Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Aren't they sweet!

It is a bit sad to me that they are wearing the same size diaper in this pic! But they are too cute....

Sunday, April 18, 2010

James is seven months old!

I'll take pics later today and post but can you believe that my baby is 7 months old already! He is sitting up, army crawling, eating real food, and babbling like a big boy! Time just flies- especially the last couple months. Here's hoping he continues sleeping as well as he has been b/c that has been nice! So getting a cute pic of him on his birthday was quite the challenge! In the morning all I got were pics like on the right but I finally got a remotely nice one in the afternoon! He's being such a goober recently... totally fine as long as he is being held and a whiny, screaming monster the minute you put him down. And I don't mean fussing a little- we're talking blood curdling screaming! Oh well- hopefully it is just a phase and if it isn't I guess I will become acustomed to the screaming!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's raining lambs...

So on Sunday April 11th I woke up from my nap after having worked Sat night and frank says to me "what do you think about triplets?" and I was like huh.... then he said "black triplets...." and I was like double huh.... It took me a minute to get my brain screwed on straight and I realized he was talking about Mary our ewe who decided sometime Sunday morning to grace us with black triplet lambs with no muss or fuss! All black, 2 ewes and 1 ram, all healthy, and all nursing. Go Mary go! I have to say despite the fact that Mary was ginormous I in no way shape or form expected triplets and I certainly didn't expect black triplets. Frank and I who were aiming for an all white flock somehow ended up with all black lambs! Oh well good thing we don't care all that much since we are breeding for meat and not for fibre. The ewe lambs we will keep and I think we have decided to name them Bette and Boop- how we will be able to tell them apart I have no clue b/c as far as I can tell they are basically identically. The ram lamb will grace our freezer this fall so remains unnamed.

So Since Mary and Bo were bred about the same time we were thinking that Bo might have her lamb sometime soon as well. And she did...sometime early Tues morning we suspect. We're not really sure since she also delivered with no muss or fuss, twim lambs a ewe and a ram, one white and one black and white speckled! Of course the all white one is a ram and the speckled one is a ewe but that's life on the farm. The ewe lamb we have named Peep and again the ram will remained nameless since he is destined for the freezer as well. So that brings the total sheep count from 4 to 9! We more than doubled the herd. We still have the 2 cotswold rams from Nikki and James and I think the plan might be to sell those guys since we don't need to have that much lamb in our freezer, we have no need to keep them for the fibre and someone else might want them for fibre or meat- I don't actually care which! Maybe if they were whethers I would keep them for the fibre but I don't want to have to deal with 2 extra rams running about! Especially since the plan is to buy a new ram next month to rebreed Mary and Bo. So we'll have 3 Dorset freezer lambs in the fall, hopefully Mary and Bo will be rebred, and we'll have the 3 ewe lambs which we'll be keeping to breed next year. We banded all the lamb's tails on Wednesday and had planned on castrating the rams but they needed a little more time to get everything where it should be so we can easily band castrate them so they will get done early next week. We have to ear tags but since we have only the 3 girls that we will be keeping we are going to wait a bit to tag them so their ears don't get too droopy.

Next to have babies will be Mary- who I swear I keep thinking she is going to drop that calf anyday but she keeps getting bigger and bigger. Last Sunday we thought she was going to calve for sure b/c the calf really dropped but still no calf and it's almost a week later! It's hard to say when she was bred though since we had the bull for 2 months so in reality she could have the calf anytime between now and then end of May! This is a sweet pic of her and Lucy. I'm hoping that Molly will have a heifer calf, which we would keep for a milk cow seeing as Molly is getting older and I'm not sure how many more calving years she will have. Plus this calf will be a Jersey.shorthorn cross which I think should make a good milk combo. Once Molly calves we have plans to lease a Angus cross bull to come in and breed both Molly and Lucy. Frank also wants to buy a yearling steer for a beef for the fall but he has to find one to buy first!

So total animal count: 9 sheep (5 ewes, 4 rams), 2 milk cows, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 34 chickens give or take (including one rooster we think.... mmmm fried chicken), 4 muscovy ducks (2 of whom are sitting on egg clutches so we should have more duckies in another few weeks), 2 geese (who have a nest but MJ hasn't actually sat on it at all so will we have goslings?..who knows), and 3 khaki campbell ducks. So in July we should have more eggs than we know what to do with! This pic is of Xander with Linney and Fame, the 4-hers Brown Swiss cows. They are working on getting Linney bred as well.

Animals to purchase/lease: 1 angus x bull for breeding, 1 yearling steer for meat, 1 ram for breeding, and possibly a couple of goats for brush management and meat. I'm open to the possibility of having milk goats too but with the milk cow it seems somewhat unecessary and it would require us to buy a cream seperator which is darn expensive!

Tomato and brocoli seedlings went in on Easter and we had adequate germination this year. We'll have enough for us and maybe a few extras to sell- not as many as I was hoping. And if it ever stops raining long enough for the ground to dry out we'll get the first round of manure dumped on the garden and tilled. The strawberry patch needs some major overhauling so it may not be a good strawberry year but the raspberries look to be in great shape, blackberries are also looking good and if we get the trellis on the grapes they shouldbe alright as well. The peaches and apples were already budding- here's hoping it doesn't get too cold and freeze all the buds! Actually the whole orchard looked pretty good so we may start to see some fruiting this year.

So that's the spring farm update!

Friday, April 16, 2010

James talking....and crawling

James is starting to talk and it is so darn cute!

Oh yes and the army crawling has begun. James has started dragging himself across the floor in search of things to put in his mouth! So far he seems to like my toes and my shoes the best but toys will do in a pinch. I swear yesterday he was getting rugburn from scooting across the floor in just his woolies and bare belly. In some ways I like the army crawling stage b/c he is able to self sooth since he can get at what he wants but in other ways it is the beginnings of greater mobility which scare the snot out fo me! In the meanwhile I will jst have to be better about keeping the darm floor clean- not easy to do with all this darn rain!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring has arrived....we hope

I'm hoping that spring has finally sprung here in NH. We've had some lovely days and some pretty nasty rainy ones but it seems like slowly the nicer days are outweighing the yuckies. I've planted the tomatoes and the broccoli and we've let the chickies start venturing outside so it must be spring right?
I think most of you know by now but Frank was laid off at the end of March so any good job ideas send them our way. I think for the moment he is enjoying a little time off but realizing at the same time that he actually isn't really getting all that much time off with the boys around! I've been very busy at work- trying to pick up some extra time and dealing with the launching of our new computerized charting system. So I need to get some more pics of the boys but that would require me to actually get some of my old pics off the darn camera!