One of the feed stores in our area has reported that we have had almost 7 inches of rain in the last 5 days. The yard is a marsh but we still managed to get a lot of work done this weekend. We started by cleaning out the sheep barn. The waste hay was contaminated by birthing fluids and the urine of 5 lambs on liquid diets. So while we were cleaning out the stalls I moved the sheep over to the goat pen to have them "mow" the grass a bit. Berkley enjoyed the lush greenery.
Azalia always seem to find a way to don a necklace, be it grass, hay, ferns. or whatever! (Click for a close up)
Bristol the Cascade ewe lamb is growing fast, she is almost as big as Berkley.
The lambs fill up on grass way faster than their mothers, leaving them lots of time to play on the rocks that the goats get to enjoy on a daily basis.
Once the sheep barn was cleaned out and they were returned to their pen it was time to clean out the goats barn. Mia found the birch stump to be as much fun to play on as the hay bench.
I don't know what it is but my goats just don't like eating grass. So they spent most of their time outside trying to figure out how to get back in! Of course the kids enjoy just being alive and were bouncing around everywhere.
Addison was showing her buck Elijah how the sheep were playing on the rock in a totally incorrect manner.
We did all this while dodging thunder showers, if this keeps up I'm going to have to start worrying about hoof rot. I didn't get any pictures but the fence around the garden has finally been restored, now I need to get the plants in.
Add this to the two lambs born Saturday morning and getting the ram pasture open and I think this was one great weekend. The last chore finished was one of the most important, we were able to remove most of Sara's shedding hair outside instead of her dropping it inside all over the carpet. This was completed between washing the mud off from her, for the fourth time this weekend. We need sunshine!
The fence is finally up on the pasture connecting to the ram barn. It is lush and green so it is time to let the boys loose.
There are still a lot of ferns growing but the tree canopy has been massively reduced and grass is growing. The fence line cuts off before the girls barn so a frisky boy would have to breach two fences to get to the girls!
Hoss is really enjoying browsing through all the greenery. The metal fasteners aren't attached to the fence yet so some twine will do for a short period of time.
There are still a few logs that need to be cleared out for either firewood or the burn pile but they can wait, the rams wanted to graze now!
Alder is a bit camera shy.
Killarney has shed his wool wonderfully this year.
This pasture should last for a while. We need to make sure we rotate them through the front area and then open up the connecting pasture area behind the ewe barn as soon as the fence is ready.
The Commander came inside this morning and said I needed to come out to the sheep barn - now! I arrived to see Zoe nursing two new lambs.
The "dry" lamb was a ram and he was moving very slowly. I figured he was a candidate for a bit of goat colostrum to help get him going, he drank it with gusto.
I decided to name the little ewe lamb "Belle Isle", both she and her brother are jet black.
The final tally for birthings this year is; 3 Icelandic ram lambs, 1 Icelandic ewe lamb, 2 Cascade ram lambs, 1 Cascade ewe lamb, 2 Nigerian Dwarf bucks, and 2 Nigerian Dwarf does.
I got the following comment today from "Anonymous": "Soldiers are far from Patriots."
I chose to not publish the comment under the Guinea Hen blog post, instead I decided to feature it in a post of its own. I am assuming that the comment was targeted at the picture of my son wearing his Army uniform (located on the side bar) while holding one of his friends daughters.
I am very proud of him, he volunteered to serve as Combat Infantry and is currently deployed in Afghanistan. He celebrated his 21st birthday last week in extraordinary fashion - he stepped on an IED. An Angel of God must have been watching over him as the pressure plate connecting the detonator to the explosive failed and he is still alive. The whole family is looking forward to seeing him this Summer when he returns home for his mid tour leave.
Readers of this blog will recognize that I refer to my husband as the "Commander". The Commander is a retired Navy pilot and a veteran of the First and Second Iraq Wars, The War on Terror, several engagements in the Korean peninsula and off Israel, the end of the Cold War, and a few other trouble spots that most people no longer remember. The Commander's father and Uncle are Navy Veterans of the Korean War and WWII respectively. My Grandfather was an Army Medic and served in Italy during WWII.
Today's military is an all volunteer force, much like the first Americans who fought for their freedom against the British under leaders like; General Washington, Ethan Allen, Nathanael Green, Daniel Boone, or John Paul Jones. In their day they were called Patriots, and because of their efforts we have actual freedom of speech guaranteed via the Constitution of the United States.
Freedom isn't free, and free speech isn't a universal right. People in Russia, Cuba, Egypt, Venezuela, the EU, and even Canada (Mark Steyn) wish they had the freedoms many take for granted here in the United States.
patriot [pey-tree-uht, -ot or, especially Brit., pa-tree-uht] noun
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
According to the above definition I consider my son a Patriot, as is my right. The Anonymous commenter obviously disagrees, as is their right. My son, his father, his grandfather and my grandfather have all voluntarily sacrificed to ensure that both Anonymous and I are free to express our differing opinions, and for that I consider them Patriots.
Not all Patriots are hero's, sometimes it is difficult to tell who the real Patriots are.
After a busy Friday birthing goat babies I was surprised to wake up Saturday morning to see the Guinea Hen eggs hatching. The eggs were hatching 3 days early so the turn cycle on the incubator was still active. This meant that chicks that were pecking holes were getting rolled around, making their job a lot more difficult
The first chick finally broke its way out and just laid back and rested from its efforts - whew!
The Brinsea incubator worked like a champ, all 7 eggs developed and 6 hatched out! The last chick was fully developed but had a birth defect and it never made it out of its shell on its own.
Here are five of the six Guineas, the last Guinea was added later after it hatched. Three of the little ones look to be of mixed coloring, it may be hard to sell them off!
I was on my way out the door Friday afternoon when I heard Addison crying - it was birthing time.
By the time I got out there she was already in labor and I didn't even have time to move her to the birthing stall. As soon as I got the birthing pad down she gave birth right into my waiting hands. In no time at all Addy was cleaning off her new little buck. He weighed in at 4.5 lbs.
Later that afternoon Gidget started yawning, a tell tale sign of oncoming labor. I got her into the birthing stall. A little while later I heard her cry out via the baby monitor so out I went. Gidget is a first time mother but she handled the first birth like a champ. Little Emma was born first, weighing in at a wee 2 pounds!
Dominic who was born earlier this week watched on with keen interest. I love the white heart kiss he has on his forehead.
Becca Boo loves her little buckling.
As Gidget was busy cleaning off Emma she simultaneously was giving birth to her sister Mia. Gidget was so busy with Emma that little Mia seemed to be neglected a bit as she was born. I took her out of the bag, cleaned her up a bit, and turned her over to Gidget to finish cleaning. Mia weighed in at 2.5 pounds.
You can't tell from this picture but Emma is a dark chocolate color with white spots while Mia is black and white. They are so tiny!
Addy's boy weighed as much a Gidget's two girls combined.
I took everyone outside today to get some air.
Addison's boy was bouncing everywhere in the grass.
I was surprised at how well Mia was getting around on her tiny little legs.
Mia and Emma can both fit inside a standard dog dish. I'm not sure my fencing is small enough to keep them in.
Look how much bigger Addy's boy is compared to Mia.
Mia has a distinct look to her, especially her lower jaw.
She does have cow like colors.
This is the second year in a row where Addison has given birth to a buckling that has almost the exact same colors as her. She must have strong genes.
Emma is a delicious chocolate black, I never noticed this color in Gidget or Maverick.
Gidget is doing a great job taking care of twins for being a first time mother.
I like Mia's markings.
My mom stayed with us for 2 months waiting for the lambs and kids to be born. She had to leave for a wedding this weekend so of course she missed 2 kiddings. It was quite a busy day without her.
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.