And The Vet Said???

Alfalfa fields in the desert

Alfalfa fields in the desert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mild Frothy Bloat for the win!  With a side of hyper-concentrated urine.  Simple treatment.  No pellets for a few days and ramp up the alfalfa slowly.  Guess we just watch and wait now.  At least she doesn’t seem to feel bad.  That’s a good thing.  Oh, and no raids yet!


Frothy Bloat Urine?

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. For more information, see here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So would Googling (or Binging as I prefer now since Google is a bit too lefty for me) “Frothy Bloat Urine” get you whisked off to Gitmo by the NSA these days?  Audited by the IRS?  Raided by the USDA raw milk swat teams? Dunno, but sadly, those are possible concerns these days in the good ol’ USA.  But I digress…  Pistol, queen of the sheep, has a malady.  If only Gregory House was a veterinarian!  The internet only provides us tantalizing clues but nothing concrete.  Oh, and really disgusting images.

Pistol got to feeling bad a couple of days ago but not real bad luckily. Her symptoms don’t match what’s out there on the net but being new to all this I don’t know that I’m looking correctly.  She got hold of some flour.  This can cause Lactic acidosis or Frothy Bloat.  Neither of these appear to cause brown/red urine which she has today along with a slightly elevated pulse.  I have a call in to the Vet so maybe I’ll get an answer today.  Most stuff sheep get you find out about when they either fall over dead or are about to.  Pistol obviously didn’t feel well at first but seems OK now except for the symptoms mentioned above.  All we can do at the moment is wait.  I have penicillin on hand if needed but I don’t want to go there unless I have more obvious cause.  Sheep drama… Sheesh!

Reruns Coming

I want to get all the ranch posts over to the new blog so I’m going to integrate them with new content as we go along here.  If you feel like you’ve seen something before, it’s probably because you have!

Of Snakes, Skunks, and Priviledged Sheep

Interesting weekend we had here at the ranch.  Friday night my oldest came home in the dark from getting pizza for dinner.  She sees this black furry blob next to the yard fence and realized it was a dead animal.  Unfortunately, we have a barn cat we call Hop-a-long who is also black.  Her first thought is that on of the dogs killed Hop!  Why in the world would they do such a thing?  They got along so well!  Oh, what’s that white stripe down the back of that furry blob…


It wasn’t Hop 🙂 (thank goodness!)  It was,  however, a dead skunk.  A present from one of the elder Great Pyrenees no doubt, proudly showing off what a fine job they’re doing protecting the property from varmints.  That is one of their duties and they do it quite well.  Fortunately, it appears they got the best of the skunk and it didn’t get them at all.  Plus, they didn’t cause it to stink like they do when they get run over.  That allowed me to dispose of the little booger and still be let back into the house.

One thing the Pyrenees don’t bother with are snakes unfortunately.  Saturday night we were feeding and gathering eggs when the wife spotted rat snake #4 in the chicken coop.  It had one egg recently eaten.  They look kinda like this when they do that:

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Rat snake eating egg

Here’s the action shot:

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I can’t allow these snakes to eat my eggs and chicks.  I actually had one living in the coop for some number of days hiding under a nest.  No eggs for about a week!  Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to trap them and even if I did, letting them go around here would just make them someone else’s problem.  My solution is a .22 long rifle shell of snake shot to the head.  It’s not the ideal solution but it dispatches them quickly and hopefully painlessly.

We also tried to integrate our “pet” sheep back into the herd Friday night.  That didn’t go so well.  My wife’s name is Mary.  She has this little lamb.  One of the ewes abandoned it at birth several weeks back and we’ve been raising it since then.  In the house…  WE are it’s herd now!  We put it out in one of the pens with a couple of the other sheep. All involved hated that idea and apparently around 3 AM they decided to bust out and make a break for it.  Little Pistol (the lambs name is Pistol) came back up to the house gate and ‘baaaa’d’ incesently, waking the youngest daughter.  The little toot was hurling herself at the gate trying to get back in.  It was hard enough listening to her mournful ‘baaas’ when we left her outside but that was too much.  So, looks like we got a pet for a while longer.  Here she is in her natural habitat…

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And on a sad note, we lost another chicken.  When we went in to get the eggs Sunday evening it was laying at the back of the coop, DRT.  We’re not sure if it got attacked by the rat snake or if it simply died.  Either way, we’re down to 19 birds now.  I really want to figure out a way to give the chickens a lot more roaming room without letting them loose.  Most of my options in that area are rather expensive.


I’ll try to acknowledge anyone who follows the site.  Moving over to WordPress set me behind in that a bit so if I’ve missed anyone I certainly apologize.   From what I can see so far, let me welcome…


Opinionated Man




Plus howdy to any of you email or RSS feed folks!

Hayin’ Time

Folks have been harvesting hay around here for the last few weeks.  Though I’d share a picture of the local bounty for your viewing pleasure.

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Hay harvest

Ahhh Puppyhood…

It just doesn’t get much better than being a puppy on a ranch.  Especially a ranch with… mud?  Or something!  Allow me to introduce Balto.



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Balto is, uh, erm… kind of a dope.  Great Pyrenees are toward the lower end of the smarts scale when it comes to dog breeds.  Add puppy-hood to that and you get… A dope.  Balto is upon occasion, all white.  Today, this greeted me when I got home.  In my nice clothes.  With him between me and the fenced in yard.  This was his attitude…


Balto Smiling

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The reason you see a pair of hands (Mrs. Millers) holding Balto, is because prior to that he was wrapped around my feet.  Feet inside nicely formerly polished shoes.  Balto will get about twice this big when he’s grown.  He might grow into his tail.  We’re not sure yet.  Balto is dog number 8 for us here at the ranch.  Three other Pyrenees came with the place.  We’re not gluttons for punishment, really we’re not.  Balto was special circumstances.  Friends who owe me big time in need, that sort of thing.

So say “Hi” to Balto.  You can’t NOT say hi to Balto.  He won’t let you.  You WILL say high.  Oh, did I mention puppies have sharp teeth?  Balto has thus far destroyed 2 pair of jeans.  One was mine, the other belonged to an electrician we had out a few days ago.  That guy wasn’t happy!  (yes, we bought him new ones) At least he seems to get along with and sort of fit in with the other three guardian dogs.  So far only the llama has gotten really ticked at him.  You’ll meet her later.  Balto says “woof” by the way…