The Fat Ewe Farm 
    and B & B

...organic permaculture farmin' 
  for the lazy you's and
 Bed, Breakfast 'n Bale

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Two Little Dahlings, er, Doelings

Posted by Fluffy on December 28, 2012 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (0)

These two little ladies are the cutest tiny goats you will ever see. They are sisters, well, sort of. Pippin, the miniature one, is actually the only living daughter of Serena, who died from worm infestation, though she was wormed regularly. In my ignorance, I did not realize that she had become resistant to the wormer and it was no longer effective. Barber pole worms attach to the stomach and suck the blood, rendering the goat first anemic and then finally, dead. I had no idea this goat was pregnant even, but she birthed twins somehow. The boy died the night of his birth, but I fed Pippin with an eye dropper, she was so tiny. For three days, she was fed ever hour and then the next goat was ready to kid and I was able to graft Pippin to her new mamma. Since then, Pippin and Sherry have been inseperable. There was also a beautiful brother born to the mother and she was raising triplets, but being Nigerian Dwarf, a dairy goat, she had plenty of milk, until now that is.

The little girls would not be weaned. Mother goat, Daphne tried to kick them away, but every time she was up, one of the little girls was attempting to nurse. Finally, Daphne was worn out and I had to separate the babies from mamma. They are 5 months old, well old enough to be on their own, but with Pippin's rough start, I left them with the mother longer than normal. Mother is run down and with the cold snap, she was struggling to stay warm. The babies are together in an 8 x 10 shelter with a straw bale house and as of today, they have Mat the Flemish giant rabbit to keep them amused. The shelter was originally designed to give the dogs a place out of the wind, but they only played in it and so when the goats needed a place, it was available. I sure hope the rabbit and the goats get along.  Aren't the little doelings just darling?

Downsizing

Posted by Fluffy on September 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Winter is coming. I bought some older granaries for shelters, but do not have some one to bring them here yet. In the meantime, I have been assessing the situation for winter housing and feeding and have decided to sell some stock. I love the Berkshire pigs, but their food has to be bought and the market for them is poor here. People still expect to pay next to nothing for a pig weighing 500 pounds, but will pay thousands of cows. So, with great sadness, I have decided to sell my bottle baby and friend, Tavy, the Berkshire sow, and her brother, who is also the boar, Simon and not raise pigs anymore. Also the potbelly pigs will be sold if I can find buyers. This is not a good time to sell because people do not have winter housing set up and prices will be way down. 

The turkeys drive me crazy so I have also decided to sell all but one pair. That pair will hopefully stay in their hoop coop with a huddle box for cold winter time or join the chickens, but the amount of poop a turkey can produce is enormous compared to a chicken. 

The Nigerian Dwarf goats and their kids can also go, and Sarah, the Alpine baby who was bottle fed and does not know she is a goat. I have acquired 5 beautiful Icelandic ewes, but they and the Cotswolds, 3 ewes and a ram, are the only additions to the farm. 

I have tried to sell the ram lambs, but again, people out here only want big animals, even if the smaller ones have better traits and taste. I may end up almost having to give the lambs away or keep them until spring and butcher them. I do love lamb, though after raising animals on the farm, I am almost a vegetarian. I eat little meat, especially if I have know the animal. It seems almost wrong to raise the creatures for slaughter. 

Anyhow, if I can find buyers for these animals, they will all be sold before winter sets in. Last night we had a slight frost that caught the tomato vines, but the lower tomatoes were fine. Tonight it might just about freeze. Winter is coming!

Downsizing

Posted by Fluffy on September 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Winter is coming. I bought some older granaries for shelters, but do not have some one to bring them here yet. In the meantime, I have been assessing the situation for winter housing and feeding and have decided to sell some stock. I love the Berkshire pigs, but their food has to be bought and the market for them is poor here. People still expect to pay next to nothing for a pig weighing 500 pounds, but will pay thousands of cows. So, with great sadness, I have decided to sell my bottle baby and friend, Tavy, the Berkshire sow, and her brother, who is also the boar, Simon and not raise pigs anymore. Also the potbelly pigs will be sold if I can find buyers. This is not a good time to sell because people do not have winter housing set up and prices will be way down. 

The turkeys drive me crazy so I have also decided to sell all but one pair. That pair will hopefully stay in their hoop coop with a huddle box for cold winter time or join the chickens, but the amount of poop a turkey can produce is enormous compared to a chicken. 

The Nigerian Dwarf goats and their kids can also go, and Sarah, the Alpine baby who was bottle fed and does not know she is a goat. I have acquired 5 beautiful Icelandic ewes, but they and the Cotswolds, 3 ewes and a ram, are the only additions to the farm. 

I have tried to sell the ram lambs, but again, people out here only want big animals, even if the smaller ones have better traits and taste. I may end up almost having to give the lambs away or keep them until spring and butcher them. I do love lamb, though after raising animals on the farm, I am almost a vegetarian. I eat little meat, especially if I have know the animal. It seems almost wrong to raise the creatures for slaughter. 

Anyhow, if I can find buyers for these animals, they will all be sold before winter sets in. Last night we had a slight frost that caught the tomato vines, but the lower tomatoes were fine. Tonight it might just about freeze. Winter is coming!

Downsizing

Posted by Fluffy on September 16, 2012 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Winter is coming. I bought some older granaries for shelters, but do not have some one to bring them here yet. In the meantime, I have been assessing the situation for winter housing and feeding and have decided to sell some stock. I love the Berkshire pigs, but their food has to be bought and the market for them is poor here. People still expect to pay next to nothing for a pig weighing 500 pounds, but will pay thousands of cows. So, with great sadness, I have decided to sell my bottle baby and friend, Tavy, the Berkshire sow, and her brother, who is also the boar, Simon and not raise pigs anymore. Also the potbelly pigs will be sold if I can find buyers. This is not a good time to sell because people do not have winter housing set up and prices will be way down. 

The turkeys drive me crazy so I have also decided to sell all but one pair. That pair will hopefully stay in their hoop coop with a huddle box for cold winter time or join the chickens, but the amount of poop a turkey can produce is enormous compared to a chicken. 

The Nigerian Dwarf goats and their kids can also go, and Sarah, the Alpine baby who was bottle fed and does not know she is a goat. I have acquired 5 beautiful Icelandic ewes, but they and the Cotswolds, 3 ewes and a ram, are the only additions to the farm. 

I have tried to sell the ram lambs, but again, people out here only want big animals, even if the smaller ones have better traits and taste. I may end up almost having to give the lambs away or keep them until spring and butcher them. I do love lamb, though after raising animals on the farm, I am almost a vegetarian. I eat little meat, especially if I have know the animal. It seems almost wrong to raise the creatures for slaughter. 

Anyhow, if I can find buyers for these animals, they will all be sold before winter sets in. Last night we had a slight frost that caught the tomato vines, but the lower tomatoes were fine. Tonight it might just about freeze. Winter is coming!

Very Busy

Posted by Fluffy on August 30, 2012 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

It continues to be a very busy time at The Fat Ewe. The bed and breakfast has been full several days this week and there is a booking for Friday as well. I actually had to turn people away for the first time yesterday! I am grateful for the increase in awareness for the B & B.

My beautiful daughter Brianna has been visiting for a few days. She drives the 16 hour trip all in one fell swoop, then crashes on either end. She is a pleasure to have around and loves the animals. This time she was very enamoured with the turkeys, which she picked up and petted and carried around, and the baby goats. There are also 3 days old chicks under two mother hens and yesterday the first 3 of the ducklings hatched, so she had to pick up one to cuddle. Her two day visit ended too soon and I saw her off this morning as she drove away on her long journey home. She had been after me to get matching tattoos for a couple of years now, and this visit we did exactly that, so she will have a very close reminder of this time together, as will I. 

The women who tattooed us asked to visit the farm and no sooner did we arrive home, they were there too. They loved the farm and the animals and spent several hours here. As well, buyers for the two remaining male goat babies arrived. I had to spend quite a bit of time with them as they are new to goats and had many questions. They too spent almost 2 hours here, along with the tattoo guests. In the meantime, my chores were waiting, so as soon as they left, I got straight to work and just finished as it became too dark to see what I was doing. Then I still had to go to the B & B and lay out the morning fare since the folks requested a Continental breakfast at 5 am. After I set the coffee pot and cleaned up, I came back to my home and Brianna arrived with pizza and beer! I said she is a pleasure to have around and that was very thoughtful of her, since it was already 10 pm and I certainly did not feel much like making dinner. 

I have to drive to Vilna, a small town an hour and a half away, this afternoon, so when Brianna left this morning, I began the day's work, stripping beds and cleaning bathrooms and also letting the animals out to free range and feed themselves during the day. The birds have been wonderful in keeping the ants, mosquitos and flies down. Last year the mosquitos were terrible and I was not willing to go outside in the evening even wtih long sleeves on because they would bite through everything. This year that has not been a problem at all, except on the evening walks with the dogs out in the quarter. I am impressed with the bird's foraging for that reason too. 

So the past few weeks at the Fat Ewe have been very very busy. There are still 8 sheep to arrive this fall and the chicken coop to build, as well as several smaller shelters for the sheep, goats, geese and ducks. I sure hope that September offers good weather so that everything can get accomplished on this busy farm!

A Day on the Farm

Posted by Fluffy on August 19, 2012 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

The little goat made it through the night, but she has a long way to go to recovery. She is paralyzed on her lower jaw, likely blind in the right eye and her right ear droops. That whole side of her face is out of commission. She got another set of shots this morning and electrolyte solution, then later milk replacer. When I went to give her the night bottle, her tummy was very full. Perhaps she is able to nurse from her mother? She is very thirsty and seeks water but cannot drink because of her jaw. I think her tonue only half moves as well, but she can swallow. It is a 10 day recovery from listeriosis and only 30% survive. 

Let's see...we had chickens in the dog house which is now the cat house. The kittens found the basket I installed in the tree to keep them away from the dogs. The sick little goat was happier with her herd, though she cannot play. I finished a goat feeder. It is rather crude, but none the less, it will work just fine. I want to get 4 wheels so I can move it around since the sheep do not stay in one pen forever. I will make a smaller version for the goats. Right now it is almost midnight and the coyotes are outside the farm gate to the south. I have two dogs inside, because Robbie would jump the fence. He is only a year old and not vaccinated for rabies, so I would just as soon not have the dogs get into a coyote fight. The rabies shots are 90 dollars per dog here, but I did find one vet who would give me a bit of a break to 70 dollars each for all 5 at once. Still, that is a lot of money, yet, they are the forefront protectors and I am responsible for their health. 

And that is today on the farm. Whew!

Oh, and as usual, the turkeys did not want to go to bed. Silly twits.


Sarah, the Goat

Posted by Fluffy on August 5, 2012 at 1:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Sarah was a gift, or rather the better part of an exchange. I offerred wool and the goat was the offer of the person who wanted the wool. Last year's fleeces had a lot of vegetative matter though and Sarah is a purebred hand raised bottle fed baby Alpine goat. The trouble with Sarah is , well, everything. Because she was people raised, she did not learn to be a goat. She doesn't know what to eat and she would rather stay with the people than the goats. The other goats push her away on top of it all, recognizing that she is a little different. Sarah is an escape artist too. She can get in or out of most of the fences here, but now the goats and ram lambs are in a place that Sarah does not seem to be able to climb from. Huray! I had every bit of hay and grain surrounded by tarps and wire and even wire on top and she stil got into the grain. She broke into the duck coop through the wire too and at the grain there. Grain is not really good for goats, not allowing proper function of the rumen. Sarah is 3 months old now and I am sure hoping she will settle in better. Alpines are way different than Pygmy goats it seems, or maybe Sarah is just vey special. Here is Sarah busting through my fortress to get at the grain.

Worms

Posted by Fluffy on July 31, 2012 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Worms are a bad part of raising animals. The populations of worms have become resistant to medications and can kill animals. This past winter, I lost a little goat because she was resistant to the wormer I used. It was too late for her by the time she was so anemic she dropped. unable to walk. I have been reading about worms. The sheer numbers and types of worms that affect animals is staggering. Most can cause severe problems from anemia caused by blood sucking worms, to brain damage from worms that crawl into the brain area. Treatments are with drugs. Years ago, there were no drugs to treat animals. Those who could not tolerate their wormloads died and the strong propogated the next generation. Some primitive sheep retain the resistance to worm loads. One breed even appears to secrete an enzyme that kills parasites. 

In the meantime, we ply our animals with wormers and the wormers stay in the meat or milk and eventually humans consume them. What we need to do is only breed those that are resistant to worms again and build flocks that can manage their parasites without the man made drugs. Something is not right about that whole situation. For thousands of years animals survived, even thrived without the intervention of chemical wormers and now they drop dead in spite of their use.  What to do, what to do?


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