Thursday, April 30, 2009

To The Barn With You!

After much work by Alex and Ted the barn stall is ready. I wish we had taken pictures of the long abandoned stall prior to their hard work. I amaze myself that I don't think to take before pictures. I think deep down I was ashamed of how bad this stall looked. The barn is 160 years old and has been let deteriorate over the last several years. We have been trying to get the house livable and the barn has had to wait. We worked on the chicken coop last summer and that is in good shape. We have a brooder room/stall that we bring the chicks to after they arrive and that too looks good. So I guess the barn is actually coming along great after I actually think about it.

The kids were happy with their fresh shavings and a nice warm bottle. Alex helped make them feel at home and happy.

Bella made herself right at home.

Edward soon followed, they even have a window with chicken wire so they can have fresh air but not escape. The pasture isn't fenced yet.

The hens are enjoying their new expanded yard. They now have plenty of room to roam. We will let them out after some of the remaining poop disappears.
It is so nice to see progress. Each step makes us feel so much better. There is such personal satisfaction with each project completed. Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We Are Exhausted!

I think we have tried to cram as much as possible into the 6 day off stretch that we could. First, the goaties are doing great. Sophie and Edward have grown so much. They love being outside. Bella is still a peanut and takes a bottle on and off. They are all munching hay and taking sips of water. No interest in the goat grower pellets so far. We have it in a bucket when they do show interest. They love to investigate everything. The goat/sheep double stall in the barn is now complete. They spent their first night there. We thought about getting baby monitors so we could hear them, however, practicality won out. They are goats! They had a nice bed of hay and some left over shavings to sleep on. Today we go to Parker Lumber to get a truck load of shavings to make them and us completely comfortably. Outside is their favorite place to be.

We walked them to the top of the hill where their future pasture fences will enclose this stand of trees and a big rock. They thought the rock was just a great toy. They all took turns of "I'm King of the Hill".

Maine is full of giant boulders. It seems that every farmer is working on moving these boulders out of their pastures. Some farms are actual moraines, the boulder strewn end of a melted glacier. We are fortunate, we have to look for rocks. We get the funniest expressions from Mainers when we ask for rocks.

Kevin came over early Saturday morning with his handy dandy CASE backhoe and dug this trench for us. We have drainage issues behind the barn. Over the years it has eroded and rotted the sill of the barn. Replacing this sill is another project. We will have crushed rock delivered to line the trench, place French drain ( pipe with holes and covered with fabric) in and cover with rock. This provides drainage. After the topsoil is replaced nothing will show but we will have a dry pasture.

While Kevin was busy digging we decided it would be a great time to weed the asparagus bed. We had a few plants not survive and will get new ones. This is our second year and hopefully we will have some asparagus for our effort.
More updates to come. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm. Kelly and Alex

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Go Probios

We got home from work this morning, so afraid that Bella would be weaker or even worse. What we found was a very hungry kid. She latched onto her bottle and emptied it faster than her siblings. The probios was a winner! We gave her another dose today. I guess the flavor leaves a lot to be desired. She acts like I am giving her something horrible. It may really taste bad. As a nurse I have tasted liquid meds so that I can tell patients that "this really tastes horrible" and not lie to them. I am not tasting the probios. It looks gross and is grainy. I draw the line here.

After bottles the girls went exploring. We have to get them outside quickly so they can do their business. They love the hill. It was still chilly out so we only stayed out for a few minutes. Just enough time to start head butting wars, and who can stay on top of the hill the longest.
After coming inside I got baby kisses. What a joy.
We are going to work on the kid kit so that we are prepared for issues that come up. We will be getting more information to read about raising goats. The barn will be prepared this weekend so that we can move the kids out of the kitchen. The chicken coop door will be relocated to the back of barn and expand their run area. Right now they are really free range and ranging all over the barn pooping everywhere. Little by little we are coming along as a farm. I know we are named Mainely Ewes Farm and they are in our future too. The repairs and renovation on the house was quite a bit more that we bargained for. That too is coming along in leaps and bounds. Along with a few skids and bumps too. Thank you for info and help Peggy and Christy. This is a new road for us and we do need guidance. It helps to have aid from those who have already traveled this road. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Babies!

Do you know what happens when you visit the feed store and they have baby goats for sale? One part of your brain tells you to wait because it is still too cool for the babies to be in the barn in Maine, you don't have fences up yet, and you are getting ready to go back to work for three nights straight and you will have to get up during the day and feed those angels. Well, the other part of your brain just hoots and hollers.... Woo Hoo we have baby goats. Guess which side of our brain won? You got it.... Woo Hoo we got baby goats!!!! Please meet Bella, Sophie and Edward. Yes we have read Twilight and loved it. Edward is the brown Nubian below, Sophie has the small white star on her forehead and little Bella is the smallest with a white palm tree marking on her side. They are staying in our kitchen in a dog crate with shavings.

It is a good thing that our kitchen floor remains unfinished. Baby goats pee just after they have their bottle. Cleanup is less bothersome at this time. They will remain in the kitchen for a week until they get a little bigger and we are able to get their stall comfy.
Sophie is a bit bigger than Bella as you can see here. They look like twins and came from the same farm. We think that Bella is the second, smaller twin.
Edward is a very sweet little boy. He is full of personality.

Ivy the pug is on the left. This gives a great perspective on just how little they are. They still have their dried umbilical cords attached.

It is work trying to get the kids to look at the camera.

Give him a bottle and we can get a smile every time.
Today we are having some problems with Bella. She won't take a bottle. We gave her probiotic paste like Peggy at Hidden Haven advised. Bella is active, bouncy, peeing and we are hoping for the best. We will either take her to the vet tomorrow for some fluids or she will be better. We will keep you updated. Much love from Mainely Ewes Farm.
Kelly and Alex

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Vacations are a good thing!

Vacations are nice but there is no place like home. No wait a minute, there are lots of fun places. Recently Kelly and Ted stayed home to tend the farm and I got to go to North Carolina. What a beautiful taste of Spring. For those of us in upper Maine, green grass and flowers are still in our future. The ride down was punctuated in horrendous rain and a narrowly missed tornado. But Whoopie, I got to actually spend some time with Hidden Haven's Miss Diva. What a sweetheart.

As are Miss Diva's dear friends Peggy and William. I got to learn a lot about building pens and providing amusement (not to mention cookies) with all our friends. We had a wonderful visit.
I had the pleasure of meeting a true TV star, Fred the Weather Turkey. This just strengthened my resolve to raise turkeys. What a handsome fellow.
Then off I went to my brother in laws family home near Salisbury North Carolina. In the early days this was a dairy but now Larry and Barbara raise the most beautiful beef cattle. The soil is a rich red and the grass a lush deep green. The Barbecue that Larry smokes is new to me and sooo good. He makes his own vinegar hot sauce with a distinctive slaw from the Peidmont region. Once again I ate my way through a vacation. My sister Vicky, Barbara and I went antiquing, took walks in the countryside, and generally decided not to participate in the farm and fence repair all the guys were doing. This was a very restful time.

See all the beautiful babies!!
The return trip was long, and one giant rainstorm. But it was actually nice to be back. Ted had to put up fencing to keep the girls out of the peony garden. These chickens will eat anything and everything. As soon as all the snow melts and the mud is not so deep we are enlarging the coop to a chicken pasture and fencing these bandits in. They are plotting a way inside the fence as I write.

Yesterday I got this beautiful sheep that Kelly had found at the hospital gift shop and today we hung him up. We named him Oscar!

Now for all our friend who left comments on the last blog, Please rewrite, Kelly accidentally deleted them all. We have technology issues sometimes. LOL. All our best wishes and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm, Alex

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Yes, Mom,.We Do Live In A Barn!

When you were a child did your mother every ask you if you thought you were raised in a barn?
Well, now I can say yes. Our kitchen was actually the barn for the original farmhouse. When we first moved in back in July 2007 this is what we did to the kitchen. It had a drop ceiling filled with blown in insulation. When we removed it this is the mess we had. Notice the "live" electric wires. What fun that was. Actually it really was.

My son Teddy came home on spring break and Ted was home at the same time. What a great time to install the ceilings. Two strong, tall men. Alex and I had put up the pink foam insulation earlier in the year and we wanted to put up luan and leave the beams exposed. They are beautiful hand cut beams, some twisted, knots and all. Ted wanted to get the ceiling done as a surprise for Alex, while she was on her trip to North Carolina to see her sister and a great visit to Hidden Haven Homestead to see Peggy and William, oh and don't forget Diva. This is how it looked before trim. Not too shabby.

The trim went up better than we expected. I have never built a frame of any kind. I knew what I wanted but no talent. I'm very proud of this. We had to trim in the chimney. It will be painted the same color as the walls. Ted is like me, he isn't happy until it looks right to the eye.

This is the finished product. We have spent today and last night painting. Alex had to work last night and sleep today. She would wake up and come downstairs to check on everything once in a while. I think she approves. She is picky too. Nothing in this house is square. No beam is the same distance apart. It just wasn't something that our ancestors thought that necessary. I love this place.
I am still out of work until April 19 with my arm. I have had a wonderful time off. I got a call from my cousin in Jacksonville, Florida. She was on spring break and had never been this far north in Maine. Cindy came up and spent last week here. We had a great time catching up on old times. She is a Librarian in the public school system. We toured Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island. Took time to visit Sue in Portsmouth, NH, a quick rainy trip to LL Bean. She seemed to really enjoy herself.

I don't recommend breaking your arm, but if you do, try to take the time to enjoy being with family and friends. Take care, much love from Mainely Ewes Farm.