Sunday, June 08, 2008

brand new era

updated: more photos here

clover woke me up at 5am-ish to go out. normally, on a sunday, this can be very annoying. today, however, i was thrilled she got me up because when i looked out in the paddock i saw a little dark shadow hovering around louise:

i was so surprised. i had just given louise a bath yesterday and determined she was still a ways away. but she had other plans.

i have been enamored with mules since i was a child. i always thought i would eventually get myself a saddle mule. it was one of the things on my list for when i got my own little farm. and the day has arrived. three dog farm has its first mule on the ground!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

last one

i thought that lambing was over with the delivery of olive's ewe. i was wrong. back in december, christmas day actually, my ewe snazzy (olive's mom!), was very ill and to make a long story short, we were operating under the assumption she was not yet bred and removed her from the herd. she remained away from my ram until about april.

once lambing was over, i started shearing everyone. and once i sheared her i noticed her udder was mildly developed. then, as i watched over the next couple of weeks, her belly expanded. so, i prepared myself for another lambing!

she gave birth early in the morning on may 27 to this adorable, tiny lamb:

i suppose that even though she was on death's door on christmas, she was in the process of conceiving! this is the cutest little lamb i have ever seen. so petite and such a rich, dark brown. we have named her sukki, which i derived from of the icelandic word for chocolate.

Friday, May 02, 2008

other babies

i did an inspection of the young fruit trees to see how they made it through their first winter. out of the 20+ we planted in the back field, three didn't make it and there is a fourth i am suspicious of. i made a trip out to the farmer's co-op and picked out two dwarf sweet cherries as replacements so far, and got them in the ground. we will be making a trip back for some more apple trees soon, so we'll pick out the other replacements then.

while i was at it, i started replacing the nursery tags with the copper tags i bought last year. sometimes it is the small jobs that are the most neglected and procrastinated, so i am glad i at least got started on the labeling. i also need to make a tree map just in case someone loses their tag over the years.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

frigga (warning! lamb birthing pictures to follow)

olive had her lamb last weekend. i was worried about olive as she is such a small ewe. i had not intended to breed her this year, but it seemed she and pattur had other plans. i had separated them but there was a time in december where i came up in the morning to find the fence knocked over and everyone was together. i had to leave them that way for a day until we fixed the fence. and voila! about a month ago i realized olive was expecting.

so, she was under close watch as i waited for her lamb to come. i was thankful that it was early sunday morning; bright, sunny, warm and with the whole day ahead of us incase we needed the vet.

i knew she had started stage one of labor the day before. she was restless and laying down by herself a lot. but it wasn't until sunday morning that stage two was in full swing. she chose to lay down in the stall, so i just quietly closed her in there and watched and waited.

i was so relieved to find two front hooves and a little snout emerging

after a good deal of pushing, i realized the lamb was stuck! i had seen this level of 'stuck' before when i did the lambing week at the heifer project. i paged the vet and decided to try helping why i waited. i was able to carefully get the head 'unstuck'. but then the next few pushes were pretty futile. nothing was moving. i could tell this was a BIG lamb. so i decided to pull. at this point i think i have about every single lamb pulling technique and malpresentation problem memorized from this book, so i was fairly confident on what i wanted to do. i wanted to get one leg free so to angle the lambs shoulders making it as narrow as possible. thankfully it worked. as i pulled one leg forward and down, the lamb was instantly freed! with the next push there was a whole lot of lamb and olive took a break so i grabbed my camera:

then the next push and she was out. what a relief.

introducing frigga, a grey ewe lamb:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

fast grow the lambs*

my second year of lambing is turning out to be much more successful than my first. (a strong conclusion to draw from n=2, i know) i certainly learned a lot from last year's 'when everything goes wrong' experience. this year, i found myself much more prepared and much more confident. still, there was a good deal of nail biting and worrying. there still is. but, i am happy to report the twins are thriving....



it is amazing how fast they learn from watching mom. at two weeks old, bjorn has figured out how to drink from a bucket. they both try to eat hay whenever freyja eats--it is the sweetest thing to watch.

freyja never did warm up to letting them nurse. she mothers them, tolerates them, and seems totally interested in them BUT she just won't stand for them to nurse. ever. not for a second. it is a maddening problem! i have to hold her for them to eat. many times a day. hence the continued worrying. are they getting enough? do they get ANY nursing in when i am not there? ugh. so, on any given day, you will see me climbing into their pen for some hardcore nursing sessions. at midnight in my pajamas (below) or right before i leave for work in a skirt and cute shoes. why yes, that IS a tuft of wool on my shoulder...

it is such a relief to see this little butt sticking out and the tail wagging furiously...

it can only mean suckling is successful!

*this title is totally stolen from one of my favorite garden/farm blogs fast grow the weeds

Saturday, April 05, 2008


freyja had twin lambs this year. since last year's lambing didn't go so well (she rejected, and i eventually lost her bottle lamb to bloat) i kept a close eye. which means i slept two hours last night.

the delivery went well and the lambs were born feisty and ready for life. it was wet and cold last night, so after about an hour of not getting a chance to nurse i decided to intervene. i was able to tube a good amount of colostrum into each of them and then help them nurse by holding freyja still. she wants to be a mom this year, but she is a little too distracted and won't hold still for them to nurse. hopefully, as they get stronger over the next 24 hrs, they will get faster and steadier at nursing a moving target. for now, we will assist to make sure they are eating every couple of hours.

they are lovely lambs--a black/grey ram lamb and a moorit/grey ewe lamb. great fleece colors. even though they are solid black and moorit, you can tell they will be grey by their 'sugar lips'--the little patch of white on their mouths.

Friday, March 14, 2008

heavy on my thoughts...

shearing freyja
Originally uploaded by allyhunterfox.

can it already be time to plan for this?

this pic was of my first time shearing and oh how much i've learned. i want to go to shearing school this year to really learn the tricks to easy shearing because so far it has been far from easy.

the winter was particularly hard on three dog farm. too much snow. we were thankful that we bought the tractor when we did.

my blogging has suffered as my day job has taken over my life. but, we are in the final stretch and i will have my first year of teaching under my belt. i managed to learn a few things that i hope will make next year much smoother!

on a final note, i am in total awe and utterly inspired by the extraordinary blogging skills of perri over at maggie's farm (now in my sidebar) i check in daily and it is always a good read. go see my little olive's birth story there!