Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Our Akita, Diamond.
She is part Japanese part American Akita
- a beautiful breed!!
Our newly mothering cat adopted a wild baby bunny t
he day before she gave birth
to her second litter of kittens

Perhaps it is the cabin fever and arctic, cold, tundra like weather. Perhaps it is shear bordom from being cooped up inside for weeks on end looking forward to another three and a half months of cooped up-ness. Perhaps it is the adorable pictures posted all over the Internet.

A sudden "urge" has come over me. The sweet pictures of Welsh Harlequin ducks, beautiful pictures of Florida Cracker Horses, cuddly pictures of Romeldale/ CVM sheep and lambs... it doesn't help that all of these animals are on the "critical" "almost extinct" watch list. It's probably the maternal instinct kicking in at a ripe young age.

In 2006 I had a Suffolk sheep who (unexpectedly) gave birth to twin rams. She died from starvation. We had no idea she was expecting, and had two (very) cranky soon-to-be-mother goats who hogged the food. I figured the sheep was big enough to fight for her own food, but sadly found out she was passive and not the fighting type. After giving birth to her second ram she just lay in our barn floor - it was sad, pitiful, pathetic, and heart wrenching. Her runt, the second born, was still attached to the umbilical cord when I found them. I was shocked to find that she had given birth to two healthy, happy, tiny rams.

The vet gave the mother a few hours to live, and kept commenting on how surprised he was that the lambs were so healthy and so small.

We had two Suffolk sheep. A ram and a ewe. Both of them were given to me for my fourteenth birthday (two years before). I had not expected, was not at all prepared, and hadn't desired lambs, yet. We still needed to finish expanding and complete the inside of the barn before we had planned to start breeding the sheep.

The two ram lambs lived in the house for two weeks. It was the most wonderful experience in my entire life. I bottle fed the two little guys about two times a night (their first week three times). Cleaned up after them, and they slept rather comfortably in a laundry basket under my dresser by the vent to the heater (the only vent in my room). Lambies would cry to get attention, and would make cute little noises when I talked with them. When they were a week old I moved them to the mud room (which was down stairs). The runt became distraught and wouldn't hardly eat anything. The day before I gave them both to some friends who took better care of their sheep herd and dogs than most people do their kids, the runt wouldn't eat at all. It was sad and pitiful.
About a week after giving the two lambies to our sheep herding friends, the runt died.
Although we sent our Suffolk ram (the father of the lambs) to the auction last fall, and the experience was hard, sad, and emotionally taxing (to an extent and if you are an animal lover) I absolutely fell in love with sheep.

Both my parents have decided that we don't need animals right now, and in all honesty we don't. We do not have good fencing, don't have resources to get grains for less than an arm and a leg, do not have reliable sheds for animals, and don't have a excellent watering system as of yet, it is a beautiful fantasy to think about the possibility of owning sheep from the ALBC Conservation Priority List (preferably a breed in the critical category). Alright, it would be incredible to have sheep, possibly goats, horses, chickens, ducks and rabbits from the critical category, but hey, you have to start with something right? Why not sheep?

Heritage Farm Animal:
Dairy Goat Journal (A sister magazine of "Countryside & Small stock journal):

Welsh Harlequin Ducks (do your research :):

McMurray Hatchery (we have ordered from this Hatchery before and were very pleased):

Mt. Healthy Haterchies (have never ordered from this hatchery before, but are looking into it):

No comments:

Warmth for Winter

* Burnt-orange nail polish
*feather-down, fleece-lined blanket
*Hot "English Breakfast" tea, if a tsp. of whipped honey
*Pictures of tropical islands
*knitted scarf
*An adorable puppy to sit on your lap
*blazing fire
* Basic Message Oil
6 tsp. carrier oil of your choice
8 srops of essential/ fragerance oil of your choice
Blend the two together, well. Warm up the oil before using - make sure to message between your fingers and your cuticals.
.... any questions?