2013 – New Year, New Beginnings

This year is flying by! January was a relatively uneventful month on the farm. Most days were spent feeding animals and doing jobs such as hauling in more hay for feed, preparing for winter lambing and sorting lambs for slaughter. Brooke was also busy preparing as a member of the cast in the local theatre group.

February brought a new well and a new dog to the farm. Although the old well is still working, it is beginning to show its age, and so a new well was dug to replace it. Although water wasn’t struck until 380 feet below the surface, artesian pressure actually brings the water up above the surface, which is pretty amazing!

Jack, a border collie, also arrived at the farm this month. He has been receiving training and was ready to spend some time getting to know the farm and us. He has so far been quite helpful, but still has some growing up and settling down to do. He is also going back to ‘herding school’ this spring for some polishing. These dogs really are amazing and can easily replace at least two employees on a farm.

The end of February and beginning of March were spent lambing out the winter group. In just over two weeks we lambed out 62 ewes, giving us 110 lambs. We had good luck (and only a couple of near-sleepless nights) and only lost one lamb despite some very cold temperatures at the start. Lots of ewes had twins, which is quite common, and we also had 5 triplets and one set of quadruplets (less common but not rare). If the opportunity presented itself, a triplet was fostered to another ewe that had only one lamb, but in other cases the ewes raise them – often with a little bit of extra bottle milk for some of the lambs.

It seems like the rest of March has been spent digging out of the snow! We have had several snowy days and this week wind and snow nearly shut down the southern half of the province. We spread lots of extra straw for the critters and tried to keep things out of the wind as much as possible. We will be very glad when sunshine returns, although sunshine also means snow melt and wet pens.