Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gloomy Spring

Well I havnt been updating here as much as i had hoped. Partly because of the insane weather and partly because of some losses on the farm that were to hard to really talk about as they happened. So let me catch up.

The month of April had more snow fall for us then all of winter combined. Temps have been anything from -2 to 82F as you can imagine this isnt really good on the animals.

Earlier this month our friend's pot belly pig who we had in the barn had a littler of 12 piglets, she killed all but 2 of them. Those two we found buried in a hay pile and almost dead, so cold they were not even shaking and we actually thought they were dead. We took them in the house and got them on a bottle and ooo i loved these tiny piglets!! We did not realize until it was to late that they had gotten pneumonia. So we told them home and gave them 1ml each and hoped it would help. It did not...it was sad losing them even though we had not had them for long.

So the potbelly pig momma was a bad pig. She bite off the end of our mini boars ear, killed and ate one of our friends baby goats, killed/ate her own piglets...and the topper was when i walked in the barn one night and she had bitten off and eaten a chunk over half the size of my Suffolk ewe honey's ear. That was the last straw, she got butchered.

Next up and worst... Over the last two weeks our Doberman named Mauler Mauligan lost about 30lbs he ended up dying on our kitchen floor in the middle of the night. We suspect he had stomach or intestinal cancer. So he was laid to rest under a tree on our property with a thick cut new york strip steak and a gallon of water. It was a very sad day and still is very sad for us. Greg watched him get born and literally had him from the second he entered this world. After 10yrs of being a faithful companion to Greg he went to his final reward. I hope he has all the female dogs, steaks and animals to hunt he ever wanted. The big lummox will be greatly missed and never forgotten.
Mauler 2006-2016

We also lost my sweet house lamb Maggie from we believe endotoxemia. She died the day after we lost Mauler. I loved that little lamb so much. She was so smart and friendly. I used to pull her into bed and she would lay there and cuddle with me...chewing her cud. She wasn't here for long but she made a big impact on our lives.

It has taken me a few days to write this post and i am sorry i dont have something happier to share.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Mud, Mud...Everywhere

The rain/snow can stop any time now. Crazy Michigan weather!! We had all the snow melted, then got 5 inches of snow along with it raining ice. Now it is all melted again and 3 days of rain....look at the weather this morning and the weekend holds 3-14" of snow. Spring is turning out to have more snow and be colder then winter was here.

Our property is flooded but most places around us are right now too. Our driveway is nothing but mud and our lawn is following a similar fate. Trying to be outside to do anything is a nightmare, every step you take you sink into mud even where it looks "dry."

We have major plans to renovate the existing tile, put in more swales, and move around some dirt/clay to make the areas by the house and barns shed water better. We also would love to scrape down the driveway a good 5-6" and lay down aggregate then 2A limestone so we dont have a muddy wreck next year as well. Shall see how far we get on that.

Greg did go out yesterday and dig the trenches by the barn out farther to allow the barn to (we hope) drain more. A Flow thru barn is an awesome idea, assuming the water has some place to go. Right now the livestock seems pretty miserable with the wet weather and mud. I think they like warm sunny spring weather just as much as we do. We have modified the bedding a bit and left the pigs and sheep with a foot of bedding material which seems to be staying dry on top.

Moving away from weather related topics and issues.

Dehlia found a new home, she actually went to live with our friends who took her twin sister. They have a lot of human kids and they really like the friendly goats so I know everyone will be happy. I do miss the little fluff ball though, she was such a character and made me laugh so much.

Maggie our little broken leg lamb got her cast off Easter Sunday. She was officially 8 weeks old Monday and her leg seems to have healed well. She stretches a lot and flexes the broken leg working it as much as she can to loosen it up. I have been putting her in my lap and slowly flexing her hock and pastern since both seemed stiff. Her pastern is fairly loose and wasnt to bad because it was able to move. Her hock however was almost solid and unable to move when we first took off the cast, it now bends a tiny bit, we are trying to go really slow so we dont hurt her.

We finally got Maggie to drink out of a bowl last night. We tried and tried to get her off the bottle and onto a bowl for about a week now but she was to smart for her own good. Finally I figured out how to solve the problem. Since she knows milk comes from the bottle nipple and she really was interested in the milk in the bowl but couldnt figure out how to get it out. So i made her a bottle after work yesterday when I knew she would be thirsty. I let her see the bottle then i walked over and poured it in the bowl, she paraded around the bowl and over to me complaining for about 10 minutes every so often smelling the milk and dipping her head in then wrenching her head back quickly and looking at me as if to say "Why would you do something so rude to me, do you see this milk on my face this is a barbaric way to get a drink." Finally I had a brainstorm that if I put the bottle nipple in the milk she could suck on the nipple and drink milk from the bowl and hopefully learn how to suck up milk without it. Well it worked great after about 45 minutes of her playing with the nipple and sucking milk thru it from the bowl she tossed the nipple out of the bowl and stuck her head back in sucking the bowl dry in about 2 minutes. I refilled the bowl with warm water, she still doesnt like cold water.

Thats about all the news for now, more pictures coming in the next posts.