Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Arrival of Fuzzy, the Llama.

Finally Monday arrived. It seems like we have been waiting for weeks to bring Fuzzy home. It was again a wet, dreary day when we got up. We were so excited. We picked up the handy dandy borrowed horse trailer and headed to Harmony, Maine. I had no clue how to load a llama. Do they trailer like a horse? No, clue! Tracy, Fuzzy's mom was there to help. She told us that it was best to lead her in by her halter and she would kush (the term used for a llama laying down). I am working on my llama terminology. Evidently, llamas lay down when traveling, they can even be taught to kush on command. Catching Fuzzy was the big deal. It took four of us to catch her and get the halter on. Once the halter was in place she was quiet and easily led. She went into the trailer like a champ. I didn't use a flash, I was afraid I would scare her.

We arrived back at the farm without any mishap. Tracy went into the trailer to bring Fuzzy out. See what a kush is? Who knew.

Tracy led Fuzzy out the front door very easily.

Fuzzy was very interested in her new home. I love when the llamas put their ears together. I bet there is a term for that too.

They have the longest eye lashes, and are so stately.

After a bit of walking around, sampling the grass and getting the lay of the land. The sheep came to check out their newest pasture partner. I could hear them. "Hello, I'm Carlotta and this is Moriah, welcome, welcome. You are surely a strange looking sheep. However, look at those other sheep, they are a bit strange too. They call themselves, goats. Hmmm..."

She settled in very well. She loves the grass and open space. The goats were completely happy with their new friend. Goats are not the least bit snooty.

Fuzzy is at attention with any new noise. We see her staring at the woods, road, etc.... Just keeping watch.
Currently, she is busy with two separate flocks since our sheep and goats graze separately. If she is with the goats, she never lets the sheep out of her site and equally so the other way too. We are pleased to welcome Fuzzy to our farm. Thank you for stopping by and visiting with us.
Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Moving to a Bigger Coop and Mud, Mud, Mud

This morning we came to the realization that the chicks and poults had outgrown their brooder. Honestly, I think they grew overnight again. We wanted a temporary set up to separate them from the hens. The chicken coop is made up of 2 stalls in our barn. We had the green plastic mesh chicken fence which would be just perfect. We divided a stall in half to use and gave part to the chicks and part to the poults. This way they would have a whole lot more room to roam. The poults took off on a run around the stall. They even attempted to fly. We had turkey races for about 15 min straight. Then they had to eat and take a nap.

The chicks scratched around a bit and began eating with gusto. They always eat with gusto. They are Cornish Rock X. They literally eat and sleep, oh and eat again. These pictures are not the greatest.
The hens came in to check out the peeps. I was hoping that the motherly instinct would be stirred in my girls. I would love to have a broody hen. Please...Please....Please

This hen we call Lady. She was from our first set of chicks that we got last year to start our laying flock. We lost several chicks to Avian Encephalitis. One girl survived but is cripple. She is able to get around the coop by walking on her whole legs, not her feet. She lays an egg a day and is available to be loved on. The other hens do not like to be petted. She probably should have been culled but I don't like to eat our hens. There is just something wrong with eating something that provides us with eggs. I'm sure that there are plenty of folks who would disagree but that is my theory. They all have homes for the rest of their lives.

Finally, we got sunshine this afternoon. We were able to install one gate. Now we can get Fuzzy into her new pasture home on Monday. I should have put my mud boots back on and waded over to take a closer picture of the gate. However, I am just tired of mud this afternoon. Please forgive my laziness.

We have so much mud, that the sheep are getting muddy just hanging out at the barn gate. The hens don't seem to mind, I think it helps them find more worms. Ted has been moving some of the crushed rock here to help with all this mud. Notice the puddle? There are more.... Many, many more.
The work never ends. We are happy with this work. It brings a smile to our faces.
We are working for the next two nights so we will do maintenance on the farm until we have something more to blog. This is the time that I get to browse and enjoy all of your blogs. Have a safe and peaceful weekend. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rain and Early Mornings

I don't usually do early mornings. I have worked too many years of the 7p-7a shift and there are some nights that I just can't sleep. Last night was one of those nights. I dislike these nights immensely. It is great when I can come home on my last morning, sleep for a few hours and get up. I may still be tired, but it allows me to reset my internal clock. There isn't a whole lot of farm work that you can do at night so this is a necessity. Thank goodness we have cats. When I cant sleep they are up with me. I finally gave up trying to sleep about 3:30am and got up. I am still amazed that we have such early daylight. At this time of year it gets dark around 9pm and daybreak about 3-3:30. Abbey was up looking out the window. It has rained steady for about a week now. We along with much of the population have puddles, water logged streams and weeds in the garden. We are enjoying not having to water the garden. I feel for the farmers that are under water. My heart goes out to them.

Abbey saw Timba in the pasture. He loves to hunt. Abbey will go out and hunt occasionally, however, she is the most "indoor" cat we have.

This will one day be where we will have our pigs. Right now it is being populated with daises.

The sheep are up early grazing. They love the buttercups and other weeds in their pasture. The goats are still asleep in the barn. We are waiting for a few dry sunny days so we can start haying the pasture.

One of Alex's favorite pastimes is looking on Uncle Henry's for deals. We have used the barter method and I love it. There are times when we have to pay but we feel like we always get a deal. Theses two gates will grace our pastures to gain access for the tractor and the delivery on Monday, June 29 of Fuzzy the llama. We got these two gates for what we would have paid for just one new. What a deal.

The broiler chicks are growing by leaps and bounds. I can see a difference in their growth overnight.

The poults are growing too. The still have the heat lamp on them to prevent a chill but we raise it to keep them from being too warm.
We had a few warm sunny days but seem to be back in a rainy trend. Temps in the 60's. How I miss those warm sunny day!
(We have had such cloudy days that I haven't been able to get online to post. We have Wild Blue Satellite and it stinks in the best of times, clouds really muss things up)
Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Now that it is warm outside we spend very little time indoors. It drives us crazy to sleep during the day when it is warm and beautiful outside. So, every chance we get, it's outside for us. The inside of the house is on hold for a bit. There are still floors that call out to be sanded and finished, the kitchen wall still have bare drywall. Harsh thought here, I still have to sand and finish them. Ewwww.....that can wait till fall! I love being out in the sun with the breeze blowing to keep those wretched black flies away. We went to Parker Lumber in Bradford to pick up a truck load of mulch. I feel good when I can spend money locally. Parker is a really cool lumber mill about 3 miles from us. I love to look at their post and beams, cedar and hemlock. I have put Preen fabric down around my flowers to keep the weeds at bay. I can grow weeds like nobody else. Last year I bought those horrid bags of mulch that cost a fortune. I like the natural hemlock, not the dyed mulch.

The flower garden is looking great! I still have to get more fabric to cover around this lilac tree.

The poppies have popped!

I don't know how old this peony is. She was here when we moved in. We didn't know about her till last year when the cows were gone and she started coming up.

another peony....

The salvia is so lush this second year. The humble bumbles love to visit.

The Evening Primrose is a new addition...

Breath taking...can you tell that peony's are my favorite flower? See my bee? I know it is mine because she waved just before I got this shot and yelled in her little bee voice, "hi mom".

My daughter Sue knows that I love peony's and she sent me these beauties from my favorite grower in Quebec, La Pivoinerie D'Aoust. If you love the peony give her site a visit. Lindsay has an online catalog that will make your mouth water.
The girls are settling in. They come running whenever we call. It is so cute to see these girls heads pop up out of the grass and a bleat and then look out, here they come.

The whole family! We are still trying to get the sheep to accept the goaties. There is still a bit of bullying going on. Just you wait till the goats get bigger!

Have a very good day. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Meet Fuzzy

We were at one of our other favorite stores last week looking for a water trough for the sheep, minerals, feed, treats. Ok, so they don't need treats but I do. I got me a new pair of shoes! Yehaw! I love Tractor Supply. We are getting one in Bangor and I think I might just have a fit. I will try to contain myself but it will be very difficult. Boy did I get off subject. See what Tractor Supply does to me. Anyhow, what I was trying to get at was we met this very nice sales lady named Tracy and being the shy quiet type that I am, I started telling her all about our new sheep and the goats and how excited we were. We got on the subject of guardian dogs and how we now felt that we needed to protect our loved ones as much as possible. Sadly, she is having to downsize her animals. Happily for us she has a guardian Llama that she would like to find a safe and happy home for. I almost came off the floor. Her llama is names Fuzzy (from the Muppets) and she if four years old, very protective of her fiber goats and needs a home. So we made a play date!

Please meet Fuzzy. She loves goats and sheep, does not like dogs, likes cats and tolerates people. She was a bit shy at first. She is staying at a friends farm in Harmony, Maine temporarily. She has just been shorn and I think she is a bit embarrassed at the new do. Haven't we all wished we had a rock or two to hide behind with that terrible perm era known as the 80's?

She is not a cuddly llama, she was not imprinted by people early in her life. She doesn't spit or bite people but will spit and bite dogs. Just our kind of llama.

This little guy with her is not her cria. He will remain with Tracy. Fuzzy does not like the little one. He is a sweet cuddly llama. But not what we are looking for.

We have to get shelter for Fuzzy ready. The five foot tall sheep shelter just won't do now. We need more space for her height. She has had her CD&T and been de -wormed, but we have to have the vet come out and give her a rabies injection and check up. We have been busy putting up electric fence insulators but we ran out. Darn, we will have to go and pick up more at our local Blue Seal. Not nearly as much fun as Tractor Supply but a heck of a lot closer. The pasture is beginning to take on a Fort Knox look to it. The weather here has been stormy with on and off showers. On our way home we came across the most beautiful scene. This is another reason I love Maine.

And this.......

and this......

and this......

Boy am I glad I'm not standing under that rain cloud. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Meet the Ladies of Mainely Ewes Farm

We just came off of 3 nights on and are just getting rested up. We have had a little time with our Icelandic Sheep and after much contemplation we have come up with the girls names. This sweet, shy lady is now to be known as Elspeth. She is 2 years old but very mature for her age. She stands back and will only come up after she knows that everything is okay. We have been hand feeding them since they arrived. At this time they do not need grain. We continue to feed them so that they can become more friendly.

This saucy wench will remain Carlotta. She flips her head/horns when she doesn't get her way. So to us she just seems to have a little attitude. The name just fits.

Please meet Moriah. She is sweet and quiet.

This ewe is more outgoing and reminds me of my mother. They both have the same color hair. LOL. I'm okay, she doesn't have the Internet and I'm safe. Both of their names are Esther. I have to tell her about this. I'm sure I will pay and dearly.

As time goes by the girls become more accustomed to us and today they have started bleating and come running when they hear our voices. We spent the day in the pasture putting up the insulators for the electric fence. The would raise their heads and check our progress. I guess they don't want to appear too forward.

You may be asking yourself, why is Alex standing between two posts? Maybe not!
In previous posts I mentioned that she is an artist and even featured some of her paintings on the blog. She has been busy painting our sign. Now that we actually have sheep we can put up our sign. We are so proud!
We all are very proud of this outstanding and greatly expected day.
The tail of the sign is for smaller signs as we have products of the farm available, like pasture raised chickens and eggs, handmade goatmilk soap, wool and roving, lamb, kid (we have a USDA butcher near) and anything else that we can think of.

We are exhausted from so much work on the farm today. The garden is coming along, we attacked a few weeds, mowed the lawn, cut some limbs, cleaned the nesting boxes out and put a nice dusting of diamaticious earth to prevent mites and lice, and a nice comfy layer of hay for the girls, cleaned out the goat stalls, built a hay rack for the goats, and cleaned out the barn. Whew!
I thought this was an appropriate picture to bring this blog to a close.
The End!
Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.