The birthing season is over and the animals delivered 32 babies.  All are healthy except two  seem to have a respiratory problem.  It is being dealt with at the moment.  One goat, Susan, delivered twins and one the goats could not walk. He dragged his left back leg.  He was taken to the vets where she placed a  cast on his leg.  Yesterday the cast was removed and he wears an ace bandage.  We will see how he does with his leg.  

There is maybe a week left and the barn will be closed.  We clean it daily but it is still smelly and since it has rains daily, the floor can be soft and mushy.  There are thousands of tiny gnats  flying in the air.  It is time to live in the open air.

The coyotes were howling last night and later in the morning, I will check for any mischief.


There has been a lot of action in the barn.  It seems that every day there is a birth.  The count is around 26 and for the first time we have been raising this rare breed,  we have had mostly girls except for two boys. One of the first things we do is to check the sex of the animal.  Females  have a much higher chance of living.  

The barn is filled with animals in varying degrees of diarrhea.  Good-bye are the black pellets and now to pancake batter.  It can be a  gagging experience.

We banded tails and it seems so cruel but necessary.  They can be cleaner without the tail.

We had a set of triplets and all is fine.  The smallest lamb must push and shove to get a lick.

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It has been rather quiet in the barn.  All of us are waiting for warmer days and nights.  Warmer not hot.  The grass is growing slowly and these hungry creatures search for these delicious morsels growing through the mud.  Some of the livestock return to the barn with swollen bellies.  They are eating something.

I am getting weary of going to the barn and removing poop in the straw.  The weather has not been cooperating.  February was warm and I had actually started to remove debris from the garden. That lasted a few weeks and now it has snowed and chilly temperatures have returned.  So now I am ready for it to falter and go away.

Babies are due in fifteen days and then life gets busy.  There are a few projects to do to make sure we are ready.  But we will be ready.

April 5, 2018


This week we shear the goats and a week later the sheep.  Most of these fleeces will not be used for yarn as the winter and the pregnancies hinder and subtract from the quality of the fibers.  These fleeces do have other uses. They are saved for the possibility of being made into rug yarn.

There is something I need to quietly broach, “Farm Porn”.  I will admit that I have seen human porn and I can remember going to see Harry Reems in “Deep Throat” in 1972 for $5.  My roommate from college and I attended the movie after walking passed it a thousand times because we were very nervous about attending such a movie.  

But farm porn is a daily movie on this farm.  Not that I have a projector and screen in the barn but if you raise livestock, you will get daily farm porn.  On any day a hen  will be quietly scratching for a tidbit and have some lofty rooster hide and jump on her back in seconds.  Some chickens are barnyard whores but that is another blog.  The rams and bucks are also male porn starts in their own right. They ram heads or horns and then jump on any willing or unwilling back. Geese do it too.  They get on the back of the female and push her head under the water while he does his thing!  Now that is kinky!

But the result of all this farm porn when planned is so gratifying, thrilling, and a wonder to watch.  Lambs, kids, goslings ducklings, peeps, and all the other little wonders found on the farm are a blessing.  So if you want to give up five dollars, come and see out real-life  farm porn. You may stay for only thirty minutes!

March 11, 2018


Just the other day I was thinking about how the barn was doing so well.  Everyone seemed happy. I did eye checks and any eye I inspected was blood red-carmine-scarlet.  Everyone was eating and walking as they should.

Then I went down to the barn one morning (several days ago) and here is what I found.  One of my favorite black rams, Baarack Obaaama, had the diarrhea.  It was everywhere!  I thought of my aunt who told the story of “Brown Spots on the  Wall” by  Who Flung Poo!  It was shot on every wall and floor space.  Then I turned and the youngest Angora buck was hobbling on three legs.  Was it broken or not?  My vet was missing for a two week vacation.  I left the barn and went to the other barn knowing I would not find such problems.  Well, there sat two Angora ewes that refused to get up and eat!  That meant something was drastically wrong.  As I turned, my favorite white Angora goat came to me with one of her horns facing her nose and not her neck.  There was blood everywhere on her and I screamed, “What the hell do I do now?”  Then I was feeding the sheep, I noticed several of the sheep had diarrhea too.  What the hell and which god did I anger?

This is  when I want to quit.  Fred thinks I should write a happy ending but that would be days later when all of these problems are gone.  (sigh)


It is time to arrange markets and festivals for 2018.  That is why I watch as many movies as I can in January and February.   It is a busy time once the first two months are over.  March is shearing month and cleaning the yard and garden.  In fact, our first festival is in March.  So back to the movies.

We have begun to go through seed and plant catalogs.  We order now because so many items are sold out before you get a chance to order.  In fact, one order has been sent.

The greenhouse has not been built but the promises were made for this spring.  I hope so because I will not have that many years to enjoy as I seem to add a year to my life every 365 days,  How’d that happen?  Anyway, I will be able to house plants and start my own seedings.  This will be either tragic or fulfilling.  Stay warm.

January 30,2018


Pasture life is quiet.  Pregnant ewes and does are beginning to show.  Months to go and this is just the first trimester. 

 I had a good laugh today when I was feeding the chickens.  A few chickens ran ahead to see if I had dropped corn on my earlier path.  What they did not know was I had not dropped any corn.  Instead I threw the corn where most of the chickens had gathered.  I tossed the corn to them and the overly zealous chickens stopped in their tracks. They had run past me and realized there was no corn.  They turned around quickly and ran back to where they others were eating.  In haste, they slipped and slid on the ice.  They reminded me of someone trying to learn how to skate for the very first time.

Jan. 15, 2018

One Hundred Sixteen

Snow and freezing temperatures have arrived to the area.  Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve and breeding had ended for the year.  Amen!  This year went well with the breeding program except when a sturdy, lovely ram injured his hoof.  The girls could easily run from him and this spring will tell the results of this injury.  

The temperatures have been well below normal and they only way for me to warm my hands is to stick them into my underwear.  Rubber buckets are frozen solid and we bring them to the house to melt.  It takes a day or two for the frozen blacks to loosen form the sides of the bucket. There are melting blocks of ice in the basement sink melting on their own time. 

We still enjoy going to the barn and spending time in the barn.  I just wish it was not so cold.

One hundred fifteen

Several weeks ago I had a chance to reconnect with dear friends from Florida.  They live in a gated community and everything they do seems to be gated. They go to dinner and  it is in the gated restaurant .  They  visit friends  and it is gated.  Well I do too!  For me to walk to where the ewes are, I need to walk through six gates.  I live in a gated community too  and my friends walk on four legs.  Honestly, my two legged friends have been known to walk on four legs too because they  were closer to the ground.  There was less chance of an accident.

We will be shearing in a few weeks and then the decisions need to be made.  Who stays and who goes.  Knowing this process, I have learned to divorce myself  from any kind of feelings toward the little ones.  But those dear little faces and they look at you and say,” Save me!”  I always walk away and shake my head not wanting to do anything.  I save the animals I need to!!


Here it is September and the weather has turned humid and hot.  It is almost to much to bear.  Rain?  It was a thing of the past.

The chickens have given up laying eggs.  It is the time of the year when the chickens come running if they spot you. They chase you for a morsel of food.  The chicken coop or yard is covered with feathers and the molt has begun. This is an annual process.  Loosing and growing feathers is normal.  It begins when the days begin to get shorter. The chickens that are over sexed or the chosen few have begun to grow feathers too on their backs.  Maybe after this process ends, they will begin laying.

To continue the feather business, the main barnyard is littered with white feathers.  The Emden geese (all white) have been molting and the main barnyard looks as though Fred and I had a pillow fight over what to serve for dinner.  There are thousands of white feathers on the ground.  Thousands of them.  If I could, I would rent a machine that would vacuum only the feathers and then I would add them to my pillows that need volume.

Good night.

September 3, 2016

© William Churchill 2014