Sunday 11 March 2018

Catching Up

I'm catching up on posting on the blog.  And this phrase just fits for life right now.  So, here it is, life right now...

I worked full time through the summer.  I had a blast working as a Historical Interpreter, telling visitors about life in olden times.  The day was reasonable until you added on the drive.  Thankfully I was able to car pool most days and my car pool buddy is remaining a valued friend.  Seasonal and the tourist industry, it was not a Monday to Friday job.  I find with farming that since you basically do the same things every day it is hard to know when the weekend arrives.  And this job compounded that.

At any rate, it was a blast.  It's over now.  I was scheduled to return but found other full time work in my field of social services.  I am REALLY enjoying this work.  I was hired to cover a maternity leave and in short order things changed and the terms became full time, permanent. Our family life is more predictable now as we both work Monday to Friday - except for the farm work.  The hardest thing for me has been the lack of daylight.  I would see my animals in the dark in the morning and in the dark in the evening.  The longer days now leading us to spring are most welcome.

We have over-wintered about 40 head of sheep.  This is probably too many.  I don't know yet.  I know several people who work full time and keep a reasonable number of livestock.  I need a year to go through all of the seasons and to learn what I can manage while working full time.  Some unplanned things are happening too, and we are rolling with it.

"Star" was born at the end of January.  Surprise!

Unexpected lambs have arrived with lot number two having begun today with TRIPLETS.  We already have five lambs from a month ago.  Triplets are cute but often a lot more work for little return.  Mother Chloe has had a single each year until last year when she had twins.  It's a new counting game when there are three - or - Please, Lord, no! - quadruplets.  Chloe is an experienced mother and should manage triplets well, however, we got off to a challenging start.

I was returning from an outing and heard new baby lamb noises while in the driveway.  A yelling newborn is a strong newborn.  I changed outerwear and leapt up to the barn.  All three had been born.  The second lamb was not really making progress.  After about 30 minutes I gathered up baby number 2 and headed to the house.  I wrapped her in a towel and set her by the woodstove.

Beau dog minding the lamb wrapped in a pink towel and placed in front of the woostove

In twenty minutes she was trying to get up.  I thawed cow colostrum for her.  This took most of the twenty minutes.  She gobbled that right down, much to my surprise.  She was just so aggressive about sucking back this bottle.  All of this was encouraging.

She surprised me with how aggressively she took the bottle of cow colostrum

Hubby reminded me to put a jacket on her.  In her new blue fleece fashion I wrapped her in a towel and off we went back to Mamma.  My fingers were crossed that she would take this lamb back.  And, yes - BIG SIGH - she talked to the lamb and welcomed her back.  And the lamb began to yell at mother for food. 

Sporting her blue fleece jacket, baby was returned to the barn and happily greeted by her mother.

The other two were standing and had nursed.  Mother Chloe had drained a small bucket of warm molasses water and was part way through a flake of second cut hay.  It was all looking promising. 

You'd think I'd had the baby myself, as now I needed a nap.