Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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She invited herself to SIL's place. She is alone. All SIL1's family have an open invitation to our place. They are really fun and we get to play Chinese mahjong! SIL's mom stayed at our place for a month when DGS1 was born. We are good friends. Sadly she is not in good enough health to come out much anymore, Louise is the younger sister (Yi Pau) and usually is busy with church friends so doesn't come much. We really like her too and wish she would come down more often. Aunt did not ask us to get tested, it was SIL who wondered if we minded. Which we all do. She did visit China several years ago with her church group to do charity work. Possibly she was lured to the dark side but since she, her 2 sisters, and mother escaped the communists over 50 years ago I doubt it! Some of the relatives are still living in Hong Kong which is having a hard time now from communist China not iving up to its agreement with Great Britain. Is anyone surprised?!

So Anatolians 2 - coyotes 0! :highfive: Another dead coyote carcass dragged onto my lawn. Bubba refused to give me his toy but since I refused to touch the rotten thing except with my shovel and scooper, he probably didn't realize I wanted it. Or he thought I wanted a pre-breakfast gnaw and wasn't willing to share. I chased him off the lawn with it. He didn't understand why I didn't want him to have a comfortable place on my lawn to chew his prize, so but he brought it back as soon as I turned my back. I decided to wait and clear it off later. Leaving Bubba to his prey, I went into the house to pour coffee.

I had checked on the pregnant ewe through the upper barn windows that open onto the driveway before coffee making and poop scooping but no lambs. She was just standing there looking sheepish. I gave DH his coffee and he asked if I had fed in the barn. No Dear, busy scooping poop and trying to remove rotting coyote from the lawn. I went back down to the barn to feed and could hear a newborn mewling. They sound a lot like a cat when first born. They haven't mastered the loud bawling of older lambs yet.

No lamb in the pen with the ewe but she had a small bloody discharge so I went down to check and was distracted by the mewling of a bloody newborn trying to enter the creep pen where it apparently figured it could get a quick bit of breakfast. I went to pick up the lamb and return it to the new mom but Bubba beat me to it. :eek:

Surprise! :yesss: He has obviously matured into a nurturing male Anatolian He very gently sniffed the little lamb and started to lick and clean it up. I picked it up - a ewe lamb - iodined the cord and brought it back to its mother in the jug. I was extravagant with my praise of Bubba's behavior, which was exemplary. Next job - find the spot where the lamb could have escaped. Since it was newborn, the escape was not planned.

Sure enough, there was a hole next to the jug fence panel where the little girl must have rolled under the fence into the hole. Remember the water leak in the barn last year? The wet ground had given way into a gopher or rat tunnel leaving a fair sized depression in the barn floor. We never filled it in since it was right next to the fence where we wouldn't stumble into it so . . . . Apparently the lamb was born right there and rolled under the panel into the hole, struggled to her feet, and wandered around the barn looking for mom. Meanwhile mom was standing silent in her stall, probably wondering what had just happened. When the lamb was returned to her mom, the ewe began to clean her off. Hopefully she will have another lamb soon. In the meantime, I put a board across the panel to prevent anymore accidental escapes.

Then I fed the ewes in the barn. DH joined me and we fed together. Nice bonding time. Very quiet in the barn. I entered the larger jug t feed since DH didn't want me to toss the flake from the outside. I eft the gate open for bubba and Angel t come in and meet the lambs Mom was busy eating and the lambs are 3 days old so the initial crazy protectiveness had died down. Besides the ewes all knw the dogs. Bubba and angel proceeded to look for any afterbirth that might have remained - it had been scooped up and fed to Bubba the previous day by DGS1, but dogs are ever hopeful. After ascertaining that no delectable bits of slimy decomposing afterbirth remained, Bubba and Angel licked the lambs all over and then left for other pursuits.

I will go down in another few minutes and check water buckets and see if we have a twin. I am glad she had this lamb easily with no help. I was getting tired of pulling the first of a set of twins each time. And having to pull both of the first ewe's twins. I will be rechecking my feeding program and go over it with DS1 to see about limiting their feed for the month before they lamb.

Also I will select my next ram for low birth weight, high weaning weight. That should help. Lewis is supposed to produce lower birth weight lambs, but the first 2 sets of pulled twins were his and all 4 around 10 lbs. On the other hand, both ewes lambed carrying a condition score of over 3.5 so obviously we are feeding too well. That was with no grain at all, just forage hay feed. Of course, DH felt sorry for their pathetically sad eyes (posers!) so he was feeding hay in the am until DS1 stopped him. I think he was still secretly throwing a flake on the ground behind the hay shed when he fed Josie the Mule though. The crowd of sheep behind the hay shed every morning after being let out to graze looked suspiciously like a crowd of high schoolers sharing ciggies behind the gym!

Last night I redid the hem on the Maid of Honor's dress. The hem dress has 4 divided underskirt panels and a chiffon overskirt. Some of the panels were ok, others too long. The dress is actually a size 2 - the Maid of Honor is tallish but tiny. She was a track star in high school and has maintained her skinny body. Anyway, when i tried to redo the hem, i decided to just use my gauge and shorten the underskirt the same length all around. I have a feeling with the separate panels they might have been designed to be different lengths. Another problem was that the Bride wanted the dress to be longer while the Maid of Honor, wearing extremely high heels equivalent to a step ladder, was afraid of tripping. She finally said she preferred the dress to be a bit above touching the floor. The overskirt is chiffon, cut on the bias which makes it tricky to hem. I will have to mark the new length of the overskirt and hang it for several days to allow the bias cut chiffon to settle. I used to have a tailor's dummy which would be extremely useful right now. I could adjust it to the right height and put it on a table to work. Instead I have been crouching on the floor at the Maid of Honor's feet like a supplicant slave. Easy to do years ago but now once I am down I can barely make it up again. :old I am not sure but may have donated it. I didn't see it in the Connex when we emptied it out, and it no longer is in the closet where I used to store it so . . . . It was a Petite size which I bought to fit dresses on for DD1 so it didn't fit me since I am taller, and for a long time (before Bridge) I was only wearing farm and construction clothing to work.

This is why older houses with huge attics and basements were so useful for families. Do you notice on Hallmark shows how the heroine always goes into the attic and finds old stuff that makes her sentimental causing her to rethink selling the old place and decided to keep the little town (which is stagnating without any business or jobs) just the way it is? Or keep the Christmas tree farm which is being repossessed? Or . . . . you get the idea. Maybe it is good that there are no more giant attics or basements - which is the reason I own 2 Connexes stuffed with junk! :barnie

Just checked ewe. Second lamb born (ram) and afterbirth passed. Had Bubba retrieve afterbirth, iodined cord and now will take my shower. WAIT!!! Dead coyote (half of him) still on lawn - first run out and chuck him over the fence while Bubba enjoying his breakfast snack. Then show and dress for doctor appointment. Love it when a plan comes together! :love
 

Ridgetop

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I removed his portion from the patio lawn while he was eating the afterbirth. However, apparently Angel had split the prize since she was busily crunching coyote bones and fur on the front lawn. :thI will get that later. Filled out the registration paperwork on the ewe lambs in the barn so I wont get confused who is sired by whom. Then I went over my ewes still to lamb and made a new list of the remaining pregnant ewes, which ram was used, the dates they marked, and when they are due. The old list was getting confusing with a lot of scratch outs and dates added in.

Just got a text from my DDIL1 asking if the wedding is still on!

Governor Gruesom strikes again. In time for Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping, Gov. Gruesom has posted a purple alert across the state. No gatherings, closing more stores, restaurants, bars, etc. No gatherings over 10 people who must be 6' apart. Weddings and funerals in churches are forbidden and referred to as "cultural gatherings". Religion is a cultural gathering now? Is that how they will get past the pesky Bill of Rights and Constitution?

Isn't preventing gatherings how the communists and Nazis stopped any opposition to their new rules? And they want our guns too?


Wedding receptions are now banned. I immediately called the Odyssey to find out about this. Was told that they are not closing for outdoor dining. Also they are showing all large bookings as "patio dining" instant of hosted banquets or events. DD2 called me hysterical and told me to cancel the wedding since she does not want to have us pay for a reception to which no one can come. Instead she wants us to hold a large wedding next year???!!! :ep NOT HAPPENING! Apparently Gov. Gruesom has decreed now that places must only be at 25% capacity. ???

I told her to calm down since I would move entire affair to our house. We can easily seat and feed 30-40 on patio, 50 if I can get a tent on short notice put up where the old Doughboy pool was. That location has a lovely over the valley. Already had the tent man out and he measured.. Lock up the sheep, Josie the Mule, and the dogs. Lots of parking on the field. Wedding ceremony can be held on the lawn - I will put up an arch with flower garland for ceremony. After ceremony we will start off with purchased appetizers and pitchers of Mimosas. Champagne, orange juice and mint leaves are not too expensive and mixing the Mimosas up in large punchbowls means self service will be easy. I will order a whole roast pig, roast a turkey without stuffing, make Burgundy meatballs (easy to make ahead in quantity and freeze), rice, and large green salad. Buffet service with paper plates, plastic flatware, plastic tablecloths. No mixed bar - only champagne, beer, wine, soft drinks. If quarantine police show up we will all hide in house and I will turn the dogs loose. I don't think they will climb the fences and gates are all deadbolted. Plus my signs advertising the BLM rally might hold them. I really don't think the police want to be storming private gatherings anyway, and we are not visible from the road. Of course they could fly over in the police helicopter but really, let's be serious!!!

DD2 originally wanted to be married at home anyway with a very small wedding. We can clear a spot for dancing on the patio, use the DJ, the photographer will do photos, and I will hire servers. Not what I would choose for DD2's wedding but there is nothing for it. I am not cancelling at this point! I don't think I have enough tranquilizers to get through a cancellation, rescheduling, etc. 🤬

DD2 and FSIL are upset because his grandmother who was coming from Florida has canceled her trip. It is a shame, but she can come out when the baby is born. Now the possibly smaller size wedding has them worried that more people will continue to cancel and we will have to pay for people that are not there. I told them that unless the restaurant cancels the reservation we don't get our money back anyway so will have to go ahead with it. (I did not tell her that the photographer that we just hired last Friday won't refund the money regardless.) She suggested getting married quietly now and having the big ceremony and reception later with a lot more people invited. NO! DH says he is not paying for another wedding next year since we have spent so much already on this one! Besides it is so tacky to have a wedding with the bride holding her baby during the ceremony! :mad: I went to one of those years ago and it was just not right! Call me old fashioned, but really! And I couldn't face my grandmother! 😰 She would be rolling in her grave and possibly causing an earthquake!

Having spent so much on the dress, and other items, I will just move the wedding to our house and get it over with! We could easily have scheduled it for next year if they didn't get pregnant but since they wanted to get pregnant they must suffer the consequences. The wedding will take place on December 12! Already she is beginning to show a bit and in another 4 weeks who knows! Luckily she is very tiny so hopefully with the style of the dress she won't be very obvious. Plus the dress laces up and we can just lace her up tighter, like an old fashioned corset! Hold your breath honey!

Got to go weigh new lambs and do vaccinations and worm new moms. Working with the sheep will calm me down. :D =D
 

Ridgetop

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Too right on that! I have calmed her down a bit though and they are fine with going ahead now. Her worry now is that fewer people will come since they have not sent back the RSVP cards. I told her that the date to respond is November 24 and then we will have to call a lot of them anyway. Particularly to get a count and menu choices for the restaurant. Not a worry since this is not my first rodeo - I mean wedding. Which is similar to a rodeo with a lot of buck offs!

DD2 also called her (birth) half sister and niece about the response we received with a completely unknown name on it. Apparently their boyfriends can't come (they were not invited anyway!) so they just figured they would invite some cousins that DD2 never even heard of! And she never understood why I didn't want her associating with those family members! :rolleyes:

Anyway, she called and told them that those people were not invited and if they didn't want to come alone, that was fine too. Good girl! They are coming from South Carolina so may change their minds about coming. :fl Everything is planned out for a last minute switch to having the wedding at our house if the restaurant cancels. If we have fewer people, I will see if we can change to another patio location that accommodates fewer people and will lower the cost which is per head. No problem!

So last night weighed the new lambs - ewe lamb 10.5 and ram lamb 8.8 lbs. DS1 discovered a large cut on ewe lamb's head which accounted for my seeing a lot of blood on her and thinking it was from the birth. We put on iodine. Also gave shots to lambs and mom and then wormed the 4 ewes still in the jugs. We will worm the other 2 in the large creep pen next week when we weigh those lambs again. In 2 weeks when the CDT has kicked in we will dock the ewe lambs. If DS1 decides to do them sooner I will give another dose of immediate acting Tetanus vaccine. Then went out while DS1 fed and spray marked 3 first fresheners that look to be developing udders.

Here are pix of the current lamb crop so far.
IMG_6197.jpg Split twins born yesterday am. IMG_6198.jpg Split twins born 3 days ago. IMG_6199.jpg 2 jugs of single ram lambs born to first fresheners a week ago. In the background are 3 of the months old lambs in the creep pen. They are really loving all the outside area that they can access on the left (through the white vertical bars) out onto the hillside where their moms are.
IMG_6196.jpg Guarding the flock - IMG_6201 (1).jpg Sadly this coyote disregarded the Anatolian warnings! The coyotes in our area seem to be pretty stupid! They are howling outside now as I type this and the dogs are answering them.
Another type of guardian or just a strangely large red sheep? IMG_6157.jpg Josie is very protective of the ewes when they are lambing on the field and will chase the dogs away. She is a good guardian and loves her sheep, but the dogs are better.

DH is getting 2 loads of hay today. He wants to get it in before the prices go any higher. Came back and said he would get another load tomorrow because the price actually dropped $1 a bale! 100lb+ alfalfa bales for $12/bale! That is cheap for good alfalfa here, especially this time of the year. FSIL came over this afternoon to help unload the hay out of the trailer and stack it. DD2 wants him to learn farm work. DS1 and DH are training him.

I was cooking dinner when DH came in and yelled that a ewe was lambing and the dogs were chasing her! Stopping only to turn off the stove, out I went to find pandemonium on the field!:D In actual fact the ewe was one I marked last night to show she was due any day. She was missing in the count when the sheep came into the night fold. She was down trying to lamb in the gully and instead of waiting for her to finish, then retrieving the lamb and ewe, DH sent FSIL down to chase her up. ?!?!?! What was he thinking, chasing a ewe while she was in the middle of lambing?!. Obviously he has never gone through labor! :barnie

The ewe ran up and when Bubba and Angel ran to her, DH began shouting at Bubba. Big mistake! When you shout at Bubba he thinks you are encouraging him to do whatever it is he is doing. The ewe ran, Bubba ran, Josie chased both of them, Angel thought it was a great game. FSIL ran after them, directed by DH. DS1 shouted at everyone to stop but no one could make out what he was saying. Clouds of dust billowed up, the sun was going down. Rika, the Perfect Anatolian, rolled her eyeballs at their stupidity.

It was at this point that DH had come in to get me. Going out, I found DS1 trying to stop DH from chasing the ewe. DH was telling FSIL to "catch her". DH couldn't hear anything DS1 was yelling - his hearing has gotten to the point he is almost completely deaf. DD2 was struggling to hold Bubba and Angel. Bubba broke away but DH was able to leash him. As I held the kennel gate open and told DH to put Bubba inside, DH marched past me oblivious - he really can't hear anything anymore and there was a lot of noise. I watched helplessly as he dragged the dogs into the barn.
Well goody, that meant that we could not just run the ewe into the barn now since it was full of Anatolians. :he

The lamb's nose was sticking out of the ewe throughout all this chasing and running. Finally, after DH, DS1 and FSIL penned her in the small catch pen, I went in and tried to get a loop around her neck. DH got impatient. He and FSIL came inside the catch pen in spite of my telling them to hang back. The ewe broke past me, through them, ran to the gate which only DD2 was protecting and pushed it open. Bye bye sheep. :th

Eventually we ran her into the smaller night pen and I opened the gate to the chute and squeeze. By now DS1 was still unloading and stacking the hay bales so I told FSIL to go and help him finish. DH, annoyed with me that the ewe escaped the catch pen, had already gone back to the trailer to finish with the hay. DD2 and I watched the ewe in the pen and waited for her to calm down. She stood watching her flock in the adjacent pen. Trying to tempt her over to the feeder with a handful of grain and some hay so I could drop the loop over her head did no good. Finally DS1, FSIL, and DH finished with the hay. DH and DD2 went to the barn to bring the dogs into the house and free up the barn. DS1 gently chivvied her through the gate into the chute and he and FSIL got her into the squeeze.

Now the fun began. We decided that I would pull the lamb while the ewe was in the squeeze. But I am no longer the slender supple girl I used to be. I am older, much wider, with arthritis in my back, a bad knee, and a lot less range of motion all around. However, I was beginning to fear for this lamb so into the chute I went. I had to crawl through the narrow sorting gate, make a right turn into the chute, crawl through the chute and up the ramp to the rear of the ewe. Too bad no one thought to capture this on video. :lol: By now FSIL had gotten the halter on the ewe - upside down. DS1 showed him how to put it on correctly, while simultaneously scolding me for "always bringing out these &%$*@! rope halters, Mom, which you know I hate!"

Finally wedged into position behind the ewe I put on my gloves and lubed up. I just had my nails done so wasn't going to ruin my manicure by reaching in without gloves. ;) DD2 had returned from helping her dad put the dogs in the house and was ready with towels and the lube. This was a small first freshener but the lamb was not huge and Eureka! There was actually a foot right behind its head. Lucky for me and I edged it out. Now I could pull on the head and one leg. The lamb came out fairly easily but lifeless. I handed the lamb over the side of the chute to DD2 who grabbed it and swung it around. This is a great lifesaver and has rescued about 6 lambs that we thought were totally goners. After swinging it for a minute or so DD2 gave a shout of triumph - the lamb was alive! Opening the chute DS1 jumped the ewe down, DD2 rubbed the lamb, and FSIL was given the chore of leading the ewe into the barn.

I was still trapped in the chute.

Remember I said wedged? I finally was able to back down the squeeze ramp and climb the horizontal bars of the chute. I avoided a pratfall by hanging onto the corral fencing of the catch pen. Help from my devoted children? NO. They were oohing and aahing over the precious tiny lamb that DD2 had brought back to life. Following my family down into the barn I opened the gate of the last empty jug. FSIL dragged the reluctant ewe inside the pen and DD2 laid the lamb tenderly in the pen after I put iodine on the cord. We watched expectantly. The ewe completely ignored the tiny white thing. Can anyone say anticlimax?

Where was the joyful reuniting between mother and lamb? Where was the bonding? The ewe wandered over to the adjacent pen and gazed, puzzled, at the good ewes mothering their lambs. The tiny lamb had not really made any noise - maybe she didn't know what it was. Uh Oh. Maybe she would reject it! No, this ewe was of the same good mothering stock as a couple of my other ewes. It was her first baby, I had pulled it out, she hadn't even seen it yet - no wonder she was confused. The ewe began to eat hay while her lamb lay there. The lamb staggered to its feet and was attempting to nurse a bar on the jug while its mama nonchalantly filled her stomach. OK. I went back in the pen, put the halter back on the ewe and tied her up. Then I helped the tiny ewe lamb find the teat. Once I heard some slurping noises, I was able to relax a bit. At least the lamb could nurse - its face was slightly swollen around the mouth from being stuck in the pelvic opening while the ewe raced all over. After redirecting the lamb a couple times I released the ewe again and came out of the pen. Watching for a few minutes we were all relieved to see the ewe finally start cleaning her baby and talking to it.

We came up to the house and I finished cooking dinner for everyone. Another typical Ridgetop episode with a good ending.

Tomorrow we will vaccinate the lamb, tag the older singles and turn them in with the older lambs to free up the next 2 jugs. There are still 2 ewes with udder development due to lamb - I marked them with orange marking paint so we need the other 2 jugs. And the family thought I was stupid when I insisted we needed 5 jugs. LOL

I still have 278 rolls of TP in the Connex too. ;)
 

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Baymule

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Your sheep and dogs are so much more exciting than mine! My sheep usually lamb at night and surprise me the next morning. The few that have lambed during the day, most of them snuck off and still surprised me. I have never pulled a lamb or even assisted at birth. I did have one really stupid ewe who birthed really stupid lambs, neither she nor the lambs ever knew what to do. Second round of stupid lambs sealed the deal, they went to slaughter along with their stupid mom. My dogs never entertain me with dessicated non-freeze dried coyote pancakes, I feel deprived. Likewise, they never regale me with utter pandemonium, I am greatly saddened by my loss of confusion. To top it off, my husband can HEAR!
 
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