Four Country Gals

  (Beryl, Utah)
Certified Organic Garden, Custom-raised lambs, hogs, goats, Mom's Farm-Fresh Eggs
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Bummer lambs love goat milk

Around here, nothing  goes to waste. Also nothing goes for want. 

Sunday night, we picked up 3 little bummers (aka, dogies) from a neighboring sheep farm. They often have "extra" lambs, either from quads, or with black spots on them.

The first night they stayed in the house in a dog crate, needing to be fed every two hours or so... yes, straight through the night. Our Finnish Spitz had the overnight watch. Every time they yelled, she'd wake us with her whining and barking.

The little girls, (got luck on this) have been moved to their own pen and now walk with us to the milking stanchion. The goat we've been milking for ourselves is now doing double  duty. Each of the little lambs get's their fill from her, as she munches on sweet feed. She also supplements her own little doe lamb.

It's funny, too, because this doe is the one who was totally clueless about what she had done... kidded two little ones, a boy and a girl. We had personally dried them, and put them on the other goat for their colostrum.

It's quite a sight to see one of us walking along from the lamb pen to the goat pen with three little lambs and a Border Collie trotting along behind us. And then to see the little ones hop on the stanchion to get their milk, we've got the "black and white look". Posey is a black goat, and  the lambs are almost snow white.

My only complaint is that it screws up my cheese making plans.


First lambs on the ground

The first ewes have presented us with a single boy and a pair of twins (boy and girl). I had to assist a little with the twins, as they were quite large and the second one was in a hurry. The head and one foot/leg was out, but stuck, so I gently pulled from the back of the head and held steady whenever Mama had contractions. The little boy weighed 9.5# and the girl came in at 10#. The other single hasn't been weighed, but he's a big healthy lamb.

 The twins Mama hasn't dropped her milk even though her bag is full, and the teats have been stripped (we did that), so we've been bottle feeding every couple hours during the day, right up until almost midnight. They seem to do ok through the night.

 Wouldn't you know 2 out of 3 of us active gals have to be off the farm today, tomorrow and Wednesday, leaving each of us by ourselves. It can be a bit stressful.

 Back for another round of milk for the twins...




What's with this weather? It's lambing and kidding time...

All winter long, the temperature has been above normal, the precipitation below level, and even the wind hasn't been too bad. 

Now that it's kidding and lambing time, Mother Nature is having her way.  Our sheep are quite pregnant and it's time to shear. Another two weeks and it will be past time to shear.

We've had several discussions with out shearer, and he's been pushed way behind schedule by a series of late winter snow storms, beginning the end of January.

What's the forecast?

Snow tomorrow (Monday), maybe snow again Friday, and the same thing about every 4 to 5 days for the next 21 days. Sigh.

Last year the sheep were sheared just before lambing (like about 3 days) and it's terribly risky. We lost a set of trips that we think was the result of the ewe struggling so much.

This is our first year with goats, having helped the neighbors for a couple of years. Our pygmy dam is wider than she is long, and can barely get through her shelter door. We'll be moving her this week into an unused pig pen, with a bigger door. Don't want to take any chances of chilled kids.

The two Nubians won't be far behind with their first kids. They can still get through the shelter door, so no problem there. Same thing with the French Alpine. In fact, we're not totally sure she's preggie, unless she's having a single kid.

This year, we're a bit more prepared, even having a couple of lamb coats for anyone that may be chilled. We've rebuilt the "teat bucket" in hopes of not having to use it. We really prefer the lambs all nurse from a ewe.

Beginning March 1, we'll be on "kid watch". That means four hour goat checks around the clock, even during snow storms, wind storms, etc. Right after that, it's "lamb watch" for the next 3 weeks.

 Of course, once there are babies, it's all hands to the pens for as long as it takes, whenever it happens. No more rest for us...


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