RSS

Monthly Archives: February 2015

scenes from Powder Flat

puppies on the run

puppies on the run

puppy  with shadow

puppy with shadow

Pat with young bulls

Pat with young bulls

 

Tiarnan, Seamus, Maeve and puppies playing in the corn

Tiarnan, Seamus, Maeve and puppies playing in the corn

Border collie puppy hanging out on the corn sacks

Border collie puppy hanging out on the corn sacks

Hampshire ewes

Hampshire ewes

 

Siobhan with Lulu

Siobhan with Lulu

Antonio, Meghan, Oscar, Brittany and Gyp--hard at work

Antonio, Meghan, Oscar, Brittany and Gyp–hard at work

some early lambs

some early lambs

ewes with water bottles

ewes with water bottles

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Animals, Cattle, Dogs, Horses, Sheep

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The “no guilt” early shearing

 

Antonio and the unshorn ewes

Antonio and the unshorn ewes

In mid-winter, we shear the ewes that are going to lamb in March. When it goes well, we even shear before lambing starts!  We do this for several reasons. Even though it seems early to shear, all goes better if the wool is off before the first lambs hit the ground. We raise our own bucks, which means that in order for them to be “of age”–at least some of them, by next winter, late winter/early spring is the time to be born. It is important for the ewes to be out of the wool for a couple of reasons. In cold weather, if the ewe is not cold, it doesn’t occur to her that her lambs might be cold and she should seek shelter. And when those lambs are looking for nourishment, it is helpful if tags of wool are not hanging down in strategic locations. Anyway, thanks to Cliff and Donna of Hoopes Shearing, we have spent two days shearing the early lambing ewes and the mature bucks. What did the bucks do wrong, you might ask? Well, then we don’t have to figure out how to get them staged for the main shearing in April (April, right Cliff and Donna?).

Often, well actually, always except for this year, it is pretty cold in mid-February and we feel guilty removing wool coats from the sheep while we are all wooled up in sweaters and long underwear. I don’t know if we have weather or climate change to thank, or blame, but this week, we had ideal shearing weather–not too cold, not too warm–Goldilocks Weather.

We do have a few lambs on the ground, due to errant buck lambs–born last March–you get the picture.

Sorry, but it was too dark in the shed to get shearing shots!

unshorn ewes, Brittany, Gyp, Antonio, shorn ewes--in that order

unshorn ewes, Brittany, Gyp, Antonio, shorn ewes–in that order

free at last!

free at last!

 

 

Rambouillet ewes, after the blade

Rambouillet ewes, after the blade

Sharon, working the pink chute

Sharon, working the pink chute

Donna loading fleeces into the brand new packer

Donna loading fleeces into the brand new packer

 

which has a few glitches...Antonio and Oscar pushing out the first bales

which has a few glitches…Antonio and Oscar pushing out the first bales

Justin, who keep the wool packer working!

 

 

 

 

 

Maeve and Seamus checking out the new bales

Maeve and Seamus checking out the new bales

Siobhan trying to push her siblings off the wool bale

Siobhan trying to push her siblings off the wool bale

Seamus and Maeve dueling with livestock working sticks

Seamus and Maeve dueling with livestock working sticks

brands of growers on the side of the purple Hoopes Shed (with lime green accents and the pink chute)

brands of growers on the side of the purple Hoopes Shed (with lime green accents and the pink chute)

Pat through the chute

Pat through the chute

ewe, ready to lamb

ewe, ready to lamb

before

before

during

during

shorn Rambouillet bucks

after

No

N

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Ladies of Ladder Ranch

well, most of them, anyway! Meghan, Siobhan and Sharon

well, most of them, anyway!
Meghan, Siobhan and Sharon

 
1 Comment

Posted by on February 14, 2015 in Animals, Family, Folks, Sheep

 

Tags: , , ,

Siobhan and cows, looking

Cow photo by Siobhan Lally

Cow
photo by Siobhan Lally

cows looking at Siobhan photo by Siobhan Lally

cows looking at Siobhan
photo by Siobhan Lally

even more cows photo by Siobhan Lally (no snow in mid-February)

even more cows
photo by Siobhan Lally
(no snow in mid-February)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 12, 2015 in Animals, Cattle, Family, Folks

 

Tags: , ,

Circle Dance

Siobhan and the guard dogs

Siobhan and the guard dogs

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Animals, Family, Folks, Sheep

 

Tags: , ,

Open winter; February thaw

This must be the February thaw.
It follows the January thaw, except
not much snow fell between
Aquarius and Pisces.

How will we know Spring?

Heifers on dry ground

Heifers on dry ground

she thinks she's hiding

she thinks she’s hiding

 

 

 

 

 

As storms pound the East Coast, and snow in Boston piles up, we watch our drifts melt away. We depend on snow for winter water for the sheep, and to bring summer moisture for everything. At Powder Flat, all our livestock are watering at reservoirs and wells.

 

 

 

The ewe lambs and old ewes still have a little snow below Lower Powder Spring

The ewe lambs and old ewes still have a little snow below Lower Powder Spring

The purebred ewes watering at Powder Flat

The purebred ewes watering at Powder Flat

The ewes watering below the Spring

The ewes watering below the Spring

Reflections

Reflections

leaving the water hole

leaving the water hole

through the waterhole fence

through the waterhole fence

Apolinario and Pat talk about water, with input from the dogs

Jean Carlos and Pat talk about water, with input from the dogs

Siobhan, Pat and Maeve

Siobhan, Pat and Maeve

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Puppies, and colts and lamb, oh my!

a plethora of guardian dog puppies

a plethora of guardian dog puppies

Siobhan with guardian dog puppies--we like 'em socialized!

Siobhan with guardian dog puppies–we like ’em socialized!

It is only early February, but we do have lots of young animals around. We have had more than one litter of Livestock Guardian Dog puppies (hence the difference in sizes), a litter of Border collies, last summer’s colt crop, and–oh yes–one lamb. The little ones are fun, but soon we will have scores of lambs and calves on the ground, so this is the calm before the storm. Barring bad weather, which we have definitely not had, I consider the time between when the bucks go into the ewes in mid-December, and when the purebred lambs and the heifers’ calves start arriving in early March to be the lull. How can it be going by so fast? And why do I still feel so busy?

Maeve and Siobhan with an adult livestock guardain dog, with the sheep at Lower Powder Springs

Maeve and Siobhan with an adult  guardian dog,overlooking the sheep watering at Lower Powder Spring (one of them isn’t dressed right!)

 

 

Five (of seven) of Sam's and Yonush's Border collie puppies

Five (of seven) of Sam’s and Yonush’s Border collie puppies

 

the colts check out Maeve (no coat in early February)

the colts check out Maeve (no coat in early February)

the colts hanging out at Powder Flat

the colts hanging out at Powder Flat

Learning to be horses

Learning to be horses

What does it mean when the (surprise) lamb sees its shadow on Ground Hog Day?

What does it mean when the (surprise) lamb sees its shadow on Ground Hog Day?

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,