While We Were Walking

Don’t think for a moment that the Moving into March walk went unnoticed by the farm dwellers.  They definitely recognize when there is anything out of the ordinary, and are never at a loss for words. 

“I think you are going the wrong way!”

“We ran all the way down here… we thought you were bringing the hay!”

“What are you doing down there?”

“We’ve been up and down this hill four times.  Aren’t you finished taking pictures?”

“You better be coming up out of there with hay!”

“Don’t make me come down there and get you!”

What a Weekend!

In a stroke of luck, the stockyard was open on New Year’s Day, and the roads were open enough that our neighbors could finally get their trailer into the barnyard. We took the cull ewes and seven more of the ewe lambs to Grantsville.  This will surely help our hay bale count.

The stars just seemed to align this weekend, and the combination of snow melt, fairly warm and mostly decent weather blessed these shepherdess/s with hours of pretty comfortable outside farm work.  This and the fact that not one single ewe was marked the second time around meant that the breeding was complete and the groups could be moved.

Breeding harnesses came off.  (That Davita… she will snuggle with anything that is not another cat.)

Liam, Aragorn and Poseidon, the three older rams, were crammed and twenty-four hours later moved back to their original pasture.

A brand spanking new, fancy shelter was put together (by Terry) for the goat boys and they were moved to the pine grove paddock via halter and truck.  You have no idea how exciting this is to have them in a virtually, inescapable paddock for the remainder of the winter.   No longer will we be greeted by surprises in the barn when going to feed in the mornings… no tearing down of fencing… no leading the ewe lambs into trouble.  (They only do these things in the winter… maybe they find winter boring.)  Right now there is a lot of noisy complaining but they will adjust, and there are plenty of rocks and fallen trees to amuse them.

The 33 breeding ewes and the ram lamb, Braveheart, are all now in the barn pasture.  Moving lanes were built with temporary fencing and this all went pretty smoothly.  This group of ewes appears to be kind of flighty.  Hopefully they will settle down before lambing.  Speaking of lambing season… there was much excitement around here that everyone appears to have been caught  during the first 17 day cycle… until it sunk in that all 33 ewes will probably lamb within an intense 3 week period.  We will have to start planning for that.

And last, but certainly not least, Betty Lou Moo Moo and Beefcakes were brought over the pasture and through the woods from Madison.  They followed Jonathan and Megan up the hill to about 50 feet away from the fence line.  Surprisingly they came closer and closer by calling “C’mon Betty” “C’mon Beef” (all of our animals seem to equate the word “C’mon” with the word “Food”)  and it went pretty smoothly once they were enticed through the open gate with a little grain.  More temporary fence lanes were put up to connect the two gate openings and we had a bale of hay waiting on the other side. Ahhh, success.

There is still a little bit of organizing and housekeeping to do, but all in all, considering last year’s winter feeding challenges, we are pretty (pardon our language) damn excited!

Buckwheat Festival Scenes

We love watching all the Judging of the animals and the Showmanship Contests.  Goats, swine, sheep and cows, we love watching them all.  This year’s judge seemed tireless, as he spent a lot of time with each entry, explaining why he placed them as he did.  Lena did not place as well as she would have liked.  It is not easy to explain to a young lady that many times life’s lessons are all about the journey and not at all about the prize.