Sunday, February 27, 2011

Babies and preparing to leave for a while

We have four lambs so far with one ewe still pregnant.  I've caught three of the babies and two are boys.  Great!  Food!!!  Barbados lambs are usually pretty dark but one of ours has a white patch about two inches long at the end of its tail.  When I first saw the baby I thought it must have gotten one of the ducks feathers stuck to its tail.  No, just a funny looking tail.  His name is White Tail, the other male is Lamb Chop.  It's been several years since we've been able to butcher the sheep.  I'm still building my herd up since it was decimated by the mountain lion (it (they) killed 20 of my 22 sheep).  We now have four males, six females, and a something that I haven't determined yet. 

I completely forgot storing up some animal feed.  I had several hundred pounds stored and I just kept using it and just forgot to replace it.  As I was feeding the animals this morning I realized that I had less than 50 pounds of feed left.  I usually don't feed the sheep but I've got them locked up in the pens during lambing and until the lambs are about a month old.  The pens have grass growing in them but I wanted to supplement the ewes diet with some cob.  Well, I didn't realize just how much I've been feeding them...or perhaps some of the kids or grandkids have been also feeding them.

I also ended up keeping the chickens in the coop.  My plan was to let them out into the garden.  That didn't work out too well because daughters two yip-yip dogs keep chasing them.  They attacked one of the ducks ight in front of me and two of the ducks ended up missing - either being killed or flew off.  I never found evidence of them being killed and with those two yip-yips I'd fly away if I were them.  Instead of getting mad I just kept the chickens in the coop.  Next fall I'll let them out because those two dogs will have moved out.  I miss the kids and grandkid already but not those two yip-yips.  Long story short, I've been going through a lot of food feeding the chickens.  It's such a waste to have to feed them all winter since they didn't lay too many eggs. 

Today I bought 300 pounds of chicken food and 100 pounds of sweet cob.  I store the feed in 33 gallon trash cans (both metal and heavy duty plastic) in the barn.  The cans have tight enough fitting lids that I rarely have a mouse issue.  Each 33 gallon can holds 150 pounds.  That should last quite a while especially since the weeds are growing like crazy now.  We go out everyday and pick a couple handfuls of weeds and give that to the chickens.  They eat every bite and with every bit that we supplement it's less of the store bought stuff that they eat. 

I have to get everything buttoned up around here.  On Wednesday morning I leave for a ten day trip.  I'm not sure if I'll have internet access and I don't write these in advance, so I don't know how much I'll be posting from March 2-12.  I'll have the computer, a solar panel to charge it, and my internet card.  We'll see how it goes.  During that time I will be unarmed, which will be an uncomfortable feeling, plus in a place that I've never been, plus it will be somewhere that I won't have my own transportation.  It will be interesting and I hope to learn a lot. 

This place can run itself when I'm not here, especially during the winter when the garden and fruit trees don't need to be watered.  But, Army daughter and son-in-law, who don't know how anything around here works and going to be here watching the grandkids, animals, and property.  Other daughter may come over to collect eggs and just check up on things.  She and her husband can fix anything that may go wrong.  Son can't come over.  Last time he was over when I wasn't home he almost burned the place down.  I'm tired of having the fire department show up when I'm not home.  But at least nobody can get into the guns and shoot them.  They are all locked up in the safe!

1 comment:

  1. Animal feed is an issue with us also. We let the chickens out when we are able, and bring them bits from the garden most times. The seem to like th freedom. I'd like to create a bigger pen for them to let them roam, but not destroy the vegis.

    Have a good trip.