Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making the Rounds

Want to come along on the feeding rounds this morning?  It's really hot already, and I'd love some company to help take my mind off that.


As you know, I generally start on the north end of the property and work my way south.  So first up are the Gulf Coast and miscellaneous sheep.  They're all holding up very well in the heat.  It amazes me every day.


Itzhak is as personable as ever - always wanting a scritch and a snuggle.


The other boys are friendly, but focused on breakfast.  They're all fat as piggies, even after I cut their grain ration in half.  There's no grass in the pasture to speak of, so we go through quite a bit of hay now.


As Phineas will now demonstrate...  Notice how he's losing the wool on his legs?  That's how this poor "fine wool" sheep is able to survive the 100+ degree temperatures.  The wool peels off all by itself so that he can get rid of some of that body heat.  Nature is amazing.



Our new pullets from Allison are doing very well.  They've been here long enough that today they'll get their first full day of free-ranging.  I feel like I did the day I dropped Emma off at First Grade all by herself.  Hoping these girls have a nice time, and come home safely tonight.


So far they're sticking close to home and each other.  That's a great plan.  And speaking of plans, our plan to keep all chickens locked up till mid morning seems to be working - we haven't seen any sign of the bobcat since we lost Crazy Chicken.  The creek is nearly dry as a bone, so I hope that has also encouraged the big cat to find other hunting grounds.


Next, it's Judah's turn to get breakfast and a bit of attention.  Visitors don't usually get to see his goofy side.  He really is a world-class snuggle bug.



Now, on to the ewes and lambs - who scrap for the little bit of grain I give them like it's a free-for-all wrestling match.  These lambs are getting really big - almost as big as their mom - at only four months old. 


Little (?) Rachel


Little (?) Moses, with his teeny scurs poking through the top of his head.  Big sigh.  Scurs are a pain.


Phoebe is doing well - big and fat, but not preggers after all.  That's a relief.  She's still a wild child, but overcomes her fear of people if there's food to be had.


Hmmmm.  Time to wean, do you think?


Tella is a dear, of course.  She spends the day in her pen, but at night we romp in the paddock, and she dutifully avoids flustering the sheep as we go.  I'm very proud of her progress, and hope to be able to turn her loose with them soon.


She's a sweet peach - much daintier and more streamlined than her brother.


OK.  On to the south pasture, our first stop is our girl, Ruthie.  Ruth works hard all night and always looks very sleepy first thing in the morning.  She never has any trouble, however, cleaning her plate in seconds flat.  Soon it will be naptime with the alpacas for our Ruth.


Vanni is loving his freedom from the nasty eCollar, and is really getting the hang of life in the south pasture.  He missed his walk last night because my spinning class took my evening, but we'll get right back on track tonight.


The Jacobs are all doing well - very easy care, and no drama from their pen.  These sheep are really wonderful.  And of course, their wool rocks the house.


Tommy and his amazing freakish horns.  I'm guessing Tom is about 13 or 14 years old now.



The alpacas go through the same jockeying for food pans every morning and evening.  We have somewhat of a routine, but the pecking order is constantly changing.  Our Boaz seems to be advancing in rank over time.  Interesting.


Boaz takes over a feeding position from former boss, Jonah.  You've got to stay on your toes around here.


Our momma hen and her one remaining chick have turned out to be a bit high-maintenance.  They can't remember for the life of them which tractor they live in come bed time.  So they must constantly be herded back to their own quarters.  The chick is growing nicely, however, and I'm dying to know if we have an Ameraucana rooster or hen here.


The pair decided to stroll through Vanni's pen this morning, so I was anxious to see how the boy would react to the birds in his space.


Closer....  closer...


And.... nothing.  He watched them, but didn't budge.  PERFECT!  Yay, Vanni!!!  Did I mention how much I love this dog??


Smokey gets a scritch with her kibble in the LRB, and then, we're pretty much finished with our morning chores.  Everybody has hay, a touch of grain, fresh water, and shade.  This farmer can relax now for a few hours.


The new clique of chicks has ventured over to the front porch, but they're still hanging together.  I'm looking forward to their contribution to our egg supply, come fall.

Well, there we have it - our first round of chores for the day, and we're only moderately soaked with sweat.  Let's do it again, maybe a couple of times today... what do you say?

3 comments:

  1. Another fabulous post!

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  2. All of these pictures made me so happy! Keep cool, everybody!

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  3. Anonymous7:18 PM

    I would trade your life for mine in a heart beat... Thanks for the plentitude of pictures...

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