Dream For Three

Sep 06 2014

Life gets busier

Filed under: Cows, Sheep, Uncategorized

Last Tuesday Ember (the last of the sheep to lamb) pushed out her three!  They were all girls and DD was keen to hand raise one (supposedly for pet day in a few months).  We left all three on the mother for a few days, after making sure that she could count to three.  However, DW noticed that the first girl out was not growing as fast as the other two – probably because she was forgetting to go and feed before the other two drank mum dry.  So it evenutated that DD (and DW) is now hand raising Hanna (yep, no second ‘h’, as was her choice).

Hanna lives on the South deck where the dogs are tied up at night – she is shut in an area which we have arranged for the birds (in a cage) and the cat food (so the dogs can’t get at it).  The dogs are used to the lamb now, so all is working well.  Lyric, our grey cat, spends most of her time in the orchard with the chooks and (occasionally) sheep.  When it comes time to eat, she has no problem going in with the lamb and jumping up on the table to get at her food.  Midnight (Lyric’s sister), on the other hand, spends most of her time indoors and only really goes out to eat and toilet.  Even when I carry midnight out to the food and put her on the table (with the lamb on the ground ignoring her) she panics and runs away.  I figure that she’ll eventually get hungry enough that she will put up with Hanna.

On Friday this week we had the opportunity to get three Murray Grey calves (all boys) from a nearby farm.  We are currently working on getting one of them to latch on to Daisy (to go with Hobble, also a Murray Grey) so that DW doesn’t have to go out and traipse through the mud each morning to ensure that Daisy is emptied out (Hobble was only drinking off one or two teats at this stage).

The other two, temporarily (but probably permanently) named Bill and Ben are being hand raised nearer to the house.  They appear to have taken to this well and are enjoying their new found paddock in the sun.

Saturday was a trip into the local timber mill to get wood chips (for Bill and Ben to sleep on, out of the mud) and I also got some fence posts while there.  I figured that this year I should really make a start on putting some proper fences in the back section of the property – that will make it easier to bring the cows in when they really don’t want to (as we found just a few short months ago).

So now we have DD doing four-hourly feeds with Hanna (6am through to 10pm), with the 2am feed being done by DD on the weekend and DW on school nights.  DD is already feeling the effects of broken sleep.

In addition to that, every morning and afternoon DW is bringing Daisy in, to make sure that (no name) is getting a feed (with Hobble), and then goes off to feed Bill and Ben before heading back to Daisy to let her out of the milking bay.  Today, after the morning feed in the milking bay, Hobble and partner are in the paddocks with Daisy, so if she lets (no name) feed with Hobble out in the open, then that will be one thing that DW won’t have to do.  Hopefully this stage won’t take too long.

Aug 31 2014

And so it begins…

Filed under: Cows, Sheep

The sheep were due to start lambing last week, and Daisy (the cow) was due to have her calf in about another week or two.  Sticking with tradition, the sheep waited for the worst weather of the week before they started.

On Saturday night (around 8:30pm) Betty started with the first of her two lambs.  She had them at the other end of the paddock she was in, and they were black, so at that time of night it was very difficult to tell what was going on.  However, again in true “Betty” style, she had both lambs without any problems – one boy and one girl.

On Sunday we moved Betty and her lambs into paddocks with more grass and eagerly watched the other three pregnant sheep.  Although Ember looked promising, nothing changed all day and we went to bed with no signs of new babies imminent.

Monday morning arrived and I looked out the window (to the back of the section) and saw five cows walking down the hill – one much shorter than the rest.  Unfortunately they were headed for the overflowing stream (it’s been raining almost constantly since Saturday afternoon).  The other three cows were very interested in the new arrival – but DW was worried that it might fall in the stream.

DW headed down to encourage them all to move back up to the top of the hill.  The other cows didn’t seem to want to do this and were quite intent on pushing the calf into the stream (so it would seem).  Failing to be able to lift the calf (to carry him up the hill), we decided instead to chase the other three cows up the hill and into the yards.  Daisy stayed down the bottom with her calf (on a bit of a rise and away from the stream).

Arriving back to the house, DW checked on the sheep and found that Hoppy had started lambing – the second was on its way out as she arrived.  We both went down the front of the section to check that Betty and her lambs had survived the night – which they had.  We didn’t get too close, just enough to see that they were alright.

Back to the lambing sheep and both of Hoppy’s were out – she was busy cleaning off the second, while it was struggling to stand up on a muddy wooden floor (in the small shed we have in that paddock).  DW has just confirmed (about half an hour later) that both of Hoppy’s lambs are now up and feeding.

Back inside at 7:30am and we’re ready for a break!

 

Sep 04 2012

A Bolt in the Dark

Filed under: Cows

Well it has been a long time since I have written on this blog, so I will try to get back to it and be more regular.

This seems to be late year here for babies, We are still awaiting the arrival of this seasons lambs. Based on when the ram went in they are now 10 days late and no sign of any popping out yet.

Our calf for this year was born to Sneezy. He was also late by just over 2 weeks. Born in the wee small hours of a Monday morning we were not actually there for the birth.

bolt day 1Here he is at less than a day old. He has white stripes down three of his legs so we have called him Bolt. His mum has a ton of milk so our friends have mothered another calf on to help him out. Even with that both calves have had problems with overeating. I have been milking every day and Bolt needed a bit of help with some Scourban tablets from the vet.

It was wonderful today to see him at 15 days old have a bit of a bounce around the paddock, so he must be feeling better. He is such a laid back boy, I know we are going to enjoy looking after him.

Aug 21 2011

Gorgeous Gemma Joins Jack

Filed under: General

This event has been in the planning stages for almost a year.  Today, after nearly two months of eager anticipation, Gemma (or Gem for short) has finally joined our menagerie.

Gemma-FirstDayHome

We first met Gemma when she was just four weeks old – very cute even then, as you can see from the pictures below.  There’s was some debate over her name before we met her – Sharon wanted Gemma, but Samantha didn’t like that name (although didn’t really come up with any good alternatives herself).  I toyed with ideas like Jill (since we already have Jack), or even Jewel (a cross between Gem and Jill), but those were both vetoed by Sharon citing the fact that the name did not have to have anything to do with Jack.  After meeting her for the first time, we all agreed that she is definitely a Gemma!

Gemma-4Weeks1Gemma-4Weeks2

It was an early start this morning, leaving home at 8:30am in order to be in Auckland to pick her up around mid-morning.  Along the way we stopped at a pet store to get more toys/treats, as well as the supermarket to get a few odds and ends.  We eventually collected her just after 10:30am – not bad timing if I do say so myself.  In the car (in her box, or old cat cage as it was) she whimpered a bit at first – but this soon subsided when Samantha opened the cage door and allowed her to lie on the towel we had left with her during our initial visit – this had familiar scents such as her mother and herself.

On the long trip home there was only one stop – she had been asleep and she woke up, so we decided we’d stop at the rest stop at the top of Dome Valley to see if she needed a toilet break.  It turns out that this was possibly her first introduction to grass – well, she was very interested in it anyway.

Not needing to go to the toilet, it was soon back in the car and an uneventful remainder of the journey home.  Once at home she was cautiously introduced to Jack and then the grass.  A short stint outside, followed by her lunch, some water, a “real” toilet break, and then some more play, she was in her enclosed area inside and out to the world.

Jack and Gemma are still getting introduced – Jack is keen to sniff butts and do all the usual doggy stuff, but Gemma is still very unsure of him (probably because Jack is so eager and bouncy).  They are getting better already and they have been a little closer together during Gemma’s second session outside – she is once again fast asleep.

Another update: by the end of the first day Gemma is starting to play with Jack.  Rascal (the older of the cats) has met Gemma as well and started the process of telling her who is boss.

Nov 28 2010

It All Happens At Once

Filed under: Crafts, General, Pigs, Sheep

Yesterday was the day of for everything to happen.

My car was getting a new motor, hopefully no more oil leak. Richard has very kindly offered to put it in for us, and even found us a very good deal on the now one. Thank you Richard.

Our new little piglets were due to arrive late morning, and the shearing wanted to come early afternoon. At least we were getting it all over and done with in one day.

The pigs were a little late, but they had a long way to come. While we were waiting I had a call from the quilter saying that my Dear Jane quilt was ready to pick up, so I shot off to get that while Bevan stayed and waited for the pigs.

001

The shearer arrived about 10 minutes after I got back home, and as is often the way of things the pigs a few minutes later.

It was a really hot day so the little boys had a big drink, and then crawled into the house for a very big sleep

Pigs

The shearer was happy that the yards where he would be working had a lot of shade so it made his job so much easier. The little lambs that are still on there mothers were a bit confused, as they seemed not to recognise their mothers with there coats off.

Naked Sheep

So once again we have a paddock full of naked sheep.

Oct 11 2010

A Quick Update

Filed under: Cows, Sheep

It is freezing cold today, we have even had hail which is unusual for this time of the year. Anyway it is a good day do an update.

Quite alot of things have happened here lately and although I have been meaning to come here and tell all about it, time has got away form me. I will try to think back and start at the beginning, and hit the highlights.

Firstly we have lambs again this year. It swung off to bad start with the first little lamb arriving early and not being able to stand or suck. Despite our best efforts she was not able to last the distance. She was followed the next day with triplets, who then got caught a heavy frost and so didn’t survive either. Not a good start.

We then had three lots of twins, Arnica is Sammies pet from three years ago, and she had to have a little help to deliver her boy/girl twins, since they were trying to race for the finish line together. She then kept them in the pig house for the nest three days, and so they got over the worse of the weather and are doing well.

The next twins were a week later. Two ewes,  both had still born babies last time, both had twins within hours of each other, both rejected one lamb each. Dolly and Dino ended up being hand raised by us, both having brothers that are thriving on their mums.

Dolly and Dino

They spent the first week in an old dog crate in the corner of the room, before progessing to the deck and then the paddock. Dino was really small,but both lambs have grown well and have accepted us as their parents.

We also had a couple of single lambs, one of them was huge and need help to be delivered, because her shoulders got stuck. All are doing well, so the only losses were those ones at the beginning.

A week after all the lambs, Sneezy gave us her first calf, and our first heifer. She arrived an hour before a huge storm, so was aptly named Stormy.

Stormy

She is half Murray Grey and is very adventerous. I am often losing her as she does not stay with mum, but will instead climb through the fences and wander away.

Sneezy is proving to be a very nice house cow, giving us plenty of milk to feed the lambs, us and make cheese. She has settled into the routine so easily. I can’t tell how good it is to have real milk again.

Aug 31 2010

And So It Begins

Filed under: Sheep

Yesterday afternoon, the first lamb arrived, and not from the ewe we thought would be first. A tiny little ewe lamb that failed to stand and so didn’t get her first feed, or any other feed from mum.

After about an hour I decided that intervention was going to be needed, so I went out and found she had become quite cold and floppy. She could stand and she couldn’t suck.

She was warmed as quickly as possible and I got some Lamb rightstart into her, she rallyed and after a few regular feeds she appeared to be turning a corner.

She was still very fragile and alas only managed to live for 30 hours.

This morning we were greeted with a set of triplets. Not what I wanted as often mum can’t feed three for long. For now she is managing all three, but we will see how long that lasts before we have to feed one ourselves.

So now two have lambed and we only have five to go.

Jul 29 2010

Being Creative While Recovering

Filed under: Crafts, General

This winter has seen me needing to recover from a couple of injuries that have kept me a little limited in what I do.

One was a broken rib and the other was a sprained hand. Both these injuries restricted what I was able to do outside, so I have been pottering along as best I could with some creative crafts.

One of the things I did was to take a class named “The Amazing Plait Bag”. The bag is a really good size and very sturdy, and the handles are done in a seven way plait that looks …well, quite amazing.

Plait Bag handles

We plaited the handles on an old CD with slots cut out of it, and once I got the rhythm it was a simply but tedious job.

Plait Bag

The main bag was pieced straight onto the pellon and then the seams were covered with embroidery stitches. The original pattern had the cell phone pocket in the front quite small, so I enlarged it just a little and instead of using a button and button hole stitched on some velcro dots and just put a button on the top.

Over all I was quite pleased with the finished result and I can see myself using this bag often.

Jun 30 2010

All grown up

Filed under: Cows

Remember our first calf Liquorice, well he has grown up to be a lovely big boy. From this very cute lad – OK so he was always a big boy.Sweetie  and baby 7-11 011To this boy. He spent the summer over the fence with the neighbours cows, talking to mama over the fence, and we watched as he grew bigger than the other cows he was with.

Liquorice1

Of course the decision had to be made, so today is his date with the homekill man. He is in very good condition and at nineteen months is more than big enough to fill the freezer and give us our years worth of beef.

It is believed, although not confirmed that his father could very well have been a Red Devon so we are expecting the finished product to be very good.

Apr 22 2010

My New Sewing Bag

Filed under: Crafts

My friend Maureen in Australia organised a pattern for a Sewing Tote Stable bag to be sent over for me to make.

My first attempt was pretty hopeless, I seemed to be having a bad day and the instructions required thinking about as I made it.

After scraping that bag I had another attempt with some nice Fairy frost fabric that I really liked. Needless to say the end result came out much better

It is a cute little bag that can be just slung over my shoulder when I go to classes.

Sewing bag closed

It then opens up like a basket and will sit open while I am working.

Sewing basket

It even has a couple of pockets on the inside so small things don’t get lost.

Sewing Bag Pocket

And a flap on one side that opens to show a place to put needles and pins. Nice and convenient.,

Sewing bag needle

Now Maureen I will make you one when you let me know what colour you would like. Thank you for the pattern.