The farm house

The farm house

Thursday, April 25, 2013

And That's All Folks!

Last night Clarice gave birth to twins. Hurray! I was becoming worried as she was so big but she has lots of fleece. I witnessed the birth of Fiona. By then I had spent enough time in the barn and went inside for supper. I returned to the barn to find a ram lamb had been born and quite large to boot. Then I turned my attention back to Fiona. She is so tiny!! Well, she's up and eating so here's hoping for the best. The other 2 lambs from 6 days earlier look huge compared to the new lambs. Goes to show you how much growth happens in a few days.
Fingal(ram) is on the left by the water bucket and Fiona is to the right.
Upon further discovery this morning, Fiona is a dark brown!! Genetics are such a complex thing. I never expected this coloring from Clarice. So I looked into her background-this is where having a registered purebred stock is important as the information is there. It turns out that Clarice's sire is the culprit providing the Holstein cow look.
Clarice and babies this chilly am...
Thus, lambing season has concluded at Karberry farm. I am delighted to have 2 sets of twins!! And being able to see a twin from each birth being born. Bittersewwt after losing my favorite horse and a 3rd chick hatch with mediocre results. At least the bird auction in South Mountain is this Saturday. I will try to get some chicks and hopefully not frozen like last years!!

Off to clean the room for the prodigal son. He is moving back in this weekend. So far, the worst thing is having lost a closet for my winter clothes..... kids!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Strange Noise Came From The Barn Last Night...

Last night I fell asleep before putting the dog out for the night. Sadly it's one of those skills that only I have in this household and totally irrelevant on my resume. So dog paws at the bed and nudges my arm. It's 1:30 am.
I make my way out to tie her up and make my way back to the couch where I lay down.. just for a few minutes. My short nap is interrupted by my dog's barking. Fine, better bring her in before she wakes anyone up. As I attach the leash to her collar, I hear a sound. A sound very much like a cow would make. Not surprising as there are dairy farms everywhere here. But wait! That sound is coming from the barn and I don't have cows. Oh my! Could it be a ewe in labour??

I put the dog in the house; look around for a flashlight. Of course none of them work. I grab a tealight hurricane lamp, light the candle and off to the barn I go, just like in the olden days. I hear the snicker of a lamb! I get to the light, turn it on and the ewe is washing off the lamb. She lets out another cow sound and I can see she's somewhat uncomfortable. She turns and I see a sack coming out of her backside. Oh, my another baby to be born!! I see the ewe push and the lamb's head emerges from her body and then flops onto the straw. The ewe stops licking the first lamb and then works at removing the sack from lamb #2. This ewe did not look pregnant. Every day I ask the other one if she's ready to drop her baby?
First born, Elsie, on the right-all black. Esme on the left, not sure what this color is yet!!

Esme is a very curious lamb. She likes to wander and Elsie sticks close to her Mom as seen here.
This was most certainly a special event as Shetlands just seem to pop these suckers out while you're not looking! So, after the excitement,I returned to the house satisfied that "B' is doing a great job with her new babies to find husband ill. He kept me up. So, I did the dishes, cleaned, did morning chores, finished cleaning the small coop for the chicks to go into as the incubator is about to erupt with the next hatch.(there's an egg rolling in there now!!) Cleaned the back of barn where the horses think it's the W.C., swept the barn floor, called the bank and a few companies ref the extra $250 they took out my account causing the payment to be returned and consequently not having enough funds for other payments....I hate banks, insurance companies and revenue Canada and Hydro one. I am ready to go back to pioneer days right now.

I am now exhausted and looking forward to arrival of more lambs. But I won't stay up to watch.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Good bye Miss Moon...

The sun is poking through the clouds; a gentle breeze is blowing. The birds are singing their Spring songs. There is nothing different to indicate that I've just lost a good friend. The tears keep welling up and my rovong eye looks to find a glimpse of grey out in the field. It is an exercise in futility looking out there and the crying too for that matter. She was picked up this morning. I am left with memories and an undescribable ache. I know it's selfish but it's how I feel and may feel for some time.

I am very grateful for having had Moon in my life. I could not have asked for a better companion.
Rest In Peace old friend...

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April At Last!

Dear Followers,

I apologize for not keeping you up to date with the last most exciting part of chick watch! A photo was posted on Facebook of a chick... but that's where it ended. My Mother's health took me for a loop and then I also was ill and still not feeling great. Mom is much better but there is a lesson to be learned. If you suspect something is wrong with your health, be persistent until they figure out what's wrong.Her physician ignored a complaint she'd made awhile back. She demanded a referral. Physician refused. A new doctor came about, sent her for tests. While waiting, she called an ambulance and was admitted to hospital where a different doctor listened and found out that there was indeed a concern and she was then sent to the Ottawa Heart Institute- one of her arteries was completely blocked. She underwent the necessary procedure and is now recovering. But holy crow, I guess you need to be fully aware of everything medical or suffer much pain and loss of quality of life befrore they may consider you may be right!

Today is my first day at the computer, playing and, yup still searching for work. I did have 2 interviews last week and still waiting to hear. I fear if neither of those work out, it will be burger flipping for me. Oh, yes I did submit an applicant for a particular fast food place- if I'm hired remains to be seen.

So, of all those precious eggs, I have 10 lively chicks. 1 died while pipping. So, 9 from first batch and 1 from the 2nd...I have placed another 12 eggs in the incubator of my own. Chances are that they will all hatch. Goes to show you what your local post provider does to a box marked FRAGILE- I've witnessed it, so it's not me trying to be nasty.. merely an observation of what goes on behind the scenes.
Chicks are cute, but they sure are messy and grow so quickly.
Here they are, huddling in the corner as I startled them while lifting the top of the brooder!
I took this photo this morning as I needed to chnge their water.

As you can see with the chick in the foreground, feathers and a tail have appeared!2-3 more weeks and they will be covered with feathers. Another interesting thing is that the colors sometimes change!
Now guess what's been happening here?
One of the turkey hens has started to lay!! I have now collected 3 eggs. I can keep them up to 10 days, so I may have to put them in the incubator sooner as a test run. Now, here's the question: knowing what I do about chicks and how quickly they grow, how many turkeys do I wish to hatch at any time? Sure there is a market for poults but if they don't sell, I need to house all these turkeys!! The plan is that they will become dinner- cruel but let's face it folks, the meat comes from some place and I would prefer knowing it was well taken care of and fed properly... a rant for another time...
No lambies yet but looking out the window, I wouldn't want to be a critter outside giving birth even with the sun beating down in all it's glory. The windchill is something most unpleasant!

I suppose I could try skating on what was once part of my pasture?It's nice to see the geese flying about again and gathering in the fields. The wild turkeys are not so prominent lately. I suspect they are nesting... So folks, enjoy the day.. you never know if you'll be ill tomorrow....