Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Happy rams

You may have noticed that the 'Lamb Watch' gadget on my blog is up and running again....guess what that means? It's that time of year again. Romance is in the air at Crosswinds Farm, and the 2012 lambs will be here in about 5 months.

I normally put the rams in with the ewes right around Thanksgiving time, and for some reason, I was thinking that I still had a while before we would be playing the Sheep Dating Game, but as I was looking at the calendar last week, it occurred to me that it IS Thanksgiving time and I needed to get sheep moved around....I have no idea where the year went, but here we are!

The sheep certainly didn't forget what time of year it is though. There have been lots of lustful gazes going back and forth across the pastures.

The boys have been waiting patiently to meet their dates....OK, maybe not SOoo patiently.

And there has been A LOT of unlady-like behavior from the girls.
" I smell boys!"

Even the ewes that are normally the best of friends have been acting like guests on The Jerry Springer Show.

 " You're goin' down, sister!"

Have you noticed a common denominator...or, I should say, common dominate-r, in most of these photos?
Awwww, it couldn't be sweet little Athena, could it?

Yeah, I'm not gonna lie, it's totally her. She may be the smallest ewe, but what she lacks in stature, she makes up for it in attitude.

The rams and ewes were put together in two groups last Sunday, putting an end to all the fighting. Little Miss Athena and Lucina ( the black ewe lamb) are safely tucked away in a pen to protect their virtue; they are way too little to breed. I can't promise that there will be no fighting in that pen though, 'cause, well....Athena is in there. 

Mama Llama is just happy that things have settled down....
She was getting a little stressed with all the fighting.

 In my next post I will let you know which ewes are with which ram. ; )

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall and stuff.

Fall weather has definitely arrived here in Eastern Iowa, and the crisp temperatures keep reminding me of all the projects that need my attention before the dreaded S-word starts falling. Come on you guys, I meant SNOW!

The weather has been fickle lately, to say the least, which makes it awfully hard to plan things, but it does make for some very interesting, and beautiful, Autumn skies.

The Squmpkins have been harvested, and for those of you who inquired as to the contents, they did end up assuming more of the pumpkin characteristics than the squash. The outer skin even started to take on a bit of an orange cast a few weeks after harvest, and by all accounts, they were delicious!

With the new batch of chicks growing like crazy, one of the projects on the 'to do' list was to get the small chicken coop fixed up to use as a brooder house. The coop is ancient, it was here when we bought the place, and it was in extreme disrepair at the time. We debated on whether we even wanted to bother keeping the old eye sore, but, in the end decided it was worth salvaging. We have patched it over the years, put a new roof on it a couple of years ago, and finally decided this year to put all new siding to finish it up. 

We started working on it over the weekend, and got it completely done - except for adding a husband doesn't know that he will be doing that in the spring. Also, unbeknownst to him, he will be adding window box...and a barn quilt over the door. I neglected to mention that I wanted those things at the time because couple-bonding over home improvement projects with power tools can sometimes end badly, so it is best to get the basic necessities done without bloodshed before mentioning the extras.

This is the back side.

I wanted to paint it something other than white, but we had white paint, so it's white. Don't tell my husband, but we will be painting it a different color in the spring too.

This is the front of the coop. We had a lot of volunteer building inspectors making sure we did an adequate job. In fact, some of them were such good helpers that they now have white paint speckles on their feathers.

There is ventilation all the way around the building, and there is a screen door to let the fresh air in on warm days, but for now the chicks are closed in because they still need the heat lamps and a draft-free environment. Once they are big enough, they will run free with the big girls.

The chicks have lots of things to keep them busy in their new home. For one thing, they been mastering the fine art of roosting. They have been doing pretty well, but it is still a challenge for some of them to keep their balance.

The little Egyptian Fayoumis is looking, well, Fayoumis-y. Hopefully it isn't a rooster, and hopefully, it doesn't live up to the breed's wild reputation.

"OH MY GOSH! OH MY GOSH! LOOK! Not to change the subject here, but does anyone else have green legs???"

"Oh, wow, yeah, those are really green, you should probably have that looked at."

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