Saturday, 21 December 2013

Now, moving onto the cattle.

All are sleek and shiny. And just as bored as the sheep. They are trekking into the forest after breakfast and dinner to look for something to browse on and are coming back with red ticks. I am not sure what kind they are, not paralysis or cattle ticks, perhaps bush ticks or dog ticks. I need to take one into the vet and have it identified. They never seem to be able to fill up on the cattle, perhaps their skin is too thick. They do cause an allergic reaction and nasty little sores though, so I inspect twice a day and put purple spray on the sores.

It looks like Sieka's brown baby hair is growing out and being replaced by black. She's likely going to be that ultra-dominant angus black, none of the jersey colour or her father's white patches. Never mind, she's beautiful as she is.

Little Moo is back ! Cindy-Lou Moo has gone out to Trangie as she has reached breeding age and is now going to rendezvous with the little red bull. He is looking well, and settled right back in within 24 hours.

Little Moo and Ziggy are about the same size, though Ziggy is three years younger. They have fun wrestling and  being big boys together. Jack outweighs both of them and has the role of the herd bull despite not having the necessities. Since he's very easy going the herd is quite relaxed.

Here is the Christmas greeting from the cows, Big Moo with one ear cocked back to hear the little bells on the antlers and the other pointed in my direction because there had better be a good explanation for this !

Friday, 20 December 2013

 Alrighty, lets see if we can get caught up !!

First, the sheep. While old Max is really hitting the wall and some hard decisions will have to be made soon, most of the sheep are doing just fine despite the drought. My hay guy makes sure we have good quality hay and while they are spending the day bored and destructive, they are being well fed.

Here is an recent photo of little Halley, she's going to be a solid ewe, but it's her patterning that everyone sees first.

This is Medea's latest lamb, Stewie-Chicken-Chaser. He's very confident, mischievous and is already sold as a ram and will go to his new home when weaned. He was big and took a bit of birthing, and we had to milk Medea for a week until her large milk production and a single lamb balanced out, but he's the fastest growing and most energetic lamb. He has good genes and I hope he behaves himself !

Wonder Sheep Molly recovered completely, here is a sunset photo with just that last little thatch of wool to shed. She's since completely shed out, she has a lovely soft hair coat.

Boof is also finally slowing down, and appears to have wrenched his shoulder. Being on three legs for an already handicapped sheep of his weight is no fun so we are watching him closely in case he does more damage.

Here DH is plucking out itchy tufts of shedding wool, much to Boof's delight.

Speaking of being a Wonder Sheep, Molly gave birth to twin boys on Wednesday ! The timing means she was pregnant just before the operation and carried them through that and all the treatment afterwards !

They were, as is the way of things, born at the beginning of a heatwave. Temperatures ranging from 39C to 42C. Lambs this young have trouble regulating their heat and take time to figure out things like shade and sun. They were really struggling so I brought the little family into the house yard around by the tanks so they can get the benefit of the cooling effect laying against the tanks.

I also dug out the gel cooling bandanas. The bandanas have pockets of water absorbing gel, you soak the whole thing until the gel has absorbed heaps of water, then you tie on the bandana and the water evaporates and cools your neck. Same process works for a lamb :-)

The little guys and their mum were pretty bemused, but they do make a big difference.

And a Christmas greeting from the sheep :

Boof wonders just what it's going to take to get us to leave him to his breakfast in peace :-)