Ponker - The Way It Is

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Congrats on many fronts, least of which are the lambs.

All my best wishes for your D-IL on the upcoming birth of her next child! So good that you were able to be there and help/support her while your son serves his country! I did 24 years Navy and know what it's like to have dependable parents. You mam, are simply the best!

Now, as for the sheep, sorry you have to let your Katahdins go. Have you considered possibly putting them to best/better use... in your freezer? I understand they are excellent fare. For that reason, I hope to (eventually after my move) get some, hopefully crossed with Dorper, another very tasty meat breed. Congrats on the new additions to your Finnsheep herd! They are pretty little things :love Gotta love baby animals! Baby humans too, although you can't really leave them in the barn when they won't stop screaming... :hide And final congrats on your soon to be Nigie goat herd. They are sweet little characters as well.

You know, you sure have a LOT going on! ;)
 

norseofcourse

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Congrats on the lambs! I hope all goes well with your daughter, glad you are able to go be with her.
 

Ponker

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@Latestarter THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE! and thank you for the very nice compliments. I want to be here for my son and daughter. And for my (almost) four year old granddaughter! In my mind, any parent would find a way to help. It is simply the right thing to do and it makes me feel wonderful getting to come.

My dear spouse, was just in Illinois dealing with a very sick 88 year old mother. I was supposed to come on the 7th of March but when the nursing home called ... one of us had to go. She ended up having surgery for a blocked small intestine. Super crazy, we were praying we didn't lose her. Its a hard thing to be the one at the hospital or the one at home who can't be there for support. I left for Oklahoma the day after my spouse returned from Illinois (12 days dealing with the hospital, nursing home, Momma Fredia, and praying every day all day long that the last remaining member of the family wouldn't leave us yet.) It was a very stressful and exhausting time... and then I leave. I had to go and we both understood that. it didn't make leaving any easier. I was very happy to be able to help with the lambs.

Its the one thing we didn't fully realize when we began our farming life, one of us would always have to stay behind. Sure, we said it but brushed it off as an easy thing. Now, it is making us come face-to-face with the amount of work the farm is for one person. We are both on the OCD side and like everything in its place and clean. So we are working before the sun rises, picking up sticks from the trees in the pastures, cleaning feeders, trimming weeds, or disinfecting stalls... It is a neverending job with really crappy pay and no benefits but so incredibly rewarding.

The funny thing is that my granddaughter wears me out! I thought I was in pretty good shape from tending the farm every day all day long, but oh no. Yesterday, we played at the park. I slid down the slide (and climbed the ladder) more times than I can count. We walked to the park and back home. Then she sat on my lap as I read a book and promptly fell fast asleep. BLISS pure bliss. She's growing up so fast and my legs ACHE like they are going to fall right off but no matter... today its going to rain so we'll make beaded necklaces and stuff.

As far as putting the Katahdins in the freezer... maybe the lambs. The thing is, I need them gone when I get the wool sheep sheared. At that point, I need all the chunks of hair cleaned up and no more shedding into the new wool as it grows out.

She rubbs herself along the fence and has popped the tension stick off the cross beam so it lays against the fence (not good). it now has a very long lag screw holding it in place. The fence is new so there is clay-mud around the wooden posts. This fence is around the small paddock next to the barn stall where they go if it is rainy or windy. We used 4" woven wire with a strand of barbed along the top and along the bottom. 48" tall before the additional barbed wire along the top. The barbed wire along the bottom runs along the fence bottom and keeps things from digging under. Its a great peace of mind. They stay here - in this paddock at night. And soon the LGD will be mature enough to be with his sheep full time.
BettyLou hair on fence.jpg

BettyLou shedding 3.10.2016.jpg

I let too much VM (vegetative matter) get into Athena's fleece this year (bottom left). It was my first time with wool sheep and I made many mistakes with their feeding techniques. In the photo you can see BettyLou's neck and how much hair is literally falling off in chunks and handfuls every day. This hair is winding its way into the wool fleeces. Now, it really doesn't matter but after they're shorn, it will.

So maybe the lambs if they are big enough by shearing time otherwise, perhaps a trade with the new owners... BettyLou hasn't lambed yet and we're wondering if she ever will...
 

frustratedearthmother

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The funny thing is that my granddaughter wears me out! I thought I was in pretty good shape from tending the farm every day all day long, but oh no. Yesterday, we played at the park. I slid down the slide (and climbed the ladder) more times than I can count. We walked to the park and back home. Then she sat on my lap as I read a book and promptly fell fast asleep. BLISS pure bliss. She's growing up so fast and my legs ACHE like they are going to fall right off but no matter... today its going to rain so we'll make beaded necklaces and stuff.


I feel your pain - and your bliss! Grandkids are the greatest thing in life! I've got two of mine for spring break and they are so much fun! They wake up full of energy and ambition and by the end of they day they are worn out! (and so am I)

Enjoy your time with your granddaughter and best of wishes for the upcoming birth!
 

Latestarter

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My parents told me as a youth to slow down and enjoy being young. They advised to NOT be in such a hurry to "grow up". Well, while I still have a little "kid" in me, were they ever right! And I now fully understand being "tied to the land (farm)" as well. I'm by myself, so it makes it even more difficult to "get away". The travel in and of itself isn't that important as I've been pretty much around the world, but it hurts that I can't go visit my kids and grand kids, I have to wait for them to visit me. And of course they are at the busiest part of their lives so it's not easy for them either. I wish I had some of those little kids energy sometimes!

So glad Fredia made it through her ordeal. Hope she has a speedy recovery. As the last, it will be sad for all when she finally moves on.
 

Ponker

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My Daughter-in-law and I decided to eat Chinese. We had delivery and it was so tasty. That night, her water broke! We took my granddaughter to her friends' house, as planned and headed to the hospital. It was 12:30 when we arrived. The contractions were getting stronger fast. They settled her in upstairs in the maternity ward and things went incredibly fast. I was the coach!

The Chinese food hadn't really settled on my stomach very well but I soldiered through the nausea. My incredible daughter-in-law has some pretty powerful contractions where she cried out and gritted her teeth. The anesthesiologist didn't arrive until 3:30. I was to the point of shouting back at her to breathe, since that is the only thing I knew about being a coach during delivery. I think the anesthesiologist came from a party or something because he was awkward and gave her a lot of medicine. her heart rate started falling and her pumped her back up with epinephrine. Then the fun started...

The baby's heart rate started falling, and falling, and falling. The room was full of staff and I was shoved away as they prepared to take the baby by vacuum. My trooper of a daughter-in-law gave one last mighty push and out came little red faced Charlie. The worked on him as I held the phone so my son, an Officer stationed in Kuwait, could watch the process on Facetime. We were all in tears. They finally announced that Charlie was fine as frog fur and gave him to his Momma.

He was born at 5:06 and I left the hospital that morning with the plan to sleep a few hours and pick up my granddaughter and go back to the hospital. That didn't happen. I was so incredibly sick. My insides boiled and I vomited and slept all day. I was too sick to leave the house... to get out of bed...I had not been that sick since I was a small child. There was a few minutes when I considered calling an ambulance on myself, seriously considered it. Had the phone in my hand. But then I remembered what my daughter-in-law endured to have my sweet grandson and I put the phone down. By late evening, I was starting to feel normal. By morning, I was right as rain.

A couple of days ago, I drove home. Over all, I was away three whole weeks. Seemed like a long time because it WAS a long time! Its a gruelling eight hour drive but its ONLY a day away.

My son flew home from Kuwait to meet his new son and spend time with his family. He's going back today. I hate it but couldn't be more proud of him. He's a genuine good man.

So I get home and the next day our two colonies of bees arrived. GAH! I' not ready!
New Bees 4.2016.jpg

The tray in front is apples. Although we have plenty of blooms, it has also been rainy.

I had to delay the acquisition of my goats. I did find a home for six of my roosters.
20160410_185307.jpg

This is an Iowa Blue rooster. I rehomed one of these guys. He was aggressive and I didn't want him around. He never hurt anyone but scared people. He'd attack you from behind or your foot. I played with him with my foot and he never put enough behind it to even remotely do damage. I think he was just a fighter. I don't know and didn't understand why he was so aggressive and the other two are completely docile. Anyway, with full disclosure, he went to a new home and they love his dominant attitude. Different strokes, huh? The chickens free-range but hang out in the pen a lot. They have access to the coop also and a few prefer to stay in the coop most of the time.
20160305_121450.jpg

Taking photos of chickens is difficult at best and impossible at worst. I kept this Salmon Faverolle rooster and gave four away. I also gave away my Black Dorking Rooster that I don't have a photo of.
I kept my Red Dorking roosters because I'm getting two started pullets from a breeder in New Hampshire in May. From Backyard Chickens!
20160305_121536.jpg

This big guy was born October 29th 2015. So he's not mature yet. I didn't let my Red Dorkings go. I kept both of them. I'm getting ten (straight run) from Sand Hill in addition to the two hens from New Hampshire. My twenty five from Sand Hill last year yielded 75% roosters. I'm hoping for a little better odds this year.

My big ewe, BettyLou is going to have babies. I finally understand what happened. Betty was supposedly bred when I got her but obviously not. The due date came and went, weeks past. So even if she were bred the very day I brought her home, she is long past the time when she could be carrying lambs from that beautiful ram. But she is finally showing signs of impending lambing. Her back end is getting very very soft and she's beginning to get a bag. I think my Finn ram, Holstein is the dad. They were together for a few weeks early on, before I separated him before lambing began in earnest. it makes sense and is the only acceptable scenario. Sperm didn't fly through the air and make her pregnant. There had to be a carrier.

BettyLou is a very big hair sheep and Holstein is a small Finn ram. I'm excited to see the babies, and if she'll have multiples. Finns are known for their prolificacy.
BettyLou 4.2016.jpg

Betty is shedding her dense winter coat.. all over the place. And VooDoo is looking at the camera. Voodoo, a purebred FBA Finnsheep, was born March 15th, 2016. All four hair sheep are going to live with my 'across the street' neighbor. Probably, next week. I want to have them settled in before the shearer comes and before I bring home my little Nigerian milk goats. Things are headed in the right direction.
 

Latestarter

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Welcome home! Sorry you got so sick, glad it wasn't worse. Congrats on the new grand son and his exceptional parents. Best of luck with your soon to be "mini" hair sheep ;) and Nigie milk goats. You have some very handsome roos. Best of luck for a better hen:roo average on those coming.
 

norseofcourse

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Wow, what an experience with your daughter in law and your new grandson - congrats and well done!

Hope all goes well with BettyLou's lamb(s). Finns are known for their multiple births, but that won't influence how many BettyLou has - it's the mom who controls that, depending on how many eggs she drops. BettyLou's ewe lambs are the ones who may inherit some of the Finn tendancy toward multiple lambs. Gonna keep any?
 

Ponker

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@Latestarter and @norseofcourse thank you! My daughter-in-law is a real wonder! I'm so proud of her.

Thanks for the reminder about the mom being the one to influence the birth numbers. I had completely forgotten. I'm not keeping any of Betty's lambs no matter how tempted I am. She sheds huge clumps of hair everywhere. I sent a deposit on 3 FBA Finn ewes from Stillmeadow Farm in upstate new York. And I'm getting two sisters (FBA Finn ewes) from a farm in Missouri, Shawn and Sheng. That will bring my ewes to number eight with them being all FBA Finns. I have two rams Georgie and Holstein already. My total flock is ten and that is my holding number for now although I am tempted to get a ram from Stillmeadow to improve the genetic pool in this area... since I'm paying transport and all...

I want to wait for the big sheep to be gone before I get the lambs because the big girls are not very nice to the little lambs without Mommas.
 

Latestarter

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Sounds like a future breeder in the making! :clap Probably don't need to tell you this, but keep excellent records and take lots of pics (for your future website)! :old Wishing you all the best of luck! It's a real difficult choice when you're paying huge shipping fees already... Should I add in just one more? o_O :hu Hope you'll share some pics when you get them all home :fl:D

Sorry, was feeling in an imoji mood... :thumbsup
 
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