so things have been going a little… off on the home front in terms of our animals. there are moments where you feel so on top of the world and have super hero strength like when you successfully help two ewes lamb and one has twins! and then there are times you just put your head in your hands and ask yourself what the heck you think you’re doing here.
there has been a bit of both of that lately here on the farm. as many of you know we have had 3 new lambs join the flock (two soon to be heading off to my pal liz’s farm) but bebe and babs both had happy healthy strong lambs. we’ve just been waiting waiting waiting on betty. she never showed any signs of labor just stayed ginormous. finally the concern grew because it had been outside of the adequate breeding time and we called the vet. the vet came and did a full inspection, ultrasound and exam…no lamb. back in march we did see a lamb on the ultrasound for betty so there are a few sad options that could have happened. either she had the lamb too early and we never found it. which joe and i just scratch our heads because several times we walked the entire pasture looking for that very thing and found nothing. also betty never had any signs of giving birth. (there is usually some umm… residual hanging off the back end). there was nothing. which made us believe she was still pregnant.
the vet gave us another alternative to what happened that is totally disgusting and morbid and fairly uncommon and that is called fetal mummification. where the sheeps body over produces enzymes after the lamb has been developed and died in utero. this can potentially (and usually) affect the future fertility of the sheep. we really won’t know what will happen until this next breeding season. if she doesn’t lamb again then betty will be living a purely decorative life keeping the ewes to young to breed company. totally sucks because she was our best ewe. she has beautiful horns, the perfect coat for an icelandic. we were (don’t tell the other sheep) most looking forward to her lamb. fingers crossed that she will breed again just fine.
we actually have a new ram coming to the farm next week tuesday. we are going to have to keep him separated for a while and then this fall let him loose with the ladies to hopefully breed as good as stan did (RIP). we are going to have to separate booboo because she will be too young to breed this year. all of this has spared farley from the hand of the butcher. he is a fixed male so he has no interest in being the herd leader nor breeding with anything we have to offer him so he will make a nice companion sheep for the ram and boo boo.
our other critters the chicks have been progressing quite nicely. we had a small incident with hellcat. hellcat is a stray creepy cat that showed up one day and refuses to move on to the next farm. hellcat has no meow voice. it meows but nothing comes out. i might actually be ok with hellcat but he ate 8 chicks. that’s right folks. that a hole snuck in to the chick brooder and ate 8 of my 2 month old chicks. if anyone raises chicks you know what a pain in the butt it is. to get them to that point only to have them murdered in cold blood sucks. we sealed up the coop even more because now we have been seeing signs of raccoons. we are wondering that maybe raccoons are coming by because the ram is gone. we never had varmints around while stan was here. typically they are very protective of their barn and we have never had an issue with raccoons, weasels etc. so now i think i need ot learn how to use a gun but joe refuses to let me shoot things on the farm. i’m too “trigger” happy he says. but here is the thing if something is killing my animals… they deserve the capitol punishment they have coming to them.
so yea friends sometimes farm life isn’t as glamorous as it seems. just when you think you are about to burn the place down something amazing happens like you see the lamb twins taking turns jumping over the tall weeds in the pasture.0