Okay Seriously ... Mom needs help. Today she went into the local Farm supply store and ... Yes, Again she brought home two more ducks. I admit they are cute and I understand that she just wanted the little black one and no he can't not have a friend as ducks are flocking by nature. But Honestly? Do they all have to come home with her?
Our Bathroom is starting to look like a poultry house ... We have three tubs now. One for the Turkeys, one for the older ducks and one for the two newest ones. Before long if we can't get Mom under control we won't be able to get to the stool or the shower....
"Somedays it don't pay to get out of bed." Okay so that isn't really the case here but on the other hand some days feel that way. Yesterday was one of those days. First I was suppose to take Angel and Ice to get blood drawn for Coggins. You notice that I wrote "suppose to" right? Well, Angel wouldn't load in the other trailer. You know the one I had to borrow because the backed out of our trailer BEFORE the door was open??
Anyway, Ice ended up going along with Tom The Cat! Who at 2am started choking on something. Doc Checked him out and all is fine but he had to share the back seat in Mom's truck with 2 other cats that were headed to the spay and neuter van and 3 pups headed to a new shelter ... No none of that was planned, it just kind of worked out that way. Then I helped Mom work the check in for the Spay and Neuter Van before we came home and tried to take care of the cat and Angel. Notice again the word TRIED! LOL Okay so nothing went well yesterday ... Did I mention I had a county 4-H meeting to attend... Okay so I got through everything but I got through nothing like I thought we would or the way we had planned it ... Does that make any sense???
Fast Forward to Today ... Mom had to work all day and I spent the day taking a practice SAT Test. I so don't like this test. Can anyone please tell me why I have to take it and what is the difference between it and the ACT? And is the ACT any easier? Do I have to take Both? (Dear Lord I hope not)
Anyway, my problem is the time limit. The issue is they have a written Essay to start with. I know what you are thinking. I write here everyday so that should be the easy part. Well, it isn't ... There are things you don't know about the blog... First, I don't just sit down and zip these out. When I say I will be doing something at a certain time (like drawing a new winner) and I don't get it posted until later, it isn't because I am not working on it. Like drawing the winner to the HUGE give-away. Do you know how many times I edited that post?? Let me just say alot. I know no one said keeping a blog would be easy but I do spend more time rewriting it until I get it the best I can before it posts. Now if I have to write an essay and take the whole test in 3 and 1/2 hours I don't know that I can waste time redoing the essay and then I am scared it will suck. (Sorry to be so fresh with that word and I know I shouldn't use it but It is how I feel.)
You get the picture ... Moving on you get the picture! When Mom got home she discovered Charlie is an attack sheep ... Check this out ...
Anyone know what that sheep was thinking??? Mom couldn't stop laughing. Now moving on to what you all have really come for ... I have to be honest ... I feel so terrible that The first winner didn't contact me by the deadline. I didn't really think it would matter to me but somehow I feel I let her down. I can't explain it but rules are rules and they were layed out clearly (I hope) and so at 6pm Random.org gave me a different number and it was 23. That means that the person who left the 23rd comment in now the winner and has until 4-13-2013 by 6pm to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org That new winner is Ms. Katie O Spaghetti O ... I will tell you that I am excited for Katie but somehow feel the loss for our first winner. I didn't know I was going to feel that way. When I did the contest I simply thought oh well, it will be their loss... Now I am not sure I like the whole deadline thing. On the other hand I can't wait weeks on end for an address to ship things to either ... Is this one of those no win situations??? Anyway, Katie I hope you check the blog and take the time to email me the word yarn or roving along with your mailing address. That way when everything gets back from the mill yours can be mailed right along with the other shareholders....
Well, today could have been better ... First, I had another Dentist appointment. Another tooth had started to act up but they think they got to it this time before it got to the root ... Then, Angel messed up the trailer learning to load so we went and borrowed one for the vet visit tomorrow. I hope she will load in it a bit better. And last, one of my Roping Friends lost a friend needlessly. I didn't know the young man personally, but my Friend did. I know that alot of you exercise in the great outdoors and that is a good thing. However, how many of you do it with your earbuds in??? Or How many of you Drive with them in?? Either way this Blog is for you.
If you do anything with your earbuds in, Make sure you can still hear what is going on around you. While doing anything from Driving to Jogging you need to be able to hear the Traffic and other hazards around you. This young man that I speak of had his earbuds in and was jogging on the Railroad tracks and was hit by a train. I know what people say. That he had his music up to loud or there is no way you can't hear a train. Yes, there is ... Let me explain
Have you ever taken the same route all the time and you get so used to it you say I can drive it with my eyes closed? Well, when you jog, walk or run you normally take the same route and you get that used to the dogs, traffic and trains that you can actually NOT hear it. I know because I live just Feet from the Railroad Tracks. As a matter of fact my parents own the Right away that the Tracks run on. I have story after story of how Mom had to get used to the Trains coming through every 30 minutes and she lost alot of sleep over it while the rest of the family would go right off to sleep.
The Sad truth is that it is human nature to feel safe in what we know. We get used to things and take for granted that we will be safe in what we do routinely. The sad fact is that most car accidents happen with in 10 miles of home and you are more likely to get hurt in your own home then any other place you go. So what am I getting at? Well, I now have to sit back and try to comfort my friend and help him understand how his friend didn't hear a train. The truth is, all I have been able to do for him is listen as he asks things like "Really? How can you NOT hear that?" As a train goes by while we tied calves tonight. And that is really all I want each of you to do too.... I want all of you to take 5 minutes of your day and stop and really see and hear what is around you. It is 5 minutes that could save your life. And if you feel you can't do what ever the activity is that you need earbuds for ... Leave one bud out so that you can at least have a 50/50 chance of hearing more of what is going on around you. '
Now back to our regular program ... Thanks for listening ... I am still waiting on Terri Shea to get ahold of me ...
So, I know I missed posting yesterday but I have to tell you I have been kind of busy... First, We have a bit of an issue with the flock/herd. We have found that some how they have contracted what
is called sore mouth. Don't Panic but it is very contagious. Even Humans can get it. We called our Vet and he reminded us of a young lamb we got last year that we called him about named Petunia that got a few sores in her mouth right after we got her. Well, She is also the one that has it the worst right now. Deduction, because sore mouth can lay dormant and some sheep/goats can be carriers without showing any signs, and because her case was so mild the first time, we are sure it started with her. Our Vet also informed us that there really isn't anything we can do. Even with treatment this is a virus and it must runs it's course. The good thing is that once exposed most sheep and goats will build up an immunity to it. He also advised that we keep close watch on the lambs ... While there isn't any real issues with sore mouth that can cause death some lambs will refuse to eat because of the pain and a few have been know to starve themselves.
So with all that said ... Yesterday I checked and split everything into two herds/flocks. One for those with signs and the other is for those who are clean. The entire Man pen and all the Goats are clean at this time. My next step ... (even though I know what Doc said about letting it run it's course) ... I used all the knowledge I have learned from helping Mom at the shelter and disinfected all feeders and stalls according to SPCA Guidelines. I also moved all the feeders in a line and using cattle chalk, just like we marked the Trips and Quads, we will mark any lamb that doesn't eat. If it refused to eat a second time in a row, It will be bottle fed. (Just so you know the lambs with the sores in their mouths give the Mommas sores on their teats) When I finished all of that and got our plan of action in place, I headed off to a Rodeo. I didn't do to great and we got back late so I just did chores and went on to bed.
This morning I started my day the same way, cleaning. The only difference is that I also loaded out the last two big roping steers. That will leave me with 7 roping calves, B'day and Libby. I am being slow to put the farm plan into action but I am getting it done. After that I cleaned out the Calf shed. Since the calves are now out on the pasture Charlie will be spending his days in it while I am away if it is nice. He stays with me most days but if I have to be gone he will not be out with the flock anymore. You see, Charlie is clean from sore mouth but his Momma isn't ... So he won't be joining the flock until this passes. (putting him in the man pen without his Mom is not an option) After all of today's cleaning I was off to yet another Rodeo. I did really good roping today but to be honest I just flat got beat. There are always others that are better then you and today even with as well as I roped, it wasn't good enough ... Oh well, I will get them next time.
When I got home I found Mom had done the grocery shopping ... Mom dislikes grocery shopping very much. (Mom says that the bible says it isn't right to Hate so she doesn't allow me to use that word... Can you tell?) But even getting groceries in a small town has it's advantages. First Mom did ALL the grocery shopping from Toilet paper to frozen snack food, she got it all probably about 2 carts worth. Meals around here are meat, potatoes and a veggie most nights and lunch is stuff like spaghetti, tator tot casserole, Sandwiches on hot days, Pizza ... That kind of stuff. Definition of Frozen snack food ... TV dinners, family sized banquet entrees, pizza rolls, frozen waffles, Garlic Toast, Chicken cordon Bleu, Hot pockets, Frozen Burritos ... Anything Microwavable that my friends and I can pop in and carry off ... As a 15 year old growing boy with a couple of friends the same age, I find that to fill us up is like trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a teaspoon ... Virtually impossible .... So what does ALL the groceries look like? Here ya go ... Check it out ....
In our house a can of sliced peaches is a snack and I love to eat green beans or corn right out of the can on a hot summer day.... Who said canned veggies were for meals anyway ... Not around here... Three flats should do for a bit.... not to mention the spaghetti o's and meatballs for a quick inhale ... LOL
Anyway back to my story. In a small town everyone pretty much knows everyone. That goes for the checkers at the grocery store and today when they were checking my mom out they kind of mixed in three, out of date by one day, cakes... First off let me say no one did anything wrong ... We know the store manager as well and it is common practice to give the out of date backery goods to employees. Since the two checkers went to school with my Sister they are friends of the family. Besides that after one of the checkers got done Helping Mom, he told her he knew where he would be coming for lunch for the next few days ... And since the two checkers are brothers ... .Well the other won't be far behind I am sure. LOL... I love that about small town USA. I love that everyone is so close that none of it matters ... not even the Groceries. Mom says (I know you hate sentences that start like that but I can't help it) Her door is never closed to anyone. And her table is full for all! Strangers and Friends alike. Anyway, You have to see these cakes.... On is thin mint ... Oh My Mom is in love with it.... The other is a lemon and the third is a lemon lime creme cake....
So if you could have a free cake .... What kind or kinds would it be? Oh wait a minute ... Isn't there another Question I should be asking? Like if you could have a free share would it be Roving or Yarn? I guess I should be asking that very Question to our one lucky winner!!!! So Terri Shea you need to email me your contact information and the word Roving or Yarn to email@example.com before 7pm Central time on April 10th
So Last night after I went to bed Jethro and Hank started going nuts. They were barking and carrying on. So I went to see what was happening. I found a Racoon in our yard. Mom called off the dogs while I went for the Gun. I know, I know, why not give the fellow a chance and leave him be? First, Coons eat chickens and ducks and will not stop killing them until they are all gone. Second Rabies. I know that most people will never have a rabies scare or even encounter any animal that were ever exposed to Rabies but on the farm we are exposed.
Oh don't get me wrong everything we have that can be vaccinated is vaccinated for it. From the cats and dogs to the horses. So why do we worry about it? Well, they say even with the vaccination animals can still get rabies but if it cuts their chances hey, we are all for that. Also look at Mom and the line of work she is in. Last nights coon was just the beginning.
You see, today I ended up hanging out with Mom at work most of the day ... Who by the way had a bad day. You see there was this cat and it bit someone. So the cat, who appeared sick but okay, was quarentined. Last night some time after Mom left the shelter it passed away. That means it now has to be tested and if it comes back positive the person it bit will have to take shots too. Mom is upset as she takes everything personal. (The lose of life is the one thing she takes the most personal) Anyway, what I am getting at is that my day was ruled by Rabies so if you have a pet get it vaccinated and don't mess around with animals you don't know ... By the way my horses go for boosters next Tuesday ... Not taking any chances here.
Finally when we got home I got the last of the shetland lambs out of the barn for their first day in the sun. (Up until now it has been raining) I did get a couple of shots with Mom's phone because the old camera we use is just that Old and it is starting to act up ... We have had it for about 7 yrs now and it has just passed it's prime I guess. So Mom has decided that a new camera is in order. She says to ask all of you for suggestions on a camera Priced no more then $200.00 but it not only has to have good quality but it has to be able to take action shot to get the lambs jumping about and me on my horse roping. And I say it can't be one of those, slow, hold that pose forever before Mom gets the shot cameras, either...
So in closing enjoy these not so great phone camera shots of the Shetlands first day out. The first shot is the only shot the camera worked for ... to bad you really can't see the babies.
And you want to know something weird? Both Poppy and Pipper gave birth to one brown Colored baby and one jet black shiny baby.
And here I am trying to get you a shot of all 4 cousins ...
With Lambing season over and it quieting down around here a bit I have had time to think. And with all the rain there isn't much that I can be doing outside so really there isn't much else I can do ... Anyway, I know I have pondered this before but I am going to have to make some decisions and stick to them. I know that I can't keep all the lambs that were born this year on the farm. Not only can we not afford to feed them all but we don't have enough land to support them or enough shelter to keep them safe and dry in the Oklahoma storms. We do have more land then I use for the fiber farm but that belongs to my parents. (actually what I use belongs to them too but I don't want to take over everything they own) Besides the land they use is for Hay crops and guess who's flock that hay crop feeds ... Okay I guess I have kind of taken over the entire farm but I didn't mean to ... LOL
Moving on ... With the hay pasture still in place and not enough free land to go around (Yeah, I know there isn't any free land I was just dreaming that part) I have decided on a few things. First the only bred cow I will be keeping is B-Day! I have had her since she was days old and I can rider her. No, those photos you see aren't photo shopped. She really is a rideable cow. (Is rideable really spelled like that?) I will also be cutting down the number of roping calves I keep each year. I have two larger roping steers that will be going to a new home sometime Next week. They keep jumping the fence and are costing me in fencing supplies more then they are worth. So It just makes sense to sell them and then go practice team roping at my Uncle's house. So that will cut me down to one cow and 6 roping calves. Smaller calves will help us produce more hay as they will eat less grass from the hay pasture and we can sell any extra hay we have and bring in a small paycheck to help pay for feed for the sheep and cattle through the winter.
The cattle plans are set and that is what we are going to do. Not only that but If I keep any more cattle then that and I make a profit from buying and selling them the Government says that it is no longer a hobby and I will have to pay farm taxes. Without owning land, being able to file head of house hold or claim any dependents I would have to pay really high rates and since I am only 15 and there are laws that prevent me from having to many hours of work to bring in the money needed to pay those high taxes I am kind of creating a bill that my parents would end up paying. (And we all wonder why the Government is in such a mess?? LOL)
So I will own one cow and 6 roping calves. As for the Alpaca ... I will be leaving it as a total of 5. Charlie, our Geld, will stay and so will Juneau as he is our stud. Hope and Wendy will both stay as our breeding females. I am unsure right now as to what I will do with Jorden. He is registered and from great blood lines but again I can't keep them all so right now I am thinking of selling him. As for the Goats ... I am having no luck breeding them. It has been two years with not one baby on the ground. I thought that if I got some babies this year everything would be fine and I would keep growing that flock too. The truth is that if that flock doesn't grow through breeding I will not be purchasing anymore. For one reason there are no breeders within reasonable distance from us to purchase from and the second is that it will mess up the tax plan Mom and Dad had set up for the farm this year. (Yes, there is that nasty tax thing again. LOL)
That leaves the sheep ... Oh my lovely sheep. First, there is Carrie, Fudgie and Turtle. I plan to keep them and harvest their fleece each year but I have no plan to breed them at this point in the game. For the Cotswold, We have four that will be bred to Chief each year and One cross that will be bred to a different ram in a few years. I will also be keeping my 4 original shetland ewes to breed to Elliot and I will be keeping all this years girls to breed in a few years to a different ram. My goal is to have a total of 10 Shetland Ewes and 10 Cotswold or Cotswold crosses ewes and a Ram for each flock. Mom has convinced me that my nitch might be in the soft fleece we are learning to breed by cross breeding. I have googled and googled and can't find any one else that is breeding this cross breed and with Charlie running around here none of us can keep our hands off his fleece. It really is that soft but we will see when we get the products back from the mill what we really think.
With that said only one of the crossbred lambs was a ewe. So I have been trying to work out a deal to make sure that the Quads and Triplets Have a good life on a fiber farm after they leave here but that has fallen through and now I am thinking Mom is right when she says we will have to sell the boys as show lambs. I also know that my new plan means that Pickles and Pascal will also be moving on. No it isn't fair but it is the best working plan I can come up with ... So what do you think?
So Yesterday was suppose to be a great day and as most of you read it turned on me in a heart beat as farm life often does. My Mom however has this knack for turning things around. You see, after her and I both cried a bit, Mom simply looked at me and said bring me a baby. So I went out and got the only baby that we had that had showed any signs of being sick and I brought it in. It is Charlie Brown. He had been rattling off and on for a few days now so I figured the drier air in the house would help him. (remember we use wood to heat the house with and it dries everything out) By the time I got back to the house with the little guy Mom had whipped up a batch of these ...
Then she dressed Charlie Brown like this, put him in the indoor pen and looked at me and said one thing ...
"Babysit him" ... Later she found us like this...
It is funny how Mom knows when I need to feel needed and by whom. And as you can see she knows just how to make me feel needed and loved when I need it ...
So to make things look brighter let us focus on the good from yesterday ... don't forget to enter into our HUGE Give away ... First Drawing will be the 7th!!
I know I already posted today but there is some bad news that I need to let everyone in on. Little Rerun was wobbly at his feeding so I called a fellow shepherd and doctored him once more. I left him for one hour to get some other things done around the house Mom wanted done and when I went to check him Mom said if he wasn't any better we were going to move him into the house. Well, When I got to the barn he had already passed. I don't understand it but I do know that he had been sick since he was born and his Mom was sick just before she was bred. (If you remember we put her in with Elliot because he was young and we didn't think he could breed with her. The plan had been to NOT breed her but it didn't work out that way.)
Anyway, Mom and I both shed our tears for the little one and Pray that all the others will be just fine.
Well, I have no Idea where to start ... I really don't think anyone has noticed ... Why is no one half as excited as I am??? Oh, maybe that is because you have no idea what I am talking about...
I guess I will have to back up and start about a month ago. Does everyone know that March 3rd was the day I won my Angora Goats that started it all?? If you remember I didn't find out until the 4th because I was sick. Last year I gave away some yarn to celebrate my 1st Anniversary. This year Mom celebrated all by herself by birthing out two Ewes in one day ... We marked that day with a full circle of life here on the farm. Sage gave up her fight for life just feet away from where Momma gave birth to Pickles. Then later that day, while I was away at a Rodeo Mom birthed out Commanche, took a coffee break and then birthed Quapaw and Chicksaw. I think we marked our 2nd anniversary very well and doubt I can ever really top it. But I can try ... How you ask??
Well, If you remember 2 years back I went to pick you my goats and I met Susan Gibbs. I traveled the beginning of April. So since we had our hands full this year on the exact date of our anniversary we have decided to have all of you help us celebrate this year on the dates we actually met the Goats instead of the actual day I won them. So get ready to Enter the Biggest give away we have ever done ...
I have to tell you I am so tempted to just post that and Keep everyone hanging until later today ... Maybe I will ... Okay that would be mean. So you want to know what we are giving away?? Oh, I don't know ... Maybe a share ??? Sure why not ... Since we have a couple of Shares left and we have the shearer coming in less then a month, Well, You got it ... There will be one Share of either Roving or yarn given away (it will be winners choice) Detail??? You want Details your say??
Okay, So how do you enter? Well, you have until April 7th 2013 at 6pm to enter a comment here telling me how long you have been following me, how you found out about me and why you still follow .... The winner will be drawn by random from all the comments and required to email me your contact information. If no winner has been found by April 10th at 6pm we will draw again and it will keep going that way until We get a winner. So if you enter make sure you check back so you don't lose your prize... Ready ... Set ... GO!
So today I did nothing ... April Fools?? Nope we really did nothing. We ate left overs and watched part of Season 1 of Walker Texas Ranger that I got from The Easter Bunny. I have to admit with only having the bottle feedings at the barn and no runs to check the sheep it got very boring around here pretty fast. It is like all of the sudden there is nothing to do ... So I thought since I heard some couldn't watch the video I decided to post a few pictures of the new babies ... Pace and Pascal.
Also we will be having a big give away announcement tomorrow. It is our biggest give away ever so make sure you check back ... And that is no April Fools Joke!!