Thursday, November 28, 2013

Busy busy busy

Time seems to be flying by right now with no spare moment to update the blog! It also doesn't help that my most favourite lens spontaneously combusted. I bought a little screwdriver set to try and fix it but I haven't had a chance to try yet.  

I've been working at a dog training place in town as well as walking some dogs here and there. On the days that we both work, Nathan gets up really early to get ready and to deal with the fish pumps. He's got the compost pile really going now and it's up to over 140 degrees! The water circulates through there to heat up the fish tank. Like a water heater, he worked out that the pump pushing water through the compost has to be off for awhile to let the water that's in the pile heat up. If the pump is on all the time then the water starts cooling the pile down instead of the other way around.

There were some beautiful cauliflower heads forming in the grow bed...until the rats found them yesterday...

This is what's left :(

Where's that terrier-ish dog when you need her? She acts like she's doing serious rat hunting in the greenhouse but she has yet to actually kill one...

Some little broccoli heads.

The barren winter greenhouse.

Baby greens are doing great! So are those weeds...

Once Nathan leaves for work I get up and let the chickens and goats out and feed everyone their hay/grain. We are also feeding the horses and cows in exchange for hay for the sheep. When I'm done that, I get ready and leave for work (or quickly write a blog entry!) and only get home at 7:30 or 8:30 after Nathan has already done the evening chores, fed the dogs and made us dinner. Lucky me to get to come home to a delicious meal :)

Loic and Erika came to visit the farm this weekend! Loic loved the chickens the most, and especially SoZH aka "the one that likes to be picked up!!!". 

SoZH (DoZH?) still likes to hop up on my arm in the morning for a special bit of food away from the bossy adults. 

Big difference from a month ago!

We would still like to get Zeb to be tamer but we haven't had a chance to work with him away from bossy Thomas! 

Here's a photo from 2 weeks ago when we were bathing Oprah's foot in a bag. I really wish we had a photo of us doing Thomas' feet... It's been 2 weeks as of today that they've been out of the 'dirty' paddock so it's now considered clean. On Saturday we'll give them all a long foot bath (including Zeb, if we can) and put them straight in the clean paddock.

It's almost time to decide which of these young roosters get to stay and which will have to go. They're gorgeous roosters - Walt and Saul especially.

Thomas is still keeping a very close watch over his ladies.

And Abby is still not a big fan of Thomas. Any perceived (or real!) threat to us and Abby is on it. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Live and Learn

If we could start again in this sheep adventure, we would have done things differently. Mainly, we should never have bought Oprah and Ewean from the farmer that we did. It's too late to change that, though, and there's no time for regret when we're too busy treating feet. Yup, that's right. Even after culling Ewean, we are still dealing with f-ing foot rot.

We found Oprah limping a few days ago. The first check looked like foot scald so we sprayed her foot and let her go. When we rechecked the next day and the hoof wall had separated at the heel. We decided that we had to go into full out attack mode this time. Ewean had bad feet from the beginning - we think she would have remained a susceptible carrier forever. Oprah has never had foot issues before. The wet weather probably brought it on but we really don't want to be dealing with this all winter. We bought some zinc sulphate powder and after consulting with a vet, trimmed her foot right back and bathed her feet for a half hour. Then we let her go into the 'clean' yard by the house (foot rot bacteria dies after 2 weeks if there are no sheep/goat feet to infect). We walked back to check on Thomas, Amelia and Zeb....and noticed Amelia limping. Her foot didn't look as bad as Oprah's but we still bathed her feet and then let her go into the 'clean' orchard while we figured out what to do with her. We walked over to the fence to look at our pasture options....and noticed Thomas limping. There comes a point where you don't feel any emotion about the situation and you just get on with what you have to we made a plan for dealing with Thomas. We somehow managed to flip him onto his side by surprising him while he was eating grain. We both lay on top of him and I bagged all of his feet (literally with bags - we've been pouring the zinc sulphate into small plastic bags and rubber banding the bag over each foot). We bathed his feet for almost an hour. Our only option for a Thomas-friendly paddock was one that's been empty for a week. We put him, Amelia and Zeb in there and left Oprah in the yard by the house. The plan is to make a foot bath that they'll walk through whenever they get a drink of water or some hay (using a foam mat so they can't drink the solution). Then, in 2 weeks when we have a fully clean pasture for them to go into, we'll do another hour long foat soak and an injection of antibiotics (we gave them each an injection yesterday along with the foot bath) and then we'll let them into the clean pasture. After that, we'll re-evaluate. It will probably be pretty rainy so we might have to treat again and move them into the dry barn.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Back Off

Don't mess with Thomas' girls.

I put a lot of faith in that electric line separating us...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Family Arrangements

 Nathan's family left last night and the house and farm sure feel empty without them! We had a great visit and I think they probably got the best October weather possible with only a few days of rain.

Between both of our families visiting we got the greenhouse all cleaned up (but we'll miss them all for more than just their working abilities!):

Our house might be feeling empty...but Thomas and Zeb's isn't. The girls have moved in!

I guess Thomas is making them feel welcomed? He sure was excited to see them...

Poor Zeb is left out. We want to put him with the goats but he wasn't happy about being away from Thomas on our first attempt. We'll have to make the change gradually. 

The goats were happy to munch on some plants that we pulled from the greenhouse. We may have made a mistake giving them the brussels sprouts plants - it seems that they can be bad for goats and May wasn't feeling very well yesterday or this morning. I don't think they're *too* bad though (unlike the rhododendrons).

Squishy has officially abandoned SoZH at night. I guess 'abandoned' is a bit harsh since he is old enough to fend for himself now. She goes up to her roost and he stays on the ground. Last night I brought him inside to sleep in a box since it was so cold....

Ryan hopes you had a happy Halloween!