Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sheep

I had to go out to the old house and clean a spot for the new woodworking equipment. This is a good thing!!! I need the tools, now mind you they weigh in at around 500# and 350# and are not small. So while getting ready to work with a small detour to the chicken coop. My 14 year old daughter had left the outside hose running all night in the chicken yard. So I had to deal with that first, then thought I better check to see if the chickens have food. They didn't. So I fed them, and played with the baby chicks!! Purely farm reasons (If you have ever played with baby chickens you know I am lying here)! Although, they are much easier to handle and deal with when older if you pay lots of attention to them when they are babies. So anyway, I am out in the chicken yard and our chocolate lab, Bailey is eating something. Since there is no dog food outside it is probably something she is not supposed to have. I tell her to drop it and low and behold it is a small black and white lower leg to a sheep!! When I went outside to potty the dogs last night, I heard the coyotes howling pretty close to the house. So another one of the sheep had a baby and we didn't know it!!! Annmarie keeps telling me the sheep are always looking for a way to die (her family raised sheep for 3 generations then got out of the business 15 years ago). This is the 3rd baby so far and we only have one live wether!! Two have died, one froze to death in the middle of winter and then this one. The only one to live, his momma kept throwing a fit in the middle of the night and I had to go look for the baby. Couldn't find it and almost went inside but the momma sheep would not leave the creek. So I dug around in the tumbleweeds in the creek bottom and found that baby. We dried it off, got it warm and put it in the wood shed with its mamma for a couple of days.

The dog found another leg and I remembered that I had seen the cats gnawing on something black and white last evening while I was cooking dinner, they were visible out the kitchen window. I thought it was a magpie!! I went over and there were the last two legs. just the lower bony part, nothing else left!!!

So now the push is on to dig out the barn so I can move a wall and we can lock up the sheep at night. Of course this would all be easier if I could just tell when the sheep were pregnant!!!
This learning as you go is painful!!! The US dept of Agriculture guy for the state of Oregon called me back this morning. We are trying to get an egg permit # so we can sell our eggs direct from the farm. With 32 laying chickens and 24 more coming up, we are gonna have lots of eggs available.