30 June 2009

Stone Brew Visitors & Haying!

Greg Koch from Stone Brewing, Susan Duniphin & Keiffer Koch arrived for a short visit today. We started with some picture taking opportunities at the edge of the mesa.

We had a lovely lunch at Flying Fork in Paonia and then got a great tour of both Revolution Brewing's new brewing facility and their tasting room. Of course I didn't get any pictures but Greg took video and it should be up on you tube soon.

Next stop was off to Monica's Small Potatoes Farm to see what to get for dinner tonight. She let us dig out a couple of potato plants, some fresh garlic and some lovely cooking greens. Then off to Terror Creek Winery for tastings. Greg tweeted from there.

Winery number 2 is Stone Cottage Cellars. Here is Greg, Karen Helleckson & Brent Helleckson in the cellar at Stone Cottage. Final winery stop was Azura Cellars. No pictures because we were running late by then.

Part of the rush to get back was to get home in time to do chores and let Judd in the field to cut our hay. Greg is enjoying a Revolution Beer while watching Judd do all the work.

This field has been years getting in shape to hay and this first ever cutting looks really good. It's about 2 acres so it will be interesting to see how much we actually get off it.

29 June 2009

Sheep Butcher & Garden Update

The second batch of rams went to slaughter today.

We try to sell and use as much of the sheep as we can. So one thing we save from the rams are the horns. They get made into Shepherds' Crooks and knife handles. Here Ken is using a sawsall to cut the horns off the skull. The veterinarian helping him is collecting brain tissue samples for scrapie slaughter surveillance testing.

This batch will be combined with last weeks batch and we'll soon have our own smoked kolbassi sausages to sell.

It's almost the 4th of July and the corn is knee high. It looks like I'm doing ok with corn this year.

The peas are also doing well. There are a lot of flowers now.

The watermelon and other melon are not growing as well as I'd hoped but they aren't dead yet.

26 June 2009

Lamb Scoreboard

2009 Lamb Scoreboard showing all the rams, and the lambs they sired.

24 June 2009

Lambing Officially Over for 2009

We have officially finished lambing for 2009. We are now at 152 days from when we took the rams out. While technically we could have lambs up until 155 days none of the remaining ewes look pregnant nor do they have any udders at al so I have declared us finished.

For the year we bred 56 ewes. 48 of them lambed producing 71 lambs total, 41 ram lambs and 30 ewe lambs.

I will be evaluating the ewes that did not lamb but with the AI experiment and the ram that didn't work it is possible that some ewes were never in heat with a ram that performed so they may get a pass for this year. We also had 4 stillborn lambs. Not too bad considering.

Now the real fun starts, deciding which lambs are keep, sell or butcher and planning matings for next year based on the results and quality of the lambs produced this year.

21 June 2009


It's the solstice. Summer now officially begins. I still haven't killed the garden so I'm thrilled.

Here is the corn, won't be knee high by the fourth of July but at least it's still growing.

The peas are doing well, I see a few flowers starting to show now but they haven't bloomed yet.

The Charantais melon is doing ok but the watermelon is not. Oh well.

16 June 2009

Lambing nearly done, we hope!

Well we're near the end of lambing now. We are at 144 days from rams out and have about 15 looking ready to go at any time.

Checking Cerridwyn for proper positioning of her first lamb.

Here I am checking and ready to receive the new lamb. She had a ewe lamb. Much later she had a breech stillborn. She never showed signs of a second lamb or I'd have checked.

12 June 2009

Sheep Trick

Some lambs start early learning how to jump on mom. A few continue this into adulthood and stand on top of others to get the top layer of hay.

11 June 2009

Jump Starting a Lamb

Lambing is in full swing and I thought I'd share a trick we use now on all lambs. I milk out a bit of colostrum into a syringe case. Ken then uses his little finger to entice the lamb to nurse and squirts the milk into the side of the lambs' mouth. This does several things. It allows us to give the lamb a jump start so they do not use up all their brown fat trying to get up and nurse. We get a quick evaluation of the strength of the suck reflex and whether the lamb has sharp teeth and we know that the lamb got a good dose of colostrum. It's quick, simple and makes a big difference in the overall health of the new lambs.

09 June 2009

Garden Coming Up

The garden is still coming up and doing well.

07 June 2009


Here are the future laying hens.Front row from left to right Welsummer (pink feet), Ancona (black and yellow), Gold Campine (blue feet), Russian Orloff (yellow feet) and a Silver Grey Dorking (pink feet with an extra toe).

We'll see if I am right when they finally feather out.

I haven't decided whether I'll be showing at the county fair yet. I have to get the entry in soon so I'll have to make my decision before I even know if I've got birds that meet the standards. That's the down side to getting chicks later in the year.

06 June 2009

Mowing the Orchard

Moved the pregnant ewes and mowed their old pen to reset the grass growth. We needed to chop off the seed heads and get it back to growing more leaves. It should be ready to graze again in 2-3 weeks.

01 June 2009

Dog House? Sheep House?

New puppy, still unnamed and his buddy.

So is this a sheep in a dog house? or a dog in a sheep house?