422 bales of hay from the graveyard field yesterday!  It is the field where we run the lambs after weaning and winter the hoggets.  This was a very good yeild and much better than our first day of hay making. 
We’re back at it today, as we’ve already got the old barn field down.  But first we’re off to bring the ewes and lambs in from pasture for a health check and second round of CDT shots.  Maybe we better get a little breakfast first. 😉

If you haven’t already, be sure to comment on Wednesday’s post – it’s a give-away!

Almost Summer

After weeks of seeing relatively few deer, mostly bucks and yearlings, they are back out in full force and new life seems to be everywhere. During the last week, our family has come upon a fawn hidden between fence rows, ran over one with the hay mower which miraculously was unhurt except for a very small cut on its leg, carried a very shaky newborn out of the road and up a bank and almost hit one while brush-hogging. When a mama deer tells her fawn to stay put… it stays put! We are so glad all these encounters had happy endings.

In other news, our haymaking season has begun.  Saturday was a beautiful day to get the first 215 bales in the barn.  The two frosts and snow we had in April really set the broad-leaved plants back and our yield was significantly lower than last year.  We’re hoping for some good grass-growing summer weather and a thick second cutting.  We are so thankful for family that helped… from the mowing, tedding, raking, baling, stacking, unloading and more stacking…all the way down to the littles who cut up tomatoes and mushrooms for the meal that Mom and Lena had ready when the field work was finished.  We are blessed.

Weaning Day

We weaned the lambs on Monday.  We did FAMACHA tests on all the lambs and ewes, and weighed all the lambs.  Only two lambs were somewhat pale but we gave all of them wormer because of the stress of weaning.  We only had to worm a couple of the ewes.  A great improvement over last year *knocks on wood*. 
As always, we had a lot of help… Erma insisted on coming in with the sheep and helped with inspection.

Spot and Muffy helped move watering troughs.

The ewes went out one door into a paddock and moving lane,

and the lambs went out another into the corral and then on to the graveyard field which hasn’t been occupied since early spring.   The ewes were moved in the evening because another task awaited us.

After lunch we hit the field and made 586 bales of hay.  We are over 1,400 bales and not quite finished.  It has been a good year for hay.  We probably won’t have to buy any this year if the 2nd cutting is as good as the 1st.

A very hot, long day but very productive… think we are still recuperating.

Farm Geeks

Farm Geeks? 
You know that person
:: who stops to wonder at the display of ring pin fasteners everytime they go to the farmstore
:: thinks that zip ties, bungee cords and rachet tie downs were just about the best things ever invented
:: whose Boggs barn boots are among their most prized posessions
:: has at least one Joel Salatin book on their night stand
:: slows down to a crawl when they pass a field containing a baby farm animal

Then, of course, there is their unadulterated admiration of hay!  Is there anything quite as pretty as that interior layer of hay where the bale naturally falls open after the baler twine is cut?  To delight in the charm of the tidy rows of timothy and alfalfa… but oh, to behold the beauty of the perfectly preserved red clover on a cold winter morning… it can take your breath away. 

The expectant ewes share that appreciation of a good bale of hay.  They come running, stealing mouthfuls on the way to the feeder.  They are not very patient or polite this time of year –  pushing, shoving their way in, trying to make sure they get their fair share of the goodness – very much the pregnant ladies at the salad bar.  Samson stands guard, ready to re-establish order should things get too rowdy.

Beautiful… life-sustaining…and we haven’t even mentioned the weight-lifting program they provide… maybe this post should be re-titled “Ode to the Square Bale”
Many thanks to Verde Farm for hosting the blog party – Farm Friend Friday #5 – you can visit them here.