Monday, April 30, 2012

Bottle Babies

Four times a day I fill four bottles with goats milk and trek over to the quonset.  I have some bottle babies over there.  There are two baby pigs, now three weeks old.  They were too small to stay with mom so I took them away to try and keep them alive.  So far so good, they are eating well and growing.  Not very cuddly though, they hate to be picked up, and will scream if you try to.  However, if you have a bottle in your hand, they are your best friend.  Also, I have two lambs on bottles as well.  One was a small triplet and the other was abandoned by it's yearling mother.  After fighting with her for a week I gave up.  Hopefully next year she'll be a better mom, or she's down the road!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lambing is just about done with 4 ewes left to go.  It was a good lambing with few problems and almost everyone twinned up,  Thought I would post 2 videos of the sheep.  We lock them up every night in their pen but in the morning I let them out for exercise and some nibbling on the new little sprigs of spring grass. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Captured at Last

From the beginning of time, my goats have roamed the yard like a bunch of hooligans.  They refused to go out and scrounge their own food in the pasture, but instead preferred to intimidate all the other barnyard animals and eat their food.  It has been a constant game of trying to lock them up and hold them for a few minutes so that everyone could eat in peace.  They have gotten into the chicken coop and eaten the grain,  they have scaled the 4 foot pig fence and eaten the pigs grain.  They have jumped on the cows hay and peed on it.  They attack you when you walk across the yard with a pail in your hands. 

At last, their yard pen is done.  They are locked up tight.  Haven't gotten out in days.  It's been a peaceful yard.  Everyone else is happy, including me.  The goats will stay here until I take them out to pasture.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

I've been working on the goat pen whenever I have a spare few minutes over the last few months.  Yesterday Lyle and Zac donated their afternoon and we got it done.  And thanks to Brittany who brought us home nails from the co-op when we ran out! I was told once " if it will hold water, it will hold a goat".  I know these girls can scale a 4-5 foot fence - they are extremely acrobatic.  So, this was our fix to the problem.. 2x6 horizontally then 8 ft windboards all around the pen.  I want to see the Houdinis get out of this!

We got an old wooden granary for them to use as a house.  I can also milk in there which means I don't have to haul them over to the milking house.  It needs a new roof, insulation and paint but I think they'll be happy with it next winter.

The pigs are checking out the new digs.

Last day of freedom.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Babies Everywhere...

Last night we had a sow farrow.  She had 13 babies but I have 2 runts in the house right now under a heat lamp drinking goats milk.  The other 11 are doing well, mommy is resting comfortably.

We have been lambing since April 1 and are just about done.  13 left to go, but I think they will take their time coming.  Most of the lambs have been from the suffolk ram, but now the cheviot lambs are coming.  Not used to seeing the white faces.  They sure are cute.  This set of ewe twins was born last night and by today they were raring to go!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Last week the chicks started hatching.  I could not get the temperature regulated.  Before I put the eggs in I had run the incubator for a few days and had the temperature steady.  But after putting the eggs in, the temperature went all wonky.  There were a few days when the temperature was 7 degrees too high and I was sure  I had cooked them.  Didn't have much hope for any to hatch because of the wide fluctuations.  Then on day 19 of 21 when checking the eggs I found the incubator stone cold.  Somehow it had gotten unplugged and must have been like that for most of the day.  With a heavy heart I plugged it in, and being the eternal optimist, hoped for the best.  Day 21 came and went with nothing.  On day 22 there was a faint peeping coming from the eggs, and over the next 4 days I was able to get 13 chicks.  It was a very poor hatch but was able to get a few out of it.  The incubator is now running properly with more eggs in it so hopefully next hatch will be better.

Very curious chick... wondering about my phone being in his hot box.  I'm keeping them in the basement for a bit, it's still too cold outside. 
  So, we'll try again. Would love to increase my hen flock by at least another 100 hens.  I'm sure my egg customers would appreciate that.  I am always sold out at the farmers market early in the morning.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

What a yucky day outside.  It's -4 out, snowing and 40 km/hr wind.  This is a pic of the garden today ( and I was contemplating putting in some early seeds). ha ha

I've been busy starting seeds in the green house.  Not much is up yet, some herbs, tomatoes and peppers so far.  Lyle had to put on the propane heat for me this morning.  The electric heaters can't keep up and we're expected to get -10 on Monday.