Friday, June 24, 2011

Ducks and rain

We have had more rain this month than the last five years put together. Many parts of the province are in bad shape with farms and homes being totally under water. Here we are getting enough to keep everything muddy in the corral and lovely and green in the pastures.

Yesterday when "the guy" was driving by he called to tell me that our duck with babies was down by the slough. I thought that odd because I had seen her waddling about when I was last outside. Emma and I walked down to the slough to investigate and found a big white bird in the water but it was definately not our duck Tilly.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Miles and Maisy

We finished lambing in April. All our ewes lambed within 17 days which was the first time for us to have them all lamb in one cycle. Of course we have some very adorable lambs. Our three Cotswold ewes were bred to a Clun Forest ram and I must say they are about the most adorable lambs of the bunch.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Arlo the rooster

A friend gave me a beautiful Auracana rooster named Arlo. He is truly beautiful but not the passive, calm fellow I was led to believe. To go into the chicken area one needs to be armed with a broom or a big stick. Anything to help ward off Arlo's attacks. He will back away and pretend he is afraid but once turned away he charges forward and jumps in the air in order to get a good position for his spurs to dig in to the back of legs. It is not only painful it is also quite intimidating. I have taken to walking sideways to make sure I can see his advances. Several times I have forgotten to carry a stick and was armed with only a feed bucket which I have flung at him in hopes of scaring him off. It does help but he doesn't seem to have much of a memory so it happens again and again.

This morning I went to check on feed and water in all the chicken areas. I checked on the week old layer pullets and they are doing well. Then checked on the buff Orpington hens with their lovely, and truly passive, rooster. After that went in to see my dear little banty hen who hatched out seven lovely Auracana chicks. Arlo is good for something.

When leaving I got almost to the gate when Arlo came charging. I kicked towards him but missed. Drat! He quickly re-grouped and came at me again but I wasn't ready to kick so flung the bucket I was carrying at him. It isn't a big bucket, only about four litres so I didn't think I'd make contact and if I did it wouldn't hurt him that much. But wonder of wonders, I made contact. That will teach him I thought. Unfortunately I hit him harder than I thought I would. He shook, he trembled, he shuddered, and then laid down and sort of convulsed and then looked as if he was gasping for breath a few times and then dropped...dead. Good Grief, I killed him! I had only meant to keep him from attacking me and now...I'm a rooster killer. I felt bad but then though...well, I guess I don't have to worry about him anymore. I felt rather shaken up so came in the house for a cup of tea.

I had my tea and then got a few things done and then decided I had better go out and pick up Arlo's body, light a fire and cremate him. I got to the chicken yard, looked where I had seen him drop dead and there was no rooster. I wondered if a hawk had swooped down and taken him away to feed her family. I looked around and saw him laying in a heap about twenty yards from where he had been bucket beaten. I wondered how in the world he had gotten over there as I walked towards his body. As I approached him a very subdued and obviously nervous Arlo cautiously lifted his head and opened one eye. I couldn't believe it...he was alive. I think pretty shaken up but other than that he seemed to be making a rapid recovery. I will be interesting to see if he has acquired a new found respect for me or at least for buckets.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shearing Day 2

This old gal shown here is ten years old and is in really good condition. I have several older ewes kept seperate so I can keep a close eye on them and feed them extra. I wasn't sure if this gal was bred or not but after she was shorn it was pretty obvious. She looks pretty good doesn't she.

Shearing Day

A yearling ewe enjoys the sun after she was shorn. The night turned very cold and we had to make sure they were all in under cover. Two days later we had a horrible blizzard so all the sheep were given extra grain. Then yesterday it was above zero. I hope this means March will go out like a lamb.

Preparing for shearing

We were getting ready for shearing day and setting up wind breaks and putting out hay bales. Emma helps hold this bale in place while we go and get the bale panels that go around it. She takes her work very seriously as you can see.

When we were finished the sheep were let back in and they dashed around checking the hay bales, the wind breaks, and clean straw bedding. They all seemed to be pleased with what we had done. what a relief.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011