Our first two lambs of the year were to my top producer Pansy - a healthy boy and girl. She is a pro at mothering, but didn't seem to know how to cope with the livestock guardian dog (LGD) who had kidnapped her two babies. The LGD LOVED them so much and felt protective ... must protect these little things from the big sheep. The guardians have to learn that babies and adults are on the same time and are the same creature. She didn't pick up on that last year.
I LOVE and HATE baby season, and it's in full swing here on our farm. Here is one little piece of evidence for my feelings, our gorgeous little black lamb we named Dandelion Dahliasdottir, born one week ago. She's small and spunky, looks just like her mom except more compact, and her mom is weirded out by letting her nurse. So, we isolated them together with plenty of shelter, food, and water. Her mom Dahlia still wasn't feeling it and Dandelion has become a bottle baby.
Isn't she cute? She's super sweet and loves all the attention we give her. Without careful watching, we would have lost her.
Some years are worse than others for yellow jackets. I've read and been told that dry years are worse, and that seems true. Supposedly they are beneficial insects because they prey on pests, but they aren't too beneficial when they sting me and my family, our livestock, and feast on my honeybees. This is especially bad in the fall, when I can see them overwhelming any defense the bees mount to steal their winter stores of honey and pollen, and carry away their larval young and developed adults. They will even kill the queen. The trick is to act against the yellow jackets and not the bees. This is what works for me.
I consider one of the major drawbacks to homesteading to be losing the ability to take vacations, attend weddings, and other fun things away from the farm. I know people who burn out on homesteading because of this or never take the plunge into this lifestyle because they aren't willing to give them up. I am unwilling to give them up. You can homestead and still get vacations, though it is more work and you're likely not going to be able to take spontaneous trips. We take at least one family 10-day trip a year. Here is how we make it happen.
Our two Clydesdale colts joined our farm in October 2016 when Duncan was just weaned at five months and Clyde a little older at almost seven months. They came from a responsible breeder in Canada and were almost as tall as our mature saddle horses (14-15 hh), though they had funny proportions: long legs, relatively short necks, and ribs that met their hips. They were (and still are) SWEET SWEET SWEET! Even though they are easy to tell apart, they are a well matched pair because of their body types and sizes. They’ll both mature at about 17 hh (around six feet tall where their mane transitions to their back). Their feet may reasonably be expected to reach twelve inches wide.
I have a lot of Swedish, Scottish, and English ancestry. I didn’t grow up eating Swedish food that I know of, but I have found some delicious recipes. One of my favorites is for Swedish pancakes. They are sort of like crepes, but I like them better. They are so good plain or with a variety of toppings. I’m not sure how authentic this recipe is, but I am sure it is delicious. (I’ll have to add pictures later.) Umm, just writing about them makes me want them for breakfast tomorrow!
Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and I am not an expert shepherdess. However, I have been keeping sheep for a little while and will gladly share what I do to help keep them healthy. I find it interesting to see what others do. Keep in mind that management techniques may also vary based on the type of sheep you keep and the climate in which they live. Here is what I currently use as my plan of care.
Wife to Brandon, mother to Tess and Liam, farmer, entrepreneur, cook & baker, nurse, and accountant who loves to try new things, travel, and work toward greater self-reliance.