Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last Lamb of 2009

This morning - the last lamb of 2009 was born at Kalwa Taure Shetlands.

I arrived at the barn at 8 am to find this lovely little ewe lamb born to Kalwa Taure Trinity and sired by Cherrington Harry.

She was already up and feeding - all cleaned up and ready to go.

Trinity is a first time mom - and very attentive, especially since she was in the ewe pen with 5 other ewes and their lambs.

So - lambing is done for 2009. Lucky for us, it was a ewe year.

Totals: 6 lambs - 4 ewes, 2 rams.

Let the races begin!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Surprising Turn of Events

Well - we've had a little surprise in the turn of events surrounding Merlin.

Merlin was to have been euthanized late last week, or early this week given the nature of his spinal injury.

However - due to circumstances - we held off for a few days.

Yesterday - my good friend Cate - who works at OVC, contacted me to say that another option had been presented to medically manage Merlins symptoms, which we have decided to try.

So - as of yesterday afternoon, Merlin went home to Earendal Farm with Cate and Al, where, she informs me he is resting comfortably this morning and is bright and alert.

We know that of course - this is only management of his condition, and that we can't prolong the inevitable forever - however, we are hoping that in this non aggressive environment, he may be able to rest and regain enough strength to possibly enjoy his time here a little bit longer. And, we are hoping to possibly (this is a huge hope) have him sire some more lambs for us before the
inevitable happens. He is just such a beautiful ram to lose his genetics.

So - fingers are crossed - and let's hope for the best. Good luck Cate, Al - and Merlin.

Friday, June 19, 2009

New Life

I want to thank everyone who offered kind thoughts over the loss of our Merlin.

He was such a grand gentleman, and we will miss him terribly.

Although this week has been very sad for us with the loss of Merlin - we have also had some great happiness as well:

First on the list is this little cutie. A little ewe lamb was born to Kalwa Taure Jillian and Cherrington Harry. Both Jillian and Harry are gray - our little ewe lamb (as yet nameless - will
also be grey - like her mom).

We have one more sheep to lamb - at least we think she's pregnant (she may just be fat). We aren't so sure as she was put in with Merlin, and now, given his condition, we are quite understanding that she may not be pregnant.

Another source of great joy this week has been:


I think I'm in love :-)

I have spent many months searching for a
silver laced cochin rooster to go with Chucky -
and last week - an aquaintance of mine e-mailed to say she had found me a rooster - and only a half hour away.

Romeo weighs in somewhere around 10 - 12 pounds - he's a BIG boy! Currently, he's in quarantine - and we all stand around and ogle him in the evenings. The silver laced pattern in cochins is still fairly rare - around here at least. I am just over the moon with this guy.

And - then we had a little miracle here on Wednesday night - the same night I brought Romeo home. As I was bringing him into the barn - I noticed a lifeless baby (just born) chick laying on the concrete just inside the barn door.

Obviously - a bantam Old English Game Hen of mine that had nested in the hay loft - had lost one of her eggs - and when the chick hatched - it fell down along the wall - and onto the concrete floor below - poor thing. Momma hen wanted nothing to do with this chick - she already had 10 others. So - my darling Chucky was sitting on an empty nest - I slipped the chick underneath her (figuring it would die).

There is a higher power out there - a few hours
later the chick was peeping away underneath her new mommy.

Chucky is Ecstatic with her new baby - just look at that size difference! (Click on the picture to make it larger). I was going to take it away from her and put it into the brooder - but I don't have
the heart. Romeo - you will have to wait until
Chucky is done raising her "brood"

All together now: AWWWWW!!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Grand Old Gentleman

Well - this seems to be a year of losses - and sadness.

Unfortunately - this Friday, we will be euthanizing one of the best rams that I have ever had - or seen.

Cherrington Merlin: 2001 - ??? (see post dated June 23rd).

Sadly - Merlin has suffered a spinal cord injury that has left him very weak, and it has been decided that the most humane treatment will be to euthanize him.

I suspected problems earlier this year, when I noticed that he was losing weight - and staying away from the other rams. After shearing in early May, we noticed that his condition had deteriorated - and he was holding up one leg and curling the toes (not a good sign).
This past weekend, we transferred Merlin to the Ontario Vetrinary Clinic at the University of Guelph, so that he could receive the very best care possible from the top veterinarians in
Ontario. My very Good Friend Cate works at OVC, and has been a super help - both with setting up the arrangements - and explaining all of the tests and results to me.

Sadly - the diagnosis that came in today was that there was damage to the spinal cord (most likely from "Ram Play") - and that it would be most humane to euthanize him - as he was only going to lose complete mobility in his hind end.

So - sadly, this Friday, we will be euthanizing Merlin.
To his credit - he had a most wonderful Blue Gray fleece - a gentle demeanor - and gorgeous horns. He also gave us some wonderful lambs - for which we will be forever grateful.

Good-bye to a Grand old Gentleman

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Duckling Update

There's been nothing new on the lambing front. Jillian is starting to bag up - so she should be ready to lamb sometime in the next few weeks. I'm still not too sure if Trinity and Gabriella are just fat - or pregnant. Although my shearer said that he was pretty sure that Gabriella was pregnant. I don't see any signs of an udder forming yet.

So - I thought I would give a little update on the ducklings.

They are growing like little weeds. It's unbelievable!

Just look at the size of them. They continue to be incredibly endearing - and I realize that I am
soon going to have to put them up for sale. That is going to be difficult.

The "Moms" haven't wanted to take them down to the pond just yet - so we have a little pond up in the safety of their own cage - all ready for them.

Click on the picture to make it bigger - they are so hilarious. Everyone goes up the little ramp to the left and hops into the pond. They really enjoy themselves while the moms look on. When they are done swimming - everyone hops out onto the platform at the right (see the little ramp we built and put in the pool for them) - and then back inside the barn they march (there's another ramp just off to the right that goes into their stall in the barn.

Tomorrow - I will have to post some pictures of the chicks - they are growing like weeds as well.
Today we moved them from their brooder box over to a large cage. They are in heaven.

More later.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Surprise! Aren't Genetics FUN!

Not exactly what I was expecting when I got
home tonight.

I had to work at a pottery sale today, so
I stopped in at 2:30 on my way to check up on
Bella. She was not in labour - and was
quite contendedly relaxing in her stall.

So - on my way I went.

I got home at 8 pm tonight to this little surprise.

A lovely little yuglet socket EWE lamb.

She's not quite what I expected - since Bella is
a boring old yuglet (not my words) - and
Bernard is a black ram with a white krunet.
I was kind of expecting possibly a gray yuglet like her mom.

Oh well - surprises are nice.

By the way - Bella did a lovely job and presented me
with not one - but 2 lovely little EWE lambs.

This is more like what I expected.

What is it with all these kissing lambs!!

Anyway - the count stands at:
2 ewes - 2 rams.

2 down - 3 more to go.

We aren't expecting more lambs until around the 15th of June - so we have a little break in the action now.

And while we wait - I'll leave you with a picture
of my absolute favourite chicken.

This is "chuckie" - she's a silver laced cochin.

And she's mad at me - cause I just took her off
the nest - hence the major fluffy look.

Now - does that look fierce to you?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ducklings and Lambs

OK - First the Duckling update.

They are growing sooooooo fast!

And now - they have two moms.
Seems they pestered the Welsh Harlequin hen that was sitting on a nest in the corner so much, that she finally got off her nest - and is now helping with mothering duties.

Look at how long their legs are getting.
I have spent a ton of time in the barn - just watching them as they swim and drink.

This weekend - I will be letting them outside for a bit of fresh air with their moms. It could be interesting.

And here is one of my favourite pictures.

Just look at the rapture on this ducklings face as
it gets a drink of water. I had just refilled the watering tubs.

By the way - for anyone thinking of getting ducks - they are very messy.

OK - and I saved the best for last.
Lambing has started here at Kalwa Taure Shetlands.

Windwater Rosie (or Windwater Caramel - they are identical, and I have to check the tag),

delivered this set of twin ram lambs this morning.

It was almost a disaster.
I put the pregnant girls out in the front pasture
this morning - and noticed that Rosie was standing around just bellowing. She's normally very quiet. Based on that - I decided to come
home from work at lunch time just to check up.

Sure enough - I arrived - just in time to catch
Kalwa Taure Blizzard, licking the little mioget
ram clean. I scooped the lambs up and rushed
them into the privacy of the barn with Rosie and
Blizzard in hot pursuit. After dragging Blizzard, kicking and screaming out of the stall - I left
Rosie to bond with her two boys. Blizzard spent the afternoon outside the barn - bellowing like an old fishwife - but at least Rosie is accepting both of the lambs. By the way - you can't see it in the picture - but the little mioget ram has 2 white feet.

That's 1 down - 4 to go.