Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barn Rule #1

As a single, woman hobby farmer, I have one simple rule to live by so that things run smoothly when doing barn chores:
However, there have been "some" occassions when the occupants of the barn fail to read these signs & things do not go as planned, choice words are thrown around, threats of selling them off (obviously that hasn't happened:) & perhaps an utterance that I refuse to feed them if they don't listen. Often this falls on deaf ears & I get the impression that one or more of them might be just telling me in animal talk to "kiss their you know what". Do they not understand that I am an educated woman, spent thousands of dollars on that MA degree, & in one morning of chores they can deplete my self-worth?
No, they don't care because in the blink of an eye they pull something else & I just throw up my hands & say, "WHATEVER"!!!!!

Such is life for a woman & her animals:)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Meet the Black Cotswolds

I thought I would share with you the "other sheep" I have at Harvest Thyme.....the black Cotswolds. These actually were the first sheep that I started with. Because they are classified as "threatened" by the American Livestock Conservatory, it is difficult & requires a lot of patience to build a flock. They are one of the long wool breeds of sheep just like the Lincoln's that Juliann featured in her recent blog. In the beginning, I had purchased Martha, my ewe, & George, a wether (he passed away this winter). It was about 3 years later that I acquired T.J., my first black Cotswold ram & my dad & I drove to Maryland to pick him up! Martha produced 2 rams when she finally got bred & of course I ended up keeping them, though they are wethers with some very beautiful fleece! Then in a 2 years absence of breeding ( due to me finishing my Master's Degree in History, I did NO breeding in those 2 years, had enough stress )Martha this year gave birth to a ewe & ram. For circumstance unknown to me & only to God, the ewe passed away 2 days later. It was a very emotional time for me because the ewe had meant so much to have. However, little Benjamin, the ram, who will be a wether next week, is very healthy.

Over the past couple of years I ended up concentrating on the Shetlands, though not breeding due to that MA thing, but instead just buying. So this year, was the Shetland year & next spring I hope to acquire 2 more black Cotswold ewes, or at least black-factored ones. Anyways, let me introduce you to the Cotswolds!

This is Ira Allen, one of the wethers. Ira, along with his brother Ethan Allen, are the most loveable guys who cannot get enough of a good chest rub. I guess he probably weighs a good
150# but is such a baby!

I love this winter shot of Ethan!
Please enlarge to see his face:)

And this is Martha with her baby Benjamin. Martha has one of the loudest voices in the barnyard & as soon as the light goes on in the kitchen in the morning, she starts talking to me. The barn she is in with the baby is the closest to the house so I listen to her until she has grain in her bowl.

This is baby Benjamin below. He has some serious tight curl on that fleece.
I'll have to get some fleece pics up in the next post.

I didn't have a summer pic of T.J. so I'll use the winter one. I LOVE T.J. !!!
He is the sweetest ram anyone could wish for......oh, he is the one to the far left in the pic. T.J. can do no wrong in my eyes. However, the 2 Shetlands he is with are another story. Yankee is the ram in the middle. He is a mioget yuglet, he is from Heather at Windswept. He can have attitude, I call it male PMS. He gives me that side glance & I just lecture him about bad manners......well it at least makes me feel better:) That is his son, Samuel, next to him. I really need to sell Samuel. He has beautiful horns & for the most part he is a good boy when not with his father! But this is about the Cotswold, not other personal issues on the homestead!

Don't forget to enlarge to see the faces up close & personal!
So, those are the "other sheep".......I love them all !!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Chicks are All Grown show me the EGGS!

Back on April 26th Harvest Thymes chicks arrived, much to my excitement & Dixie's curiousity ( I won't even tell you what the cats thought). This being my 1st chicken experience, I was quite surprised to see the little box all 28 came in. I wanted to have a variety of rare/watched breeds for the homestead.
Well, almost 4 months later the girls, and I believe 2 boys, have grown up quickly. Come on & meet everyone!

These are the Deleware girls. My niece Gracie & I like them the best so far:) They, however, like to peck at my shoes the most, esp. when I have my garden clogs on:)

This is one of 6 Golden Wyandottes I mom likes these best.
Below are the Dominques. I ordered 6 of these girls, they are the smallest of all the breeds I got & actually have been the quietest. I kind like them alot too.

Then I got a straight run of Silver Pencil Wyandottes. That is one of the girls in front. Behind her is one of the 5 Araucana's that I got. They are suppose to lay the colored eggs?

And below is Birdzilla. Can anyone tell me what he is, I am assuming "he" because he is HUGE! This was the "free rare breed" I got. Now I was looking through the McMurray catalog where I got the chickens and I am thinking possibly a Light Brahma? maybe sometype of Cochin? I would so appreciate anyone helping me out with this and of course if anyone has any chicken advice, I am so open for it. They are a total source of entertainment but it sure would be nice if someone would give me my first farm egg!!!!!! Come on girls, I told you the first one to give me an egg gets a prize!!!!!!