Good bye city life! Our family designed and built an industrial but old fashioned farmhouse on nine acres. Now we are building our homestead ~ or is it building us? Grab your boots and join us on our journey to country living.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bottle Lamb

It appears that we have a bottle lamb, at least a partial bottle lamb.  I weighed all the lambs yesterday and noticed that Zinnia hasn't gained like the others.  She was the largest lamb at birth but has now slipped to the smallest on the scales. 

Less energetic than the rest, she sometimes stands with her back hunched up.  I asked our breeder and she suggested I try a bottle to see if she would go for it.  She did.

Seems strange that Zinnia is a single lamb and her momma, Izzy, doesn't produce enough for her.  She hasn't had this problem before.  I was told that it could be caused by the drought last summer.  Hay has been very scarce and good hay almost non-existent here in Oklahoma.  As a result lots of animals are eating junk hay.  They are calling it prarie hay but really they have stripped every field around no matter what was growing there and sold it for a fortune!  Our sheep have been the recipents of some of this poor quality hay for lack of a better option.  We have tried to offset the lack of nutrition with grain but apparently that may not have been enough.  A vet here told our breeder that lots of mares don't have enough milk for their foals this spring.  Our lamb was the first sheep she heard about with this problem.  What you feed a farm animal does affect their overall health but we didn't see this one coming.

Luckily, we are now getting bales of leafy alfalfa to feed them. 

And it is early but it's spring here!  Shoots of green bermuda grass are popping up all over the farm.  I can't tell you how happy we are about that!

There is a good side to bottle feeding.  It sure makes a lamb want to cuddle up to you!  We love that.  Hopefully she will start gaining.  This evening we saw her stand up and do a big s-t-r-e-t-c-h. 
That's a good sign. :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lazy Afternoon

It appears you can get 5 fat pigs in a small house.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Open Barn

This morning we hosted our first Open Barn for friends and family to see the lambs.  It was so much fun!

No matter what age a person is, holding a cuddly lamb brings a smile.

Hands and hearts were full today.

We had some horseback time too.

We are so blessed to have our farm and farm animals.

And what a JOY to share it with others!

We will have to make this an annual event.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Old Shipping Crate

As I was putting toys away after my niece and nephew were here yesterday, I realized that I had not shared this with you. 

We purchased this old shipping crate before we were married.  We loved antiques and thought it would make a good coffee table.  It had been refinished and was shiny and new, in an old way.

Who knows what it carried before it came to us.  The first years we had it, it held a blanket for curling up on the sofa and board games to play with friends.

Then the kids came along and it held toys & puzzles for them to drag out onto the living room floor.

Years later, when choosing upolstered furniture, an Ethan Allen designer came to our home.  Although I still loved the old crate, I halfway apologized for it as it sat in the living room.  She told me to "Never get rid of it.  It was perfect!"  I've never doubted what I like in furniture since.

Years of abuse from the boys and this old thing is still going strong.  It's taken on a weathered appearance which I think makes it even better. 

Now it holds toys for kiddos that come to visit the farmhouse.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cute & Cuddly

The lambs are enjoying the beautiful weather we are having.
And we are enjoying cute & cuddly lambs!


They are such fun to hold...

Jared & Daffodil

and to watch.

Pistache & Petunia
You can definitely tell he is lilac in the sun.
(Lilac is a special grayish color. Jacob people really like lilac.)

Zinnia (shy but so sweet)

Daffodil is a "look at me girl".

The mommas are watchful too.
They keep their babies close and don't let the others near them.

Last night we got 10 glorious hours of sleep.  Ok, my sweet husband got dressed and checked on them once in the night (thanks, honey!).  After many sleepless nights, it was so nice.

Bunny still looks like she could lamb anytime. Then we will have a break for a few weeks until the three first timers give birth. (we think!)

Monday, February 20, 2012

Night Watch

It appears all of our sheep like to lamb at night
and last night was a looong night!

When Wayne checked on Bella (the one we thought would lamb first) at midnight, she had a broken water sack.  We watched her until 2:30 am.  She had been having strong, close contractions for quite a while.  Then she just laid down and stopped.  We had already checked to see if the lamb was in the correct position with "two toes and a nose".  So we called our breeder in Colorado and she encouraged us to pull the lamb out.  She stayed on speaker phone and talked us through it.  Isn't technology great?!  And wasn't that great of her to do at 3:00 am?

I have to tell you, as novice shepherds, this was quite scary.  When the head finally emerged, the tongue was hanging out and we thought he was dead.  But as soon as the big limp boy with huge horn buds hit the ground, he was off and running!

So let's give a warm welcome to:

named after a tree found in Oklahoma
that exhibits beautiful color and strong wood but requires great care when young

& his little sister that quietly slipped into the world behind him.

They are very dark and are almost identical in markings.

Pistache is on the left with the dot on his head.
Petunia's leg marking are same as his only smaller.

They are not identical in personality though.
While sweet Petunia was hanging around and under momma, her twin brother was checking on Wayne's progress hanging another water bucket, trying to get into another pen to see the others, and wanting out the barn door.  

Old Bella's going to have her hands full!

After a long night watch, we are so thankful that Bella and babies are doing well!

Pistache: 7 lbs 6 oz
Petunia: 6 lbs 11 oz
Sire: Sherack Dually
Dam: Sherack Bella

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Another Ewe Lamb

Very early this morning, while we were catching some ZZZZs,
Izzy had a little girl lamb.

She was big ~ 7 lbs. 10 oz.

Sire: Sherack Dually
Dam: Sherack Izzy

More to come later, both lambs and photos.  Back out to the barn for now.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Proper Introduction


The first flower to spring forth.

She definitely has some ~spring~ in her step!

She's a pretty little thing and she seems to know it.


She's a little more timid but so cuddly & cute!

She has her momma's all white legs and will carry part of her sire's name since he retired this year.

Daffodil 7 lbs. 8 oz. 
Daylily 7 lbs. 5 oz.
dam: Schafewold Tiny
sire: Lillywold Job

We have 6 more ewes to lamb.  I'll try not to post too many lamb pictures but no promises!

Lambs!!! (the birthing)

Last night we experienced the first births
on the Rockin' S-Squared Farm.
We've been anxiously waiting for Bella and Izzy to lamb and all the while Tiny was ready to go!  She's such a sweet ewe ~ we're glad she was the first.

It was miraculous to watch.  God's design is in all of life!
I've been encouraged lately to show the good and bad of farm life on my blog.  There was nothing bad about this but it's not, um, pretty.  Actually it is just messy pretty!  So if you don't want to see the real deal, you might want to just admire the sweet girl above and go no further.

Tiny got cozy in a corner in the afternoon.  By dinner time it was obvious she was contracting. There was lots of pawing at the ground, laying down, getting up, and making funny faces.

We kept checking on her until finally a water sack appeared like a big bubble.

After what seemed forever, we could finally see two little feet.  A quick pic & text to our breeder in Colorado who was so helpful!  She talked us through the whole thing. 
 (I just realized I should probably disinfect my phone!)

And there's the head resting right on top of the feet like it's supposed to.

Another few big pushes and we have a sweet ewe lamb!

Tiny goes straight to work cleaning her up.
What a good momma.

In 10 minutes she was up walking stumbling around

and taking in the world with her big bright eyes.

While mom & lamb were getting to know each other, another set of hooves appeared along with a nose.
A quick swipe to the nose and it shook it's head and started breathing.

Notice lamb one is nursing while lamb two is coming out.
That's a busy momma!
A few more pushes and lamb two is born.

It's a girl too!

Two lovely ewe lambs.
We feel blessed indeed!


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