Tuesday, May 22, 2007

product endorsement

these are absolutely the best rubber boots ever made. i had to blog about them. we just survived an entire week of cold, hard rain up here in mass and these boots were and still are (mud!) being put to the test. they are better than the oh so trendy wellies in that they actually have a lug sole, arch support, etc. they aren't some thin sheet of rubber between you and the ground. and, bonus--they are so tough looking in a cute way. i know what you are asking though, what about the tongue? nope, totally waterproof. it is like an accordian tongue that is all one piece and tucks behind the laces. the only downfall, they are PRICEY (129US$). but, a sound investment as i don't think they will ever wear out. these are quality, swedish made boots y'all. check them out--make: tretorn model: ballena

Thursday, May 17, 2007

more fruit trees

my second order of trees arrived and this time i had help with the planting! i will say that i was more impressed with stark brothers than miller's nursery. both orders were excellent, but if i had to choose i'd say that stark brothers ship a more substantial tree.

here is what the trees look like when they come (these from miller's)

here is mikaj trying to dig yet another rock from the ground (we had to give up on this one--it was a boulder)

here is a newly planted and mulched apple tree

Saturday, May 05, 2007


at five days old, star has suddenly come to life. he is so fun to watch--running sideways and bucking.

i've got the feedings spaced to every 4 hours and i'll be stretching it to 5 by monday. i give the goats their hay right up against his cage, so he has been nibbling at it out of curiosity. i will begin introducing some alfalfa and grains this coming week.

still tons of planting going on as things arrive in the mail...the first 24 fruit trees are in the ground, strawaberries and raspberries are in the ground, and tomorrow go the grapes and blueberries. more fruit trees are on the way because we had room for another row and stark bros had a sale flier that i couldn't resist.
i'll end with a shot of the girls looking for their treats.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

3 days old

so far so good. he is very strong and feisty at feeding time. he seems very content to hang out with the goats as long as i show up with the bottle on time. we are working up to feeding every four hours at the moment, so i might get a little more sleep tonight.

today i had him out and about in the barnyard to get some exercise. gina thinks she could give motherhood a try. she is very sweet to him. he is curious about everything, but mostly he sticks right next to my legs as if i were his mama. his legs are looking a lot better and he has no problem bouncing around on them.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

a star is born

guess what?

i am now the proud 'mother' of an orphan lamb.

welcome the newest addition to three dog farm!

what a unfortunate first lambing. poor freyja had a dystocia (difficult labor). the lamb had elbow lock, and therefore was stuck in the birth canal a little too long. all of freyja's efforts and hard pushing were not getting her anywhere. i knew that once labor had progressed to the stage where the nose and front hooves were presented, that she should be thrusting that baby out pretty quickly. i did an internal exam, and literally could feel that it was stuck. she had some strong contractions while i was examining her and the lamb didn't budge even when i assisted her a little. Time to call the vet!!! my vet was there in a flash and in minutes she diagnosed that the elbows were locked. so, i held freyja's head while she pushed the lamb back in, pulled the legs out straight, and then pulled the lamb free. It was such a sad few moments--he was totally lifeless with a blue tongue. but, amazingly, he came to life after some good shaking, swinging, and vigorous rubbing. this was an enormously traumatic event for freyja, and because of it she totally rejected the lamb.

here she is wondering what that black blob is.

we tried for a couple of hours to get freyja to bond with him. he was a very weak lamb, beyond the normal amount of wobbly, and all freyja wanted to to was butt him around the stall. he had no suckle reflex and was beginning to get hypothermia. we were able to get some great colostrum from freyja and so the vet tube fed him and i wisked him into the house for some blow drying. i was able to tube more colostrum in his stomach as the night when on, and then finally at 1:45 am (after much much much persistance and patience!) he began to suckle from a bottle. hooray! a big sigh of relief from me and i finally felt as though he would make it. i stayed up the whole night, feeding him every two hours. i have to give a HUGE shout out to fox, who got up everytime i woke him to trudge to the sheep shack and help me milk freyja. it was definitely a team effort.

his legs are a little funky, to say the least. i'm wondering about a possible genetic/development thing--strange leg conformation/ elbow lock might not be a coincidence. regardless, i do know horses are born often with very loose tendons for a variety of reasons. once they are up and about for a few days, the tendons seem to tighten up and the leg conformation resumes something resembling normal. sometimes splints are necessary to help the situation. this little guy had a really bad right hind fetlock joint so i made him a cardboard/vet wrap splint and he began keeping the hoof on the ground as opposed to walking on his turned under fetlock joint. i'm sure he won't be winning any prizes for conformation, but we will love him just the same.

now, for the fun stuff...i think he is grey! he is black, but there is white in his ears, muzzle, and his undercoat is white/grey. as he is intended as a wool animal (he will be wethered--no breeding for wobbly legs!), grey would be amazing! i have some grey lopi, and it is just the most fantastic stuff. such a unique, natural color for wool. black is great too, since i have white and brown fleeces already.

and last but not least, his name is 'staralfur' which means 'starry elf' in icelandic. it is also the title of an incredible song by sigur ros which you can here a sample of here. we can call him star for short.

here he is today, enjoying the warm sun from the safety of his crate. i have moved him outside to the goat stall, lest he grow up thinking he is human. he has a full view of the goats so he will begin to get the idea of eating hay and drinking water eventually. his is looking strong and eating very well so let's hope he is with us for the duration!