Monday, April 16, 2012

Productive Weekend

Sarah and I finished unloading the wood into the barn.  The trailer was greatly relieved of its heavy burden.  I used the spare tire I was wise enough to purchase (thank goodness for not being a cheapskate).  While I was changing the tire I got Sarah up on the tractor.  She got the five minute demo and off she went to start moving the sheep shit pile.  I only had to give her one more set of pointers and she kept it up for a few more hours and got a nasty sunburn on her face.  The weather was stunning all weekend, great time to be outside. 

I took the trailer into Les Schwab and it turned out to be a rock popped the bead and got inside the tire.  The fixed it for $12.50, best news of the day.   Sarah has about another four days to get both sheep excrement piles consolidated.  We were looking at the front of the barn and noticed some honey bees going in and out of a large crack in the wood.  On the backside of the wall it is all enclosed so I am not sure how large the hive is currently.  This is going to cause me to do some kind of work around when tearing off the front of the barn.  The bee portion is in good shape so I may just leave it alone.  Don't see a lot of honey bees around here. 
Lucky our Ram

On Sunday, Sarah and I went out to catalog the sheep.  We sorted all the sheep into the square pen and attempted to catch the three baby boys that needed banded and tagged.  We chased them back into the barn to catch the last two.  The first one I just flopped on and pinned to the ground.  The damn lambs jump around like jumping jacks.  The little ones can leap four feet off the ground.  Once we had those three finished, we chased them all into the square pen.  I brought Zeke into the pen and had him sit by the gate.  He did great.  Every once in a while he would sneak out of his laying position when I wasn't looking.  Sarah came up with the great idea of chasing all the sheep into the loading chute and then sorting them out.  We needed to check off each ear tag to see which ones were missing.  It was hectic and once we got a few out into the square pen we would chase them out after checking them off our list. 

Stubborn ewe who always fights with Zeke

The sheep are incredibly stubborn.  I had one ewe refuse to leave the square pen (her baby was still in the chute, but is over three months old).  She ducked her head and scraped her hoof on the ground at me.  I sicked Zeke on her.  Have you ever seen a picture of fighting bears?  Both animals up on their hind quarters, mouths open, teeth snarling, and front legs kicking?  Totally Zeke and that ewe, he was snarling and making a heck of racket.  He weighs in at a whopping 30 pounds and the ewe weighs around 100#.  I had to call him off.  I am continually amazed at how hard headed the Barbados Blackbelly breed is when it comes to protecting their young.  We finally got it finished and had six boys left to weigh.  Two of those are over 85# so they are ready for market.  I will start hunting up customers.  One more weighed in at 81# so he will be ready soon.  There are 31 sheep total right now with 10 whethers (neutered boys), one ram and 20 ewes.  I have the spreadsheet all updated again.  There were a couple of errors on our spreadsheet, so I am hoping we catch all those and get them fixed.  You wouldn't think it would be that hard, but a misplaced number makes a big difference.

I started spraying weeds.  This will be a never ending battle, but now that I have the trailer I will be taking the mule (four wheeler vehicle) over to get it fixed so it can become the permanent spraying vehicle.  This will be nice as dragging a little 2 gallon sprayer around is very painful.  I need to get on top of those thistles before they get huge.   I got a series of wonderful birthday presents.  Annmarie got me a predator camera for the coop that does infared 30 feet at night and transmits wireless to the home computer.  My parents got me a .17 HMR rifle.  It is very nice and boy those coyotes better look out now.  Very nice rifle.