mysunwolf - four acres and some sheep

mysunwolf

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I haven't been on because not much has happening lamb wise. I have one girl, Squid, due on the 10th or 11th and she is looking big. But the others are really taking their time. This is the longest lambing season we've ever had.

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(The girls eating their hay, before I turned 5 of them out onto the field. The other 4 are still up at the barn, waiting to lamb, eating hay that I don't have and can't afford.)

But in other farm news, on Thursday we got 400+ chicks in the mail from 3 different hatcheries. I split the chicks among neighbors and friends who had ordered with me, and took home around 100+ Freedom Ranger meat birds, 25+ Partridge Rock pullets and White Rock cockerels, and 50+ Royal red broilers. We are running a "test batch" of Royals for a hatchery to compare to the Freedom Rangers. And I couldn't stand being without my Plymouth Rock chickens! Hopefully this means I'll get back into breeding them again, though not within color or to any standards other than my own.

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(Double brooder boxes, with two 250 watt lamps for below freezing temps.)

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(Chicks!!)

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(Partridge Plymouth Rock pullet)

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(Royal red broiler cockerel)

We also took all 4 pigs in the trailer down to the USDA processor last Monday, even though the two smaller ones still hadn't made weight. Heck, my bigger ones barely made it to 250 at 8 months. Not my best batch ever. I may give the pens some time to rest before bringing in more piglets.

The freezer's almost empty of pork, so it will be great to get the boxes back this week and have more stuff to sell. The online farmers market is still going on, and we just had our market meeting for the seasonal market which starts May 11th. I will be sharing a booth with friends who grow fruits and veggies, hopefully for a reduced fee! Since I absolutely hate setting up and only have a couple of coolers, I never have a lot of beautiful veggies to throw across the table to make my spot stand out. So this will be a nice change from previous years.

OH, and our bottle lambs Sammie and Princess are doing great! They get to hang out with me when I work in the yard and are both getting so big.

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Baymule

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Kinda hard to sell frozen meat in a freezer.....definatelyy doesn't have the WOW! factor. What about cubing some meat up and cooking in an electric skillet? Stick toothpicks in the cubes (small) and give out as samples. Get the seasoning just right to tantalize the nostrils and taste buds. While people are munching, run your mouth about how they are raised, happy pigs, etc.
 

mysunwolf

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Kinda hard to sell frozen meat in a freezer.....definatelyy doesn't have the WOW! factor. What about cubing some meat up and cooking in an electric skillet? Stick toothpicks in the cubes (small) and give out as samples. Get the seasoning just right to tantalize the nostrils and taste buds. While people are munching, run your mouth about how they are raised, happy pigs, etc.

I have never done this but I plan to this year! At the market meeting, those who wanted to do samples attended a food safety lecture. There are a ton of regulations for doing market samples, but here in VA they are mostly guidelines UNLESS someone gets sick, then VDACS will unleash hell. So they taught us preventative measures. Most of it is common sense, but there were good tips and examples of mobile hand washing stations. Might try it this year, especially with mutton--I want folks who like lamb to realize that it tastes about the same.
 

mysunwolf

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Squid had her lamb! A single white ram lamb. She is about 14 months old and being just as stubborn as the other first-timers about motherhood. Easy birth, great job licking and cleaning baby, calling to him, but confused about nursing. We're working on it like we always do. I didn't even notice she was in labor, I was mowing the lawn for the first time this year and just as I was finishing up saw a little white lamb wandering around just outside the barnyard. He's a cutie.

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mysunwolf

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It was a great surprise! Of course, I had this as her due date :rolleyes: She just "didn't look ready" to me yesterday morning. I'm really great at this of course :lol:

I made sure the baby got a full belly yesterday evening, and sometime in the night Squid finally figured out how to nurse on her own. Hormones finally kicked in! My young first timers always seem to have such a hard time with this part of things.

He is so freaking cute. Moderately split testes so no breeding, I have no idea which lines this is coming from but it's going to drive me insane trying to figure it out. I'm just banding any that have it and keeping any intact that don't. But I may be doing some purposeful line breeding this fall to try and narrow down the source.
 

mysunwolf

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Hm, well I banded the worst case I've seen this year, but I'll get a photo of the most recent guy today. It's disturbing but some are less noticeable than others. Mostly a cosmetic issue but still not something you want in a breeding animal of course.
 
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