Avert your eyes!

For those of you that are queazy, now you can't say I didn't warn you.

So during the fair a couple weeks ago, as if it wasn't a busy enough week as it was, we were right in the middle of lambing as well.  We implanted 5 of our ewes with CIDRs to bring them into heat during their 'off' season.  4 of them got pregnant. 80% success rate is crazy good.  We do this so we will have lambs in the fall instead of having all of our ewes lamb in the springtime.  Just opens up our market for different fairs and jackpots.

I came home from the fair in the the middle of the day on Tuesday.  I knew we had one more ewe to go, so I wanted to check on her while Caylob was taking a nap.  She had to go anytime because she was already 2 days late.  I went out to the barn and lo and behold, there were two hooves sticking out.  Not knowing how long she had been in labor, I was going to give her about 15 minutes and see what happend and if nothing, I was going in.  With sheep, you want to give them about an hour for labor, if they don't progress you need to assist.  I went and grabbed my camera, because who wouldn't want to see this? :) (Erin).  When I came back...

Another buck lamb.  Thank goodness, because we only had 1 other one.

I walked away for a little while, because unlike humans, having people around only stresses them out and could prolong labor.  Came back about 10 minutes later and saw...

See the white tips on the hooves?

if you get queazy easily, don't continue scrolling.  it's all part of agriculture and this is what our livelihood is all about.  out with the old and in the with the new!

This particular ewe had one of our best lambs last year.  However, she is a TERRIBLE mom.  Since she was a yearling last year, we decided to give her one more chance since 90% of the time they are just fine the next go around.  Well, not this one.  She is getting a free ride to the sales yard once her lamb reaches 60 days old.

Did you can't that?  Once her lamb reaches 60 days old, not lambS.  Yeah, we tried for several days to get one of them to nurse, we ended up bottle feeding it for a couple days and then the mom decided to either step on it or kick it and unfortunately broke both of its back legs.  There is only one way to go from there.  It's unfortunate, but it's a fact of life.  If we had tried to cast them, his quality of life would have been terrible, and it just wouldn't have been right.  A phone call was made to the vet and she came and took care of him.

All part of living on a farm.  Unfortunate? Yes.  But it is our responsibility to give these animals the best life possible while they are here on our farm.  We take it very seriously and no decision is made lightly.  It's tough to make a decision to get rid of one of our top 5 ewes.  But, if she is going to deprive her lambs of milk and severely injure them, then she isn't worth keeping.

Too many boots??

So if you come over to our house, this is what you would see when you walk in the front door...usually.

4 pairs of boots (a work pair and dress pair for both of us), at least 1 pair of flip flops and a rope for the dog since we are working with her on property boundaries.

Our entry way is also part of a short hallway that turns the corner into another part of our hallway.  It can get crowded if they aren't nicely in a row.

I've almost broken my neck a few times in the dark.

Fair Week

We are always exhausted after fair week.  Pretty sure everyone is!  Chris has been the sheep showmanship coach at our local high school since before we met.  I have been helping out ever since.  It is always a test of our patience, but we just keep going back year after year.  This year we had 12 students showing at the fair and most of them did pretty well.  There are few students in the group that really don't care about showing, they are just out there because their boyfriend or girlfriend is showing or their bff convinced them to get a sheep.  Although it is a good experience to have taken care of and shown and animal, some kids just aren't cut out for it, and that's totally fine.  

Now the rest of them that actually try, are always a pleasure to work with.  I think this was our best year yet in terms of showmanship.  In FFA, our fair has a novice, Freshman/Sophmore & Junior/Senior class.  So if they have never shown before, then they are able to show twice on showmanship day.  They started with the older kids and worked their way down to the novice classes this year.  It gives the new kids a chance to watch the more experienced showman and to listen to the judge to see what he likes or doesn't like.  It was evidently beneficial for some of our kids.

We had 3 of our kids in the top 12 of the Freshman/Sophmore showmanship final drive.  One of them was a freshman who had never shown before.  It was sooo exciting to see her make it into the 12th place spot, because when she got her lamb 4 months ago, she was so afraid to even touch it.  Then we had a sophmore in the 8th spot.  She had only made the first cut last year, so she was proud of herself and so were we.  THEN, a girl that we have been helping for many years, and Chris helped her older sister, is a sophmore this year.  She won her novice showmanship class her first year showing in 4-H (6 years ago), and she won her age division again this year!!  Showmanship is pretty tough at our fair.  Lots of kids that are really good at what they do.  However, she had it hands-down this year.  The crowd went wild when he placed her first because she beat two other girls from another local high school that is well known for their sheep showman.  

In the picture, she is showing one of our keeper ewe lambs, which got 2nd in it's class to the reserve crossbred.

It was a great year.  Now we have a few months off and then jackpot season starts up again.

Trip to San Diego

**Did anyone else's pageviews get completely deleted?  I haven't signed in in a few weeks, and tonight I noticed that I have 1 pageview.  Last time I checked I had over 8,000.**

About a month ago I headed down to just north of San Diego to watch my two nephews for the weekend.  My sister and brother in law had a wedding to shoot down there and needed a babysitter.  They forced me to go.  I hate when that happens.

I just uploaded a bunch of pictures off my camera last week and forgot that I never posted the pictures of them.

Friday night we all went and had dinner on the beach, which was super fun!  Saturday morning we were kind of in a rush to get ready since the shower head flew off the wall when we turned on the water and water was spraying everywhere.  Then we had to wait for the maintenance guy come fix it before any of us could shower.  That was fun, too.

Then the boys and I headed to the duck pond so they could get ready to go to their wedding.

Duck Pond.  Lunch at In-n-Out.  Naps. Dinner at Pizza Hut.  Desert at Yogurtland.

Throwing bread to the ducks

Two finger sucker

Not exactly sure what he was doing in this picture, but it made me laugh

Nothing like chocolate yogurt and sour worms
Next post will be all about the fair.  We just finished our week long county fair, and boy was it a great week!  So proud of "our" kids!!


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