My crazy sheep idea- All the animal crazy, all the time!

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ohiogoatgirl

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After posting last I went out to do chores. And the ((redacted)) ewe who has been huge and big udder this whole time... Lambed... Got out there at about 8 and it couldn't have been more than 2 hours before. She had the whole thing cleaned off.. EXCEPT A GLOB OF BIRTH GOO FROM THE LAMBS EYES TO NOSE!!! So there lays this beautiful ram lamb... All clean except this blob across it's face and barely over the nose. Dead. Because that ((redacted)) ewe couldn't clean the one absolutely necessary part of the lamb so he was born and suffocated... :|
On the 30th the auction is having a special sheep and goat sale and that ((redacted)) ewe is gone...

In other news... I'm doing my best to stay on the bright side and moving along. I have until next week and then lambing should be done. None of the other ewes look near lambing. Which means I'll be lambing 5 proven ewes and 12 ewe lambs in May. :| Again, on the bright side, at least I did put the rams back in because otherwise I'd only have two lambs for the year.

On to the chickens which aren't here yet.. and therefore I have only positive planning to share! I don't know that I've shared anything on my plans for them and honestly I've changed my mind so much I'm just going to share the current plan :roll:

25 freedom rangers (FR). Not sexed. These are a meat bird, ready to harvest at 9-11wks old.
25 brown layers. Sexed females. These are a mix of breeds that all lay brown eggs. They also happen to be mostly breeds that have the history of being dual purpose. Hatchery stock is generally not the best for breeding projects but I don't have reliable local sources so -A start- is better than nothing.
25 all heavies. Sexed males. These are a mix of breeds, and turned out it's the same list of breeds as the brown layers. You're supposed to get at least 5 of the breeds so we'll see what I end up with!

The brown layers will be egg layers, but also the very best of them will be used in my breeding project. The heavies will be in competition because the best couple roos will stay on for my breeding project and the rest will be off to the freezer. The freedom rangers I got not sexed because I want to separate the hens and try to have them on strict feeding to keep them healthy. If they are nice and healthy some will stay and be bred to the roos to produce first crosses. I have alot of ideas for the breeding but am trying to reign in my excitement until I actually have chicks here.

April 1- Chicks estimated delivery!
May 13- 6wks, transition from starter to grower feed.
May 27- 8wks, evaluate!
June 3- 9wks, butcher freedom ranger roosters?
July 22- 16wks, evaluate! Decide keeper roos and butcher the rest.
Aug 5- 18wks, earliest possible egg laying.
Aug 19- 20wks, should be laying eggs.

I'm hoping that the FR hens do well. They seem to be the most chicken like of meat chickens. However I don't know how old they'll get because meat birds tend to have health issues. Hatching eggs early into the chickens starting to lay isn't ideal. Hatching eggs in the fall isn't ideal. But I'd rather get some first crosses hatched than not and have something happen to the FR hens.. And need to start more again next year. So as of now I will most likely do that to get some first crosses going.
Even not being ideal otherwise, it would put me est: Start collecting eggs about Sept 1. Setting eggs about Sept 10. Hatching about Oct 1. Those chicks would then be 20wks in mid February. Hens ready to lay eggs and roos ready to breed. Then I can really get right into lots of breeding and hatching next year.

More rambling to come... :yawn:
 

GBov

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Some thoughts - a nest trap is a great thing to have for evaluating your hens. It lets you know who is ACTUALLY laying the eggs and not just sitting in the nest box. :roll:

The other is, I ALWAYS set eggs as soon as the hen starts laying, as long as it is a normal-looking egg it will give a normal chick. No patients, me :oops: and I just can't wait to start hatching.


And not surprised your ewe is off to the sales, I think I would have put her in the freezer myself.
 

ohiogoatgirl

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I've got a big cage and a 40gal trough setup in the craft room. Wood pellet layer on bottom and topped with fine shavings with the shavings bag ready. The FR chicks are due to hatch Tuesday and be here Thursday. The mixed chicks are due to hatch Monday through Wednesday and I'll get an email the day mine actually ship. Those are coming from mcmurray in IA so crossing my fingers mine are among the earlier hatching and that shipping is quick. If I ever need to order more chicks I'll definitely be ordering from a closer hatchery because it's a bit nerve wracking, trying not to worry about the shipping. Weather has been warm so fingers crossed and trying not to worry.

Dad just asked me how soon I was planning on getting piglets. :shock: Uhh, well I've been messaging the neighbor about when his are going to farrow. So I scooted it back waiting til he has some ready, that way I didn't have to search around for not pricey piglets. And driving down to the neighbors is much easier to manage. Well, he says, they picked up a big group of piglets for a good price and are going to be reselling some because it's more than they needed. :| Hmmm, ok let's go have a look at them and see if they look good and healthy.

Sooooo... Now I'm thinking over where is the easiest place to doctor up to hold piglets and get them trained to electric. And I need to build a little shelter so they'd be able to get out of rain until they are bigger and the nights aren't so cold. Once they are trained to electric I have plenty of place I want to run them to prepare pasture for cover crop seeding and garden area.

I also am on the list for a pup from a friend. Great pyr female pup to guard the sheep. She's expecting the litter to be born early April so it'll be June before it comes home. I'm anxious to have a dog here and learning to guard but can't rush it and I've got alot going on til then anyways!
 

ohiogoatgirl

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Lamb update!
90 is 24.3#. 91 is 30.6#.
The rest of the ewes are all due starting May 10. 42 days countdown
https://www.instagram.com/p/CNAx_hHJX5H/

90 is 32 days old which puts him at .52# average daily gain. 91 is 28 days old, putting him at .7# average daily gain! If he keeps growing like this he will be on the list as a keeper ram.

This was my latest spin for my "One year, One outfit" challenge project. October to October to make an outfit of at least three pieces. All sourced locally. In this case it's through the local fibershed (rustbelt fibershed) which is 250 miles of Cleveland Ohio. Mine is going to be alot of fleeces from my own animals and fleeces I've bought locally.
I don't have a set idea for my outfit. I've been spinning tons. Had to upgrade the stash for the project from a regular tote to a 106 quart tote. I'm working out weaving some fabric, enough for a skirt or dress. Then I'm going to decide on the other pieces from there.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CL4ATYUJg8j/
 

GBov

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The outfit sounds lovely, anytime I make anything my family nabs it. :roll:
 

ohiogoatgirl

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Thanks GBov! I've been dressing like a weirdo forever so most people are past trying to make a big deal about it :roll: And on the plus side it keeps siblings from clothes stealing lol! My sisters are forever battling over stolen clothes and they have their own houses now filled with clothes :shock: Beats me. Except my winter coat, all my clothes fit into two loads of laundry.

I am getting three piglets from the neighbor. Turns out they decided not to stay with pig breeding so once their current sows farrow they are working to get out of it as soon as they can. I'm really hoping training these pigs to electric goes well. Because I'd love to get a few female piglets from their litters and do my own breeding. Pigs are simple to AI so I wouldn't need to keep a boar around. And I have lots of places to rotate pigs through. If I had two sows I should be able to breed twice a year, raise some for myself, and sell the rest of the piglets. But I need some proof in the pudding with these first.
I've done some adjustments in the shed, which I've wintered the sheep in once, and was previously a wood shed. Ran some slab wood along the wood wall, so the pigs will rub on that and not the actual wall. Then built a gate out of more slab wood and screwed it in place at the doorway. With a cement block on the outside it's workable for me to step over but should keep the pigs in good. There is also a piece of cattle panel tied up that worked as a gate for the sheep. If I pull that closed it works like a half wall plus gate, in case for some reason the pigs did get their feet up on the half wall.

I'll let the pigs settle in for a while. Then setup some electric wire along the inside to train them to it. That way there is a solid wall behind it and they can't run off. They go oh this is new, touch it with their nose, and get a big zap! Run squealing. Hopefully in a week they should be trained to it and go "ok that's the wire that hurts, don't touch, stay inside, don't touch the wire". It's a method Joel Salatin uses and has popularized.
 

GBov

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Pigs are smart, not as smart as people let on but certainly smart enough to only touch a wire twice.

They can't see very well so give them a visual, either plastic bags tied onto the wire, or colored flags or something of the like. The easier it is to see, the faster they will learn.

Pigs are great, yummmmmmmy!
 

ohiogoatgirl

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Freedom ranger chicks came in this morning. All doing good. Settled into the trough brooder. Have the cage brooder ready to just plug in the heat plate.
I'm watching the tracking on them. Last updated in MN. Fingers crossed. I can't do anything until they get here so trying not to worry.

Dad went to town today so I had him pick me up two bags of pig feed. That should last me a bit before I need to make a feed run. I want to get them here and settling in as soon as possible. <br /><br /> __________ Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:33 pm __________ <br /><br /> Here is the meat birds on arrival day.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CNITC0VpzCw/

The second batch of chicks came. There was heavy losses. I was refunded for the chicks that died. I bought some more from TSC as replacements. I've had a few losses since but they are doing good overall. Need to get some update pics/video.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CNTlFhvJoOg/

On the 11th I brought the pigs home. They've been doing good. I'm letting them settle in a few days. Soon I'll set up a training wire in the shed for the pigs to learn about the electric wire. After about a week I'll set up hotwire inside of the permanent sheep fence. The pigs *should* be trained to the electric but the permanent fence will be a nice second layer of keeping them in and getting them used to it and having ground to work. I'm excited to get them moving and broadcast the cover crop behind them.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CNjWZ-0pXNw/

Yesterday I let the ewes into the big paddock for a few hours and lured them back in the evening. Wanted them to go back and eat hay to balance their guts. The new grass is high protein and moisture. They need some dry matter to keep them from getting the runs. Today I set up the netting and let them into the silo paddock. They'll be on this for max 3 days.
It was nice out so I set up the hotwire (4 strand) in the big paddock to divide it roughly in half. They'll go there next.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CNqvbK0p9h_/

I'm keeping track of the feed usage of the chicks. There is all 26 Freedom Rangers (meat) doing great and they went through about twice as much feed. The mixed chicks are just now really increasing how much feed they eat. There is 5 of the mixed chicks that are like 3x the weight of the rest.
 
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