Lambing is finally done. It took a month and a day for everyone to do their thing and I am somewhat relived that the constant expectation is at an end. Rosemary had a ewe lamb early Sunday morning. The lamb is tiny and on the frail side so we’re keeping a close eye on her. Of course lambs always look delicate and nearly emaciated and we could be over protective, but she’s the only Tunis ewe lamb we got this season and we would like to keep her for breeding.
We ended up with only two ram lambs, aka “eaters.” So the good news is – we increased the breeding flock by nearly double. The bad news is – there will be no lamb for sale this year; it will all be going into our personal stores.
Now that everyone has lambed and the weather is turning pretty nice, it is time to make an appointment with the shearer. Shearing is not a skill I’ve learned. I keep thinking that I’ll make the time to learn, but it keeps taking a back burner to other things. One of these days! For the time being we have someone we like and trust, so I won’t complain.
“Baby season” is not year over. We hatched out three sweet little black and white chicks this weekend. (Barred rock or black rock bantams) We heartlessly stole them from mommy and pitched them under a heat lamp in the oh-so-natural environment of a cardboard box. The hen is still setting on 6 Orpington eggs that were several days behind the bantams and I really want her to hatch those out. Next week 100 meat chicks will be arriving by US Post and I’ll put the bantams in with those. Since they will be a good week older than the meat birds, they should be able to hold their own. On the list of projects this week – get the brooder spruced up and ready for the chicks!
I’m also expecting the next batch of rabbit kits the first week of May. The kits will be a NZ White x Flemish Giant cross. The other bantam hen is still setting in the rabbit’s nest box; the race is on. I’m too short to see in, but Glenn checks for chicks every day.
The goat kids are pretty much fully integrated with the larger flock. Glenn’s sunk to new lows – he used to merely let his cat lick ice cream off his spoon. Sunday he shared a popsicle with Giselle. Apparently he does not find goat breath hugely offensive… I won’t mention that I still let Puck suck on my nose from time to time… >insert innocent look here!<
Other than that, I’m pretty much in garden mode. We have about 4 weeks before our last frost date here and I can start planting wholesale. Still lots to do – dig out the garden hoses, add compost to the raised beds, finish planting out the cold crops; the list goes on and on. If you’re looking for me over the next few weeks, do not pass go, but head directly to the garden!