Saturday, November 26, 2011

Drumming My Fingers....

Minnie is showing all the signs of imminent delivery, but she is taking her sweet time.  I am tempted to just go with my original estimate of Dec. 5, but what if I am wrong, and she is just as bad a mom as the first time?  That time, she'd left her first born ewe lamb in a corner and went off to have the ram lamb somewhere else.  She left that ewe lamb several times, even after I got her to accept her.  She was just careless with her lambs.  Her mom, Audrey, is a little better, so I am hoping Minnie will learn and become better.  If not, I will have to either cull her or sell her. 

Since we've had 3-5 inches every day for three straight weeks with only a little break this weekend, the stalls and pens were a mess.  My husband and I spent four hours working on them - but part of the length of time was due to the unfortunate and inconvenient stalling of the John Deere.  The connections to the battery seem a bit dicey and it was fiddly to have to jump it - probably, we need a new battery.  Our compost pile got a huge input of material - mud and muck, and the stalls are scraped clean waiting for straw when Minnie goes into active labor.  Since we used the pallets for the greenhouse tables, we'll need to figure out a new lamb jug arrangement. 

The good thing about the down time with the tractor was that I was able to apply a hoe to the garden - the rain means a huge crop of weeds.  I also found a new nesting place for the hens - they weren't laying there two days ago, so that dozen eggs was new - which means there are probably other nesting places I am not finding.  Those araucana hens are sneaky.  We've been letting them out later and later hoping they would lay in the coop, but they seem to hold it until they are out free-roaming.  Is that even possible? 

We've plans tonight that will keep us out late - hopefully Minnie will wait for us to gt home - but probably  not.  That's not the way these things work.  They seem to wait until the car drives off for the night or the day and then pop them out.  Good thing these Barbados/Katahdin cross sheep are fairly self-sufficient.  Minnie was a yearling mom and she delivered twins without incident - the delivery part, anyway.  The counting part was a different story.  She had a lot of milk, too, but she left it up to the lambs to remember where she was. 

While I am waiting, I will be drumming my fingers with a bit of impatience, and hoping she delivers this weekend or next, and not on a work day.  So far, I have been lucky that way....

1 comment:

Chicago Transplant said...

Hi NancyDe,

I trust you had a happy Thanksgiving.

I'm sending along best wishes for your ewe and lambs. I hope the sheep are holding up in your weather.