Friday, April 29, 2011

Tough Week

On Easter Monday my wife of 16 years left me. The last couple years have been challenging. Her recent conduct was unforgivable and a deal breaker

Martina Mcbride song "Independence Day" was running through my head.....
~~But everybody looked the other way
And when time ran out there was no one about
On Independence Day...

Let freedom ring
Let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today is the day of a reckoning
Let the weak be strong
Let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away
Let the guilty pay
It's Independence Day~~~~

I will retain my farm and home. I will continue with my beloved Shetlands---grades but pure breeding....not going to cross in other breeds. I have 7 ewes, one loss her lambs, so 6 ewes - 5 sets of twins and one set of trips. , (I sold two trips as bottle lambs) so 11 lambs. Most morrit--some modified and Ag to come in... 6 ewes and 5 rams.  Yarrow's ram lamb will be herd sire. Dubbed "Luv Me" by my granddaughter. I have a sweet dilemma I have 4 pettable ewe lambs, they come up to me, clambering for attention  Gosh Jolly they have to stay!

I am OK


Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Experience Continues

I grew up on a small farm in West Central Minnesota, about 35 miles from where we live now. We have Hereford Beef cows, Duroc hogs, Holstein milk cows. My mom raised leghorn fryers. By age six I had barnyard banties. For several years in High school I kept African geese. I collected their eggs and a neighbor ran a hatch your eggs business I sold young goslings, started goslings and butcher geese in the fall.

After three years of college, I started my own dairy herd. I have milked Holsteins, Jerseys, Guernseys, Brown Swiss ansd lastly Milking Shorthorns. Arthritis in both knees at age 32 put a stop to that. I worked at the West Central Experiment Station in dairy research.  At 37 I enrolled in Alexandria Tech Finance and Credit. I graduated and was a banker for 8 years.  We managed to live in the country so I had Alpine dairy goats, Muscovy ducks, Sheep- Finn cross, Dorsets, Finn/Cheviot, Romanov, Montadale and Texel, Oh yes chickens and bantams of all varieties.

Then after my Mayo surgery and its lasting complications We moved back to the Alexandria area.
Five acres of hills, oak trees We built a home, garage and a BARN. It was like I was in "extra innings"  with no time to spare----Pigeons...Fantails, Indian Fantails, Rollers, Capuchines, Owls, German Owls, Modenas, Show Rollers.......old English Game bantams--7 color one time I had 200 mature birds..........Whoa time to slow down!
I raised Reg Boer goats for 6 years, colors and spots. I sold them as a herd to a new breeder on Dec 16, 2009. No livestock...for a day The next day I bought a flock of mixed sheep.......over the next months I bought Maybeline and 3 BFL/Shetland ewes and off we were. I miss the mules, I should have kept them. I have Shetland ewes, and have a group of Cheviot/Shetland stock coming the end of May.......I have two black spotted mule ewe lambs on hold....and the experience continues.  A friend of mine once said "its like we have only so much time and we have to pack it all in!" 


Saturday, April 16, 2011

What's this stuff?

I woke up to snow covering everything,,about 2 1/2 inches which isn't that much, but still........I checked the calendar yes it IS April 16th!  Lambs are growing like weeds, ewes are packing away the feed and milking like good dairy goats. A set of white twins R and E, and the rest are moorit...mioget...a few have the sugar lips so Ag.   Two ewe lambs are very tame, follow me around, trying to declare "keeper status" At first I thought they were full twins, but each has a twin sister that isn't coming near me. The plan is to sell all this year's lambs as I have 5 Cheviot/Shetland ewe lambs ( a white, 4 black/ faded black), a yearling Cheviot/Shetland ewe (katmoget) and Badger Faced 3/4 Cheviot ram lamb coming this summer. Beef up the lamb crop, keep the many colors, and with my mature Shetland make more Chev/Shet ewe lambs
I bought seed to over seed my barnyard pastures to grow for late summer grazing.......that 68 degree day, I almost spread the seed.........I'll wait a bit longer,,,,


Friday, April 8, 2011

Lambing is Done!

Seven ewes and 15 lambs. 7 ewes and 8 rams Lambing started 3-22 and ended 4-7
My ewes were bred to "Butte" solid mioget ram with great soft longer single coated fleece.
Butte at 5 months
Final tally

Nugget-Musket- had twin moorit ewes, one sugar with a white star the other solid
Polly - Musket- had twin moorit ewes both have white swirled heads
Yarrrow- Musket had triplets 2 R 1 E  moorit with white swirled heads
Maybeline my white ewe had white (covering black) twins R-E
Tinkerbelle moorit ewe had twin rams Both solid moorit
Bella spotted Musket had twins 1R 1E Both mioget with white swirled heads
.....And then there was Palisade pictured  before February shearing

Last night my last ewe to lamb Six year old Palisade was having trouble--one handed I couldn't get the head back up in position, so I called my friends/next door neighbor---very experienced shepherds (30 yrs) to come and help. All three of us tried without success We called the Vet. He came out and with great difficulty got the lambs out. From the 3 hours ordeal- both big ram lambs were dead. We got Palisade some Electrolyte solution, everyone left. I went to the house for a pail of warm water for her. When I get back, Pal is up drinking out of the tank and eating tough old gal!

With arthritis burning in my left thumb as I milk, using only my left hand as my right hand has a sprained finger in a brace, I called the seller of my beautiful milk goats.......Anna and Shilo went back home last night.
Today the goat pen will be taken down, the goat hill pasture is high an dry, today the ewes and lambs will go outside Nice southern exposure with sunshine, then we can watch lamb races.
Till later

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Things that go SNAP!! Its been a rough 10 days....

Wednesday March 23, I was subduing, yes I had to tackle her-- a wild ewe lamb--loading her for market--- I  grabbed for her legs to catch her and she kicked my right hand I didn't think anything of it; but I could feel my right pointing finger on top of my next finger....that's odd--- I looked down.  My pointer finger bend at the first knuckle and the rest of the finger was at a 90 degree angle and laying on top of my next finger .........ah shoot that's not good.  I finished chores and walking into the house  I grabbed my finger and popped it back into place--three separate times. During my shower it popped out a couple of times..Every time I moved my hand the finger would try to work and go out of joint. Paula looked at it, nothing broken, so I used cold pak, then heating pad....On day 4 I can't get it to straighten out on it own.......I can force the finger flat on the kitchen counter...we splinted it with gauze, popsicle sticks and tape.  With the splint off, I still can't get to go from bent in half to straight,,,,,,,can't get the last joint where the finger nail is to bend....So Tuesday March 29th I took off the splint  I can get it to straighten out twice, then it stays bent...... with everything else I deal with medically, I need my right hand to work fully. So called Alex Clinic for an appt at 7:30 and at 9:30 saw my doctor- Zwach A  really nice an x ray-- nothing broken. I told Doc Zwach  I need my hand to work, whatever we need to do...Dr Zwach said most of your hand strength is your thumb and forefinger,  the tendons that move the finger are ruptured/came unattached...they put it in a really good sports splint. So I have an appt with an Orthopedic surgeon Thurs April 7th a consultation for surgery..we hope it can be fixed ....But talk about cramping my style!! I figured out how to handle a pitch fork to clean barn, but Milking  my two fresh does with my left hand one teat at a time.......more work than leisure pleasure!