Saturday, July 14, 2018

Look who cam down to the side pasture

Friday the 13th Mama Porcupine  came down from
2 pm to who knows after dark and just grazed for hours.





 Today, Saturday the 14th we got home at 8 pm and
look who Mama brought with her. These pictures I
took from the wheelchair on the deck. I used the zoom.






 These pictures Jerry took within 3 feet of it.
He said it is the size of a kitten. And, was not
the least bit afraid of him being that close.
It has pink feet and a pink face. Aw!!


Friday, July 13, 2018

For anyone with a farm and predators, this info is a must read.

https://www.premier1supplies.com/newsletters/07-11-2018-allspecies.html?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=July-11-Allspecies

And to reinforce the need for electric fence, and how to use it properly.
https://countrysidenetwork.com/daily/homesteading/fences-sheds-barns/electric-fencing-for-sheep/

Here at our farm we have hard wire fence around the perimeter, and around smaller pastures for rotational grazing, or for the pigs, or for when we need to put up a temporary hoop house to separate the flock. We also have LOTS of Premier1 electric net fence. We like the ease in moving the fence and creating other grazing areas. Such as our front 'lawn'. If it is mowed, it can be a gorgeous thick lawn. But, we let the sheep mow, fertilize and water it for us thanks to the use of electric net fence.

This is the fence we use on the farm. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/red-brand-woven-field-fence-330-ft-l-x-47-in-h

We have a few of these panels that we have used for temporary housing. 3 together and a moveable gate in front. Then 2 cattle panels from side to side tied together with baling twine and a tarp tied to all that makes for a quick house. One I don't have to worry about my Horned Dorset sheep taking apart.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/countyline-corral-panel-12-ft-w-x-5-ft-h
This is what the gate looks like. But, the ones we bought from our friend have panels attached. So then the house looks like it has 4 complete panels, but with the door opening.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/panel-corral-4-ft-gate-frame?cm_vc=IOPDP1
2 of these tied side by side and then made into an upside down U make the roof. They are then secure to the horse panels.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/feedlot-panel-cattle-16-ft-l-x-50-in-h     

Then the whole area around the temporary house is secured by electric net fence.

 At the time of building this, I did not have the gate
with the panel available. I bought more from my 
friend before she moved. But, this system worked.
And, nothing got in (but chickens!) and nothing got out.

 We save our old ugly tarps just for the temporary
houses. Doubled up equals no leaks.
I think this may have been the third time we used
this one tarp. It went to the dump after this use.
We can deal with holes, but when it starts to fray,
I worry about something eating the pieces. 
                                                                    

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Look what hubby found

 The baby came out of the long grass on the side of the
driveway. (I blew it up as he did not know how.)
 But, as he is taking pictures, it is coming down the hill to him.


I blew up the final picture. 
Look how white it is.
Hubby says it is the size of a kitten.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Last night's visitor

These were taken around 7 pm last night.
She did not have her baby with her.


 Not too many years ago, 3 maybe, we put down black
gold manure (manure that had aged 5 years or more 
and was pure black) and a Hayland grass mix that we
purchased from Henniker Farm and Country Store.
While it is loaded with great grass and also has quite
a bit of clover in it. This was planted mainly as pasture
for our sheep, secondly as it makes a nice looking
lawn when mowed. But, Miss Porcupine is pretty
sure that we planted the clover just for her.

 She just realized that I was talking to HER!

 OH NO!! A HUMAN!
Look how big her eyes look.

 Quick! I need to get into the tree to hide.

From here she stayed on the backside of the tree.
At the angle I was at up on the farmer's porch, I was 
unable to get any more pictures of her. Generally,
I am on the ground taking pictures. Husband says 
that she has a WHITE baby that he has seen 2 out
of 3 nights, including last night. If I can I will get 
pictures of the baby as well. A couple of months ago,
we saw a large adult WHITE porcupine about a mile
from the farm crossing the road in front of us from the
farm side of the road. I wonder if that is daddy.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Is it garbage, part 2

This is the fleece drying.
It is on a screen that is setting on a couple of 5 gallon
buckets that we use to water the sheep. They are both
cracked, so they now have other purposes. Today, fleece drying. 
 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I've taken this fleece, and another, out onto the
deck to photograph in the sun.
 LOOK at the color difference.
I knew these fleece all had some mud on
them, but who knew how dirty they were.
This was 2 soaks with HOT water and blue
Dawn and 2 rinse soaks in HOT water.
(I have my hot water tank at 185 degrees
because of the number of fleeces I wash.)




 Click on the pictures to see the dirt and lanolin
in the dirty fleece, and to see how much of it is
gone in the clean fleece. Amazing!!

 I will be picking and processing this clean fleece
at some point in the upcoming week.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I am not sure, yet, the breed of this fleece. 
Or, if it is even one of mine.
It has a lot of straw, or coarse hay on it.
It also has burdock in its front.
I thought we got rid on all of the burdock
on the farm, but this spring (not long before I
broke my ankle) I noticed the dock/burdock
plant has spread. 
 I have taken a large chunk out of this fleece to wash.
At the bottom of the picture where the fleece goes up
in a point at the left, and across the right of the fleece,
I have taken that big chunk out.

 You can see the VM in this fleece clearly.

 Yup! That is my newest cast under the sheet.
And, the next pictures down is the milk crate I 
use to transfer myself to, or from, the wheel chair.





It has a nice long staple, and I do like the color.
I hope I do!! I have a number of Dorset/Romney 
in various shades of brown. 

The fleece has now had 2 washes in HOT water
and blue dawn. I did not take any pictures as the 
bowl had a lot more water in it since I took twice 
as much fleece this time around. Suffice it to say,
the first wash water was as dark as the fleece, the 
2nd wash was 1/2 as dark. As I type this, it is in its 
first hot water rinse soak, and the water is already a 
lot clearer. I will set in up on the same screen set up
that I had for the gray fleece.

Now to get into the guest bedroom and find 
a VM'd and dirty white fleece!

One thing I wish I had done was to have weighed 
each 'chunk' of fleece before I shook them out and
washed them. The scale is set up in my living room,
but unfortunately I am unable to plug the scale in 
by myself with this cast. I can not get close enough
to the outlet. I think when I find a white fleece, I 
will have hubby plug in the scale. In this 'study',
I would like to know just how much weight is being
lost in shaking out the VM and washing out the dirt
and lanolin. If I do this with the white one, I will also
try to remember to weigh it again after it has been
processed into yarn. Stayed tuned!!

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