Sunday, December 19, 2010

Maggie, the ewe

I went out this morning to feed and took some pictures of Maggie, our bottle lamb that is now coming 2 year old this Christmas eve. She is looking fairly large and her girlish parts are beginning to show lamb signs. I calculated back to when she came home from fair and met the new man of the farm. I remembered I forgot to buy them condoms, so looks like she could lamb as early as mid January. She is fairly large and I would love twins from her but anything will be great! She was born at my sheep mentors house as an orphan, lived in my house with human diapers and slept in a dog crate. She has been through 2 years of 4h shows in Washtenaw, one year winning reserved grand ch. She is katadin cross and is now bred to a Finn, so what comes out will be a surprise! Her father was spotted so maybe some fun markings?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Dog Yard

We finally finished the dog yard!  Whew, it takes so much to put in fencing and trying to make it last.  Not my favorite thing to do!  You can tell in the picture the little black spots are the border collies checking out the new smell.  Of couse, I think no area is big enough but at least they can reach a full run now.  Bubba is in the old yard wishing he could go out and play.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Baby Runners head out into the world

Well, yesterday I got up and thought, why don't I let the babies out for a little while today.  It was sunny and decent weather so, I went to feed and do chores.  I filled the baby pool for the big ducks, put out a scoop of feed by the water and opened the stall door.  I opened the baby pen as well and stood back. 

Out came the big ducks as their normal routine, squaking and flapping and stretching their wings. ...pretending to fly like the birds in the sky.  They ran to the food as I watched the babies.  They ran for their crate and said, "heck no, we're in here"  So, I left it open for them to come out on their own. 

A few minutes later, the adults came back to the stall as I collected the eggs and out came the babies, running after them.  It looked like they were ok and I watched as the midgets followed them back out to the pool to learn about water and food outside.  We don't always get to eat in bed, sometimes we have to grow up.  All seemed fine so I headed off for the day.

So here's a photo of the little ones out with the big ones.  The babies are on the left and the adults on the right.  The far right, is Henrietta, the Pekin. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Quail hunting trip to Indiana 11/4/2010

At a little late in the game, Paul and I realized we had about 3-4 days off in a row so we managed to head to Indiana to visit my parents and do a little bird hunting with my Dad.  Paul hasn't been since he was a little kid and Bubba, his lab, had never been so, we were both excited to see everyone and get Bubba out in those birds.  I brought the new border collie puppy, Annie, along to spend some quality time with her and work on some of those house training skills she might need in the future.

We first stopped in Carmel, IN to visit my Mom and Stepdad and relax for about 12 hours.  Ha!  We got up in the morning and took a morning walk to 'air out' the dogs.  The Carmel house's backyard goes right into the Monon trail so we headed out for a couple hours walking.  Beautiful paved walkway with no cars.  Reminded ourselves that the roller blades didn't make it in the truck this trip and to make sure they do next time.  It was quite cold, about 31 degrees, I think.

After breakfast, we did some relaxing and talking with them about their huge RV trip across the west and Alaska.  Jay took some amazing photos and that will be saved for another blog as I am completely jealous of that trip!  Someday, I'll go too!

We headed out that afternoon to North Salem, IN to my Dad's 120 acre hardwood tree farm.  We took a little trip out on the 4-wheeler to show Paul all the property since he hadn't been there before.  We left the puppy at home and let Bubba get some exercise by running along.  He chased a stick a few times in river at the back of the property.


The next day we headed out to a game preserve to see what the monster dog can do.  Bubba is 3 and although he has had lots of basic training and retrieves, we hadn't actually taken him quail hunting.  First dog out, 12 year old Jazz, my Dad's German shorthair pointer.  He has recently recovered from Coonhound paralysis.  He got in a fight with a raccoon, that carried the disease, and he was paralysed from the shoulders down for 12 weeks.  He slowly recovered and it's amazing that he is now back and hunting again just 1 year later.  Jazz is great hunting dog because he points to the birds and says,

"Shhhhh, they're right over here.  Hurry up, they're right here.  I'll hold 'em for you, hurry!  Shhhh, over here!"

While getting ready at the truck, Jazz headed just over the drive and went to the first bird.  Paul had to run over to him and get his gun ready at the same time.  Jazz just waited for him to get there and let Paul flush the bird.

Then a few minutes later, Jazz found another one for my dad.

Then we brought out Bubba and he had a blast.  He stayed nice and close and wasn't really sure the purpose other than just out walking around.  He came across a bird, caught the sent and went to town.  Flushed it, Paul hit it, and Bubba brought it right back!

We were sure he would destroy the birds, as he does his Frisbees and toys while bringing them back but, he had the softest mouth.  So soft, in fact, that he found another bird, stuck his nose in the thick brush and came out with a live bird in his mouth.

He handed it so nicely to Paul without hurting it at all. 

Not sure if Bubba got what we were really doing there but when he came across a scent, he was right on it and had no trouble finding the downed birds and bringing them back.  A few more times out and he will understand, I'm sure! 

Next we took out, Millie, my Dad's other dog, a black lab.  She is so fast and so quick that I couldn't get photos.  Sometimes she chases down the birds and catches them.  She's young, just under 2, and only been out a couple times herself so, she still has some learning to do.  After all that running around, she gets tired and then decides she will just follow Dad back to the truck.

Most of my Dad's dogs have been given to him as, "no good dogs that stop working"  Well, he has gotten some of the best dogs that were tossed away by someone else.  He believes they were meant to come to him and they have all turned out to be great hunting and companion dogs.  Jazz is his all time best dog that he's had for 10 years now and Millie is right on his heels learning from Jazz. 

At the end of the day, we had 11 yummy quail, fried in bacon grease and butter, mmm  They were delicious and everyone was tired but happy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Finn Sheep

It's that time of year when the Ram gets to pasture with the girls.  This will be a first for everyone in this group so, fingers crossed all goes well and we have some beautiful lambs in the Spring.  Hemi, our ram, is already showing interest with a few shy ladies but, I'm sure after he buys them dinner, all will go as planned. 

Indian Runner Ducks

The newest hatchlings are doing well.  They are about 2-3 weeks old now and are starting to lose their fuzzy duckling appearance.  I am certain the colors will be outstanding as I haven't tried this breeding before.  I am thinking we will have Chocolate and white, black and white, and possibly blue-grey and white.  We'll see and won't know until they are grown.  If you'd like to have one, let me know as I can't keep them all.