February 17, 2019

I had definitely put some pressure on the rams, Channing Tatum and Maurice Chevalier, to get their work done in half the normal time I allow.  

So how did Channing Tatum do with his 29 opportunities?  A picture is worth, well, 29 words.

 Maurice on the other hand....

With my shortened breeding season, brought about by the news that my red-headed daughter is expecting a human lamb during lambing season I had frankly hoped for more from this rookie ram.   Maurice did not show interest in getting on with the job 2 weeks into the 3 weeks allowed for work.   Was it the ram or  the ewes?    Almost everyone involved was new to the adv...

November 25, 2018

No two boys are alike.  No more true than with rams.

The day arrived to match ram to ewes for the 2018 season.  

BB King, the baby this year, stood up on the gate of the ram stall, trying to make himself look taller.  He looks like he is singing "Put me in coach, I'm ready to play".   When that didn't work he stood tall and  lifted his head,  pretending to be larger than life.

  I just gave him a scratch and told him "Not this year BB".   I moved him out of the ram stall and put him in with some younger ram lambs so he has company while he grows, matures and learns to walk on a halter.   All my rams must be able...

November 25, 2018

With ram homework complete, I begin separating the ewes, determining who will be their most suitable suitor.  

I am missing my senior ram, Brad Pitt this season.

  He had been my main breeder, called "terminal sire" since I started my sheep adventure.  

It was a sad day last spring when Brad Pitt passed on.  He had not been feeling well for a couple of months .  He received lots of care but he was unable  to recover to his previously robust self.  One day my family was visiting the sheep and told me he was lying down and would not get up for sheep treats, an unheard of thing.   I went to the barn to find he had just been w...

November 12, 2018

You may consider the shortening day length a trigger to curl up with a book and hibernate.   Not so for the girl sheep, called ewes.   As the days get darker longer, the ewes begin to think about those wool wearing males who have been living in the back pasture since last season.  The ladies start digging through their purses for the red lipstick and search in the back closet of their barn for their stilletos.  The shortening days, in many breeds of sheep, stimulates the ewes to start to cycle.  That is, not bicycling, but rather, getting their ovaries in order, preparing to make babies.

Shortening da...

October 28, 2018

A few weeks ago , while I was spending a few hours wrapping meat beside the man who creatively cuts meat for my customers, we were chatting about Fiona the donkey. Everyone has been wondering how, or for that matter, if, I will be able to get her on any form of transportation to take her from the Wiles Lake summer pasture to the winter refuge of Petite Riviere. "She may have to stay there all winter" people have been saying to me.

October 26, 2018

The sheep bus (described in 2018 Summer begins early) has been sitting quietly near the vineyard in Wiles Lake, used as a reasonably dry storage space for tools and sheep treats during the summer.

The weather this year seems to have leaped from summer to early winter, somehow skipping those beautiful cool but not crisp fall days .   I have jumped from lots of grass to frozen grass so it is time to leave the summer pasture.  Leaving animals on grass that is not growing is hard on the pasture.

Now that the weather has turned off the summer switch.  It is time for the vacationing ewes to head home to Petite Riviere. 

Tak...

September 23, 2018

Nova Scotia is challenged with very limited places to have animals completed under the eyes of a provincial food inspector, something necessary to true food business.    When I started in the business I was told "No, there is no room for you"  or "You will have to wait six weeks to get a spot at the abbatoir" many times and in one instance the abattoir did not even return my call of request which was a further indication to me that there is just not enough provincially inspected capacity in NS.  The past few years I have had completion done at D'aubin Family meats.  It is the newest provincial inspection facility.  It is also a w...

August 19, 2018

I treasure the quality of the summer pasture we have been renting at Wiles Lake.  This season I have had the soil tested for nutritional content with flying colours.  The pasture was fertilized in March before hay season.   This year I chose to not have one section cut for hay at all so that I could continue to move my sheep flock to fresh grass continuously.   The other field that is always hayed before I put sheep on it,   was delayed in beginning the haying process until mid-July to allow  the bobolink on the property to finish nesting first.   Walks through the growing waist-high hay at the end of June was often accompanied b...

August 13, 2018

It turns out Fiona the donkey is a very nurturing protector.   2 days after Fiona the donkey arrived at the summer pasture,  the sheep bus made 3 trips to Wiles Lake, bringing almost all the ewes and their lambs to begin summer vacation.  Fiona's reaction?   She was very careful to not go around the lambs.  She spent a few minutes putting the vacationers in a football like huddle and telling them "Listen, the Boss told me I have to keep you safe while you are on vacation.   So, if you will just listen to me when I tell you there is danger then we are going to get along just fine.  Now, who is the leader here?"  A dark faced beaut...

May 17, 2018

The day after the "chosen few" 9 sheep arrived at the summer pasture, they were happily munching on fresh green grass when a professional looking horse trailer rolls up the Wiles Lake cart road and directly into  the summer pasture.  The sheep walked up to the trailer, expecting to see more of their sheep folk hop out to join them for the summer.  But, no.    The door opened and no one came out.   I went into the trailer and came walking out with... a donkey.   I had spent months asking person after person if they knew where I could get a donkey.   Coyotes are a very real predator in Lunenburg county now, both in Wiles Lake and P...

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