Tuesday, April 28, 2009

signs of spring

It seems to be a chilly spring and finally a few daffodils to cheer us up. Henning is diligently building a garden. One day of hot weather and now back to the chill again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

barn for demolition

This lovely old Ottawa Valley granary needs to be demolished. It's been neglected for too long for us to redeem but it has a lot of great old barnboard and beams and a good tin roof in the old fashioned smaller squares. Give us a call or an email if you are looking for this sort of rustic building. Its free to whoever knocks it down, but you have to leave a 500.00 deposit which gets returned when it is ALL cleaned up.

lamb races,

Every morning and late afternoon the lambs have races. They thunder en masse from one end of the barnyard to the other in a great endless circuit. The bama is usually in the fore group. They have so much fun together!

The white fleece is Fairy after a quick cleaning of hay and other foreign matter, but before washing. The black one is the Obama-lama-mama. It turned out very well...thick and fleecy. Of course she had nothing to do but grow wool while I bottle fed her child.
Two bags full...three bags full...I think there are actually 18 bags full. My work is cut out for me!

Friday April 18 was shearing day and luckily the week before was dry and sunny so no problem with wet fleeces or having to keep the sheep confined in the barn. All went well. Henning had rewired the barn outlet so we had power and he had devised a clever system of gates and pens to keep everyone securely stabled until their respective turns under the clippers. Alfie was first and he was one sheepish sheep as he stood out in the barnyard looking like a Dalmation with horns. Even the Woolly Mammoth and the very skittish Goldenthroat went under the shears. Bruce, the shearer, pronounced Goldenthroat to be pregnant so Alfie has definitely fathered at least one offspring since he arrived in November. If the Mammoth is prego also, then we'll be doing well!

Lots of fleece to wash...stinky, smelly greasy hairy, hay infested fleece. Such fun being a shepherdess!

sheep shearing, fleece,

Thursday, April 9, 2009

guinea hens & the bamalama

We finally got all five guinea fowl from Pete and Ritsuko and locked them in the henhouse. One promptly escaped and is sitting in the spruce tree making his/her "rusty pumphandle noises" as Henning calls them. We had a late spring snowstorm on April 7 which dumped almost half a foot of snow on the Ottawa Valley and the landscape looks like mid December again. That and a cold chilly wind inspired us to do nothing much except read and make summer plans. Have ordered our meat bird chicks which are to arrive on May 19. Henning will pick up 15 ducklings when he goes to Elmira at the end of the month and Pete and Ritsuko are hatching laying hens for us. Still no luck on piglets. Why are they so scarce?
Bamalama is doing better in the barn with only a couple of bloaty episodes when he gorges on grain. We've started making sure he has two full bottles before the grain gets put out for the lambs so he isn't as hungry. As you can see, he really is too big to sit in the rocking chair. If only he could stay little forever, instead of turning into a big smelly sheep.
Have been feeding Dottie's twins a half a bottle a day as she isn't letting them nurse as much as they need to and they are definitely hungry.