Frank is home on most Fridays, and it’s such a treat. We get up early, because that’s what I do. Egil starts crowing around 4:30 in the morning, year ’round, and I just can’t sleep through it. I lay there a little while, but then I hear the farm waking up, and just can’t get back to sleep. The first thing I do is walk out and let the birds out, then go upstairs and make coffee. The birds are so funny and cheerful when I open up the doors to let them out. It’s a great way to start the day.
I’ve got sheep in three different places right now, but I’m amazingly zen about it all. I needed the weeds whacked down behind the house, so have been slowly catching the fence breakers and putting them in there, and it’s working out well. To be honest, my friendliest sheep are the most obnoxious about staying behind a fence, so I sort of enjoy having them close at hand. I have to be careful with the parasite load, though, so it’s all rather tricky. Plus, I have the geese and ducks here, and figuring out a way to let them have some grain and not the sheep was a challenge. I finally decided on a bucket just outside the fence, where the geese can reach it with their long necks and the sheep can’t. It’s working out well, if only you ignore the loud complaints from the sheep.
We’re down under two weeks until Elly is due. I’ve read the cow book (Keeping a Family Cow) all over again, and have been reading their message board whenever I get a chance at the computer. I’m nervous, of course. I’ve done a filly, piglets, countless lambs and birds, but this will be my first calf. Elly is the sweetest critter I’ve ever had, though, so I have high hopes. I haven’t decided yet if I will leave the calf with her and milkshare, which is how I’m leaning, but then I read lots of good stuff about keeping them separate and bottle feeding, which is what her previous owner did for all her calves. Decisions, decisions.