March ended with the construction of a one acre fenced area on the hill using t posts and goat panel. My neice and Carmen were great little helpers.
Then came April. April was a busy month and full of many hard lessons.
On April 1, the sheep were delivered. We now had 13 in all. There was 1- red yearling ram, 1- 7 year old ewe we named 'old nag'. She was clearly the matriarch of the herd. 5 yearling ewes, and 6 lambs, including the bottle babies. We had to separate the ram from the ewes to prevent unwanted breeding, so poor Primrose became his companion in a separate fenced area. She was not very happy about the situation but tolerated it quietly. The bottle lambs, Powder and Puff, were now weaned, so they joined the rest of the herd. They kept to themselves at first, not realizing they were sheep, but soon integrated themselves into the herd.
Alita soon after came home from the breeder. She was a little thin and disheveled and probably surprised and disappointed to find new inhabitants on her farm. She had been through a lot of change in a short period of time. We didnt know if the breeding took but we were hopeful.
The next order of business was finishing the coop. The chickens were 8-10 weeks old and it was time to get them to the farm. Everything in the garage was coverered from top to bottom with a layer of dust. Not very conducive to selling a house! Connor recruited a few friends and soon the work was done.
On April 13, the first birth of Tangle Ridge Farm took place. To our surprise, one of the yearling ewes was pregnant. Odly when she gave birth, her rear was backed up to the electric fence, and the little lamb popped out on the other side. I saw something weird happening, and went over to see. There was baby, wet and struggling to stand trying to get to her mom. Baby Mama was making motherly sounds anxiously trying to get to her. I quickly picked up the lamb we called 'baby' and put her with her mama. Mama took right to cleaning, and baby started nursing. After the excitement and thinking all was well, we decided to leave for a little while to get some dinner. On our way back, one of the neighbors called on the cell phone. A lady and her son had driven by and saw 2 dogs inside the fence fighting over the lamb. It was my Great pyrenees trying to protect the lamb from a neighbor's Great Pyrenees who had decided he wanted the lamb for himself. The drivers stopped and chased the neighbor's dog away, but the lamb was injured. When we arrived, the little lamb was alive, but its legs were scraped and bleeding. We helped her stand to nurse and cleaned her wounds. For several weeks after, we spent a lot of time medicating and encouraging the lamb to nurse in hope that she would live.
April 14, the chicks left the garage and entered their new chicken coop. Happy Day! No more critters in the garage and I could finally clean it.
April 16 started construction of the pole barn/ garage. First it was framed, then concrete floor poured, and finally the walls were finished on May 6.
Meanwhile, the chicks were adapting to their new home. In the garage, they had been separated into 2 brooders, one with Easter Eggers, 2 weeks younger than the Welsummers in the other brooder. The welsummers decided to peck at the easter eggers, plucking out feathers from their backs. One hen didnt make it. I called on a neighbor for help. She gave us some good advice - increase protein in their feed, treat the pecked chickens with blue kote spray, and give them some more room to roam. We followed her advice and eventually all was well and without losing any more chickens to henhouse bullying. The more I learn, the more I realilze I have a lot to learn!
My name is Christy Franklin.