Sunday, March 31, 2013
|Farmer K did the first coat and Farmer C did the second.|
|The ducks made their own nests and it was an easy task to gather their eggs this morning!|
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
|My goose-wife is in the front.|
The days have been heating up, so it was time to take off the wool coats:
|Ginger in the center. I'm not sure if her wool is spinnable yet, but I'll give it a try.|
I didn't dock her tail, so I gave her a lion tail trim to help keep everything tidy back there.
|My big, beautiful Muffy, all shorn and ready to grow a new coat.|
I have successfully been spinning her wool into yarn.
|Pumpkin and Marshmallow are on the list for next year.|
Anyways, hay day is a big deal. It means my ranch hands, Karma and Cookie, have to clean out all the bits that fall through the pallets from the previous load of hay. That way I can sweep and prepare for the new load. They are such good workers. They never complain...
Saturday, March 2, 2013
|Drop Spindle, Wool Roving, and Yarn (that I made).|
The book Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont
is the only teacher I have had and though my yarn is
not perfect it is yarn.
Spinning with a drop spindle (pictured above) is an ancient craft. It requires a simple tool and some fiber. Since I don't know how far I will take this new ability, I am not keen on spending a great deal of money on fancier spinning tools like a spinning wheel or large carding tool. The blue roving pictured above is not from my sheep, but came with the spindle and niddy noddy as a beginner's spinning kit.
There is a learning curve. It took me several trial and error attempts to figure out that I needed to spin from very thinly drafted roving. It is something I do in weird patches of spare time. It's a fairly mindless task that can be stopped in seconds if there is an interruption. In the rare instances that I sit down with my family to watch TV, I'm usually spinning. Since the spindle and roving are small, I sometimes toss them into a canvas tote bag and take them to 4H meetings where I can both listen and spin.
Sugar Sheep gave birth to two sweet little Shetland lambs on February 25, 2013. The ram is orange and has two white socks on his rear legs. Farmer G named him Pumpkin. The little girl is slightly off white like her mother. G named her Marshmallow. Since Shetland's are smaller sheep than let's say, Muffy, the babies are like little delicate dwarves. Both are doing well and keeping up with the sheep herd.
|Sugar and Marshmallow|
|Sugar, Marshmallow and Pumpkin|
After the scare with Lucas and after seeing how timy this baby was, I was worried she wasn't quite right. The vet had ordered me a bottle of BoSe to keep onhand should any other kids show signs of a selenium deficiency. To me Sage just did not look right. I gave her a BoSe shot later that day. I showed her where Pepper's milkmakers are so she could find the food. Several times.
She seemed tired and weak for a little goat. Usually after they get cleaned off and eat, they're up and moving around. As the days went by, I worried more and began to milk Pepper straight into a bottle to feed Sage. She ate hungrily and perked up after each feeding.
February 28th when I showed up in the morning, Sage had already passed. I buried her by Princess and Gucci. It was very sad. Pepper is still calling for her lost little one and looking at me as if at any moment I will hand her baby back to her.
We brought the little guy into my truck, wrapped in my jacket, and turned the heater on to get him warmed up and dry. Even then, he was unable to move his back legs. I suspected either an injury or a selenium deficiency. He was about a month old then and that's when kids tend to start on hay. Sometimes a selenium deficiency becomes aparent at that age when there were no previous signs. My goats do get free choice minerals but the vet explained to me that because that is mixed with salt, sometimes they just don't eat enough of it.