Saturday, January 22, 2011

Update 1/22/11

First off, I hope all is well with all our friends in Blogland. The weather has been rough and so has life. Much love to you all.
I want to take a moment to announce that MY MOM IS FINALLY ON THE INTERNET! Yes, I just yelled that. Mom came to visit the farm this past spring and she is a farm girl from way back. I got up and went to school every morning. Mom was home and milked the cow, twice every day, fed the horses, chickens, guineas, goats and occasionally a pig. I was fortunate because I then got to come home and ride my mare, Little Bit, every afternoon. The way kids should be raised. It taught me so much for life. I grew up with two very loving parents and I had a happy childhood. Thank you Mom. This is Esther, in the kitchen, cooking. Welcome Mom. The weather here has been crazy. We had temps in the mid 30's Thursday. This makes for a slushy mix of snow with freezing rain. Terrible driving conditions. Friday was cold and snowy. The kind of weather that is best spent inside. I was off and that is just what I did. It was nice resting up after working 6- 12 hour shifts in 7 days. I hope that doesn't happen anytime soon. I'm too old for that. The wind was blowing the snow into little drifts at the bottom of the windows. This picture is looking out of our second story window in the craft room.
I had a technical glitch with my "Braiding Rugs" dvd. I was watching and working and then the dvd stopped. Wouldn't play anything but skips. I called and Marge was kind enough to send another set out. They came on Friday. I went to work and this is where I stopped last night. It is a very thick rug. The width of the fabric is 4". That is wider than any directions that I have ever read anywhere. It does make a thick rug. The colors here just didn't come out right. It looks orange but is actually a beautiful crimson. Red is my favorite color. It is a bit bumpy. I have to work on my braiding technique to keep it uniform. After all, this is my practice rug. I will love it anyway.
While I was braiding Ted was busy fighting the snow. He can't win. It is just a no win situation when you fight nature. He did give it a good try though. He and John Deere Girl were a team yesterday. They worked to keep our drive clear and the neighbors too. Did I mention that I am the one who loves snow, not Ted. This picture was taken after he had already cleared it once.
On my way home from work Tuesday night Ted told me he had a surprise for me. I kept trying to get him to tell me what it was. Nope,"it won't be a surprise that way". After I got home and we de wormed Isabella and got her comfortable I came in and took a shower. He had bought me steamed lobster. I love lobster and don't get it as often as I would like. Ted really isn't a lobster lover. I on the other hand adore lobster. Oh, I think I covered that part.
So I sat at the dining table and ate my wonderful surprise in my nightgown. What a wonderful treat. Maine lobster is the very best there is. Thank you!
Isabella is doing well. We de wormed her again yesterday with the same dosage and added Safe Guard for goats. All of the goats were de wormed. We use a 1-3-10 day schedule to kill any worms, kill anything that hatches and then any remaining worms. If left the worms will become resistant to the de wormer and there isn't a whole lot out there to choose from. We don't inject ivermectin, and that way if we ever really need it the worms will still be susceptible. We really have to stay on top of worms here. They can kill goats very quickly through anemia and loss of nutrition. Janice from Stony Knolls Farm sent me an email and verified the dosage as correct. Ted and I plan on taking their Goat School again this spring. Janice and Ken just came back from teaching Goat School in Florida. Different state with different problems. However, worms are always a major issue with goats and sheep. We are planning on starting early with the sheep to prevent losses from Barber pole worms this spring. Isabella still has my shirt. I think she is making a statement. That goat scares me sometimes with her intelligence. She is such a love.
We are digging out today, cleaning house, laundry and all that boring but necessary stuff. Tomorrow we go and visit Sue in New Hampshire. Day Trip! Take care and stay warm. Our prayers go out to our friends for a healthy return. Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Darn Strongyles

Isabella is doing much better and appreciates all of the advise given on her behalf. We took that advise. I had to work and Ted was a good sport, collected a fecal sample. A fresh, very fresh fecal sample from Isabella, and trekked over to Dover-Foxcroft Vet for analysis. I called in the afternoon and yes, it was worms. Strongyles. We had de-wormed in the fall. The vet recommended using Ivermectin anthelmintic (big word for de-wormer). When I got home I looked up the treatment recommended for goats in my "Goat School" book. Out to the barn we went with Ivermectin Sheep Drench (off label use for goats is okay but the dosage is different), a drenching gun, tape measure, and a weight chart from Fias Co Farm. We measured Isabella just behind her legs, around her chest. She was 38" and from the chart she weighs approximately 160 lbs. According to the book she was to receive 3ml of Ivermectin for each 25 lbs. We withdrew the 21ml's with the drench gun and placed the nozzle to the left side of her mouth and instilled the liquid. No coughing. She did make a horrible face. One that I have seen on my children's faces with medication administration. She wanted to know where the bubble gum or grape flavor was. Goats! I noticed that she had picked up a little weight with the extra grain over night. Annie, Isabella's daughter, was with her so we weighed the little girl and treated her too. The spent the night in the stall with fresh hay, water and some grain. Everyone else still looked good. No other outward signs of weight loss. We will weigh and treat all of the goats after I get through with my 3 shifts this week. Ted said that everyone was happy in the barn and Isabella's appetite was back to normal this morning. Our temps got down to -14 last night. Isabella is refusing to give me back my shirt. I guess it does look kind of good on her.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Skinny Goat

We have been having a typical winter for Maine. It has been chilly but it is getting down right cold now. We had -4 temps when I got up yesterday morning for work and didn't get out of the 20's all day. We had a nice snow shower last evening and everything is snowy white. The ground looks like it should look in winter. We noticed that Isabella had started dropping weight over the last three days. She is usually a chow hound. Pushes everyone aside so she is sure to get her share. Ted said that she was off her feed for the last three days. This lady is special and we love her dearly. We started ProBios and a ration of grain twice daily. We noticed with the cold temps Isabella is more inclined to remain in the barn rather than outside eating hay with the other goats. She is the only one who has lost weight. The other girls are normal weights. We feed grain about three or more times a week and all of the hay they can eat. And now, free choice minerals. We thought maybe Isabella was cold so I gave her my sweat shirt to wear tonight.

She didn't mind the change in fashion. She seems to be into "farm wear". Her appetite has picked up and we are hoping that she will be back to her "big girl" weight. We put both Isabella and her daughter Annie into a separate stall with hay tonight. They can munch and stay warm on a nice bed of hay. That stall seems a bit warmer.
The old chicken waterer has finally bit the dust. It is about 3 years old and had started to rust and wasn't holding water like it use to. I was totally saddened that Tractor Supply only had a two gallon waterer. We had to go to Blue Seal. There we picked up this bright shinny waterer. Now the girls will have lots of fresh water. Onto the water heating pad to prevent freezing. I'm afraid it won't stay shinny long. Soon it will be pooed up like the old one and start to rust. The hens like to sit on the lid at times. Don't know what motivates chickens. Do they have motivation?
An update about the braided rug. My dvd bit the dust. I don't know what happened but it just sat in one spot and wouldn't move. I called Marge and she sent another one out in the mail. I have been at the mailbox daily waiting.
It's back to work for three days. I only had one day off between 6-12 hour shifts. I'm kinda on the ornery side today. Yep, just ornery. Don't even want to hang with me. Just ornery.
Ken from Stony Knolls Farm, if you read this and can think of any other reason Isabella would be dropping some weight and anything we could do please email or call. We want this gal to be a okay again.
Take care and stay warm. Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm and the ornery one.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Beans, Ham and Procrastination

My mother visited last summer and she brought me a mirror. Not just any mirror. This one has memories. It hung in her blue powder room for years. It has a wood frame with leaded glass. I have always loved this mirror. It looks old. It now hangs in the living room. It looked lonely on the wall all by itself. I mention that we needed sconces. I have looked high and low but not really found what we needed. Ted got creative. We now have sconces.
Now the mirror looks balanced. It still needs something else but for now things are right.
I have completed coiling all of my wool. It is ready to go, ready to be braided into a rug. It looks lonely sitting there. It needs to be braided into a rug. I think I should get off of my duff and get busy. I think I am procrastinating. Shame on me. I will start...right after I clean the kitchen.
Ted woke up this morning saying "Yes, that sounds good. I would like two." I said okay, what are we talking about. He asked me, if I asked him, if he would like pancakes for breakfast. I think he was dreaming. It did sound good though. After chores I made pancakes for the both of us. Then there is the left over batter. Hmm....Emma and Lucy would love pancakes for breakfast too. This big pancake has a dog cookie in each side. Compliments of Ted. So do you think they may be a bit spoiled. Nah.... just loved.
They made short work of their breakfast. No complaints.
We were expecting a snow storm today and yesterday we made sure all of the water troughs are filled, wood brought in and ready, hay in pasture for sheep. Everyone else is set. Snow all day today. Hehehehe..... I am excited about the snow. Don't tell Ted, he does the snow plowing and isn't crazy about snow.
I figured it would be a good day for Beans and ham for supper. Why not use that lovely heat from the wood stove?
It is 71 degrees in my kitchen and smells wonderful. Now a day working on my rug. Right after I sweep the floor.............
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm and the procrastinator.


Inside it is cozy and warm...even in our basket.
Outside it it SNOWING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whoo Hoooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From a snowy Mainely Ewes Farm

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Clear Skies and Crisp Morning Chores

Morning chores and cold temps wake you up and get your blood going. Coffee on.... now outside for drinking water change.
Chores in winter require a little more layers. Hat and gloves are a necessity. Time to dump the water troughs and start with clean fresh water. The animals like clean water. No algae grows in winter but the sheep/goats get hay in the water as they drink. This will foul the water and they refuse to drink it. We keep floating water heaters in each trough to prevent freezing. It took us a few tries to separate the electric cords to keep the GFI from throwing the electric off. We don't need any electrocuted sheep or people on the farm. We have the whole barn on GFI circuits. Better safe than sorry.
They deserve the very best and we love these characters very much.
Now for the goats' water. We specifically bought 40 gallon water tanks so that we would be able to lift the trough and dump it as often as needed.
Tank dumped now for a quick rinse out and then fill.
After chores it was a great time to go for a walk up the hill. The pups keep me company. They love to run ahead. Their prints meander around the hillside. So much energy.
My tracks don't meander. They go in one direction up and down. The snow is not too deep and I can still walk with boots. No snowshoes needed yet. Hopefully we will get plenty of snow this year.
Hill view of Mainely Ewes Farm and some of the critters.
I love taking walks up the hill. It seems like the path that I mostly take. We took a trek down toward our creek or as I have been told "brook" in Maine. Here's a different view of the house. Emma and Lucy love the hills made from the plowed snow. They love to bark at people going by.
Our brook in winter. Before the pups arrived and mussed up the pristine snow. This is Forbes Brook.
Now so much for the pristine snow. We have puppy prints EVERYWHERE!
Back to the house where the wood stove is keeping us warm and cozy. Oh, and not to forget that cup of coffee to warm my hands and tummy.
Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm where we are taking the slow quiet days in stride, making plans for a busy spring and summer. I am still working on coiling the wool strips for my braided rug. I will get there soon. I just enjoy a slower pace when off of work. I kinda like this.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Morning After A Snow

The morning after a snow shower dawns clear and crisp. To the people down south that are having snow, sleet and rain I send my most sincere sympathy. I hate all of the above except of course the snow. The hay bales are dusted and the bucks just don't seem to care.
Teddy still says that it is snowy out and he is just fine here in the shelter.
The sheep are out waiting for a treat. We feed large round bales but little grain this time of year. If too much grain is given the lambs will be too large and the ewes may have a difficult time birthing. Still, you just can't tell if the humans are going to break out the grain bucket so it is best to stay near. Just in case. Somehow I get great shots of sheep butts. I don't know why but that just seems to be the way it is. Do you think they may be telling me something?
The sheep still have their fall fleece since we weren't able to shear.
Esther just waiting.......with a loud baaaaaaa....
Still waiting....
The goats are in on the same game. Waiting at the door just in case Ted decides to break out the grain..............."we goats don't like being out here, where is the grain?"
Same game from Fuzzy too.
The guineas and chickens have had their grain. This is their idea of taking a breath of fresh air. Not big fans of snow but we throw cracked corn out in the morning and they have to scratch through it for the grain. They get layer mash too but that gets eaten very quick. Don't be fooled, there is no Layn goin on in our coop. We have gotten 1 egg in about a week now. Our winter days are short and the chickens don't start again till the days get longer.
Baby, our wether is sweet and very patient. He is one of the friendlies sheep we have. Just look at that sweet face.
Fuzzy has a smile for everyone this crisp sunny morn. Can you say floss and brush your teeth daily?
Enjoy the sunny day with us it will be back to snow soon. Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Just Another Day on the Farm

Good Morning. Animals hay bale in sheep pasture.....barn cat fed. Beau is our one and only cat that refuses to come inside in the winter. Mouse has changed her mind about being a barn cat for now. Occasionally Beau will come in but meows LOUDLY (screams) until we let him out. He sleeps on the second floor of the barn. He gets wet cat food every morning. He is keeper of the barn. We seem to have an elusive black and white cat who loves to share Beau's food each day. We only get an occasional glimpse of him. Since Beau is a Maine Coon cat with thick fur and a goodly amount of body weight he seems to be fine living in the barn. At least he keeps the mice at a manageable number. I hope.
Last week I ordered a loose mineral feeder from Hoegger Supply. It arrived yesterday morning ready to install.
We installed it inside the goat stall of the barn to allow free access for the girls.
Filled it with the minerals that arrived at the same time.
All done and ready to open the doors and call the girls in.
After the initial stampede they were all over it.
When it is time to reorder the minerals I plan on ordering the same amount that way I will get an additional feeder free to put into the buck pen so they too will have free choice minerals to eat. We have all of the water troughs heated and the pups are not to be left out. This heated dog bowl keeps water defrosted for Beau, the barn cat too.
After chores it is time for play. Emma and Lucy get their exercise in. Nothing better than a good chase and wrestle in the morning.
Then inside for a good after Christmas treat of rawhide. Nice shiny white teeth.
And then Emma takes the Christmas tree and makes a break for it to keep Lucy from getting any rawhide.
We are still working on manners here on the farm. Emma has to learn to share. Or we can just get Lucy her own Christmas tree. Well, then Emma takes that too. Like I said working on manners.
Still coiling wool for the braided rug. I should have all of the wool coiled today so that I can start the first step in the rug. The T row. Sounds very mysterious doesn't it? We shall see.
I spent most of yesterday trying to get my mother, who lives in Florida, onto the Internet. She has AT&T. I have Fair Point. At no time is this an easy thing. We spent hours over the phone with Miguel from AT&T (New Orleans) getting the system up and going. Their server was having problems. He was very helpful and very patient. After talking to him it makes me want to go back to New Orleans and visit Cafe Dumonde, Mulate's original Cajun restaurant. I love that city. Well, we still have work but she will be able to come online and become an addition to the super highway. Can't wait to welcome her online.
Take care, stay warm. Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.