Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Jammer's Mishap & Me as a Hobby Farmer

So, I guess what I do is "Hobby Farming". Its not a money making hobby quite yet, hopefully by next year I will see something coming into Harvest Thyme but for now I will take the little things & smile at those. And then I will sigh at the things that just are not turning out as planned and hope for better days.

Now today, for example, was a day for good things & not so good. When I got home today, I fed the horses, sheep, & goats & decide to grab my basket & get some gourds. I gave up growing small gourds in my garden & instead I pitch the gourds at the end of the season into the manure pile & let them go to town. Its amazing what decomposed crap does for growing gourds & pumpkins. I also have a lot of sunflowers that come up in the manure so after they bloom & start to dry, I cut some of them and hang them in trees or on a trellis for the birds.
Check out what is in the basket!!! Do you see it?? Its an EGG!!! It looks even better if you enlarge the picture:) Yes, finally, after months of anticipation, I went into the chicken coop after gathering the gourds & there was an EGG!!!! See, these are the little things about hobby farming what makes me smile:)
This is Jammer when he was born at the end of July. He made me smile & stills makes me smile because he is so friendly & cute but last week when I came home from school, Jammer had had an accident. Right away I had noticed he had blood all over the right side of his face. Yes, I had a freak fit then I recomposed myself & came to realize he had got his horn caught on something. Well, I am assuming he did but I can not be sure but it was definitely really loose & bleeding. By last weekend it was apparant that it was going to fall off & today it did.

I feel terrible about this because I have no idea how the original accident happened & now I am concerned about the odds of it growing back & if it does grow back, will he continue to have horn issues? There is another "knob" on his skull & the horn that fell off was hollow, is that common or is it an indication of a bad horn anyways? If you are reading this & have any insight please let me know...it would be greatly appreciated. He will only be 2 months old at the end of September. The other horn appears to be fine, though loose as I am assuming it would be as he is so young. I guess I am also concerned when I should make the decision as to whether he should be kept as a ram or become a wether based on this issue of horns. I know wethering him will stop the horn growth. He is such a nice little ram I just want to do what is right & safe for him.
These are the things that cross my mind as a "hobby farmer". It is an everyday learning process & some of it is all good & some of it is not. But giving up is not an option for me because I am just not giving up. I will continue to learn & seek advice when needed & make decisions that are best for my animals.

These statues were given to me by a close friend to protect my flock. They are old & worn but they offer me a smile & comfort as I pass them everyday on my way to the barn. See, its those little things that make hobby farming that much better:)


Pat in east TN said...

I remember so well my days of laughing/smiling/contentment, and then there were those days of tears/frustration/stress ... I still wouldn't have given it up for the world and the memories are priceless. Keep up the good work Kristi, you won't regret it.

Tracey said...

Love the basket of goodies from your harvest - and an egg!! WOOHOO!!
Oh that face - Jammer is a doll.
I just want to hug my computer :)
I wish I knew all about horns and could tell you what to do. I know you will find out and make the right and best decision as to if he stays a ram or not.
Keep us posted.
Yes, It is the little things that mean so much....

Tammy said...

It happens. Those little horns are pretty easy to get caught on things (like maybe sticking his head through the fence etc.). I'm not sure how it will regrow--I've not had any experience (yet) with one losing a horn. If the other horn is 'loose' he might actually be scurred, because generally even baby rams horns are pretty solidly attached. (Once I wether them though, the horns become more fragile/loose and 'droop'). If you are satisfied with his other horn and it's placement and all things considered good elsewhere AND you want to use him as a breeding ram, then it should still be okay. After all losing a horn is not a 'genetic' problem. One thing to consider though, if you want to use him as a breeding ram, his very friendly personality may become a problem in the future. He sure is a cutie. Oh, and CONGRATS on your first egg! It's been so long since I had my first hens and eggs that I've forgotten the thrill of it--you and Michelle and bringing back the joy of fresh eggs. :-)

Garrett808 said...

if he is out of the polled gulmoget, a lot of rams will 'pop' their scurs off. since it was hollow,i don't see a problem with it.

you should ask Juliann! :)

Kara said...

They bleed like there is no end and seem so much worse then they really are. I had my scurred boy "pop" his off like Garret said and then a horned ram lamb get one caught in a fence and tear his off. Both are growing back. Check out Blackberry and Cooper on my blog. I felt terrible... Good luck, I hope he feels better soon.

Gail V said...

Hi Kristi,
nice blog, first visit for me. I LOVE your shepherd 'n'sheep statues! I've had young rams pop off a horn, I just treated the wound, if open, to prevent flystrike. Sounds like Jammer's is healed over well. I have a ram with one horn shorter than the other since last year-- same circumstance, no issue. He is likely half-poll, too-- the smallish horns have hardened over time.
Best wishes,
Gail at Little Red Oak Farm

Pamela said...

I'm so jealous of you getting your first egg! I'm still waiting..and waiting...and waiting...

And that little face is to die for! So cute and I'm sorry to hear of his little horn accident.

I was also interested to find out that wethers' horns don't continue to grow. I've got a little Welsh Black Mtn wether. His horns are all but welded into his head...they don't wiggle at all. Does since he's wethered mean they aren't going to grow any more? (Have to admit, they are very cute on him.)

kristi said...

Thank you everyone for stopping by! I fuss so much over my animals but I have to be on death row before I decide to go to the doctors's & of course I am the one with the insurance!

Gail...thank you for coming by. It so nice when people leave comments. I will be over to check out those Finn Sheep you have:)

Pam...I bought a wether from Heather at Windswept Farms (he was my first Shetland) & the wethering will stop the horns from growing like a rams does. I got another egg today, I figure by the end of the month maybe it will get to a dozen:)