Sunday, February 16, 2014

And winter continues....with sunshine and warmer temps

      The winter continues on with cold temps and light snows.  It's funny when you go outside and 13 degrees feels like a heat wave!   Without the wind and the sun shining, it isn't too bad.  I took advantage of that to take Gabby out to the world and do chores with me.  She loved it!  She tried running in her little boots and did pretty well but when she would fall down, it was like the classic movie A Christmas Story.  She couldn't get up because of being all bundled up, but I got some cute photos of her.

She is also wearing a beautiful hat made from the fleece of one of our rams, spun by Tiffany at Woodspryte Farms and knitted by one of my agility students, Carol.  A gorgeous brown finnsheep with soft wool.

      The weather has also taken its toll on our water hydrant.  We have many barns and water in each barn but the main animal barn is the fartherest out and that hydrant finally froze up.  The hydrant leaked and we figured it was just time before the water running down the pipe and into the ground would freeze.  Now, we bucket water from another barn for the sheep, cows, llamas, mini horse, cat, and birds.  It's not as bad as it seems.  We have two troughs in each pasture and take one day each week to make multiple trips to fill all four troughs.  Then, as the week progresses, we move the tank heaters to each trough as they get low.  

     We have enlisted the help of one of our dogs to make this process easier.  Bubba, our chocolate lab, a big strong dog that loves to work and frankly, can use the job, pulls the sled with the buckets of water from the front of the farm, to the back barn.  He seems to enjoy it and wags his tail the whole time.  I walk beside or behind him so he doesn't take off running and tip the sled and all the water.  Such a good dog.  Gabby enjoyed walking around with Bubba also and my back loved not lifting and carry those five gallon buckets.

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     Lessons are booming, despite the winter cold, and I have sold most of the extra lambs and sheep.  We are down to our core flock of 16, 8 of which are ewes to lamb in April.  A nice, easy number to handle this year.  5 of the flock are lambs that are growing like crazy and will be heading out to get training for dog herding lessons this summer.  3 rams are staying and will be used in the future to maintain colors and unrelated genetics.  It's always hard to keep a small number but yet have unrelated sheep.  We are looking forward to the ducks laying eggs again and all the pastures are sure to turn green soon.  

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