Farm Stories January 15, 2022

Ever have one of those weeks where when Friday arrives you honestly wonder what on each happened to the week? Honestly, most weeks feel like that to me, but occasionally I get one where the weeks seem to go faster. Is time sped up? 

It's been a big week. Not only has winter truly set in with bone chilling cold temperatures of -23C and wind chills of -35C, but, this time of years is also all about finalizing plans for the coming season. 

cute milksheep lambs

Oh, and we had lambs. Did I mention that? Yes, on the coldest days of the year, we had one ewe that insisted it was THE best day to have her lambs. I shouldn't be surprised really, it happens almost every year. Her stall-mate, thought it best to have them the afternoon of the following day when it was only -4C out instead of -19C. No matter, luckily all lambs are doing just fine. It did mean I had to do another triage barn modification - more clear tarps to stop wind coming in - it worked, didn't cost a lot, and makes a huge difference. Getting daylight into bank barns is a perpetual problem. Personally, I like having daylight in the barn even if the animals don't care - I do.

Close up of a milksheep ewe lamb

 

Now we have a total of 5 lambs. Bossy's lamb from December is going great guns, and already proving he is definitely a ram. The others are will begin exploring their world this week. A single lamb tends to be healthier and bigger than twins. Although all the lambs were up and nursing quickly, I felt becasue of the cold weather they'd be just that little bit warmer with a heat lamp and some coats - One set has a lamb, the other set has coats. It's probably more for us people than the lambs.

 Soon they will all be gamboling about together in an adorable little group driving their Mums nuts with their sharp tiny hooves on udders, backs, and stomachs. Ouch!

newborn milksheep lambs in coats



ASIDE: This year has been very strange. Wind directions have changed constantly. Usually we get winds form the north west in the winter, and ours, like many, many other farm properties is set up for that wind direction. All doors, windows, and barriers were built for that direction of wind. Our farm was built in the 1860s so it's not anew phenomenon. Summer winds come more from the West, alternating between north west  and south west. Occasionally we get hard winds form the south, or south east, bringing an intense storm. Being an old farm, knowledge of seasonal wind direction can be seen in how the farm is situated and trees were planted. 

 

ASHA UPDATE: OMG, Asha is doing SO well. She greets us when we come into the milk house (as long as the puppers aren't there) with a little squeak, rrrrup, and her tail held high. She then trots into the bathroom, sites in the doorway and stares at us. She will often roll over on the floor in a playful fashion. We have a long feather on a stick that she now gladly plays with, even when not on catnip. She's comfortable enough to lick food off both our fingers, as long as we're calm and still. With luck, a second spayed female will be joining her. Asha came from a colony so would probably like a friend. I think she's lonely. Hopefully they'll bond and can then hunt the barn together!

WARNING: This video is Asha playing with a dead mouse. Its typical cat behaviour, but can be disturbing to some. 

 

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