Sunday, January 2, 2011

Enjoying the lambs!

They have such distinct personalities.  The ram lamb has a little white feather shaped marking on his head.  He is slower and more intense in his nursing.  The ewe lamb has a white cap on her head, and she has been investigating every corner, first to every new thing, even though she was second to be born. I am playing with the names Hulu (feather) and Niele (curious).

Today, I sent the other sheep out to the pasture, and let mom and babies out of their lamb pen into the bigger area.  The lambs ran around and around like was a race track, before nursing and flopping down for a nap.  Thank goodness human babies can't run around like that when they are three days old - can you imagine?  I will have to see if I can insert a video into the blog.  It may have to wait until I have faster internet capabilities.  It's nice the lambs are often born in twos - someone built in to play with.  

We went down to buy greenhouse materials.  I had had the idea in the past to attach a green house frame to the house - we have a daylight basement, and I thought we could go from the deck above down to the ground next to the basement.  After looking into our possibilities, my husband decided that wouldn't be as bad an idea as he originally thought!  However, he wanted to use clear pvc roof panels, since they are sturdier and more attractive than poly film.  Also, the cat walks on the deck railing all the time - what if she decided to explore the greenhouse frame with her claws? I can just see her sliding down the curve, claws digging in and ripping it all the way down.  

We got the pvc arcs up yesterday.  It is raining today, but we're trying.  While my husband was painting the beam and the purlins, I cleaned animal pens, gave a horse a bath with anti-fungal shampoos since he seems to picking up the first stages of rain rot, wormed all the ewes (ram looks good after checking his eyelids), and cleaned one ewe's nostrils out.  She just seems to need more worming than the other sheep and more susceptible to nasal bots.  I am happy to say I was able to worm the three ewes all by myself - a first.  

My next big job is trimming the ram's feet - a job I am not looking forward to, both because it is a new job, and because he is quite large.  

I have one more week off from work, and I have a whole list of things to do, but if the rain keeps on like it has today, working with the garden will have to wait.  I have to do some heavy clearing of new garden beds and slipping around in the thick clay mud here is no fun.  I want to dig out the chicken run (again) and add new cinder, extend the old garden bed to double its size, and dig out the new bed, and add a foot of finished compost to each bed. And of course, I need to check which seeds I have in storage, and see what else I would like to buy. I am really planning a much more ambitious garden with the new greenhouse, and with the intention to sell the extra.  People have been asking, and it might be a way to allow my husband to not work all the way on Oahu.  I ran into my son's old teacher, and she seemed enthusiastic and said that other teachers at the kids' school would be very interested in buying eggs and I am going to try!  It will take awhile to build up my capacity and to build a customer base, but at least now there is hope and something to work for.  

 In the house, I need to clean windows and organize closets.  For work, I need to plan that new reading class and get the last few units of the trimester firmed up.  My students came in on Friday (New Years Eve no less!) to organize my room and do some painting, and we hope to finish on Thursday.  What nice kids - organizing my book collection and cleaning where the classroom cleaner just doesn't go (although she should) was a big job.  

I think I need more than one more week off!  


Grandpa said...

Didnt realise I've missed so many of your stories.

When my first kid was born it started to try to stand up and walk within hours. Before long it started to walk then jump about. It amazed me to see the wonder of nature at work

NancyDe said...

It is all pretty amazing - from the lambs walking and jumping around so quickly, to fresh eggs, to the efficient compost pile. Grandpa, I hope things are well with you today, as well as they can be.

Faith said...

Wow, Nancy, you've been buried under work. That's quite a list.

After growing up wrestling animals for hoof trimming, I was tickled to see a cow sandwich maker for hoof trimming. At least that's what I call it. Have you seen one? They press the cow in between two heavy duty walls, then the whole machine tips sideways, sandwiching the cow and holding it immobile, with the legs and hooves sticking out the side. Very cool. And I'm positive completely out of my price range any time in this life. LOL

I would have loved to do sheets instead of poly, but they are 30 apiece here. No can do. Post pics soon.


NancyDe said...

I got the cheap pvc sheets - they were $13 each, still a lot. Hopefully, they will last longer than the poly film, though. That is actually pretty expensive here - you need to get it from a greenhouse store.