Pictured: Shane’s birthday fire down in our little recreation area in the woods
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This past week was pretty quiet on the sheep front. Only 2.5 weeks away from lambing season! We increased the mama ewes alfalfa this morning to 3 sheep per flake along with their bale of grass hay they get each day too. We have a molasses mineral tub out in the overhang that they love as well. We get them to help prevent the pregnancy toxemia, which is when their glucose levels are commanded by the fetuses they carry, depleting their ability to keep condition and making them go downhill. If not caught early it is nearly always fatal. Often it’s sheep who are a bit thin going into late gestation or who are fairly obese going into late gestation. I’ve seen it happen in great condition sheep too though not as often. Changes in feed, stress, temperature changes, etc can all play a part.
Our oldest ewe is struggling a bit with her pregnancy so is locked in the Medical Pen getting treated for early stages of Pregnancy Toxemia. She’s very alert and is eating so I’m hopeful she will come through okay. She had trouble over the summer when she had such a large ram lamb that it needed to be pulled, which took a lot out of her. He ended up dying as 100+ degree temps came along and he just wasn’t able to handle the temp swings. The ewe was fattened up a bit and bred, though she seems to be struggling to keep condition. We’re monitoring her and fingers are crossed we at the least get some live lambs out of her. I don’t normally keep ewes beyond 7 years of age when they become harder keepers, but we have no daughters from her so are hoping for the best!
Chicken & Garden News
We seemed to hit the luck by changing the layout of Dorothy the Chicken Coop! We dropped down to 6-8 eggs a day and are back up to 11-12 again! Primarily medium size eggs still, but plenty of extra large coming on as well. We lost one Swedish Flower Hen the other day as I think she may not have made it into the coop at night and the freezing temps did her in. We put her down the next morning. Was sad to see her go.
The chickens have been in the area slated to be the summer garden area next Spring. They are scratching around, digging it up and doing a good job keeping the grass gone. I’m hoping we can get cardboard and manure compost out there to make better soil for the spring too. I have it in my head to go out and put in fence posts to delineate the garden area better too. I’m chomping at the bit every time we get a day without rain but it always seems like something else is happening!
Also in “garden” news, I have all the porch potted plants either up against the house or bundled all together on the patio. I really need to get out there and prune, but maybe after Christmas haha.
Woods Walk & Shane’s Birthday!
Today is Shane’s birthday so this past week he and a friend of his worked hard in the recreation area to burn brush and clean it up. We still need to get rid of stumps but the fruit-trees-gone-wild down there are in the wide open and will be able to be pruned for better fruit. Mostly just apple trees of unknown parentage, but the wildlife like them! In a pinch we could probably make applesauce or apple juice out of them if we had to though! Not great fresh eating….found out the hard way last summer haha.
Wise Woman Musings
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Next blog post will be for the Last Quarter Moon, Friday, December 16th.
See you then!