Friday, March 09, 2007

Farm Photos 3/9/07: Double Trouble


Cats Aren't The Only Ones Who Are Curious



Nibbling On My Knee

These are Zelda's twins. They were born Sunday evening (taking me completely by surprise), and have been staying with Zelda at The Bonding Suite Inn. Zelda had been bunking in a special pen adjacent to the barn with eight other pregnant ewes who, because they are either very old or probably carrying twins--or both--are receiving special treatment and lots of extra food.

They are known as The Spoiled Rotten Gang. I am such a pushover when it comes to these girls. (Okay, you're right. I'm a total pushover in general.) When my mother was visiting a few weeks ago, she couldn't believe how quickly I gave into them. I went from "No, girls, I don't think you need any grain right now" to filling up a bucket in about seven seconds. It's those big, beautiful, pleading eyes boring straight into me. That and their incessant, starving-sounding baaing. (Is that a word, baaing?)

Anyway, Zelda gave birth in that pen, which meant the three of them needed to be transported to the Bonding Suite Inn, which is located in the barn. If we had been in the barnyard (or even out in a field) I would have picked up the twins and, holding them close to the ground (because moms know lambs can't fly), walked in a backward crouch while mom (hopefully) followed us. But this time I needed to get Zelda and her twins out of The Spoiled Rotten Gang pen without the rest of The Spoiled Rotten Gang making a break for it, and then into the barn without any sheep escaping--hence the halter.

Moving the twins was a cinch--I simply tucked one under each arm and carried them to their comfy new quarters. Zelda, however, had to be dragged, pushed, and cajoled the entire way (which felt like about half a mile even though it was probably only 50 or 60 feet).

Moving a single sheep is rarely an effortless task. They do not like to be forced anywhere, especially if they are wearing a halter that is attached to your wrist. Those docile, obedient, incredibly clean sheep you see being led around in show rings by very small children at county fairs? Those are not

I'm sure each shepherd has their own way of coaxing a haltered sheep somewhere. My technique utilizes a running monologue of sweet, encouraging words inbetween my struggling moans and groans.

"Come on now, Zelda. We're almost there. You're doing great. You are so pretty! And your twins are adorable! What a wonderful job you did! I'm so proud of you! Almost there! Almost there! Yes, I know you can do this! Come on, Zelda, PLEASE!"

I also try to see the bright side of the situation. "There's definitely. . . yank!. . . no need. . . pull!. . to go. . . tug!. . .TO THE GYM!" (Yes, I really said that while moving Zelda.)

Watching me move a sheep might actually be more entertaining than Barn Cam. Actually, after looking at these two photos and thinking about moving Zelda, I had an idea that I think might be better than Barn Cam. You know those tiny cameras people wear on their foreheads like a miner's light so you can see everything they see. . .

Of course I probably would have destroyed the camera this morning when I bonked my bean in the barn (damn those low ceilings). Unfortunately I excel at running into things with my head. Today's whack was so good it knocked me right to the ground. I skipped my chores and staggered back to the house where Joe quickly administered ice, aspirin, and some very nice chocolates. But it's a little unnerving when you're holding a bag of ice to your head and realize it actually feels good.

So I guess the camera idea isn't such a great one after all. I am, however, thinking seriously about keeping my hardhat down at the barn.

A year of Farm Photos ago:
3/9/06: I Think They're Born Addicted To Treats

© Copyright FarmgirlFare.com, the cute times two foodie farm blog where Farmgirl Susan shares recipes, stories, and photos from her crazy country life on 240 remote Missouri acres.

21 comments:

  1. They are soooooooooo cute!!

    Take care of your noggin'...ever wonder if YOU'RE the sheep's entertainment?

    So happy for you that the new lambs are still arriving..and thriving! All that spoiling's got its rewards :)

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  2. During my stint as a shepherdess, I found that the best sheep-moving method was to hold a cup of grain just out of reach, then edge forward, then repeat. Also, making them think that I didn't want them to go somewhere was a sure way of getting them interested in going there.
    But then, I didn't last very long as a shepherdess!

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  3. Greetings from Australian suburbia. I somewhat envy your choice of lifestyle, although my preference would be for my very own vineyard.

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  4. You can tell a story so well, I feel as though I'm there.
    Here's some ice, some aspirin, and that hardhat!

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  5. Susan, I love these sweet pictures! Your entries are a crack up. Thank you so much for sharing. Mary/So.CA

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  6. I am so lovin' those babies.

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  7. Great pics...I smile everytime I open your post. I am so like you with the head hitting....if you had the head cam on, your noggin' would have been saved, maybe.

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  8. Those lambs are so cute! My two little girls just love looking at the pics of the babies!

    You tell a wonderful story, I laughed out loud at the head hitting story.

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  9. I am loving all the pictures. At least Joe was around there to administer chocolate (the cure to everything).

    In case Joe's chocolate didn't do the trick I have some cookie dough in the fridge chilling before I bake it, but the dough itself is AMAZING. http://www.beaskitchen.com/blog/2007/03/04/down-below-with-herme-and-chocolate-hemisphere-sud-avec-herme-et-du-chocolat/

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  10. Your story and photos are so great (not the part about your head, of course). Best way we know to move mom and babies (lots harder with twins plus) is to hold baby close to the ground while walking backwards toward wherever you want to go. Mom will follow; as long as she does, keep moving! Stop and regroup if she decides to wander or eat grass or something. Just keep the baby where she can smell him/her. Best of luck on what looks like a great lambing season.

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  11. Linda Sue in North Texas3/10/2007 8:44 AM

    OUCH! Those head bonks are NOT good for you! If you attached the lamb cam to the SIDE of a light hardhat - both camera and Susan would be kept safer! Bless your noggin dear FG - and love those babies. That mysterious jumping disease crosses species for sure - our goat babies are seriously afflicted this warm spring morning!

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  12. Hi Susan, my name is Deb and I live in Key West via Ohio. I have been reading your blog for weeks now and am into it. I just started a blog myself and hope you will visit. I am putting your blog as a favorite on mine. Being from Ohio, I still have the itch to grow veggies. Key West is perfect weather, but space is LIMITED ! I do mostly container gardening and am limited on what I grow. Hot peppers and tomatoes with lots of herbs, since I am crazy about cooking, are what take up most of my space. Eventually I do hope to get back to a farm someday. In the meantime, I enjoy your site for major farming. Please visit my site at www.debskeywestwineandgarden.blogspot.com thanks ! I adore your sweet new babies !

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  13. Susan; Serious cuteness overload...they're adorable!

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  14. Damn they are cute Susan! So what's the lamb count so far? It was ~7 last I heard.

    Rene, I've been trying to get Susan to set up a shop where we can buy prints of her photos. Maybe by the time you move it'll be done and we can all have gorgeous pictures of life on the farm. (note to self: tell Susan which photos you want posters of)

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  15. Omigod, those twins! It's too much, Susan, they are unbearably cute. Don't tell them I've been making some lamb dishes lately. (No one we know.)

    When you have a moment to spare from lambing, any chicks/chicken news? Inquiring hens want to know.

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  16. I sure do miss seeing all the cute lambs in spring. When living in New Zealand we used to love going to a friend's farm during lambing season to see all the newborns.
    You might consider a hard hat *grin*

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  17. I think that working is really highly over rated in the spring when I would rather be here checking for the cuteness factor. I just think the black lambs are horribly cute. Who wouldn't? I am sorry about our noggan. That's a tough way to get chocolates isn't it? lol!

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  18. OMG those are sooooo cute! Do you do mail order lambs!?

    Hope your noggin's feeling better by now!

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  19. I so enjoy hearing about your lambs. I'm a sucker for all things furry and a farmgirl at heart. Thanks for sharing:)

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  20. Look at the face on the spotted one! Those ears! Those eyes! Any names yet!? What about the triplets?

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  21. Love your coaxing method!

    I think it's funny that, when trying to talk an animal into doing something, it just feels natural to talk to them about their more positive traits - as a human sees it. My mother has been struggling with potty training for her dachshund and, sure enough, finds herself standing in the yard explaining to the pup in soothing tones that she is beautiful and smart and therefore capable of using the potty outside. I resort to the same solution when trying to soothe my lop rabbits whenever trasporting them somewhere (their least favorite activity of all time.) They become convinced that I am trying to kill them and completely freak out... and my solution? I start telling them how pretty they are. Meanwhile they are looking at me like their mommy has suddenly become the anti-christ and they don't CARE if they are pretty.

    The twins are adorable, by the way!

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