Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Dose of Cute: Reading Lesson


See Spot.



See Spot Run.

Current Lamb Count: 19. Ewe lambs: 15. Ram lambs: 4. Total number of ewes who have given birth so far: 14. Sets of twins: 5. Number of first time mothers (who all did a fabulous job): 4. Number of previously 'proven' ewes who were bred but, much to our surprise, didn't seem to get pregnant this time around: 2 (though there's still a slim chance they might be). Number of pregnant ewes left: Except for the two just mentioned, we're done! (We cut way back this year, but don't worry, the lambing photos and reports aren't over yet.)

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the mostly literate foodie farm blog (not all of us read around here) where after cracking up over these captions for the last couple of days (I'm very easily amused), I'm now wondering how many people will actually get this dated reference. Did you have fun with Dick and Jane?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wednesday Dose of Cute: Standing Tall and Smiling Wide


That's Our Crazy Daisy

Hay feeding season is almost over! Have a look back here:
First You Have to Put Up the Hay
3/11/06:
Oh, Just Take A Seat Anywhere
3/14/06:
A Whole New Way to Start the Day
3/26/06:
I Told You They Have No Manners
3/2/08:
How Do Donkeys Order Lunch?
3/7/08: Waiting for Lunch (On Top of Breakfast)
3/26/08:Donkey Dietary Habits
4/18/08:
Cary is Too Hungry to Say Hi
5/7/08:
Daily Dose of Cute: All Day Hay Buffet
5/28/08:
Daily Dose of Cute: Back in the Hay Day
9/27/08:
Sheep Gone Wild!
1/23/09:
Feeding Frenzy
3/4/09: Food as Furniture

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the big dog foodie farm blog where there's nothing better than an animal loving food blogger, and you know we love to support animal shelters and rescue operations like Bernie Berlin's amazing A Place to Bark. Well, two of the very first food blogging friends we made back in 2005 (Joe is the cooking and baking fiend, Jeff is the grateful eater) are participating, along with their ridiculously cute spotted puppy, Gus, in the Humane Society's 35th annual Five Mile Walk on May 2nd, in memory of their beloved dog, Spike. If you decide to support Team Gus by donating a couple of dollars (all those little amounts add up big!), you'll be helping the Twin Cities Humane Society continue to care for nearly 40,000 animals in need each year. Thank you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday Farm Photo: Spring Still Life


Wildflowers in the Creekbed

Found art and farm beauty are everywhere:
8/28/05: Discard On Display
9/26/05: Well Seasoned
9/29/05: Heart Of Vine
11/27/05: More Found Art
12/15/05: The Weathered Look Is Very In Around Here
1/29/06: Bird Nests Are Definitely Works Of Art
3/30/06: More Old Stuff Just Hanging Around
8/9/06: Feather Wait
8/29/06: Seeing Things
9/16/06: The Farm Is My Canvas
9/29/06: Perfect Landing
11/19/06: Farmyard Still Life
1/6/07: Precious Farm Jewels
12/15/07: Still Life With Barbed Wire & Buck Brush
1/27/08: Fence As Farm Art
2/19/08: Eco Art or Washed Up Junk?
5/13/08: Mother Nature's Canvas
6/13/08: Cloudy Morning Sparkle
2/4/09: Still Snowed In but Slowly Defrosting

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the purple loving foodie farm blog where, as we struggle to get our tidy beds of vegetables to grow and our cultivated flowers to flourish, the tenacity of the wild plants that thrive and bloom around the farm without any help from us is a constant spring source of amazement.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday Second Dose of Cute: An Important Message from the BABS (Baby Alert Broadcast System)


Lamb #19 Is Safely on the Ground! (and less than an hour old here)

Current Lamb Count: 19. Number of ewe lambs: An unbelievable 15. Number of hours before I need to go back down to the barn: Not many. Number of hours ago I probably should have been asleep: At least 2.

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the baby booming foodie farm blog where your imagination isn't playing tricks on you—those really are little horns poking out of that Katahdin mama's head. They actually used to be a lot bigger, but she managed to somehow break both of them off within a few weeks of each other. The vet has told me that, just like fingernails on people, her horns will keep growing back, but after being broken off they won't necessarily grow back in the right direction—they may even curve around and grow into her head. It's too early to tell for sure, but from the looks of things, so far so good up!

Sunday Dose of Cute: Lamb Whisperer














It's Secret Twin Stuff

Current lamb count: 18, including one born about 2:00 this morning and one born about 3:00 yesterday morning. Baby chick count: Holding steady at 8, but with one broody hen remaining there's still a chance for more. Number of lamb and chick and flower and farm and dog and cat and donkey and whatever else photos (not to mention recipes) piling up: Lots!

Want a little look back at lambing season so far?
4/2/09: Baa Baa Baby Baa Baa! Lambing Season 2009 Has Begun!
4/3/09: Black Babes for Black Beauty
4/4/09: Spotted Beast?
4/6/09: Whispering Sweet Nothings?
4/7/09: Think Pink
4/9/09: Oh, You Big Baby
4/14/09: Too Cute for Words?
4/16/09: Smile for the Camera!
4/16/09: Amendment to Today's Earlier Lamb Count
4/20/09: Morning Traffic Report
4/21/09: Snack Time!
4/22/09: Oops

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the dark and late night foodie farm blog where last night as I stopped to open the front gate on the way home from laughing (and bidding!) non-stop for two hours at a benefit supper and auction for our new fire department and community center, I was surprised and thrilled to see that the fireflies are already out. I can't remember if they always arrive this early, or if it has something to do with this heat wave—but fireflies or not, there's something that just feels weird when it's 70 degrees outside at 4am in April.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday Farm Photos: Creek's Up!


I love it when our wet weather creek is running.




The Donkettes have a slightly different opinion.

Want to see more water?
3/18/06: Meandering By The House
3/26/06: The Bigger The Water Dish, The Happier The Dog
5/5/06: View from the Middle of the Creek after Six Inches of Rain
5/13/06: Morning Mist Rising off the Creek
5/13/06: Cat Fishing?
5/15/06: Sheep Crossing
1/15/07: Running Water, Rubber Boots, & Mud
1/19/07: Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Life Is But A Stream
2/25/08: A Rare Winter Sight—And Geese!
3/19/08: Flood Watch
4/7/08: Who's A-fraid of the Big Bad Creek? The Big Bad Creek?
4/8/08: A Fresh New Day Full of Morning Mist (and lots more hazy photos)
4/10/08: Surf's Up!
5/16/08: Splish Splash!
1/18/09: Crossing Over to Bigger and Better Things!

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the fast flowing foodie farm blog where we've just started reading a fascinating book called Training Mules and Donkeys : A Logical Approach to Longearsand have already learned several helpful facts, including that donkeys aren't stubborn—they're just 'being sensible in their desire for self-preservation.' And because the donkey 'does not posess the visual depth perception of humans, he [or she] is only being cautious when he [or she] refuses to step readily into water.' And here we'd been thinking all along it was because they simply didn't want to get their hooves wet—or were being stubborn. (And for those of you who really pay attention to detail and are wondering about it, that white line across the top photo is actually a rope we used to cross the creek several years ago when it was about 70 feet wide.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wednesday Dose of Cute: Oops


I'm Fine

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the slightly stuck foodie farm blog where we think being graceful is highly overrated—but being cute and brown (no matter what your predicament) is priceless.

Every Day is Earth Day—And I'm Eco-Chic (Who Knew?)


Part of My Old Glass Collection, Mostly Found Around the Farm

We do a lot of reusing and recyling here on the farm, both by force and by choice. Not having the urban convenience of toss-it-and-forget-about-it curbside garbage pick-up (which I wrote about here) really makes you look at the world—and your garbage—in a whole different light. We also do our best to reduce our consumption of everything from plastic bags to power, often saving not only precious natural resources in the process but precious pennies as well.

Going green isn't always easy, and sometimes it can feel like it isn't worth the extra effort—especially when everybody else around you seems to be taking the wasteful way out. But every little bit really can add up in a big way. Country Living magazine's Eco-Challenge has come up with 30 small and easy ways you can reduce your environmental impact in one month, without giving up modern conveniences. Here are a few of their inspiring examples, along with my two cents' worth and some staggering facts:

1. Return wire hangers to the dry cleaner. Because: More than 3.5 billion hangers (!) reach landfills each year, amounting to 200 million tons of steel that could be put to new use. My two cents: Also consider buying an Eco-Delightful Reusable Dry Cleaning and Laundry Bag—or better yet, try and skip the dry cleaner altogether!

2. Put cloth napkins on the table. Because: Eliminating disposable napkins would keep 500,000 tons of paper-based trash out of landfills each year. My two cents: I love cloth napkins and have been using them every day for years. Not only are they money-saving, resource-saving, and fun, but they also work ten times better than paper.

3. Leave a bar of soap by the sink. Because: Most liquid soap comes in nonrenewable plastic packaging. Substituting one bottle with a bar in each U.S. home would keep 2.5 million pounds of plastic out of landfills. My two cents: If you just can't give up liquid soap, buy it in a big recyclable plastic jug and then refill your smaller bottle.

4. Stow a reusable bag in your car for errands. Because: If every American stuck with cloth totes, we'd waste 380 billion fewer plastic bags this year. My two cents: Once I started keeping a bag of bags in the truck, 'bringing my own' quickly became a habit. Some stores even reward you with money back, chances to win prizes, or donations to charities when you bring your own bags.

Whole Living, the wonderful website of Martha Stewart's Body & Soul magazine, offers up its own list of 30 'Do Just One Thing' Earth Day ideas, along with 10 Money-Saving Home Eco-Tips and 10 Ways to Be More Green.

As for my being eco-chic? Green style guru Danny Seo, author of the Simply Green book series,shares 25 Eco-Chic On the Cheap Ideas for your home on Whole Living, and number one is a mixed glass centerpiece of weathered bottles and jars. My collection of jars, most of which I found in old trash piles around the farm, fits the bill perfectly.

Want more green inspiration?
How Do You Make Your Kitchen Garden Even Greener?: Readers and I share our eco-friendly ideas and tips over on my kitchen garden blog.
Back 40 Books: Hundreds of helpful books on self-sufficiency and sustainable living from a small Missouri company.
Environmental Working Group: Works to protect children and kids from toxic chemicals in our food, water, air, and everyday products.
FoodShed Planet: Blogger Pattie Baker nurtures sustainability, close to home and around the world.
Ideal Bite: Sassy, bite-sized ideas for light green living delivered via e-mail.
Kitchen Gardeners International: Globally promoting the 'localest' food of all (and largely responsible for making the dream of a White House organic vegetable garden a reality).
Local Harvest: Find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area.
Organic Consumers Association: Campaigns
for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy
Organic To Be: Neat group blog shares organic recipes from popular authors, garden and farm skills, plus news and opinions.
The Daily Green: The consumer's guide to the green revolution.
Union of Concerned Scientists: Nonprofit science advocacy group that works to ensure that all people have clean air and energy, as well as safe and sufficient food.

Do you know a great green website or have an easy eco-tip (chic or not)? Please tell us about them in the comments section.

Happy Earth Day to you!


© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the doing-our-best-to-be-green foodie farm blog where we've never cared much about fashion, yet often dress in designer labels for pennies on the dollar by shopping for previously owned (but ususally barely or never worn) clothing at places like The Scholar Shop in St. Louis, where all of its profits go toward local scholarships. It's a win-win situation for everyone—though Liz Claiborne and Anne Klein would probably be surprised by some of the things we do around the farm in their clothes.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Snack Time!


Boys on the Left, Girls on the Right

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the starving foodie farm blog where lambs love their milk, but I can't stop snacking on the scrumptious lemon coconut bread I made the the other day—and you might not be able to either once you've tried the easy recipe I hope to have up later this week.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Farm Photos: Morels!


Hello, Gorgeous

It may have been opening day of spring turkey season, but earlier this evening I went out stalking an entirely different sort of prey—and I didn't even have to dress head to toe in camo to do it.

Edible wild mushrooms in our part of Missouri are a gift, not a given. In order for them to pop up, we need that perfect and often elusive combination of wet ground, warm air, sunshine, and luck, along with a sprinkling of what can only be magic. A stormy weekend (that gave us two much appreciated inches of rain) followed by a beautiful and blustery day in the upper 60s had my morel mushroom senses on full alert.


Triplets?

Since there is already magic involved (with the foraging process, not the mushrooms themselves), I've found that a little superstition can be a big help. I usually catch my biggest game if I head out to hunt in our treasured morel spot when 1) I'm in a hurry and really should be doing something else, 2) have no French bread in the freezer and not enough time before dinner to bake some (to sop up all that scrumptious, buttery juice), and 3) am not armed with a plastic bag or—god forbid—a specially designated mushroom carrying basket. A basket can jinx everything. Wearing a second shirt that can double as a knapsack, however, is okay.


Score!

Today everything obviously worked like a charm. And thanks to all the mouthwatering serving suggestions you so generously offered up last year when I wrote about morels, I have plenty of ideas about how I want to savor this bounty. The only question now is whether to cook it up tonight or save it until tomorrow when there will be time to make bread.

Fortunately, I think there's enough to do both.

Previous posts about wild mushrooms:
9/18/06: Wild Mushroom or Miniature Alien Spaceship Crash Site?
5/26/08: Foraging and Finding Morels (Not Today)
9/11/08: A Very Local Dinner Starring Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms
11/13/08: A Wild Mushroom Feast for Your Eyes Only

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the wild for mushrooms foodie farm blog where, depending on the weather, these cherished morels may be the only score of the season or just the very beginning. Only time will tell. What we do know for sure is that the grass is growing, the peepers are peeping, the wet weather creek is flowing, and the wild turkeys are very nervous. Spring has definitely sprung!

Monday Dose of Cute: Morning Traffic Report


We Have a Five Lamb Pile Up in the Barnyard Hut, with One Mother on the Scene

Current Lamb Count: 15 (we're in a rest lull period). Number of lambs in the photo above who are twins: All 5 (one set is on the left, one set is in the back, and the black one's matching sister wasn't involved in the crash).

Need more cute for Monday?
The First Daily Doses of Cute
Daily Doses of Cute Part 2
Daily Doses of Cute Part 3
Daily Doses of Cute Part 4
Daily Doses of Cute Part 5
Daily Doses of Cute Part 6
Daily Doses of Cute Part 7

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the fender bender foodie farm blog where this is the time of year when our inexperienced pack of little wooly racers gets out of control, careening around and around the barynard at top speed until someone crashes right into a very surprised mothers' legs.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Dose of Cute: Brotherly Love


Patchy Cat and J2 in the Cat Cabin

Looked at too many lambies lately? Pore over pussycat pics instead:
J2
Patchy Cat
Sylvester
Topaz
Smudge
Sarah Kit Kat Kate
Mr. Midnight
New Cat
Molly Doodlebug (aka The Doodle Monster)

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the furriest, friendliest foodie farm blog where the cats don't get as much attention—or blog space—as they're used to this time of year, and I haven't been giving enough attention to the comments section (here and at In My Kitchen Garden). I hope to have a chance to answer more of your questions soon. Thanks for your patience—and your comments! And for those of you who haven't had enough looks at the lambs, don't worry, there are plenty more cute photos to come.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Saturday Dose of Cute: A Girl's Gotta Sleep Sometime


Catching Some Zs While Keeping Her Cool

Want a bigger dose of this big white dog?
1/27/09: Losing Lambs and Lottie (and Acquiring Daisy)
1/28/09: Snowed In! (scroll down to see Daisy)
2/5/09: Daisy Off Duty
2/9/09: When Sleeping and Eating Schedules Collide
3/19/09: Nap Time
3/23/09: Bear Hug

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the off duty foodie farm blog where our beloved Crazy Daisy gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'putting your feet up'—and although many of the photos I've already shared with you capture her in this position (probably because she looks so cute in it), rest assured that this 3-year-old Great Pyrenees livestock guardian is one round-the-clock hardworking girl.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Second Dose of Cute:
An Amendment to Today's Earlier Lamb Count


This Little Guy Needs to Be Added to the Tally











Lucky Cherry's Lucky Little Boy

Current Lamb Count: 15. Ram lambs: Just 4. Number of new mothers so far: 10. Sets of twins: 5. Number of still expectant mothers: Should have been 2, but is probably more like 8 or 9 (that story will be forthcoming).

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the suddenly spotted foodie farm blog where this time of year there's nothing better than strolling down to the barn in the early afternoon and finding a healthy newborn lamb soaking up the sunshine and already up and looking around for lunch—except doubling the fun with twins. And speaking of the barn, it's time to head back down there for one last check before bed.

Thursday Dose of Cute: Smile for the Camera!


Silly Wendy's Baby Girl, One Day Old (and the side of Silly's still big belly)

Want to see more Silly photos?
3/4/06: Is She Next?
9/7/07: A Wooly Look Back at Lambing Season (and why the wool's gone)
3/20/08: Oh Baby Baby! A Sight for Stressed Eyes
3/25/08: Silly's Twin Girl, Five Days Old
3/27/08: Silly's Twins, aka Future Organic Hay Eaters of America
3/30/08: Just Hangin' with Mom

Current lamb count: 14. Baby chick count: 8. (Pictures and an update hopefully coming soon!)

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the pink and white foodie farm blog where, as I've mentioned before, all you have to do to jumpstart a lagging lambing season is leave the farm for 12 somewhat worrisome hours. Sure enough, after finally arriving back home near midnight, a mad dash down to the barn thankfully found everybody hungry (especially my bottle lamb!) but fine, and 7 year old Silly Wendy (who received the second half of her name back in 2005 during the now infamous Name That Sheep Contest) happily bonding with her healthy and darling baby girl—the first lamb born in a week.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Too Cute for Words?


Apparently She Is, Because I Can't Seem to Come Up With a Caption

Current Lamb Count: 13. Baby Chick Count: 6. Number of massively purring black cats taking up my entire lap and then some while I'm sitting here trying to type: 1.

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the back in black foodie farm blog where there's a good chance BB's twin girls will remain jet black since BB is a true black sheep (though her wool used to bleach in the sun to brown and now tends to grow out as grey after being sheared) and her babies are half Katahdin, a breed of hair (as opposed to wool) sheep whose beautiful colors don't tend to fade. Yes! You know I love the black sheep best—except for Cary of course (who is doing just fine).

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Dose of Cute: Chick Days Are Here Again!


Peep!

Current Lamb Count: Still 13. Newly hatched baby chicks so far: 7. Number of chicks alive and peeping: 5. Number of mother hens: 2. More photos and an update soon.

Need to see more chick pics now?
2008 baby chick photos
Links to the 2007 baby chick chronicles: Whitey gets her wish!

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the fine feathered foodie farm blog where obviously the chickens don't think it's fair that the bouncing baby lambs get all the attention this time of year.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Farm Photo: Happy Easter!


Our One Clump of Tulips in the Front Yard Almost Always Blooms for Easter

Want a bigger bouquet?
4/16/06: Easter Greetings to You
4/16/06: Dogfoot Tiptoed Through the Tulips
4/16/06: Time Lapse Tulips
And you'll find lots more flower photos here and here and here.

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the rainy foodie farm blog where today's April showers should bring us even more cheerful flowers—well, except for the water that's falling through The Shack's old tin roof and kerplunking into the large dishpan beside me.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Saturday Dose of Cute: This Baby Rests Easy


She Knows the MomDefense and Snugglebunny Backup Are in Place

Current Lamb Count: 13. Number of "Oh my god these lambs are so cute!" moments: Too many to count.

Just joining us for lambing season? Catch up here:
4/2/09: Baa Baa Baby Baa Baa! Lambing Season 2009 Has Begun!
4/3/09: Black Babes for Black Beauty
4/4/09: Spotted Beast?
4/6/09: Whispering Sweet Nothings?
4/7/09: Think Pink
4/9/09: Oh, You Big Baby

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the itty bitty foodie farm blog where every lamb knows that the better you nap, the bigger you get—and the more energy you have to race around and around the barnyard with your friends, having fun and making your mother dizzy. (And for those of you wondering why there's a car axle sitting in the barnyard, it's a hog toy leftover from Joe's pig raising days—the enormous sows would push it around for fun, when they weren't playing with their bowling balls.)

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday Dose of Cute: Oh, You Big Baby


Serena and her baby girl, about three hours old on Tuesday afternoon.




And the Whole Picture

Current Lamb Count: 13, including a set of Katahdin twins born this morning. Number of stock dogs happy beyond belief that it's baby time again: 1.

Lucky Buddy Bear, who is an English/Australian Shepherd, cares for all his sheep, but he definitely loves lambs the best:
3/5/06: You Can Add Babysitting to Bear's Job Description
6/18/06: What Happens After a Rainstorm
8/17/06: The Destructive Duo (aka Cary and The Nanny Bear)
10/1/06: He Looks More Like a Bodyguard than a Nanny Bear
12/6/06: On Duty in the Kitchen Garden

3/15/07:
Gang Activity
3/27/07:
A Lot of Love on the Farm
4/22/07:
Dog Inspection (and how Bear and I tuck in the sheep at night)
9/30/07: It's a Stock Dog's Life

4/11/08:
A Tender Scene—and the Whole Picture
4/18/08: Cary and The Nanny Bear in the Greenhouse
4/22/08: Bear the Babysitter (Among Other Things)
5/20/08: Bear Loves Babies!
5/21/08: Better Than Kisses
6/10/08: Another Bear Inspection
10/29/08: Lookin' for Love

1/13/09: Stand by Your Lamb
4/2/09:
Lambing Season Has Begun! (and The Nanny Bear is ready to assist)

© FarmgirlFare.com, the spring loaded foodie farm blog where cuddling irresistible baby lambs can take a pretty good sized chunk out of a farmgirl's day—not that she minds in the slightest.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Tuesday Dose of Cute: Think Pink


Katahdin Twin Girl, Four Days Old

Current lamb count: 11. Ewe lambs: 9. (Just what is going on here?)

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the nearly all girl foodie farm blog where this snow white Katahdin hair sheep lamb (no shearing required!) is making the rest of our mostly Suffolk 'white' flock look a little dingy.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Monday Dose of Cute: Whispering Sweet Nothings?


Or Tattling on Her Twin Brother?

© Copyright 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the nippy little foodie farm blog (lows in the 20s tonight and surprise flurries today!) where the mama sheeps' heads always look extremely large this time of year.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Saturday Dose of Cute: Spotted Beast?


Or Cutie Beauty? Annette's Twin Girl, Four Days Old (First day outside today!)

Current Lamb Count: 10. Ewe lambs: 8 (!)

Need more cute than this? Try these:
The First Daily Doses of Cute
Daily Doses of Cute Part 2
Daily Doses of Cute Part 3
Daily Doses of Cute Part 4
Daily Doses of Cute Part 5
Daily Doses of Cute Part 6
Daily Doses of Cute Part 7

© Copyright FarmgirlFare.com, the nearly cute overloading foodie farm blog where it's so far past our bedtime we can't think of anything clever to say—or maybe we're just exhausted from spending too much time cuddling all those incredibly snuggable baby lambs.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Dose of Cute: Black Babes for Black Beauty


BB (aka Black Beauty) and Her Newborn Twin Girls Very Early this Morning

During the winter our sheep eat organic homegrown hay supplemented with natural grains—usually oats and alfalfa pellets tossed with some dried molasses (yes, that would be livestock candy), along with kelp, a calcium mineral mix, garlic and onion powder, and diatomaceous earth which is a natural wormer.

It's especially important for pregnant ewes to have grain during the last six weeks of their five month gestation period because as the growing babies inside them become bigger, the ewes' four stomachs become smaller, and it's physically impossible for them to ingest all the calories they need from hay alone.

We feed grain in the late afternoon or early evening because I once read that will promote daylight births. So far this year it isn't working. For the second night in a row, I went down to the barn at 2am to do a preg check and found a new set of twins, this time BB's. I didn't get back to sleep until around 5:30, but mother and those stylish black babies are doing just fine.

Current lamb count: 9. Number of ewe lambs: 7 (!)

© 2009 FarmgirlFare.com, the back in black foodie farm blog where we're always grateful when a ewe gives birth to twins all by herself without any problems, but we still can't help wondering why they don't have them at one in the afternoon instead of one in the morning.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Thursday Dose of Cute: Baa Baa Baby Baa Baa! Lambing Season 2009 Has Begun!


Annette (Cary's other mother) and her newborn twins


In keeping with the old saying, March on the farm came in like a lion and out like a two three lambs. Tuesday evening while Joe and I were maneuvering poor old (and heavy!) Sweet Pea—my beloved pet wether who is unable to get up and walk anymore—into the barn for the night, Annette had two lambs lickety split.



Chocolate Chip Biscotti's newborn girl

When we went down to make sure the three of them were resting comfortably in their bonding suite before going to bed a few hours later, a quick check of the rest of the prego flock revealed that
Chocolate Chip Biscotti had just given birth to a beautiful black girl out in the barnyard—with the cutest little pink nose.

She also has one inverted eyelid, which causes irritation and tearing, and I'm trying to fix it by simply pulling it into place several times a day, rather than resorting to a more complicated procedure. It's worked for me before, so I'm hopeful.

Wednesday morning Amy had twins, and last night sometime between the 10pm check and a 2am check, one of the two still unnamed Katahdin ewes we bought last year from our sheep shearer had twin girls way out in the barnyard.

At 3:30 this morning I finally crawled back into bed, reassured that the three of them were safe and sound in a bonding suite, and while only one of the lambs had nursed, both had drunk a little colostrum from a small syringe that I'd miraculously been able to milk out of not-real-friendly mama.

This morning both lambs were up and seemingly full of energy, but for some reason mama has decided that she only had one lamb, not two, and keeps knocking away the other one every time it gets near her and tries to nurse. Talk about a heartbreaking (and frustrating) sight.

If things don't improve soon, my plan is to see if I can trick the next new mother who has a single lamb into thinking she actually had twins by rubbing the birthing fluid from the newborn baby on the rejected lamb and hoping the mother will accept her—and the lamb (who has already imprinted on her birth mother) will also be amenable to the plan.

If that doesn't work, I'll bring the rejected baby up on a bottle—but unlike
Cary (who is doing great by the way), I don't think she'll be let into the living room!



Of course the Nanny Bear is always ready to assist.
Oh, baby baby. And so it begins!

Current lamb count: 7. Ewe lambs: 5. Ram lambs: 2. Hours of sleep one of us has had in the last two nights: There are certain things it's just better not to count this time of year.

Can't wait for more baby pictures?
Lambing Season 2006 Photos & Reports
Lambing Season 2007 Photos & Reports
Lambing Season 2008 Part 1
Lambing Season 2008 Part 2
More Sheep Stories & Photos
Farm Stories & Farm Life Tidbits

© FarmgirlFare.com, the bouncing baby foodie farm blog where this is the first year we bred—in an attempt to build up some parasite resistance—our mostly Suffolk ewes with a Kathadin hair sheep ram (you don't shear this breed's coarse, furry 'hair') and the resulting little hair balls, as I've fondly started calling them, are cute as can be but look so different than what we're used to! (Chocolate Chip Biscotti's black lamb above was bred with a Suffolk ram so she's 100% wool sheep.)