Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Our Miss Pig, Charlotte, worked several days making her nest just right to have her brood. She had quite a mound of straw in the middle of her big stall and then she laid there and panted and panted and panted. All day Monday we checked her several times and she didn't seem to be progressing at all. The panting and groaning continued through evening chores and I figured she would be that way until morning. I did a barn check at 7:30 pm. and nothing had changed. Tom did a barn check at 9pm and called to say we had a piglet. We all raced to the barn, cameras in hand to view something we had never seen before. Piglet #1 - they are very cuddly :) It was ten minutes and she had number 2; and then 3; and 4,5,6,7,8 and by 11 pm she had 9 little piglets. Tom would rub her belly in between delivering the piglets and then catch each one as the delivered it. I would then wipe the face and nose off and cut the umbilical cords. The membrane on the piglets is so fine that it almost disintegrates as the air hits it. Mother pigs do not clean off their babies as cows or sheep do. They are extremely active from the time they hit the ground. I was trying to contain them to one area so she could deliver the rest without the first few disturbing her. The piglets were having none of it. They were hungry and that's all there was it.

These three had to have a drink of milk before Mama pig could continue with the work of delivering the rest of her babies. They instinctively know where to go for the faucet. It wasn't long and they were full and warm.
In a matter of just a very few minutes, she had seven and I had them corralled and was trying to keep them there so she could finish. These little guys can crawl and scoot around - you just wouldn't believe it. They climbed right over that 2x6 and were headed for their Mother! I finally told Tom I couldn't stop them and let them all out of their pen.

Charlotte and her nine babies at 11:30 p.m. Monday evening. All seemed well and we all decided to go to the house and our beds. When I went to the barn this morning at 6 I was very surprised to find three more piglets.....12 sweet little piglets, all cuddled up to Mom, as content and happy as can be. I am overjoyed at the entire process. It was so worth all the time and effort - Charlotte is so trusting of Tom - he has done so well with her since we bought her as a baby. It wasn't so long ago I can remember Tom not being into the animals at all. What a change in him as well. Funny how animals can bring out the best in all of us. I'm very proud of Charlotte and Tom as well.
~Sweet dreams ~

Friday, April 23, 2010

Miss Charlotte, the pig

Miss Charlotte loves to have her belly rubbed and Tom is one of her favorite people. As you can see, he's very good to her and she would lay in that same position as long as he would. If she is standing up when we go in her house and she even thinks you might scratch her belly, she will flop down on one side or the other and wait :) She's very funny and as you can see, very pregnant.

Charlotte went out yesterday afternoon to stretch her legs. You can see she's making milk and ready to have those piglets. She's been working on her nest and wasn't interested in her breakfast this morning. There is mud in front of the cow gate and of course she found it. The cows weren't sure what to think of her! We didn't leave her out too long as she was huffing and puffing as it was. She's carrying a lot of extra weight and I didn't want her to get too stressed.

This is our first time having piglets.......as advised, we've made a space for the piglets to get under a heat lamp in fresh, clean shavings that Charlotte cannot get into. Sometimes mother pigs will lay on their babies and crush them without realizing it. This helps protect them and also keep them warm for the first couple of weeks.

Another exciting adventure on Tylerfarm! I'll post an update as she progresses.

Have a great day ~

Monday, April 19, 2010

The "new"to do list.....

I think everyone has several "to do " lists, I know we do. We just finished one and now a new one begins. This is the "after tax time" list. I am always so happy and relieved when that's done for another year.
Gardening begins this week. We began preparing our garden plots last fall and the amendments have been working together over the winter and are now ready to be lightly tilled and readied for planting. If all goes well we will be planting cold hardy crops in just a few days. Over the last couple of years of selling fresh produce, we know what the public wants as well as what our family prefers and have adjusted our varieties accordingly. I love being in the dirt -

Another task is hauling hay. Seems we are always doing that. The second story of our barn cannot hold enough square bales to get us through until the next haying season so the farmer we buy hay from stores our extra in his barn. We will haul that home this week as well as the 2nd crop we have left in his barn for our lactating ewes and their lambs. Even though we had a tough haying season last year, it appears their will be plenty of hay to get everyone through until the farmers can get on their fields and start mowing this year. That's always a relief to everyone.

Maine kids are on vacation this week and Ty has track practice everyday so we are running back and forth to school twice a day. Of course, practice begins during morning chores.......we are trying to make THAT schedule work :) We will figure it all out....it's good to have him home. Our school kids work hard everyday - I know he's as mentally tired at the end of the day as I am physically tired. They surely need the time off.

Yesterday we visited three very nice Romney sheep that will be coming to live at the farm next weekend. The story of their moving is very sad and yet their arrival is a blessing to their owners. We are happy to add them to our flock and the fiber and yarn that will be produced from their beautiful silver fleeces will be lovely.

We still have a few ewes that need to be sheared and these three gals need to be done as well. New yarns arrived on friday. I did take photos but haven't gotten them here yet. Some lovely lopi weight shetland. New natural colors that I'm very happy with. We will be putting up the screen house soon as yarn dyeing needs to start soon.

Time to get busy.....hope you all have a great day. The sun is shining here after three days of rain......I know it's going to be a good day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunny Sunday ~

I watched the sunrise this morning and it's a beautiful day. It was a sweatshirt morning for chores and the temp is rising quickly. All of the sheep are happily munching away as their babies are curled up in small clusters, taking their morning naps. I love the silence of content animals.

Steve and I are putting the screen on our farmer's porch today - it will be wonderful to set out there and enjoy the lovely weather without black flies and mosquitoes. With all the rain we have had, the bugs are here already, pestering the animals during the late afternoon. They all have shady shelter to get away from them and they have been using it.

Wishing you a peaceful, sunny day~

Friday, April 9, 2010


The new pasture I put in last year is coming in lush and green. It's drawing a lot of attention from our animal neighbors. I wish everything here was coming in as quickly and as good as this piece. Hopefully we will get more ground seeded this coming year.

These lovely ladies meandered on through the other night. The came in from the North side of the big pasture and headed straight to the new piece. I very quietly made my way around the side of the run in shed and shot these photos. It wasn't long before they spied me and headed down toward the back. They didn't go far. Once I was out of photo range, they were right back there, eating again. We see the deer every night now. I hope once we get the new fencing up, they learn to go around instead of through it.

This morning around five I heard a big gobbler. Tom had heard them last night as it was getting dark. About 6:30 this morning they were in the new piece as well. Not sure what they were eating but they weren't in a hurry. The guineas were pretty put out by them being here. How they squawked. I knew something was around that normally isn't because they were making a racket first thing this morning. They are great watch dogs.

Lots of small bird activity as well. Our flycathers are busy making their nest in the eves of the guinea house and the woodshed. The other morning Mom and I saw the flicker several times.

I didn't have my camera handy....this is a photo of what they look like. They are a beautiful bird and it's a sure sign of spring when they show up. The robins have been busy along with the goldfinches and tufted titmice. The nuthatch, the little blue bird that eats upside down and my favorite of all of them, is making a nest in our little crooked bird house. Not sure who made this house but it has been hanging here a long time and is normally used by the tree swallows. The nuthatches' beat them to it this year :)
We have two sets of wild mallards down back in the small pond hanging with our ducks and the canadian geese are around as well. I thought I heard the loon early one morning this week but I wasn't 100% sure. I have to be on the doorstep really early to hear them but they are worth waiting for. They usually nest across the street down on the river.

Spring has surely arrived and everything smells wonderful.............

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring lambs ~

It has been brought to my attention that I did not introduce the lambies that are in our new header photo. Ooops.......

It's been a fantastic lambing season for us and lambing has concluded for this year. Twenty one lambs....10 ewes and 11 rams, no loss of ewes or lambs. We have a new ewe that came to live here a couple of weeks ago that may lamb at the end of the month. Of course, all are adorable and I want to keep them all at this point. As time goes by, I will have to make some tough choices as I have 55 sheep! Yikes - funny how they add up so quickly at lambing time :)

We initially were going to use the Greek/Roman God theme but everyone decided it didn't suit us. We then decided to use the first letter of each ewe's name.


Pennyroyals twins: Peggy and Patsy (1/2 shetland / 1/2 finn)

Daphne's twins: Dillon & Dalton (1/2 shetland/ 1/2 finn)
Pheobe's twins: Paige & Parson (3/4 Finn/1/4 Coop)
Wrens twins: Wallace & Winnie (3/4 Finn 1/4 Coop)
Bella's single: Bridget (Coopworth/Finn)

We had two sets of ram lambs born in the last two days. Coopworth/Finn and Shetland /Finn. They are still in the jugs and I haven't taken photos yet. Chammomille is still the maternity ward with her quads. Tomorrow is supposed to be a gorgeous day - they will all go out in the sunshine tomorrow and we will clean out the jugs for another year.

Enjoy! Anyone want to buy a lamb?

ps.....in the header photo is Parson, Wallace & Winnie.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday, Monday ~

Monday isn't always my favorite day of the week but today wasn't so bad. I'm working diligently to finish the farm taxes by April 15th. I will be at the Accountants and have them done before the deadline rolls around. There always seems to be something more important to do :)

Lambing has concluded until the end of the month. We have 21 sweet little bundles of energy running around and they seem to call to me through the window to come and play with them. I spent 40 minutes at lunchtime in the maternity ward with Chammomille and her quads. They are all so healthy. She is an awesome ewe. I stretched out on the hay and before long Chammy laid down beside me. Shortly thereafter three of the quads snuggled in between Chammy and myself. What a serene experience. I laid there listening to her chew her cud, the lambs soft breathing, the sounds of the farm all around me. I could have stayed there all day.

But.............I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry, grinding away on paper work and made butter. I have two children with sinus issues, ear issues and allergies. As lovely as the spring weather has been, it brings it's issues with it as well.

I hope you are enjoying the weather where you are :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter ~

Happy Easter to you and yours from all of us at Tylerfarm Homestead.
Today we will spend the day celebrating Resurrection and the gift of life. It is a joyous celebration as my family gathers around the dinner table, giving thanks together.
We have much to celebrate and to be grateful for. Our blessings are many!

~May your Easter be a day filled with joy and hope ~

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lambs by the dozen ~

It's been a loooooooooong, crazy, fun, emotional, tiring week. We're lambing! I don't even know right this moment how many we have :) When they come in fours, you get a herd a time.

Before I hit the hay I wanted to share our set of quads with you all. Pictured above is Chammomille with Tylerfarm's Clary, Carlisle, Cecily & Cecil. Chammy is a shetland/finnn cross bred to a finn ram. All about the same weight, size, etc. Two ewes, two rams. They are all healthy with full bellies with tails wagging. Chammy delivered them all hind feet first but delivered them herself. She's an awesome ewe and mother.

I just finished making butter and now am off to bed. It's looking like we will have more lambs tomorrow. Just a few more ewes to go. I'll post photos of all the new babies soon.

Have a great weekend eveyrone :O )0