Friday, October 18, 2013

16 guineas

This is one of the best parts of farming.
I love it when the new ones come to the farm.
These are the chicks from the guinea nest that Odin found.
They hatched out this week.
What is really funny, I have three standard, one pearl and two lavender guineas.
I really don't know which is male and which is female.
But as you can see I have chicks of each type.
Although the best I could tell,
 it was a standard guinea that was setting the nest.
Standard guineas are all brown,
Lavender ones are the light gray,
And the Pearls have white breasts.
16 Little guinea chicks

Monday, October 14, 2013

Chuck and Charlie

When I can get them alone I like the new mommas to have a full share of all-grain.
The ewe needs the extra because she is nursing.
After awhile she learns to linger back, both for the extra feed
and also because she watches the little ones so well.
Momma getting a full share of oats.

Chuck giving momma a hug.

Chuck is very curious.
I like to handle the lambs as much as I can.
They need be comfortable with me and the dogs.

Odin finds a Nest.

In the late summer, I noticed that I was missing one of the guineas.
I was down to four. It made me a bit sad but that is the way it goes sometimes.
I was watching out the window one morning
and noticed that Odin was very interested in a spot in the field.
As you know they sometimes run a chicken and catch it. So I thought I was off to save a chicken. 
 Odin had found a guinea nest of about a dozen eggs.
And the lost guinea had been nesting the eggs!
I gathered the eggs, as there was no way that Odin was going to leave them alone.
And I put them in the incubator.
I had no idea how long she had been setting them.
But I figured they would hatch when ready.
 And this morning they were ready.
 Right now I am at one counting, more are pecking out.  
The little one looks like she may be a "pearl", one with a white breast.
Guineas have begun to hatch!!!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Watching over the herd

   new lambs with ewe                                        herd                                                                   Luna and Odin                         

It may be hard to see, but the new mom and twins are to the far left in the bright sun, the herd is in the middle, and Luna and Odin are in the shady grass to the  right.

Actually, what is very funny, when I let the dogs out with the herd, Luna and Odin ran off and the herd was walking and grazing far down the field. When I came back about an hour later, this is where I found them. I just can't believe it! This is the way it is suppose to happen! 

Odin is on guard

This picture was taken yesterday, about mid-morning. The ewe had taken the lambs down to the lower pasture to stay with the herd. Luna and Odin were very curious about the lamb. But after being told a couple of times by the mother that she did not appreciate their help, they got the idea and stayed back.
Both of the dogs have been around the lambs as they have grown up. What I mean is, I was feeding Lily a bottle when I got Luna, so she was very used to little lambs, but she was little herself. And Odin came to the farm in May when he was 7 weeks old, and has grown with the spring lambs. But they have never been this curious or watchful before. They want to stay close to the herd now.
I think this guardian dog thing may actually work!!
Odin is on Guard

New lambs

Every morning as I go to make coffee, I look out towards the chicken coop to see how the our world is fairing. The morning was cool and foggy. The sheep herd had gathered at the coop gate as always. Luna and Odin were at the gate also but were not barking. I looked to the west and one ewe was standing alone. Well not alone, she had two little ones with her. I quickly made coffee and told John that we had the new ones. I dressed and went out to see her. The lambs were clean, but not dry. So I think they were about two hours old. They were still searching around for their mother, not sure which way to go.

After checking to make sure all was well, I went back in for hot coffee. Hard to start my day without it! John left for work and I went out to finish the morning feed. I fed the chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and dogs. And then took the bucket of all-grain to the sheep. I kept a little still in the bucket and went over to the new momma. I poured it on the ground and as she was eating, I was able to check the little ones. The one with darker marks is a ram, and the one with lighter marks is a little ewe lamb. (I will name them Chuck and Charlie for a friend of ours who is having a baby tomorrow. His little girl will be named Charlie after his father, Charles. And this is the "C" generation of lambs.)

The picture was taken this morning at the feed trough. It is amazing how fast the little ones have to get moving to keep up with the herd. She had them down at the lower pasture last night and John and I slowly walked her up to the night pasture. Sometimes I had to nudge the little ones along, as she reminded them to stay close and follow her.

Chuck and Charlie

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Under a bucket

Luna is 9 months old and Odin is 7 months now. They are really good at catching chickens. But surprisingly they have quit killing them. They just "play" with them. I have had to rescue quite a few in the evenings. The roughed up chickens now share the young hens pen until they are back to their old selves. Well the other morning as I was feeding the chickens, I noticed that Odin kept going over to an overturned bucket. I sometimes contain the dogs in this pen so they have a food bowl and this bucket for water. I thought he was thirsty and started to turn the bucket over to fill it and out POPS a hen. Scared me! She ran right over to the chicken coop door and I let her in. She ran right to the watering bowl. Most times it takes quite a bit of chasing a hen to get them to go into the pen. I don't know how long she had been under the bucket but at least for the night. And she was thirsty!