! When I got back to Belle I slowly cut the strands that were wrapped around her neck and legs. Once she was free I held her closely to try and prevent the effects of shock from killing her. Her breathing got better and once she settled down I set her free. It was interesting to note that Berkley of all the sheep stayed close to her side while she was trapped, everyone else was back in the woods.
Belle was brought into the sheep barn and fed some hay and given a cool drink, she was OK. We are going to set up a new fence and break out one of the new power supplies today, the sheep need to learn that the fence isn't to be fooled with.
I have too many roosters and I am deciding between keeping one of these two. I like how fancy this Americauna looks.
This Americauna isn't as flashy but the white hen follows him everywhere, if he leaves she will miss him.
Out of the four eggplant plants that were planted this year I only got one eggplant. It is quite big but I don't think eggplants will be in the garden next year. Now I have to figure out what to do with a single plant.
The Commander went out to feed the rams yesterday and he noticed that Killarney had a huge gash over his right eye. I broke out the medicine kit and went out to do my best.
He has a cut about three inches long and it was infected. It really needs to be stitched but no vet will come out to treat sheep in this area so I have to do the best with what I have. I started him on a 5 day cycle of antibiotics along with a shot of iron and a B12 shot. I doused the area with an antibiotic ointment and tried to seal the cut with skin glue and blue coat.
I'm checking on him every day and he seems to be doing OK. He needs to pull through because he is my breeding ram for the Cascades this year.
The Commander and one of the boys spent the entire weekend moving and splitting firewood. We heat our house with fuel oil and the price of oil products is going through the roof so the wood stove is going to get a lot of action this Winter.
The two boys who are currently at home head off to College this coming weekend so there will be a lot of "wood work" getting done when the Commander comes home every evening this week. The woodshed is only about half full so it is going to be a long week!
Fall is in the air so that means; Winter is Coming..... Are you getting ready?
I finally got the shelf in the goat barn put up to hold all my accessories. Some of the goats get oatmeal in their grain to help their poo remain in pellet form. I always make sure my goats and sheep have free access to Baking Soda - I have never had a case of bloat (knock on wood) as a result.
I took the food bowls out of the sheep barn and replaced them with hay racks. The bowls made feeding easier but they also doubled as sleeping spaces and as a result collected a lot of poo and pee. The racks have led to less waste but have caused a bit more jostling and head butting.
I would have liked to have found larger racks but they are ridiculously expensive, who knew?
The best news was that the Commander and one of my sons finally got the fencing totally attached! I was really getting tired of the sheep finding drooping areas and escaping underneath to get at the food on the other side of the fence line. If you click on the picture you will see how well the sheep have eaten down this area of the forest. Late this Fall the Commander will cut down a big chunk of the trees and throw down some pasture seed for next year!
Mamma chicken has been doing a great job of taking care of the five guinea keets since they were slipped under her one evening a few weeks ago. She only had two chicks of her own so I figured she could handle it.
They all started out in the mini-coop and just this past week we have been letting them free range. It is funny to see the keets flying and mamma chasing after them; "Who taught you to do that? You all had better stay closer to me ya hear!"
She tucks everyone away nicely every evening when I go out to milk and all I have to do is shut their door for the evening. I figure I will give her a few more weeks in the mini-coop and then move her and her clan to the main coop so they can get adjusted before Winter sets in. The guineas have to learn that the coop means safety or else I will lose them to predators over the Winter.
Sometimes it is fun to just go out and watch the sheep graze. I have been separating the lambs but Lara likes to watch her boys from the other side of the fence.
Parts of the forest are very lush but it doesn't take long for the girls to "mow" it down to nothing. About 3/5ths of the forest is fenced in and next year we hope to get the rest. At some point we will also have to subdivide it as well - a lot of work remains to be done.
I love Lara's grey coloring.
Both Berkley and Brighton have wonderful wool. Both boys have prospective new homes an I think their owners will be very happy with them.
The lambs help keep the goat are from getting completely overgrown. I don't know why the goats don't like grass but the sheep sure love it.
Of course I have to keep an eye on little stinkers like Berkley because he likes to sneak inside the goat barn are eat their hay and minerals.
Molly has really grown and is just as big as Sara (the Border Collie) now.
She doesn't have the herding skills that Sara has but she is very determined to bother anyone or anything that is moving out in the yard area. Today a guinea keet somehow found itself free of the brooder and before I could stop her Molly had it pinned down between her paws. I thought the keet was a goner for sure, but neither Molly nor I expected one of the adult guinea males to respond to the keets warning cries. I watched in awe as the male actually flew over to the rescue and then pecked and chased Molly away to the deck!
Sara could only look on in shame, "What will all the other dogs think?"
It didn't phase Molly at all because shortly thereafter she was out in the yard hounding after the adult guineas, who ran off as they always do (except when they are apparently rescuing some of their own).
"Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the best pest control of them all?"
After a hard day of causing mischief Molly likes to collapse on the couch to catch a few winks...thereby causing more mischief as you see she isn't supposed to be up on the furniture!
I have been pretty excited watching as our small garden grew this year, the addition of the goat and sheep poo has really enriched the soil. Last week I went out and picked a few of the zucchini and yellow squash to make a stir fry. I didn't want them to get too large and seedy - note the deck of cards for comparison.
Turns out what I thought was zucchini turned out to be cucumbers! I have never seen cucumbers grow so large. I went back out into the garden and while I found many, many huge cucumbers I didn't see any zucchini. Darn seed plants.
Don't get me wrong, the family is devouring the cucumbers. I was just craving hamburger stuffed zucchini smothered in cheese.
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.