Mmmm, sunflower seeds!

Lisa is back in on the job out of town, so I’m on my own. I was out on business Tuesday and didn’t get back until after five. The sheep had started bedding down, but roused quickly for hay. I’ve read that they don’t like to chew cud after dark, and thus when fed late will only eat enough to not be starving. Our sheep haven’t read that web page. They cleaned the stuff up and were ready for more right on schedule in the morning.

Wednesday, I tried sunflower seeds at treat time. It was the hit to end all hits. Everybody, even Jarrett, was right there eating out of my hand. The mommas can’t seem to do it without biting, so they got most of their’s in the hay dish, but everyone else was fine. When I took carrots out today, it was made very plain that this was a big step down. (Shut up and eat your vegetables!) The grapefruit peel was appreciated, but still not up to snuff. The Shelties (except for Sassy) simply ate their hay and ignored the carrots.

I’ve noticed, by the way, that the sheep’s interest in unusual food is real but limited: The first day we gave them pine branches it was wonderful, the second, blah. Grapefruit peel was the same, great the first day, boring the second. But when I took some out today after a week off, it was yummy again. I wonder if it’s micronutrients? A little bit is great, but that’s all they need.

Speaking of micronutrients, everyone (all three sheds) has managed to knock their mineral feeder off the rail. This doesn’t happen with the water dishes, and it’s not weight, because the water does get empty. I wonder what the deal is.

126_2675_JFR.jpgThe Shetlands are continuing their cold-ignoring ways – I looked at about nine this morning, when it was about nine degrees (low of 5 last night) and saw 5 Shetlands and 0 Icelandics. Sheesh, those Icelandics are just not holding up their side.

I’ve upped the rations, to maybe 4 bales in three days, and Sue is definitely looking better. It might just be that both of his girls are pregnant now (he’s not as fragrant), but the Shelties had started eating everything and now once again have leftovers at the next feeding, so I think the cold is involved too.

I think I’ll give the Shelties and the parents some more bedding in their sheds – we’re using shredded junk mail, which is free, while hay costs money. The lambs waste enough hay that I don’t need to give them anything.

The remaining farmish issue is firewood. The last batch is not going to last until Christmas. This stuff is junk, and amazingly much of the pine seems to be fireproof. I know it’s green, but darn it, it gets pitch all over my hands, it should burn. It doesn’t.
I’ve got too much billable work to take afternoons off these days, but I need to get out this weekend. There’s a decent pile of sawmill slab, which will buy a few more weeks.

I lit the basement stove for the first time tonight. I was working down there, and it’s working it’s usual magic on the first floor. Even if the basement doesn’t warm up, our bedroom is much nicer. Fortunately we’ve a decent pile of wood for the big guy. I’m still hoping for little snow, so I can keep cutting through the winter.

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