Sheep & Goat Workshop

This weekend Mary and I traveled to Waco for a workshop on sheep & goat maintenance.  It started at 8 AM.  We live 3 hours away.  I’m not a morning person…

Still, it was an excellent experience.  Even the drive up.  It’s remarkably clear on the roads at 5 AM.  Go figure!  It was hosted by the amazing folks at World Hunger Relief.  Click over and check them out, maybe make a donation or volunteer or something.  The workshop was put on by the Texas AgrAbility Community of Practice folks (or on Facebook).  Our instructor was the intrepid Erin Kimbrough.  Topics covered included:

  • Applying ID Tags
  • Medication/Vaccinations
  • Castration
  • Record Keeping
  • Handling/Moving
  • Nutrition
  • Behavioral knowledge and selection
  • Breed knowledge and selection
  • Options for predator control
  • Hoof care

Some of this was completely new to us.  I had never trimmed hooves before or seen a kid or lamb banded, so we got some good info and hands on experience out of this that counted toward my phase three hours in the Battle Ground to Breaking Ground course I’m taking.  Naturally we took some pictures and video for you to enjoy.  Check it out.

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Erin doing jazz hands

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Instructor instructing instructionally

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The crew

And a few more pics…

Our instructor Erin giving a goat a copper bolus capsule using an insertion gun (more like a big syringe).

James from World Hunger Relief drenching a goat. This is a way to orally inject medicine to control parasites in some farm animals.

Checking parasite load using the FAMACHA method. Part is a bit blurry but doesn’t detract too much.

One thing I had never experienced before was what drama queens goats are.  Man am I glad we raise sheep!

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The Supervisor

A couple of days ago I felt like I was being watched.  Turns out I was right!  This hen decided things needed to be watched a little closer around the ranch.  Apparently the lack of supervision required her to step… er, fly in and take charge.  We had just checked out the new lamb and were going to get pictures of the rams to post for sale when we noticed our work being checked!

Obviously the rams were up to no good.  Horse play, tom foolery and head butting!  Let’s get back to work boys.

Do you need something human?  Can’t you see I’m super busy supervising things around here?  You’re what?  The owner you say?  Oh, very sorry sir!  Things are going eggcedingly well if you’ll pardon the pun.  The rams were just getting back to work and your newest lamb is progressing well.  Yes, er, um, back to the coop sir.  Have a nice day!


Newest Addition

Had the newest addition to the ranch this afternoon.

The black spot on her back is dirt.  She was probably only minutes old at this point.

Mom’s taking care of her.  It’s an assumed her at this point.

Whut ewe lookin’ at?


Fascinating Captain

I’d like to introduce you to Spock.

No, not THAT Spock!

THIS Spock!

Yes, we have a lamb named Spock, for VERY obvious reasons.  And he is, naturally, fascinating!  I suppose for the first post of 2018 it might as well be a weird one.  He’s a cute little booger.  But then again, all lambs are cute.  We’ve got quite a crop this year.  All mutts due to a jail break the boys made in November.  Who’s your Daddy?  Heck if we know.  While this did not help us grow our Gulf Coast herd it did give us some cuties.

As you can see he has the complete set of ‘brows.  We’ll have to work on teaching him the Vulcan greeting with those hooves.

Not sure if he’ll be an emotional sheep or a logical one.  He is a half-breed after all.  This could lead to a spat of Capt. Kirk, Scotty, or McCoy sheep as we have not yet named everyone in this crop.  I guess it’ll be OK as long as he doesn’t whip out a communicator and say “Baaaaeeeem me up!”


Snow!

Woah!  Another post in 2017.  Better slow down a little 🙂

In January we’ll have been at the ranch for 5 years.  Last night we got the biggest snow fall I’ve ever seen in South Texas.   Don’t get too excited about that.  It didn’t take much to qualify for that title.  Still, it was very pretty to see this morning so I wanted to share a few views with you.  If we had grass, the ground would have been white too.  You can kind of see that when you look through the trees to the neighbors fields.  I guess we got between 1 and 2 inches.  Very pretty!

The yard.

The yard.

Wood pile.

Wood pile.

More woodpile.

More woodpile.

Looking down hill into neighbors pasture through the trees.

Looking down hill into neighbors pasture through the trees.

Fallen tree.

Fallen tree.

Llama eating frosted flakes!

Llama eating frosted flakes!

Sheep checking out snow while llama eats.

Sheep checking out snow while llama eats.

 

 

 

 


Lost Puppy, Found Puppy

Tonight was one of those evenings that gets your adrenaline up. Anxiety levels certainly rose a couple of notches. Mary and eldest daughter Rachel came in from the evening feeding and announced one of the puppies, Snowball, had not come when called for dinner. It was time to go looking. All four of us headed out the door and started scouring the property, calling for the dog.  After the property search, we started checking buildings and pits and holes.  It sure looked like she had fled the ranch.  Rachel and I hopped in the truck to look along the road.

After going as far up the road as we thought she could have possibly wandered and letting a neighbor know what was up, we turned around and started heading up driveways and talking to a couple of other neighbors.  In one area we heard a few barks that sounded a lot like her and gave that area a heavy going over.  Never did find the dog barking there.  So off the other direction we went.  Talked to a couple more neighbors.  Loosing a puppy is a great way to meet people.  And I guess it was rush hour because we ran into lots of folks coming home or just leaving.  Finally, we got to my immediate neighbor to the south of us who told us the puppies had been there earlier fooling around in his field.  Finally, a clue!  He said we could drive back there and look, so we did.  I left Rachel at one end and I drove down toward the river real slow.  Then I saw her.  A white lump that jumped a little.  She wasn’t moving normally and her head looked black.  Oddly, that’s not all that unusual for Great Pyrenees.  Ours routinely come home with black faces. So I got out and went over.  She had her head stuck in a plastic food container that had vanilla whey protein in it.  Not sure if there was any in there when the dog found it but it sure smelled, well, vanilla-ee.  And so did the dog.  She was stuck good and had probably been that way for hours.  I got the container off her head.  She looked pathetic.  No picture.  I did think about it though!  She was soggy, weed and burr covered, and wiped out.  She did smell very nice though!

We got her home and have now gone into mother hen recovery mode.  She must have drunk a gallon of water when we got back to the house.  Now she’s inside with us with her sister, most likely milking this for all it’s worth.  But, we need to keep an eye on her for a while, so she gets to milk it all she wants.  The other mutts aren’t too happy about the change but they’ll live.  I’m coming down from the event and trying to decompress.  We were supposed to go out tonight for an event but that got preempted by Snowball’s antics.  It’d be nice to think the dog learned something from this, but if she did, it’s probably only that there’s good smelling trash next door and I should go back and check it out again!  I guess that’s puppy hood.

Never a dull moment around the Double Portion Ranch.


Checking out Chicks

I got as close as I’ve been to the emu chicks today.  If I had to bet a nickle, I’d say we have one male and 4 females.  I had one visual of a circle pattern on top of one chicks head but I couldn’t get that shot.  Here’s a couple I did get.

In this one, the chick closest to the bottom has what looks like a circle pattern of feathers on it’s head.  All the rest have speckles or stripes.  Circles indicate males.

Center bottom chick may be male

Hanging out together

On the move