Monday, April 11, 2011

Animals are healthy and loving Spring

The weather was not very good today.  More rain and wind and then some sunshine then more wind, I just could not justify going outside and doing any work.  I didn't want to torture myself.  I guess that's why I love Spring.  I can go outside and work in relatively mild weather.  Could be why I have a year round inside job?  The sheep are loving the new grazing opportunities.  Annmarie tells me that I was not feeding them enough.  They were alive and I tell her the sheep are supposed to get skinny in the Winter that's why they put on weight in the Fall.  So we decided to let the sheep roam out around the cars and machine shop.  Boy the great forage has done amazing things.  In the last two weeks all the sheep have gotten fat!  It is amazing.  I may have been underfeeding a little bit...
Fat sheep in the unfenced orchard area
In the orchard sheep picture you can see all the babies.  The three sheep directly behind the wooly sheep in the foreground are the first three babies we had earlier this year (almost 12 weeks old now).  The newest lamb (cat sized one) is on the left side near the back.  She is right behind her mother.  The sheep are starting to lose their Winter wool.  They scrape it all off on the fence and whatever else they can rub against.




Lucky is shedding his wool.  He will soon be our only ram.
My baby chickens are growing and healthy now.  No more sick ones after I switched back to medicated feed. They are at the awkward stage where they don't have a full set of feathers yet.  I have picked out my favorite already, I just need to get Sarah on board so we can start to tame it down.  There is one of the Brahma girls that is brown.  She is the only brown one.  I had to switch feeders for the chicks.  I had a small channel feeder and the chicks are emptying the thing every day.  So I went to a 1.5 gallon metal feeder.  It should take them a few days to empty it now.  I went to feed the chickens tonight (I am doing all the chores as the child is on light duty and just had surgery) and there was a mouse trapped in the food can (I use 50 gallon metal trash cans to hold feed).  The lid was on the can, but not tight and once the mouse got in there was 12 inches to the chicken feed.  It couldn't jump back out.  So I usually stun the mice by hitting them with the plastic scoop then tossing them to the cats.  It is hard to stun the mouse when it keeps getting pushed down into the chicken food.  Finally, I managed to stun it and scoop it up.  There was a cat in the coop with me so I tossed it onto the ground in the coop and called the cat, before the cat could even spot the little mouse a chicken ran over and grabbed the mouse and ran away outside the coop.  She didn't want anyone else to take her treasured morsel away.  Last year when I tried to give the mouse to the chickens they ignored it.  But they have been out in the field and barn scratching for bugs and greens, I suspect some mice have vanished in the process.  Kinda funny since last month I tried to feed the chickens some worms and they would not even touch them, totally ignored the worms.

Almost 1 month old chicks.  You can see my favorite on the right hand
side, the brown Brahma girl


















Chicks running around in baby enclosure.  No adult chicken or cat can get inside.