Thursday, February 5, 2009

Is it Spring Yet?



I'm hearing this question quite a bit these days, from the kids as they tug on their snowpants and boots, from the chickens (more or less...) as they huddle inside their crowded coop waiting for me to come defrost their water bowl, from the sheep who-- although well equipped for snow-- seem pained by hay rations and limited mobility.



It has been a long, hard winter. Most of the pasture is under more than two feet of snow-- a hard, crusty snow-- and the temperature was a miserable 4 degrees this morning.



Yup, I'll admit I'm a bit of a whiner when it comes to winter. I procrastinate like crazy, futz with snow pants and snow boots and gloves, take another few sips of coffee, stoke the fire in the woodstove, anything to avoid the grip of the wind outside.



Funny thing: Once outside, I love it. I lean on the fence just like in summer and watch the ewes chow down, the ramboys tussle, the dogs attempt to dig out the deermice that scamper under the snow. It's really not so, so bad....



This winter, we've been preoccupied with the usual questions:


Are the ewes bred?



Is our nutritional program adequate?


We hope so. But the internal workings of the flock are, as always, a bit of a mystery. We worry when Charlie and Bombadil (Now back together in an adjoining pasture) curl their lips in ramly romance as a ewe angles by. Is she just teasing them a little, or is she hoping that perhaps she can entice one of them over the fence for a long-delayed tryst?








Last year, we were sure that our ewes weren't pregnant at all. (We worried a lot last year) and every one of them produced a lamb or two. The year before that, half of them really weren't bred! (Due to a dominant wether in with a wimpy ram lamb, we think.)


We hope we've learned a bit from our three winters' worth of worry, but who really knows?


Also, we've been supplementing our ewes with kelp, sheep minerals and selenium yeast this year, and giving them a mix of forage extender pellets, alfalfa and a tiny bit of grain in addition to hay. Hopefully, this will result in the right nutritional combination-- not too much, which would result in birthing complications and gigantic lambs and not too little which would result in birthing complications and tiny lambs.



The most frustrating part is that this is all instinct and guesswork. We base our program on readings, advice from fellow shepherds and hard won experience and we hope-- and hope and hope!-- for an easy spring.

9 comments:

Christy said...

I don't even have sheep yet and I already find it so overwhelming! And I'm just like you with putting off the going outside.

Lisa said...

I was thinking of you today. Dave and I are getting a few chickens this year (few meaning literally 2 or 3) and I was asking around. Apparently I have to order 25 unless i find a feed store that I can buy them from. Caveat is i WANT sussex lol and chances are good that I can't get them at a feed store... wait I am off topic again.

My point... you live not very far from me so I was wondering who your supplier is? You probably order them too but it was worth asking.

Also... This is a trial chicken thing. If this is something we like and our neighbors don't hate us, we will get more. We wanted a good dual purpose docile breed. Anyway thats all I got just curious thanks!!
Lisa

P said...

Hi Lisa,

Good to hear from you.

We ordered our chicks from Murray MacMurray. On our first experiment with chicks, we split the order with a friend. 12 was just about right for us.

Our feed store (Greenfield Farmer's Co-op) does carry chicks in the spring, and I believe you can order some of relatively rare varieties if you do it ahead of time. We got our guineas from the feed store that way.

Also, Craigslist's "farm and Garden" section sometimes has interesting varieties of chickens-- and lots of free roosters!

In fact, we are about to craigslist some of our roos-- four of the eight we hatched out mid summer were boys and it is not a happy scene for the hens down in the coop.

If you want to come by and pick up a rooster and a few hens, that'd be fun! The young ones aren't any breed though-- a combo of easter eggers, marans brahmas and buff rocks mostly.

Perri

Anonymous said...

I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.
謝謝你的文章分享
尋人,徵信公司,外遇,抓姦,徵信社,尋人,徵信公司,外遇,抓姦,徵信,尋人,徵信公司,外遇,抓姦,徵信社,外遇,抓姦,徵信公司,尋人,徵信社,尋人,徵信公司,外遇,抓姦,徵信社,尋人,徵信公司,外遇,抓姦,徵信社

王菲Star said...

cool!AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,性愛,a片,AV女優,聊天室,情色

文章 said...

AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,性愛,AV女優,美女,成人圖片區,080苗栗人聊天室

周星馳Star said...

That's actually really cool!亂倫,戀愛ING,免費視訊聊天,視訊聊天,成人短片,美女交友,美女遊戲,18禁,
三級片,後宮電影院,85cc,免費影片,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,日本a片,美女,成人圖片區,avdvd,色情遊戲,情色貼圖,女優,偷拍,情色視訊,愛情小說,85cc成人片,成人貼圖站,成人論壇,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,免費a片,視訊美女,視訊做愛,免費視訊,伊莉討論區,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,維克斯論壇,情色論壇,性感影片,正妹,走光,色遊戲,情色自拍,kk俱樂部,好玩遊戲,免費遊戲,貼圖區,好玩遊戲區,中部人聊天室,情色視訊聊天室,聊天室ut,成人遊戲,免費成人影片,成人光碟,情色遊戲,情色a片,情色網,成人圖片區

tiger said...

徵信社,尋人,偵探,偵探社,徵才,私家偵探,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,抓猴,出軌,婚姻,劈腿,感情,第三者,婚外情,一夜情,小老婆,外遇,商標,市場調查,公平交易法,抓姦,債務,債務協商,應收帳款,詐欺,離婚,監護權,法律諮詢,法律常識,離婚諮詢,錄音,找人,追蹤器,GPS,徵信,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信,徵信社,徵信公司,尋人,抓姦,外遇,徵信社

文章 said...

AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,性愛,AV女優,美女,成人圖片區,080苗栗人聊天室