Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Snow day

To anyone that's reading this blog still Merry Christmas.

We have some snow today at Ridgeway Farm. In fact it is still coming down but so far hasn't amounted to more than a pretty covering. Perfect for some pictures though.

Isabella had never seen snow before. She was very curious.

And decided it looked rather tasty so proceeded to eat it from Sabrina's back.

I'm not sure Sabrina was impressed by her antics.

Griffin is another snow first timer. He also declared it quite yummy.

And if you look closely you can see his Santa Claus impression as he has snow stuck on his chin.

Jewel is very taken with Griffin and they are actually quite inseperable. Very cute.

Sunny loves the snow and in the past week has become the perfect gentleman again. He likes to look after his ladies is happier standing guard at night over them now we leave his door open. I think I will try and find him a new home where he can live outside. Come lambing I don't want to leave the barn open at night.

I'm actually going to cut down my small flock by a few sheep more, and think that I will sell Gypsy this year too. I'd like to go down to 3-4 ewes, a ram and a wether for company. We'll see though lol.

Have a wonderful holiday to all my sheepy (and non-sheepy) friends, and enjoy this festive season!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Is it November already?

Where did the time go? I've been very busy going to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky, then sick for quite a while, then better, then my first Hunter Pace, oh and midterms, term papers and general busyness (is that a word lol?) etc.

Anyway here's some flock pictures for the update. The single lady group is doing very well.

Isabella is becoming quite the beauty, it's fun to watch her grow up.

Jaqui and Cammie get along very well together, they seem to be doing very well too.

They are in Sunny's group.

Griffin is also growing up and looking very handsome. His fleece feels lovely and horns look good, and behavior is wonderful. I'm very happy with him and excited to see what he manages to produce in spring.

The two ewes in his group Amelia and Jewel and doing very well and seem to be charmed by him too.

Anyway sorry for the huge delay in posting. It really has been a crazy time for me, but hopefully things will calm down now and more we'll get back to our regular programing of frequent updates :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Finally an update

It's been very busy here with lambs all leaving to go to their new homes and the flock finally getting back to normal. So of course I'm beginning to think of breeding groups.

This is Sunny he's a 2 year old ram and from Painted Knoll farm in New Hampshire.

He will be bred to Cammie a 2 year old ewe lamb who had twin ram lambs this year I'm hoping for twin ewe lambs this year lol.

And Jacqui this Fall. Jacqui is yearling and this is her first breeding.

Griffin is a April ram lamb from Windswept farm in Michigan and I am very excited to see what he produces this year.

He will be bred to Amelia a home bred 3 year old who had a single ewe lamb last year and a ewe and ram lamb the year before.

And Jewel a 3 year old from Bluff Country who had a single ram lamb and then twin ewe lambs. She had last year off as a break and I am looking forward to seeing this breeding combination.

Groups will be formed probably by the end of this month before I fly to Kentucky for the World Equestrian Games. Although I am hoping that lambs won't be born until March/April. Our back pasture was mowed yesterday and all of the flock are enjoying going back there to graze. We have had very little rain this summer so it's not as green here in Massachusetts as the sheep would like.

I did manage to grow 2 sunflowers this year. The tallest easily tops 10 feet! They are starting to form their seed heads now and droop but still look wonderful.

Hopefully it won't be so long between updates again.

Friday, August 13, 2010

show report (NSR)

Muppet and I attended our first dressage show hosted by NEDA with my friend Alex and her horse Mikey.

We did the Intro test A and B which are basically the first tests and are all walk and trot. It was a fun show and we cleaned up well for it. Here we are warming up to go in the ring (it was very dusty).

Unfortunately Muppet was scared by the judges in the horse trailer at one end of the ring, and took until the end of the second test to calm down . We did improve in marks in our tests coming 6th and then 5th respectfully. I was proud of my horse and look forward to going to another show soon.

In sheep and lamb news the vet and myself are leaning towards chronic heat stress in the lambs. Temps are out of normal range when the weather is hot and hasn't cooled off overnight. Temps go down to normal on the cool mornings. Still no other signs and blood work was all clean. I am hoping for cooler weather soon as it has been a terribly hot, humid and rainless summer. Anyone else ready for Fall?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A picture free update

Sorry for the lack of pictures but I thought people would like an update. The group of lambs still has a fever, and no other symptoms. The vet came out yesterday and drew blood from several of them for testing. We also changed antibiotics as no noticeable change has been perceived from what they were on. Hope to see some temperature drop Friday. Unfortunately (isn't it always the case) the weather has been very hot and humid these past few days with little relief at night. The fans are going and plenty of shade and cold water is available. The vet said that if we weren't taking their temperatures we would never even know they were sick. I'm trying to hold onto this as a good thing and hope that all of their temperatures will drop into the normal range soon.

Thank you everyone for your support. It has been a very difficult week that would have been much harder without your kind words and ideas.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A very depressing day (unfortunately sheep related)

No pictures today. My heart isn't in it.

Last night when I went to bring in the sheep Winston one of this years rams lambs was ill. He was lethargic, had difficulty breathing, was dragging his hind feet and couldn't bah. He would occasionally cough. I separated him and took his temperature (a whopping 108 degrees). Respirations were painful to listen too. Unfortunately I got the emergency vet who was very reluctant to come out, kept telling me that if I really wanted him to live I should take him to the hospital (nearest one is over an hour away) I said I wanted her opinion. Meanwhile he peed a few times and just lay down. He looked bloated.

Vet arrived within 30 minutes at 7.30pm. Didn't believe his temperature and retook it. Informed me "I've never seen that temperature conducive to life". Upon my request (I said he looked bloated) she tubed him and got 50cc of air out. He stood up. She gave him banamine and an antibiotic. She basically also informed me that she had her children in the car because I had made it sound so urgent on the phone, but that he looked "quite perky" to her. She left me with banamine and more antibiotic and told me to just put him back in with the other lambs "because if they're going to get it that would have it already".

At 9pm I checked on him. He was acting strange. Getting up and walking a few feet before collapsing. I put him on my lap. At 9.15pm he started having seizures. At 9.30pm he was dead. He had seemed fine that morning.

I called my regular vet today and informed her he had died. To make it worse 2 other lambs have temperatures. One is 104.6 and one is 104.3. Both are eating, chewing cud and running around. No-one seems to know what is causing the fevers. I am open to ideas. Let's hope everyone else can pull through.

May Winston rest peacefully in grass filled fields.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sheep Sunday

I spent a very productive morning cleaning out the chickens and then putting up some fencing for the lamb (and Jaqui) group. We have had such warm weather here that the grass is not happy. Luckily for us the past week has seen a few thunderstorms, and the rain has made for some better grass outside of the paddocks anyway.

Popular consensus is that grass is delicious.

Griffin and Isabella are doing great in their halter training and are very friendly now.

Sorry for not posting for a while. Life is busy. Hopefully it won't be so long between future posts. I hope everyone is having a great summer.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Another addition

Yesterday I drove a 650 mile round trip to pick up Twin Springs Dakotas Isabella, or just Isabella for short. It was a long, hot, and humid drive and I am glad it was the last long trip of the year for me.

She travelled very well, and is settling in with the lamb flock.

Griffin is also coming along very well. His halter lessons are going well and he comes over (respectfully) for attention now which is great.

Jaqui is a year old now, and is doing a wonderful job baby sitting the lambs. I need to work on some halter sessions with her as well before the fair in August.

Anyway that's all for now. I am still tired :) I hope everyone is staying cool we are in the 80's and 90's with around 70-80 percent humidity. Hope we get some rain soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Griffin update

Well Griffin is settling in very well.

He has just started going out with the moms and baby group. He dwarfs the other lambs and is a very big boy. The other lambs seem to like him a lot, following him around, and their moms were very curious smelling him too.

He is very curious of me. Doesn't run away but doesn't get too close either. I have managed to rub his head a few times. I am hoping to start halter training him now that the weather has cooled off for a few days in the hopes of showing him this summer. That should be some fun pictures!

In non-sheep related news Marcus is almost 5 months old :)

One week to go until there's another new addition at Ridgeway Farm. Now I need to go and cut down things growing up my fences.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A new addition

Today I drove over 500 miles to pick up my new ram. He actually had a much longer journey but a couple of people transported him a few places for me (thanks Tiff, and Sally). Unfortunately now I am too tired to get a picture of him here, but here are his baby pictures.

Introducing Windswept Griffin II

I think he's super handsome and the pictures don't actually do him justice.

Right now he's tucking into some hay and just chilling. Hopefully tomorrow I can put him in a paddock by himself and get some good pictures. Oh and just to tease, this is not the only trip I have to make this year. I have another equally long trip next week :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Leaving lambs

2 sheep left yesterday and 2 more went today leaving the barn feeling quite empty. I still have my flock and 4 lambs that won't leave until August, and I have 2 lambs arriving in the next few weeks. Still it's sad to say goodbye to these faces. Sorry about the dark pictures we've been having a wet time of it so all of them were taken inside.

I made the hard decision to sell Daisy Mae as a pet. She looked like she would never make weight and I worried about keeping her with 2 rams around. I'll miss her sweet face and funny antics around the farm.

She left with Diana (another tiny tot) to go and live on 200+ acres of pasture with a few other sheep and some mini donkeys. Obviously a hard life.

And today Wilbur (the new wether) and Dixie left for their new home.

It made me happy how excited all of their new owners were as I know they all have great homes. Of course I am very excited to be getting my new sheep. I can't wait to show them off :) Anyway I am off to eat spaghetti and meatballs that my son made for dinner. Have a great night everyone.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Halter training (picture heavy)

This evening my partner and the kids took part in the ever fun halter training of the lambs. I try and get all of my lambs introduced to halter work before they leave, although I warn new owner that it is a work in progress, and something they will have to keep doing. This year I had quite a few leapers, although a couple of the boys also really behaved well which was nice.

This is Wilbur by far the best behaved of the bunch! He has what I suspect are small scurs which I thought was quite interesting.

And this is Winston another well behaved ram lamb who only assumed the napping position once on his walk.

Dixie did not like the experience at first....

although she got the hang of it eventually.

Diana thought that lying down and being petted was actually the aim of the game. Now if someone could bring her out her hard feed it wouldn't be a bad life.

Wallace threw himself around like a banshee until finally understanding life was better with 4 hooves on the ground.

Delia did pretty well and even tried some cookie.

Dakota didn't think much of the whole experience.

We even brought Jaqui out to show them how it is done. As a yearling I am hoping to show her this year. She is very solid, and has a beautiful fleece under that coat. On the plus side she also remembered her leading lessons from last year.

So that was this evenings fun. Now I'd quite like a nice glass of wine. All of the lambs will be leaving in the next few weeks. I will miss this group and their beautiful fleeces. I also have a couple of grown up sheep leaving for various reasons. But I have 2 new lambs joining my flock that I am very excited about. Now about that wine...