Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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We are flying to Copenhagen Denmark seeing, Finland Germany Estonia StPetersburg Russia and a couple of other stops across the Baltic countries. I’ve not been to that part of Europe. Really looking forward to it. It is a Norwegian Cruise.
That should be a great trip. Sure hope the weather is nice and warm for you. If you are flying back from Denmark, and your trip is in the early spring, try to head south from Denmark for a quick trip to Holland for the tulips.
 

High Desert Cowboy

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Angel sounds like a good workaholic, though I understand it can be annoying. Once Bella learned she could jump out she would immediately escape anytime I was in the vicinity of the sheep, because clearly I’m a silly two legged buffoon and have no idea how to do anything sheep related without her supervision. I used to have Hotwire around the top but I had to move it when I swapped things around. I put chicken wire across the top figuring a physical barrier would help. There I am fixing my H brace in the sheep pen and who should appear to assist but Bella. She climbed the side, tore a hole in the chicken wire, and came running with a grin on her muzzle. Now I’ve got pasture fence across the top. Just gotta make sure she doesn’t get her paws on wire cutters, she’d probably figure out how to use them. All you can do is half heartedly scold them because hey, they wanna work and thank the good Lord for dogs. If only we could find a way to get our kids to have that same enthusiasm right?
 

Beekissed

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. Nothing to be done here except Prep H until after this ewe lambs. I texted Travis (breeder) who said he gets one about every 4-5 years. He suggested cutting her feed to avoid the lambs getting too large. This makes sense since it is the pressure from the expanding uterus that is pushing out the prolapse. I am hoping that after she lambs it will not return. If it becomes a continual problem she will have to go.
Was wondering if his frequent prolapses could be due to how closely he docks his sheep?


 

Ridgetop

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:bow So, just back from our cruise last week. It has been Plague Central here. I got a cold last day or 2 of cruise. Came home and went to bed to get rid of it. DH got it and immediately called doctor in case it was Coronavirus. Came in and woke me up to reassure me that our symptoms did not fit CV. LOL I could have told him that it was some other form of contagion since the entire household had come down with a similar thing the day before we returned from cruise. Probably all exposed to same source just before leaving and took 14 days to mature. With DS2’s fiancée working as a nursery schoolteacher, DD1’s children in school and at our house every day after school, and DD1 teaching middle school, we had no hope of escape! We continue to argue over who patient Zero was, but do seem to be recovering now. DS2 had to call in sick with a 103 degree fever - first time in 2 years he has called in sick to work! Listening to the litany of coughing, moaning, and spewing throughout the house, I expected any time to hear a voice from the road calling "Bring out your dead" like they used to do in the middle ages during the Black Death.

The cruise was fun although our friends were not feeling too well. They are older and are having some digestive issues. DH and I spent more time doing activities together, and less time playing bridge to allow them to rest. We really enjoyed the designated table and time dining this cruise and have decided to do that on every future cruise. We ate less and enjoyed it more. The weather was great.

At the first show the cruise activities director came out on stage asking what countries we were all from. After naming off Great Britain, Canada, China, Japan and the US she asked if anyone was from any other country. A loud drawl down in front hollered “TEXAS”! We started cheering and hollering “YeeHaw”! LOL

We went to a “raffle” event which was actually a sales pitch touting recommended shops. We got “free” charm bracelets and then spent an hour every day at another designated pitch shop collecting the free charms. A couple of the talks showed how they made the fine jewelry and was actually very interesting. After the first 5 talks we realized we could show up halfway through the pitch and just wait for them to hand out the charms which is what we started doing. DGD was over the moon about them when we got home and has not removed the bracelet to date. Any day her little wrist will probably turn green! LOL DH got her a cute pair of palm tree studs. I can't believe that Hawaii - land of the pukka shell - had no shell earrings other than fancy large ones carved out of mother of pearl! Shocked! Tourism has moved upscale! So discouraging!

We went whale watching in Maui and it was wonderful. Actually, we saw so many whales from the cruise ship that we could have just asked for our money back for the tour and stayed aboard. Our friend adores whales and we always take a whale watching trip on any cruise in the Pacific. Since whaling was outlawed in 1970 the Humpbacks have been making a real comeback. In the past 50 years lots of whales have been born and are surviving to adulthood. They are really making a wonderful showing in their calving and breeding grounds. We saw an amazing number of moms with calves, moms with calves and nursemaid/escort whales, males showing off and competing for the females, and teenage whales just having a great time spouting, breeching and tail flapping! One breeched completely out of the water right next to the whale boat! Incredible!!! After we re-boarded our ship, we just sat on our balconies watching the whales all around us in the bay. Best whale watching ever! I took a lot of photos but naturally they are all of the last bit of the tail going back into the water! LOL

We took a small bus tour in Ensenada to see La Buffadora which is a blowhole. We had a great tour guide who explained that Ensenada does not have many homeless or able bodied welfare recipients there. According to him if you don’t want to work, you don’t eat and that takes care of the problem. While a few of the people on board seemed shocked, ourselves and our seat neighbors from Texas – obviously all of us politically unwoke – were nodding in agreement. LOL

No new lambs yet, but just before I left, I recalculated new lambing dates for last 5 ewes based on exposure to my clean up ram. New lambing dates started on February 7 and will last till June 5. However, they should lamb in the next several months by the looks of them and their udders. They are all in the small field pen attached to the barn so no worries about lambing in the rain. As soon as they are in labor or have newborns they will be easily moved into the jugs. My new mantra is “don’t sweat the small stuff”. They will be fine.

The ewe that has been threatening the rectal prolapse is still with us. No lambs yet, but she is still doing ok. DS1 had the vet out twice for her while we were gone. She is getting mineral oil and pain killer and seems to be doing ok. I assume her lambs are alive inside otherwise she would not be doing so well. We will continue to watch, wait, and pray for a good outcome.

Was wondering if his frequent prolapses could be due to how closely he docks his sheep?
That ewe is docked a bit shorter compared to our home docked ewes, but not more than most show sheep I have seen and longer than a lot that were showing before the new rules came out about 20 years ago. Back then breeders were docking clear back up into the spinal processes to give the sheep the appearance of a high tail set and level hip instead of just breeding for that. It resulted in lots of prolapses, especially in market lambs that were the ones being docked so excessively. The ultra short dock damaged the rectal muscles. I think this ewe is just prone to this and whether she was docked or not, may have prolapsed anyway. With the breeder having a flock of over 500 ewes with an incidence rate of only 1 prolapse every 4-5 years, I don’t think it is hereditary. That would be a normal incidence rate, and it was just the luck of the draw that I bought the one that ended up with the problem. However, we will cull her after she lambs, and I will have to look at the lambs to decide whether to keep any ewe lambs out of her. Any ram lambs will be going to slaughter anyway. We leave at least 2 vertebrae of the tail out from the rectum when docking so if the prolapse is from short docking any ewe lambs should be ok. (We are not docking ram lambs any more.) On the other hand, we usually don’t like to keep anything that has a prolapse history in our breeding stock. We prefer to be safe rather than sorry so we will have to decide if any ewe lambs go to freezer camp or ? LOL

Now that we are on our feet again (after the plague) we will be weighing the slaughter lambs again to see how close they are to butcher weight. I need to let my customers know we have lambs and when they will be going to the butcher. Easter lambs coming up! Weighing will be easy with the barn interior able to be closed off with DH's new gate. We will just run the sheep off the field into the barn pens and then through the scale and back out.

While we were gone, we had a lot of high winds here. DS1 said the first high wind gusts moved our Tipi shelter in the Field of Celibacy around so he and DS2 repositioned it. Several days later higher winds hit and flattened it! Luckily the rams prefer to shelter under the old trampoline so there were no casualties. :epDS1 said he will reposition it with heavier stakes and ties. The strange thing was the Tipi that is exposed on top of the ridge line did just fine while this one was up against a wall in a hollow where it is sheltered! And you would have thought that the trampoline would have been tossed instead of those heavy corral shelter panels! You never know what happens with livestock!

BEFORE pasture - front - shelter.jpg AFTER IMG_5596.jpg IMG_5597.jpg
You can see my 3 rams next to the flattened shelter!

Angel is out of her convalescence. While her stitches healed poor Angel had to be confined in the stock trailer since she is such an escape artist. Luckily it was not too cold or too warm while we were gone, but DS1 kept a close eye on her. If the weather had turned bad, he would have taken her to the boarding kennel. As soon as her stitches healed, DS1 and DS2 took the stitches out and turned her loose. She was so happy to be free with her sheep and the other dogs! She has a huge scar but has recovered with no problems. Her cone had been chewed all around the edges. We are not sure how she managed to get it into her mouth – the other dogs could not get at it so it had to be Angel chewing on her own cone! LOL

DS1 took down all the horse corrals in preparation for setting up another large sheep pen using the rodeo panels, next to the one already on the field. It will be useful to pen 2 separates sets of breeding ewes, each flock with a different ram. We can alternate which flock goes out to graze. He did not finish putting up the new pen before being struck down by the Angel of Contagion. Eventually once we are all completely healthy we will all get out and work on this. DS1e is planning to have the sorting gate between the 2 pens so we can use the 2 pens to sort the flocks. I think he may be planning a third small pen as well.

Well back to my unpacking. Tomorrow I will do all the laundry and Lysol the house. LOL
 

Baymule

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I’m so glad you are back! Sounds like y’all had a great time, relaxing and watching whales! Then home and slammed with the plague! Oh no! Glad you are feeling better now.

WHOOP!! Angel is free! She is back at work and happy. I’m glad she is all healed up and happy.
 
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