Sunday, May 9, 2010

Growing season.........

It has been a crazy, hectic week and we have been so busy with one project right after another. Fencing is taking up a lot of our time during the day. We hauled 6 ton of round baled hay home on Wednesday. I also purchased two bales of wrapped baleage. I have never fed this before but the cattle and sheep seem to enjoy it and it will definitely stretch our hay. It smells like vinegar - pickled long grass. The sheep will blatt and blatt until I give them a little of it during night chores. I'm hoping to head north again this week and pick up 20 more bales.

The unusually warm spring weather continues and it's wonderful to see everything growing and flourishing with the sunshine. The above photo is the new pasture that we put in and seeded last year. It is about 8 inches high and ready for the sheep. The sheep are in a smaller pasture right now to get them used to grass again and they are loving it.

Babies ate their fill and then crashed in the sunshine. They are all growing so quickly. Only two little wethers still look like babies. It's been amazing to watch as they mature, what type of fleece each one will have. Of course, I'd like to keep them all but I know that's not practical :)

Speaking of fleece, remember the new M&M's - when they came to live here they were in full fleece. Gorgeous silver fiber and lots of it! Below are the girls with their coats on.

Last week we introduced them to the shearing stand and gave each one of them a haircut and a pedicure. I really think they felt much better without all that wool. About 15lbs per sheep.

They have made themselves right at home, mixing with the other sheep and observing the lambs from a distance. They are beautiful sheep and we are delighted to have them. I hope to get it all skirted this week and up to the fiber mill. I am so excited to see what Diane does with it.

Our little piglets are also growing quickly. Charlotte feeds them about four times a day and they are now eating baby pig crumbles. They love to cuddle with their Mom but they enjoy using their creep area with the heat lamp. At just two weeks old, they have more than doubled in size and are a handful. They are also getting very curious. I sat in with them for about 15 minutes and after a minute or two they were all gathered around me, sniffing and nibbling on my shoes. It has been a wonderful process and we will definitely have baby pigs again.

The barn swallows have moved back in the barn, readying the nest to lay their eggs. As they are working on both, I'm not sure which one they will use. They dive bomb us as we exit the barn, preferring we didn't enter their territory. They will set on the top rail of the fence outside the door, and really give us the what for.

Scion and David, the newest members of the farm, are doing well and settling in. They are very interested in the sheep and from what I've read and been told, they will do well mixed with the girls. I have a couple of ewes whose lambs need to be weaned and I'm going to introduce them to the boys. They are very mellow and will come to the fence for a small treat. Tom has been handling them and is doing very well. He really likes them and I think from their attitude that they are comfortable with him as well. The next project will be to shear them. Another learning curve :)

This weeks project is to get the gardens planted. The soil has warmed up nicely and been mellow for a week now. The soil remains weed free and I'm anxious to play in the dirt. I did get a chance to drive to the seed store and purchase what we needed. We are ready to plant!

This is our flowering crab that hubby and the boys gave me last year for Mother's Day. It is completely covered with beautiful little pink flowers. It has grown so much in the last year and I can imagine how big and beautiful it will be in years to come. I love gifts that keep on giving and being able to enjoy the blooms of this tree from my rocking chair each year is a special gift.

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful Mom's out there ~


Michelle said...

We've been fencing and playing in the dirt, too. What kind of sheep are the M&Ms again?

threecollie said...

Happy Mother's Day to you too. It is delightful to catch up on your goings on. All the delightful babies and beautiful adults. I love your new sheep and piggies.

Egghead said...

I loved the update and I hope you had a wonderful mothers day as well. Oh those little baby pigs. Adorable!!

Country Girl said...

Love all the wonderfulness of your youngsters here, from the piglets to the barn swallows to the young tree, Deb. Hope the weather continues to be beautiful. Love Maine!

Gayle said...

I can't believe how much you do and what a large spread you have. So many animals to care for! It's just beautiful. I really enjoy your photos.

ga.farmwoman said...

Hey Deb,
Everything and everybody is so beautiful on your farm. It does sound like you all are very busy.
Busy is good!

Have a great weekend.