Saturday, April 18, 2015

Finally Some Fence Progress

I switched my fencing priorities around some since the tiller didn't work out and the grass is growing I decided to start putting in posts up closer to the barn and save the East pasture for later. The part on the West side of the barn drains much better and this way I can start letting the entire flock out on it when it needs mowing.

Since we missed the rain last night and this morning the ground was perfect for running the post hole auger and we got the first six posts set in the ground. This will cover the main corner posts (pictured above), the main gate and a walk in gate that then attaches to the side of the barn.

Now if we get some rain tonight and tomorrow the ground will settle a bit more so I can tamp it down a few more times and start hanging gates and running wire or using parts of cattle panels. My goal if the rain cooperates is to have this section finished by early next week and allow the flock to start munching the grass. That will cut about half an hour off the mow schedule each time it needs it.

We allowed the ancient Border Collie rescue dog we have to meet the new bottle lamb this afternoon.

The lamb wasn't too sure about the whole thing though. We then put bottle baby into the play stall so he could start meeting other sheep a bit. This maneuver is my way of weaning my mother off the lamb as much as it is starting to introduce the lamb to his own kind. I wouldn't worry about it so much if it was a ewe we were going to keep but we don't need anymore whethers running around.

The Gooseberries are blooming like mad now although I never see any bees working them we have a huge bush that produces a lot of berries each year. Last year I let the sheep browse the bush back a bit so not sure how it will produce this year. We also have baby peaches coming in as well.

I have been neglecting my bees so bad this year but perhaps things can shift a bit now since the last confirmed pregnant ewe delivered this morning.  She had two black Girls which brings our total up to 14 boys and 13 girls. I am pretty well convinced Sammich isn't bred. There was some question about if she could actually breed anyway since she was such a sickly baby and I really don't think she can now. Still I will keep a close eye on her for the next few weeks but she isn't even showing the beginnings of any utter growth. As much of an escape artist and as ornery as she is it wouldn't surprise me that even if she could get preggo she didn't find a way to escape the Frazier's affections.

Oh well she is such a ham and so adorable even when being a pain in the ass that even I wouldn't think of getting rid of her. She is almost like the Small-Hold mascot at this point.

Guess we will see if the rains come and keep me inside or outside tomorrow.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!


  1. We have rain here today and are supposed to get rain most of this week. Which will be very good for our garden! Those babies sure are cute! Wish I had some more animals. But with how busy I am it's probably for the best. Best of luck!

    1. Leah - I tell ya I was getting so pressed for time with all the lambing sessions I was getting really cranky about the whole thing. Time was pressing in, the grass is growing a foot over night it seems and then every ewe needed helping this year. Add all the rain on top and I was pulling my hair out.

  2. PP,

    Had to laugh at your comments about Sammich being a "pet."

    All my life I stayed with goats and sheep sized animals because cows are just so huge they can hurt you bad just turning their head at the wrong time and with no intent in their mind. Then I got an unexpected opportunity to raise a day old calf on a bottle. Being a milk mama got old pretty quick, but the calf survived and grew well.

    The part that totally surprised me was just how much personality he had. We have been together now for more than two full years and he keeps me laughing my head off on a daily basis. You bet I have learned a lot about cows, but I have to say, sheep are way easier.

    But Mr. Personality has been hugely entertaining and a lot of just plain old fun for me. But he will go to meeting soon as he is around a 1000 lbs now and I avoid walking with him any more. Getting horned, even an "accident" is to be avoided.

    But I can tell already I am going to miss that cow. What a pleasure for an old dog to learn new tricks.


    1. Winston - I can remember my grandparents having some pretty entertaining cows too. One little bull calf lowered his head and charged my Grandpa from behind and knocked him down. Gramps got up and whacked that calf with something he had in his hand and then had him castrated the next day. That calf from then on was the friendliest most lovable animal on the place. He was polled though so no horns to worry about but he would rub his head on someone so hard wanting petted. I think the grandparents ended up keeping that steer until he died of natural causes. He also used to follow my grandpa around and take his wallet out of his back pocket.

      Sometimes an animal just has too much personality and you can't help but get attached. I think it shows you are a good person myself.

  3. You can have some of our rain. We have more than enough to share. In fact, I don't know if we'll ever be able to get our small field ready for field crops. And I'm hoping that I can find garden plants for all the weeds once it dried out enough to not walk through mud.

    Interesting that your bees aren't interested in the gooseberries. I've been reading up on bee plants and am taking note.

    1. Leigh - We just got another two inches today again but the storms have shifted from the all day affairs to the rolling waves now. The waves will steadily decrease from now until Mid or late may.

      Not sure if the bees don't work Gooseberries or maybe my area isn't big enough to draw them away from something else they are working. I have read honey bees will work only one type of bloom until it is gone then switch so maybe the Gooseberries just bloom at an inconvenient time.

      The real honey crop for me around here is clover, especially Dutch clover. If it's a good clover year the girls will bring in lots of honey.

  4. Every small-hold needs a mascot!

  5. Our Great Pyrenees "Keeper" we got from rescue. We had Boxers before, from rescue. All have been super doggies. Yes I agree with you, its risky to give a goat to someone thinking it won't be sold or eaten unless you know the people well. We will only rehome Skittles if he can't make it on his own after Cube passes away. I just did a post on my fruit trees as well. Finally I have fruit! I have never had a gooseberry. I don't know if those will grow in our zone or not. Several of the blogs I read are talking about their bees. Man I have bee envy. They are on the list.

    1. Texan - Some years Gooseberries are everywhere around here and some years they aren't. The birds usually get mine before I can harvest many but my bushes are in a bad spot and I can't really net them.

      If you want bees I would recommend making some swarm traps and seeing if you can't just catch your own. If I was doing it all over again I would start out that way. It's actually pretty easy to do.


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