Raining Lambs

Today Started out rainy and cold. And as I got up and looked out my window I got a little surprise. Then when I got to the barn and started my day I got an even bigger surprise. One surprise was a good one and the other wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t a good thing.

So as I got out of bed today I looked out the window to see Baby Girl giving birth to a beautiful Black little lamb with white toughs on her head. Mom saw it about the same time when she went to go use the restroom. So we both hit the pen about the same time. I tried to get Baby Girl to follow me into the barn by scooping up the baby and carrying it within her line of sight.

That backfired as Baby Girl was one of the Ewes that had a run in with dogs a few years back and she can’t raise her head right. That means her line of Sight is different then the other sheep and I can never figure out where to hold the baby to be in her line of sight … LOL

Anyway, I passed the Baby off to Mom and got my hands on Baby Girl and got her inside. Baby Girl has only been a Momma a few times but she is an amazing Momma. She coos and talks to her baby and really doesn’t like anyone messing with it. That being said Let me introduce you to Amber!

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After we got Baby Girl and Amber settled into the barn, Mom and I had just enough time to get cleaned up before Kristen arrived. Oh, well that was a oversight … I never told you about Kristen did I? Oh Wow … I guess I better fill you in.

About a week or so ago Mom got a call from a Student at OSU. She had an assignment for some kind of Ag Advertising or Communications class that involved finding someone in the Ag industry to interview. And she Found Mom and I. So about 10 am this morning she arrived to come see who we are and what we do and how we do our Ag thing.

She was really nice and I think she had fun. We gave her a tour and she helped me weigh Hershey’s babies. It is at that point we learned that the babies weren’t gaining anything. That means there is something going on with Hershey or her babies. From the barn we headed out to give Kristen the rest of the tour. When we got to Derf we found he was limping. He had been fine when I did chores just 2 hours before we made our way to his pen. Some how in that short time he had cut his leg. I left Mom and Kristen to tend to Derf and found that while the cut was sore and making Derf limp it was actually not all that bad. So I cleaned it up and put a little wound treatment on it and once again joined Mom and Kristen. We spent time finishing our interview which included things like showing her the farm and the garden and many different aspects of our lives. Then Mom brought her in and they carded a small batt and Kristen tried her hand at spinning wool. I must say that she didn’t do to bad for a first timer. Her yarn was a thick and thin art yarn and it was balanced and that is really all that matters.

When Kristen headed home I headed to get feed. I had to make a stop or two in town on the way. Mom needed dish soap and I needed to put gas in the truck.
When I got home from the Co-op I headed to the arena. There I ponied Coop to keep her in shape. When Dad got home we headed to the barn. Dad held Hershey while I put babies under her so they could get a good drink. At this point I had been assuming the issue was Hershey’s normal issues of her not standing to let the babies drink. As I worked I figured out that wasn’t the issue at all. Those little girls sucked well but never seemed to get full. That is when I figured out Just how serious of an issue we had. Hershey isn’t making enough milk for the twins and if there is any real milk coming in they are keeping her sucked dry. That means we needed to take action and help get some groceries down those two.

I let Mom know what was up and we went into work mode. Mom hit the kitchen to make a bottle while I went to find a shot. Then we both met back in the barn. The littlest twin caught no fast and soon got her belly full. The larger of the two has been spronging around so even though we think she is the one getting all the milk we offered her a drink anyway. She didn’t seem as hungry and didn’t drink a whole lot but did get her belly full. The littlest one would drink for a bit and after I would try her sister, then the littlest one would come back to my legs where I would pick her up and offer up the bottle again. And each time she drank a bit more. All in all both babies got full bellies and that is what we wanted. Tomorrow I will weigh them again and we will pray that they will start gaining weight. I gave Hershey the shot to help bring her milk in and then we left them to settle back down.

At least this year the issue isn’t a Hershey being a bad Momma issue. This issue she has no control over but Mom is talking about maybe not breeding her next year … Maybe giving her body a year off would help her get stronger and produce better babies. We will see though. We ended the day making a video for a collaboration on youtube. It will post tomorrow but for today enjoy a short clip of a Lamb Update …

Mom’s Baby saving fail

So this post was suppose to go up yesterday but things got out of hand. Not so much out of hand as just getting it back under control seemed to take forever. Maybe that is because it involved visits from the neighbor’s dogs which never go well.

So the day started for Mom, Hank and Jethro before dawn. As Hank gets older she has learned to stay in at night to keep from getting stiff. Jethro and Kidd Hang out outside. However, Kidd is penned as he doesn’t always come home on his own. When Hank feels Jethro needs help she wants out. And when she wants out it normally means trouble.

Well, the day before yesterday and yesterday Morning in the middle of the night Hank wanted out. Mom is a light sleeper and Hank woke Mom with one bark. Some how Mom always rises with a bounce. She keeps her shoes at the end of the bed and can have them on and be out the door with Hank in a matter of seconds. So that is just what happened two mornings in a row. The day before yesterday, we had visitors too but Mom kept them at bay with Hank and Jethro by her side and they finally went home with not much excitement.

Yesterday the neighbor’s dogs decided to push it a bit. Okay they pushed it a lot. When Hank barked Mom was up and out but Jethro and Hank were having trouble running the unwanted dogs home. Mom got the gun and fired off shots to warn them and it seemed they would go on only to show back up with in a few minutes. It was so bad Mom thought of turning Kidd loose on them. She doesn’t like to do that because Kidd is still young and he doesn’t stop. I mean when he goes after them he wants to fight them. And he doesn’t just chase them home he chases them until he whoops them.

That means if it was bad enough that Mom was thinking of turning him loose it was really bad. Mom couldn’t figure out why they kept coming and her sight isn’t what it used to be. And she normally doesn’t get her glasses on when she goes out that early with the dogs. So yes, she had a gun but mostly just to warn the unwanted visitors. She doesn’t really aim to hurt them as she is scared she might actually miss and get one of our own. So Turning Kidd loose is the last step before she gets her glasses or Me to take the pests out for good.

For two hours Mom fought those dogs. And finally, they went home for the last time and Mom without even thinking fell back asleep watching to see if they would come back. They didn’t so nothing ever woke Mom back up.

That morning Dad went to do chores and let her sleep. At this point we didn’t know about the early morning Dog issues so we just started our day like normal. All at once Dad came back to get me because he had found two unattended baby lambs on the pasture. They were half cleaned and a bit cold.

I scooped them up and got them in the barn and then set out to find the Momma. The only one with discharge was Hershey and she is the Momma that looks for a reason NOT to be a good one. I managed to get her in the barn and settled in. Then Dad and I set out doing chores.

When Mom got up I told her about Hersey and the twins. Mom then said that explained her night of little to no sleep and Hank’s morning of stiffness. She then told us the story of the returning dogs. She also said that with everything that was going on and her lack of sleep she didn’t even stop to check the sheep.

By mid morning I corned Hershey and made her stand for the twins. That is when I found that her plugs hadn’t been stripped out. (Normally, that happens when the babies suckle milk for the first time.) After I stripped the plugs I put both babies under her to get a drink. While it wasn’t a huge one it was a start.

I spent the rest of the day. Working horses, moving hay and watching to see if the twins would drink on their own. By evening they seemed to be doing better and suckling more and more … So with that I give you Opal and Amethyst.

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As for today, I worked the horses before the rain set in around noon. Mom took a stroll through the garden and had me get some trees protected from the rabbits and Hershey is doing well and I have seen her babies nursing regularly. However I did weigh them and will track their progress just to make sure they are eating good. Opal weighted 5 lb 14 oz and Amethyst 4 lb 14 oz.

RIP MoonStone

Our day was a bit off yesterday.  Mom left early to make the trip to the Oklahoma Farmer’s Market and Agritourism Conference in Oklahoma City.  I stayed home to care for those on the farm and little MoonStone.

Instead of going back to bed after our 3 am checks Mom got ready to drive to Oklahoma City.  The weather was really bad.  Schools were shut down and Ice covered everything.  Mom had others riding with her so she left in plenty of time to get everyone there safe and sound.

At the 3 am check MoonStone was doing good he was eating and acted fine.  He was a bit rattley but he was up and around.  Since he was on an antibiotic I knew that would take time to work so I wasn’t to concerned.

I went back to bed after Mom left and all was well.  I set my alarm for 9 am.  When I got up and checked MoonStone I thought he was doing better.  He wasn’t rattling at all and he ate all his breakfast.  He did seem to be a little down in the ears but he followed me everywhere I went for over 30 minutes before laying down to take a nap.  All this lead me to believe  he was doing much better.

I did chores and checked everyone before settling in and getting a fire going.  I spent the rest of my day doing things like a few loads of laundry, chopping fire wood and the dishes, not to mention feeding and taking care of MoonStone.

At about 3 pm little Moonstone took a turn for the worst.  With Mom gone for the day I was on my own.  I first put in a call to the vet.  He was honest with me as if he was talking to Mom.  He told me that Moonstone probably had Pneumonia and that the conditions in which we found him only gave him about a 10% chance of survival.  He told me a few other things to try but said that if those didn’t work There probably wasn’t anything we could do.   He explained that baby Lambs are a balance of things and it is tough to get them balanced after something traumatic happens.  He assured me that I were doing everything right and that if the little guy didn’t make it, it wasn’t anything we did or for lack of trying.

I went and got the other medications Doc said I could try and got them in him right away.  At one point I thought he was getting better but once again within an hour his fever had spiked.  I kept working with him by putting honey in his mouth and trying to bring his body temperature down until Mom got home.

Mom came right in dropped her stuff and started working on the little one.  She tried things that she had used on me when I was little to reduce my fever but after short fever reductions it seemed a spike would come back with vengeance and take even longer to reduce even a little bit.

By nightfall Baby Moonstone Passed away without ever getting back up on his feet.  Mom and I both had a melt down before heading off to bed.  We prayed that things would look better in the morning.  Today however, was just kind of there.  It was cold and wet and I went to work on my Sister’s house.  It was just a day without any real joy and almost seemed gloomy.  So tonight I am going to bed and both Mom and I are saying we are going to start over tomorrow and try and make it a better day.

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Carrie had a boy

So today I spent all day taking care of MoonStone. He had a bit of a set back and he is taking a bit of time to get back on track. Then Carrie decided it was time to add her new addition to the farm. Then Mom and I tried to run to town to get another bottle of Vitamin B and as it turned out the same store in a different town has different hours. That means we chose the wrong one and we ended up running to the wrong town before we found a friend with some to get us through.

So at 3am Moonstone was doing well. He ate and played for about an hour before going back to bed. Mom got up around 8 or a little after to find that he was rattling and retracting. He wasn’t as active as he was at 3 either. That means he needs something more. I got him an antibiotic to help clear his lungs. Then I gave him some Thiamin to boost him up.

Through the day I kept him warm and full. I think we are keeping him a bit to warm to be honest. After we got him warmed up from the morning He seemed to breath better if he wasn’t to hot. He is now creating a bit of body heat himself so we are now leaving him uncovered more.

As we struggled to balance out MoonStone, Carrie had the idea that it was time to add her new bouncing baby boy to the mix. They both are in the barn with Reba and doing good. I was late getting video of him but I did snap a picture of the little guy …

So Here is the update on MoonStone and the video of Carrie’s little one …

Getting my fill of the rain

So I started getting over all the rain we were getting last night when I had to go hunt up a dog that was lost and injured. Then this morning things got worse when I found Reba laid out in the mud and ice cold. I honestly thought she had passed away. I spent the rest of today trying to get warm and keep Reba and her new baby alive.

So last night Mom got a call from a neighbor that has a dog that had foot surgery earlier this month. It seems she had let the dog out to go potty and it hadn’t returned. She had called and could hear him in the distance but couldn’t find him. So knowing he had a foot that was vulnerable and bad weather was coming in we headed out to go join the search.

We grabbed our flashlights and set out into the night to see if we could find him. After a long search we were very wet and cold but in the end we brought him home. He was soaked and had lost his bandages and was even limping but he was home no worse for wear.

When we got home we both started striping and got a hot shower before we headed to bed. I will say that on cold nights like this my heating blanket makes me happy and cuddly and most of all warm.

This morning Mom and I had agreed to sleep in since we didn’t get home until late. By 8:30am her phone was going off. That woke up the Pig and the dogs. With all that noise going on who in the world can sleep? Mom fed the Pig and started putting dogs out and in and so forth. When I got out to check the sheep and do chores Things went sideways.

I rounded the house and saw Reba in a bad way. She was soaking wet, stiff and to be honest I thought she was dead. I got to her and realized she was still alive and I needed help. I ran back to the house for Mom. She wasted no time getting outside but I thought she would come running to me and Reba. That is when I noticed she was heading for a small white stiff figure laying in a mud puddle at the corner of the pen.

I felt terrible that I had missed it. I was so worried about Reba being down and out in the rain, it never dawned on me why. I watched as Mom scooped the Baby up and ask me if I was okay. I told her to get the baby inside and try and save it. At that point I knew we were making choices that may cost one animal it’s life over another. Mom disappeared into the barn. I turned my attention to Reba. While I had thought that I was going to have help getting her inside I realized real fast that Mom had made a hard choice too. She had chosen the one animal she felt wouldn’t make it if she didn’t intervene.

So I stood there a minute getting Reba turned around and sizing up what to do next. With a bit of help Reba managed to get to her feet and follow the direction Mom had taken her baby. I got her just inside the barn door before Mom showed back up and Reba gave out. She didn’t have the baby with her so I thought the worst.

Mom looked at me and asked if I was okay. She saw Reba laying just inside the door resting And she seemed to take a sigh of relief. She helped me get Reba up and into her pen. She fed her cookies and gave her a fresh hay bed. I then noticed that Mom had the heat lamp clipped to the side of the pen and directly on the baby. It started to lift it’s head to the heat as Mom fussed with it.

Mom and I had a very short conversation about what was going to happen. You see Reba had been penned up so that she couldn’t be bred. With her iron deficiency it is way to hard on her body to raise a baby. That means we hadn’t given her extra iron or her other treatments to help pump her up for lambing. That means she was weak from Anemia. She had lost blood giving birth and there was no way she would survive raising a baby.

So the choice was made to pull the baby right then. We set out to try and save them both. I stayed in the barn with Reba setting up the heat lamp for her. Then I took the time to get a bucket of warm water and load it with Electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. As she started to warm she started to come around. She was sitting up right and holding her head up on her own. She then got a good drink and stood up and ate her breakfast.

It was a good sign and I started to think she would make it. I put down some more fresh hay and left the heat lamp on her and she started to nibble her hay and act like her old self again. I made it inside to tell Mom that I thought she was going to be okay when I found Mom on the floor in the kitchen with the heater on the baby, a Blow dryer warming it up and at least three layers of warm towels sandwiched around him. Mom asked me to go get the heat pad to add to her layers of warm blankets and towels.

I got the heat pad and then set to work warming colostrum for it. The worst thing you can do is feed a cold baby anything cold. It was shivering and so cold. I worked to get the warm colostrum down him to warm him from the inside out. Mom kept up her layering and blow drying to warm him up while I went to get everything else fed.

By the time I got chores done and got back to the house I was wonderfully surprised to see the little guy actually standing up. His Mouth was no longer cold and his body temp was up to normal. As I came through the door the little guy came over to me and let out a little Maaaaaa. I melted.

I headed back out to check Reba. She was doing much better and was even standing up under the lamp. She was munching away on her hay and just seemed to be really thin. I stopped long enough to Thank God for his healing hand. In the course of 2 hours things had gone from looking like we would lose Mom and Baby to looking as if we could save them both.

After I was sure She was doing much better I left the little guy with Mom as I headed to town to get a nipple and some milk replacer. We don’t have any Goats in milk right now and the two sheep that have babies don’t ever produce enough milk to raise another one. And somewhere there is a bag with three new nipples in it but I just couldn’t find it. So Off to town I went.

When I got home Mom got to work and got the little guy drinking a bottle. At this point it was well after noon and Mom and I were cold, wet, muddy, smelly and hungry. So I took over lamb duty and heated the oven while Mom got a shower. After Mom got cleaned up she made some lunch and I spent the next few hours with a baby lamb thinking I am it’s Momma.

We will take all the prayers we can get for both Reba and the baby. But for now here you have him …. Moonstone

I set up a kennel in my room with fresh blankets and a heater for the night. With any luck we will be able to get him on a schedule within a few days. Right now he eats when he want but just little feedings. Just as if he was still with Reba.

Working for the weekend

So this week I have been short on funds. That means I have tried to pick up a job here and there. With it being colder there aren’t really people out there wanting much done. So I worked with my Sister to help her put in a new fence and do a bit of repair work on the floor of the house she is renting. All that just to get money together to rope and be one out of the money.

So this week things have been tight. Not much in the way for side jobs and not really bringing in a paycheck roping either. I think I am going to take a bit to gather myself, get in some good practice, get my head on straight and get back to doing what I do best. Being me.

That being said there hasn’t been not one entry on the sheep give away. I know they have until the 20th but hey, they don’t ALL have to wait until the last minute do they? I am starting to think that we may not get any entries. I guess that just means that we won’t give any sheep away. I honestly would be bummed but at least I know God has a plan and it will all work out the way he wants.

Anyway, If you are wanting to enter here is the link to check out … Give Away
As for me I will be helping Sister again but in the meantime … Here is a short podcast full of lamb cuties …

Melody Had a Boy

This morning started out with a bang!!! Okay maybe it wasn’t a bang. It was more like Mom shaking me and saying get up we have a lamb on the way. So we jumped up and headed to round up Melody who was walking around with two hooves and a nose sticking out … We got her inside and Here it is … Melody giving birth to her son Jade!
NOT A KID VIDEO

Lambing Begins

For the last week Mom and I have been on watch.  We have been checking the Ewes regularly.  Today Fudgie was the first to go.  After that I spent my time working Streak and if at all possible away from Mom.

I have to say Mom is in a bit of a mood.  And because of that I am really trying to stay out of her way.  First, she is mad at youtube.  We spent so much time getting youtube to go live again this year.  We worked on getting the chat integrated and even did a trial run the other night.  So today when it mattered Youtube wouldn’t do what it was suppose to do.  Everything was live on our end but nothing was live on theirs.  Mom was frustrated and I can understand why.    If youtube had worked we would have the whole birth of the twins online for your viewing pleasure … But alas This is all you get …

Then the owner of Streak showed up unannounced.  Mom was a lot upset about that because not only did he come uninvited, he didn’t even come to the front door … Mom found him wondering around on our property.  That is a BIG NO NO to Mom.  And Yup she told him about it.  Then he make the mistake of telling Mom that he had “told” me he was coming and Mom lost it.  She told him that He has no right it invite himself.  He isn’t to just TELL us anything.  He is to call and ASK us if he can stop by and when he is told to come in the evening that is when he is to come.  Not when ever he feels like it.  And I am sure you all know how it went from there.   Mom says that it is disrespectful to come to someone’s home without an invitation.

Anyway, From there the day just went side ways.  For some reason everyone was posting about colors on Facebook and not Gem Stones for the baby’s names.  We have Gem stones as a naming conventions this year and we are really unsure how colors came into play.  Mom is just frustrated and I get it but she is having a AAUUUGGGHHHHH kind of reaction to everything.

On the upside I mounted Streak today.  Once his owner left and Mom helped me sort him out and get things under control.  Streak did great.  Once the owner left the horse was fine.  I now understand why Mom doesn’t want owners here while we work the horses.  I am guessing that at some point someone may have either tried to saddle the horse on his own or they did something to this guy.  Today I learned the difference between a watchy horse and a horse that reacts to things by watching the human.  Mom says he is a thinking horse and that we just have to give him something different to think about.

 

 

Sick of Roping or Sick from Roping??

For the last few days I have been gone most of the time.  Friday I was at a roping, Saturday I was at a rodeo.  Then there was another roping on Sunday.  By Monday I was sick but had to work cattle and by Tuesday I was dead dog sick.   Throw in Mom’s birthday and you can see that I really haven’t slowed down since our big announcement.

I know it had been a few days since I last blogged.  However, I have a good reason for it.  I have been so busy I feel as if I have been on the run for days.  It all started when I went to a roping Friday night.  It was kind of a big one and I was blessed enough to win it.  Then even though I got home late, Saturday I went to Tulsa to a rodeo.  There I broke the barrier which kept me from winning the long go in the calf roping and in the team roping I couldn’t get my dally.  What does that mean … Well, it means no pay check.  So I headed to a team roping Sunday to see if I could manage to at least get a little ahead but in that one I ended up roping a leg in the short round which cost me placing in it

By Monday I wasn’t feeling very good but I had told my Uncle I would check cattle for him and do my Aunt’s chores while they were gone.  I started and got my Aunt’s horses fed with no issues but then I had to spend 5 hours on horse back in the cold wind checking my Uncle’s Cattle.   It was around freezing and there was no way to get out of the 20 miles a hour winds.  Man, was I  was one cold puppy dog.  And to tell the truth with my lungs being what they are that cold air about did me in.

When I got home my Sister came over as we had planned Mom a surprise for her Birthday.   I put on my game face and tried to smile and enjoy the cake she had brought.  You see Mon had mentioned wanting a wine rack and Sister had a coworker giver her one to give to Mom.  Then she made a German Chocolate cake because that is Mom’s favorite.  I lasted just until Sister and her husband left before I went and laid on the couch  and Tuesday that is where you found me .  Except to do chores and take a shower I slept most of the day.  I am actually headed off to bed and we will see what tomorrow brings.

 

Throw Back Thursday … Give Away!!

This morning I am off to work and when I get home I am praying there will be lots of comments here, on facebook and youtube …. Here it goes …

So February is Mom’s birthday Month and March is the Blog anniversary month. This year it will be our 7th Anniversary.  As for the farm it is one of the busiest times of the year.   So if we are so busy how are we going to mark these two milestones??  Well, we are going to add to everything else we are doing and do a big Give away.

So for those that have followed me from the beginning you know that I won my first fiber animals (my angora goats) in a Give away.  I traveled from Oklahoma to Virginia to pick them up from Juniper Moon Farm.  I promised back then that one day I would make sure I paid it forward.  Well, With all the negativity going on in the world, Government shut downs, changes to the youtube world, (people are a bit unhappy about that) the economy and all the homesteaders that now follow us as well as all the fiber artists that have been there from the start, Mom and I feel the time is right to keep that promise.  We want to throw out something positive into the world and see what comes back to us.  So we will be giving away …. No, Not the whole farm … But we will at least get someone started with sheep.

Is this for real??? You betcha … So here are all the details.

This contest is open to anyone who is capable of providing complete and proper caring for two sheep.

By entering you are agreeing to allow your entry including your first name to be posted on social media and are recognizing that RJ, Christy or the Straw Family Farm are in NO way responsible for any expenses that you might incur in picking up your sheep or getting your consultation.

To enter send an essay no longer then 3 pages or a link to a video no longer then 3 minutes on the topic of  “What having sheep would mean to me”.  We will be looking at content and not the ability to present your content well.  All content in each entry must be original to the person entering the contest.  Each entry must be labeled with your interest in the sheep (Example fiber artist, 4-H, Homesteader ECT.) your name and contact information for our personal use.  Limit one entry per a person.

The Prize is 2 sheep from the 2018 crop of lambs and a one on one “What you need to know about raising sheep” consultation from Christy and RJ Straw.  Choice of lambs are at the sole discretion of RJ and Christy Straw, with use of the lambs being taken into consideration.

Deadline to enter is Feb. 20th 2018.  Top selections will be posted and be opened for voting by a poll on this blog on March 6th 2018 (Yup that is our Blog-a-versary).  The final winner will be announced March 31st 2018 on this blog and is at the sole discretion of Christy and RJ Straw with the poll being a considering factor.  The winner must make contact with farmontheprairie@gmail.com by April 7th 2018 and the sheep must be picked up in person by Oct. 1st 2018 or the ownership of the sheep will revert back to RJ and Christy Straw.

To enter Submit your essay or Video link to farmontheprairie@gmail.com by Feb 20th 2018 … And don’t forget to have fun with it.