Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Mainely Ewes Farm’s First Lamb

Welcome and celebrate with us.  We had an unexpected arrival last evening.  We didn’t expect any lambs until after April 1st.  We noticed that one of our sheep was missing yesterday afternoon.  Even though we feed a bale of hay in the morning, the sheep act like they are always missing a meal. We were taking an additional bale out in the afternoon.   All we have to do is open the barn door and baaaa, baaa and they all come running.  They’re  not pushy like the goats. But you really get their attention. Oh, I digress.  Well, Esther just wasn’t in the stampede.  We looked behind the hay feeder and there was Esther and her little ram lamb.

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Look at those horns!  He is perfectly formed.  His sire is Truffles our borrowed ram.  Truffles  will be going back to his previous farm. Long story. Best for both parties. Word of wisdom. Don’t buy a ram from a teenager.

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We, like so much of the east coast are having torrential rains this week.  We moved both mom and lamb into the lambing jug in the barn.  We gave him his Bo-Se shot for vit E and selenium.  This is the same vaccination that we gave the goats. It prevents the White Muscle Disease, aids in preventing periodontal disease, low wool yields and reproductive problems.  We then dipped the umbilical cord in 7% iodine to prevent tetanus.  This practice is used with any newborn that will be on a farm. 

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Both mom and ram lamb are doing well. Esther is proving herself to be an excellent mother.  So far no bottle lambs or kids.  All of the moms are excellent.

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Welcome little ram lamb. This morning he tried to escape through the door when Ted went into the stall.  Lambs seem to be more active than kids. At least this is the assessment we have made on our farm.  He won’t be alone long.  We have 5 bred ewes due any day now.  Thank you for visiting and sharing this most momentous moment with us.

To Tracy’s mom in Washington State, she told us you were having trouble commenting on our blog. I think you have to start a Google account. We are looking forward to your visit in the fall.  We want to have you and Tracy over for a good Southern meal. Fuzzy says hello to her grandllamamama.

Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.  We hope that everyone is safe and dry.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Creep Feeder-Frustration to Big Goats

Now that we have kids and they are growing every day we needed a special place for them.  They need their own space.  A place where they can go to grab a nibble of grain without competing with the bigger goats for food. Goats are notorious for being pigs. They don’t like to share their food. They eat like they will never have another meal.  Ted designed and built this creep feeder for our kids. We looked online at prebuilt creep feeders. The prices were horrible and the shipping even worse. Ranges went from $250-$1000.  Shipping would have added 100-200 more. What the heck?

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He use one of the handy dandy pallets for the side.  This provided support and allowed a space small enough for the babies to slip through.  The side was made from the left over panels we bought for the kidding pens. Yes, the kids can slip through these squares without a care.

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Edward was just completely exasperated that he couldn’t slip through.

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The grain bucket is too far for the goats to reach even if they can get their heads through. This pvc tube is great for refilling the grain bucket.

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The kids are eating well.  Both Carina and Isabella nurse the kids providing the main source of their diets.

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Teddy and Buckling do a little pushing and shoving.  march 098

Everyone seems to be getting into a routine.  They nurse, sleep, play, sleep, eat grain, sleep, play, sleep, eat hay, sleep. Yes, life in the goat herd is good.  Hopefully soon we will have green grass and less mud.  Wishing you a goat kind of day. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Carina’s Babies


This is a terribly late post. It seems that the last two weeks have just flown by in a blur.  Carina went into labor on Friday, March 12th and delivered two healthy twins.  The first to arrive was Ruth, otherwise known as Ruthie.  She entered this world face and front hooves first.  

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Goats are like us in so many ways. Women have different labor and so do they.  Carina pawed hay, turned in a couple of circles and lay down to give birth.  Isabella was a stand and deliver girl.

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Ruthie was a tiny 7#.  Carina was quick to clean her up. About 15 minutes later a beautiful buckling arrived. 

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Both kids were quick to stand.  This buckling weighed in at a nice 10#. 

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Just like a boy. Try to lay down and get a quick snack.

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Annie and Teddy, Isabella’s kids really enjoyed the warmth of their hut that Ted built.  They are all out with the other goats now.  Isabella and Carina share the “duties” of  having kids.  When Isabella is over eating hay, Carina will lay with the babies behind her.  Both are very protective of the kids.  Milk is in abundance.  I will begin milking both moms in about a week when the babies are able to eat food from their new creep feeder.  Did I say new creep feeder? Yes I did. Ted had been busy making a creep feeder to allow the kids to eat and keep the other goats out. Much to the dismay of the littles.  They still think they should be the babies in the barn.

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I will be back to post pictures of this allusive creep feeder I mentioned before.  Work has been strained and a bit depressing lately.  Management has a tendency to make knee jerk decisions and lay off nurses we actually need. Since the lay off they have rehired all of the laid off nurses.  ?That is the good part. Amazingly, all of us are working overtime.  Morale is at an all time low.  I miss the farm when I work but I have to work to pay for the farm.  I guess in this I am truly lucky. I can have my bit of heaven here on earth.  Take care. I will post more pictures soon.  To any of you who are suffering with this economy and having  job losses our prayers go out to you.  We just never know when it will be a personal loss. Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm

Friday, March 12, 2010

We Have Babies!!!!!!!!!


The long wait has come to an end.  At 7am everything was quiet.  Isabella was standing with the rest of the goats.  At 8:40 Ted  went out to check again. I heard Ted yell on the monitor we have set up “Kelly, come out here now.”   At about 9am this tiny hoof made an appearance.



With a few pushes and a loud groan Isabella pushed this little face into the world.


And this miracle happened. Annie was born at 9:05 am.DSC_0098

Isabella began cleaning the newborn of the afterbirth.  Annie stood almost immediately. We used clean towels to clean her face of the mucus and Mom did the rest.DSC_0128

Then at 9:15 Teddy arrived with a splash.


We were very fortunate that the weather was warm this year. No sub zero birthing . Whew. The heat lamp is used to prevent chills.


Isabella has surprised us with being such a good mother. She was comfortably with us being close. She would call to us when we were on the outside of the pen. “See, I did good.”


Ahem….please let me introduce Annie at 10# even and her younger but bigger brother Teddy at 11.6. 


After doing such a great job with her babies Isabella enjoyed a nice warm gallon of water  with 1 cup molasses.  She put her face in the bucket and began sucking the mixture up. The molasses is a great source of iron and glucose. Two things that she needs after delivery.


In Maine we are a selenium deficient area. Selenium is an element that is vital for muscle function in sheep and goats. It is necessary for goats to reproduce, urinate, birth and lactate.  A lack of selenium can cause White Muscle Disease very similar to Nutritional Muscular Dystrophy.  The kids were given 1/2cc of  Bo-Se, a selenium supplement. Their navels were dipped with iodine to prevent tetanus and other infections.  They were weighed and loved alot.

Beverly from Bee Haven Acres had this great idea that her brother developed for a warming barrel.  The kids can get in but the moms cant. Babies can stay warm. Ted is busy setting it up. Of course with the help of Emma.  The very helpful chocolate Lab.


We will update with a myriad of pictures.  And of course the completed barrel.  Much Love and Prayers from all of our new arrivals at Mainely Ewes Farm.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Questions Answered About Our Guineas and Windows Live Writer for Blogging

This is an attempt to blog using Windows Live. As you who have been here before remember I whined greatly about the changes with Blogger.  Nothing was easy anymore. And yes, I whined like a small child having a tantrum. I even found that I didn’t like to go online and blog. Well…thank you  Jodi  I downloaded Windows Live Writer and am attempting to blog in this format for the first time. TaDaaaaa…….

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This is a guinea. The elusive guinea from Africa.  I can safely say from experience, they are not the smartest birds in the barnyard. They do not realize that they can fly. They will stand still for a predator to grab and run off with. We lost one of our hens to the pups last week.  At first the dogs retrieved, the next hen they killed. We keep the dogs out of the barnyard and pasture.  The guineas wander in a group through the pasture and occasionally the yard.  Now we actually run out and “shoo” them over the fence.  Yes, we do provide entertainment for passersby's. Next, guineas lay eggs anywhere they happen to be at that moment.  We check out in the chicken yard, in the nesting boxes, and have found a few buried in the shavings of the coop.  I have a feeling that if I take a stroll in the pasture I will find a clutch of eggs just sitting there. Egg laying is an experience that must just surprise the bird. “Oops, there’s an egg. “   Who knows? They are very pretty birds to me. They are a bit noisy for some.  Their call sounds like “buck wheat”.  I guess the reason I am spending time blogging about the guineas is, we are still on kid watch. Nothing to report yet.  So far, I like this Windows Live Writer. Take care and stay safe. Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Kidding Pens and Guinea Eggs...they have nothing in common

We got an email from Ken Spaulding after our post on the lambing/kidding jugs.  Ken and Janice teach the Goat School each spring and fall at Stony Knolls Farm in Saint Albans, Maine.  He said that the panels were too large for the tiny kids and lambs we would have.  We listen to and greatly appreciate advice.  Alex took a trip to Home Depot and picked up some hardware cloth.  We used plastic ties to hold them in place. Now, we are ready.
No babies will get through this tiny mesh. Now...we wait.....

The guineas have really started laying.  The eggs may be smaller...but they sure are cute.

How many guinea eggs does it take to make breakfast?
Eggs anyone?
How does this sound... "Alex ate four eggs for breakfast". She is going to kill me when she reads this post. I think everyone needs to be picked on once in a while. If you have eggs for breakfast, you have to eat them on a rooster plate.
We continue our watch.  We thought that Isabella was having contractions Monday night. False alarm.  We did a trial run. Put her in the kidding pen, gave her fresh water and a little grain. I think she did it on purpose.  She was just faking us out. Actually she put us through a trial run. I guess now she knows where we stand.  Anywhere she tells us to.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm


Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring Health Check

Notice the strange looks on the llama and sheep's faces. That is the "it doesn't bode well for us" look. They get this look anytime we come into the pasture with backup. We have a small flock of 9 Icelandic sheep and 1 stately llama. It would be oh so much easier if we could just call a Vet to come out and give them their yearly CD&T and spring/fall de-wormer. It would be cost prohibitive for something that we are completely capable of doing. Thank goodness we don't have to wrangle many patients to give shots to. Then again we don't have to de-worm many patients either. I guess there is an up side when you search for it. I don't think these guys were seeing any up side here.

How do you catch a llama that doesn't want to be caught? With a lead rope and a bucket of grain silly. Ted is now our full time llama wrangler.

Look at those eyes. I can feel the angst. Can a llama have angst? It certainly looks like she does. We were able to de-worm and give her the CD&T without getting spit upon. I kept waiting. Images of green slime in my hair but she was a lady. No spitting. Llamas only spit when they feel threatened or in Fuzzy's case, when a sheep tries to steal her grain. Then look out. Ptooey.

Emily had a shocked desperate look in her eyes. We tried to make it as non threatening as possible. We are fortunate in Maine to have a light worm load. Because of the ground having a hard freeze in winter a lot of our parasites are killed. Unlike warmer climates where they fight worms all year and multiple types.

The de -wormer is a drench. We pull the appropriate amount up into a large syringe and as gently as possible squirt it into the left side of the sheep's mouth. One of my greatest fears is instilling the medication into the sheep's lungs.

Here Cierra tolerates the injection. We gave all of their injections into the subcutaneous tissue on their right sides. The medication is slowly absorbed into their systems and we have less problems with hitting tendons, blood vessels, or nerve tracts. On the right side allows us to check later that no abscess have formed at the site. This happens more with goats than sheep. Those buggers develop a large lump that may take a couple of weeks to a month to go down.

De-wormer for Cierra. She was a very good sheep.

We have developed a sea of mud. Usually mud season in Maine comes around April and May with the spring melt. The temps have been warm, 40's during the day. Mud everywhere. Here it is an actual season. Winter, Mud, Spring, Summer and Fall.

We can see future green grass and fields of hay. Those delusions keep us through mud season. Still on baby watch. I think most of us are. Keeping it real. Muddy but real. We have an exciting announcement to make. We have contracted with Sue Brown from Blackbird Studios to develop a web site for us. She is an excellent artist and is working on our logo. She is local and we try to keep local as much as possible. We have attempted to make a web site ourselves. That was an utter failure. Not my best effort. There are some things that should be left to the professionals. We will shout it from the roof tops when we go live. Right now it is in the infant stage. Take care and keep safe. Mainely Ewes Farm.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bag Watch Not Bay Watch

As I'm sure everyone knows, we are on baby alert. We have Isabella getting bigger by the day.
She is quiet, takes the special treats out of the hay and basically ignores the rest. Isabella is our Herd Queen. We watch the other goats defer to her. The littles run up to her and look at her adoringly with their tail wagging seeking approval or even an acknowledgement. They seem so happy when she nudges them with her nose.

Corina is due the day after Isabella. She is quiet and a bit reserved. Corina is an Alpine. They make excellent mothers. They have abundant milk. Corina was a good mother with her last kids. What do you think? One or Two?

Corina's Udder

Isabella's Udder
Our girls may not look great in a bikini or have big boobs like Pamela Sue Anderson. But at least they're real. Only time will tell. As their delivery date gets closer we watch for changes in the goats udder. They will expand and get tighter or shiny in appearance. The mom will sometimes begin calling to their unborn kid. Its a very soft call or talking to their belly. If we can catch this on video we will definitely post it.

Bella's nose is in great shape. Thank you to everyone who gave advice and possibilities about her "bumps". They have healed up, no one else developed the ailment. The internet was an excellent tool for researching possibilities. This looked completely different from sore mouth or goat pox. She is well and happy. We just have to keep the nettles away from the goats. If there is something that is not good for goats to get into, they certainly will. Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Monday, March 1, 2010


We have been busy trying to get the nursery ready. I know that we have goats and sheep but...... they gonna have babies.  We took the trip down to Skowheagan, Maine to Tractor Supply.  Our Tractor Supply in Bangor will be ready about April. They keep moving it back. So we must take the hour drive for now.  We got cattle panels to make the lambing jugs.  I guess ours will be both lambing and kidding jugs.  First we had to cut the panels to workable lengths.

We are using the two stalls that Ted cleaned out earlier this year.  We have four areas set up. We had to add extra wall. What ever was in this stall decided to eat part of it.  We attached the panels to the walls with a snap and eye system to hold them securely. We used 2x4's for added support. 

The final product exceeded our expectations.  The girls should be comfortable. Isabella could kid as early as next Monday with Corina right behind. 
I had more pictures. They went somewhere. They are out there in Blogger land. Lost forever more. At least here on the farm it is alot easier to move things around.  You just pick them up and move them.  I enjoy blogging so I guess I will try to figure this mess out. I think as I get older I resent changes. I sure resent the hell out of this one.  If things look strange here, just ignore them. I'm going to. Can anyone tell me where spellcheck went to? Now you guys will know that I can't spell worth a darn. I'm going to bed. Night all from Mainely Ewes Farm