Saturday, November 16, 2013

Paint Makes Everything Better

I admire great artists and their ability to create beautiful paintings. I really wish I had that kind of talent. But painting the barn, well that is something I can paint.  I can't say I really enjoy it and I certainly do not have the patience to do a lot of it. It is just one of those things that needs to be done when you own an old barn.

In this case it had been been put off a bit too long. Every year the rain, snow and wind had been removing a little more paint. It didn't go unnoticed that the windows had also been looking a little tired. We discovered that the muntins of one window had been chewed up by some squirrel trying to escape. I certainly couldn't salvage them. So we ordered some new wood sashes.

While we were waiting for them to arrive, I borrowed my dad's pressure washer and went to work. The pictures are a bit deceiving. those doors are about 14 feet tall. Did I tell you I don't do ladders?

...and after!
Much better, isn't it?

I had some help on this project from the husband who isn't afraid of heights.We think it turned out rather well. We hope to get a few years out of this paint job before some more serious work needs to be done replacing some rotten trim. In the meantime it looks pretty good.

Just don't look at the rest of the barn.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Whoa, what a lambing season! (AKA: the blind lamb blues.)

By far this has been the most dramatic lambing season I've had yet. Thank goodness it was my 4th year because if it had been my 1st, I think I might have decided I'd never do it again. I'm still on the fence about breeding again next year, but then again I'm still "in the weeds" in dealing with a problem baby.

We first started off with an expereinced mother that had to have her twins pulled by the vet. Thank goodness everyone is doing fine now. My checkbook is a little lighter, but crisis #1 averted.

Crisis #2 is a lot more of a challenge. It appears this year I have had a blind lamb. The night she was born I went from euphoric to devastated within 5 minutes. She came out normally and I couldn't believe all the flash she had! I was so excited because it was what I wanted to breed for all along.

Then as I helped mom clean her off she started to scream. Not the cries you usually hear from a newborn as they try to get to their feet and find mom. This was different. I quickly realized she was in trouble. She wasn't able to find mom and was very weak. To make a long story less long, she was hypothermic right from the start. We warmed her with a heat lamp and sweater. The vet came the next day to give her a BoSe and B-complex shot.  He said her eyes looked fine, but I told him she seemed to be blind. Once she got warm she was able to feed herself. Since then she has gained weight and strength.  She is figuring out how to step up and down off uneven surfaces and is interacting with another new mother and her twins in the evenings.

She is almost two weeks old now and has finally learned to follow her mother by the sound of the bell we put around her neck. We haven't let this little family back in with the flock or out of the nursery pen because all our fence is electric. If she can't see it, she certainly could get caught. I've been saying a little prayer that her blindness has been caused by a thiamine deficiency and have been supplementing her with a b-complex shot every day. So far I haven't seen any changes in her vision. She seems normal and healthy in every way except for her eyesight.

There has been very little that I can find for advice on the internet in dealing with a blind sheep. Has anyone else ever dealt with one?