Saturday, 15 June 2013

The night of my last post was a busy one. Lambing at 2am ! Lucky I woke because the second twin needed to be pulled. One of her front legs was caught back. The photo below is of the ram lamb the next morning, I didn't think to take pics in the wee small hours ... The little ewe is there, on the other side, but I haven't caught a decent photo of her yet.

Dorpers are hard enough to photograph at the best of times as their black faces seldom show up well. When mum is determined to stop the paparazzi it can be almost impossible to get a portrait !

The maternity ward was my carport, which has been filled with hay and turned into a lambing jug because the weather was just nasty. Today was the first day with some sun, so the little family was released into the house yard to soak up some rays.

Molly with her ewe lamb on the left and ram lamb on the right.

About an hour after Molly and her babies departed the carport, it was obvious Min was going to need the accommodation fast.

Her first lamb arrived within minutes, a ram.

The second was well late and she ran out of puff, so I straightened the legs and eased the nose out. Another ram :-) 

Normally Boof throws girls, so three to one the boys' way is unusual. I always enjoy when the lambs arrive close together because they form a gaggle and do everything together, racing, napping, king of the castle ...

Max is the only other ewe close to lambing, but she's always a tough one to guess. Last time she was "any day now" for three weeks. She was the size of a house and only had one small lamb. I hope she's not far off so her lambs can be close in age to these.

The little ewe has been named Elf, still thinking about the boys.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

As I stepped out the back door on the foggy morning mentioned in the previous post, I found that a massive flock of galahs had stitched their way along the power lines. I couldn't get the whole length in, but the birds stretched as far again both ways. You'll get a better view if you click on the picture to enlarge.

As I walked down the back path they scattered, part of the flock forming up on this dead tree next door.

While I watched, the sun came up and colour came into the world.

Monday, 10 June 2013

I went to an information day at the local ag supply shop last week, and won one of the lucky door prizes. A fox light ! It mimics the random flashing of a torch and is supposed to scare off foxes. I'm not going to rely on it alone, but it's certainly going to add to the measures I take to keep foxes away.

The fox light on the outer wire of the lambing pen. I move it every two days.

Saturday was a foggy morning with the promise of a sunny day to come. Up early to feed the animals, fog is one of those things that motorists hate, but makes for still, quiet mornings for those of us on foot to enjoy. I have some general scenery to post in the next entry, but here are some pics of next door's sheep.

I've been picking up the dropped hay from the base of the round bales each morning. My cattle and sheep won't stoop to eating it while there is fresh hay on the bale, but if I pick it up before it becomes trampled and soiled I can toss it over the fence to the next door flock, who is doing it a bit tough.

Half the flock, including the ram and the two day old lamb, 
having breakfast while some of my flock visit.

Looking the other way up the fence line as the rest
of the flock come down for a feed.
A closeup of the lamb with her mum behind him. She's so cute ! 
I think she's 1/2 white dorper and 1/2 merino.

 This is dad, the white dorper flock ram. 

Dorpers are known for being good do-ers. I've never seen a dorper in this condition. If I needed proof that it's been a hard year, this is it.

A close up of the big guy's face. He's a very laid back 
ram and I think quite personable.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The milking shed is just about done. Walls are lined and painted, storage is in place, sink is ready to be plumbed in and lights are in. The area in these pics is the end third, animals will be entertained in the front two thirds. The fittings for that area will depend on who is being milked (sheep or cow, Flora or Big Moo) and who else wants to participate. There are always helpers with the sheep... I'll take pics of the milking setups as they happen.

The milking machine is a second hand "Dairy Maid" waiting to be cleaned up, pump serviced and the hoses replaced. People door on the left, skylight on the upper right. Need a "whirly bird" ventilator to keep air moving. The lights are little LED solar shed lights. Four in all, brilliant at night :-)

The wooden chest houses fly veils (courtesy of Kirby !), horse rugs in case a cow feels poorly, clean cloths and towels, and warm jackets for lambs. The shelf in behind it has the medications, creams, washes, lotions etc, all the tagging, clipping, castrating, drenching and injecting stuff, and the brushes and other grooming gear.

The shelves on the back wall are cleaning gear, drying space and milking stools. The sink will have a caravan "hand pump" tap that will have a line to the little rain water tank outside. The shelf underneath is salvaged scaffolding of some kind which sits nicely on the mid shelf of two electrical pit inserts and has room for two milk crates underneath. The quintessential storage/seating/stacking/table item, a good milk crate is worth it's weight in gold. There is a third crate somewhere on the farm and when I find it, it will be hidden in here too. Mine !! My Precious !! Ahem ...

Next job is a safe power source for the milking machine. Since DH is an electrician I expect I will be running an extension cord from the garage for a few years ...