We had a couple of hard losses on the farm this summer. Tom, our 7 year old Heritage Bronze turkey was starting to decline and he finally reached a point where his quality of life just didn’t overcome his problems any longer. He had a good run, at 7 years old!
Sadly, Goose had such a strong bond with Tom, and we think he was brokenhearted. He followed his best buddy to barnyard heaven a week later, at over 30 years of age.
We will miss these two irascible characters. Farewell, feathered friends…. may there be nothing but sunny pasture wherever you are!
All photographs courtesy Christopher Germano.
Some photographer friends visited during Open Barn Days and captured some wonderful images of the lambs and other scenes around the farm. Here are a few more photos – with a hearty thanks to them for letting us share!
First, a peek into the chicken yard, where Bob (the Polish Tophat rooster) enjoyed showing off, and Ike (the Black Australorp rooster) posed with one of the girls…(Photos: Paul Deatherage)
Here we have the oldest rooster, Johnny… we’re trying to figure out where the best place is for him to spend the rest of his days. He’s slowed down and can’t hang with the other guys, but he seems a little lost out by the barn, too. In the four small images, we have Mouse being a lap-ram, PeaDiddy being curious, Deedee sunning herself, and Paco, as always, most interested in food.
(Photos: Paul Deatherage and Pat Kight)
And, finally, a few final shots taken by our visitors… the leaping lamb sign on the house, a pink dogwood, barn decor, Honey Grove creek, and a sweet ewe chewing on some grass.
Thanks again to everyone who came out to visit in April – today’s May 1st and we’re enjoying some warm weather and looking forward to summer right around the corner!
How can nearly four weeks have gone by since we put up the previous post announcing the first lamb of 2014? It’s been a whirlwind of activity here, with guests visiting, and lambs, and two public Open Barn days, and… yes, more lambs!
We now have 40 lambs, four of which are bottle babies – or “bummer” lambs. Mouse (pictured at right) is a ram lamb that came from another farm. His mother rejected him shortly after he was born (she was startled by some goats, we were told), and he came to live at Leaping Lamb Farm in order to become a daddy ram when he grows up. Mouse is a Soay sheep, so he’ll also impart some different genetics into the Katahdin/Dorper mix we have here.
Our other bottle babies include the little woolie boy in the photo above – #94 there on the bottom left – who couldn’t seem to figure out how to eat on his own in the beginning. He hasn’t been rejected by his mom, though, and he’s learned to feed partially with a bottle and partially nursing from the ewe. The little girl pictured in the photo on the top right, above (standing) was rejected by her mother in a complicated case of baby stealing and then confusion as to who was actually hers. It seems the ewe probably took another ewe’s lamb – a twin – as her own, then when she had her own twins, she figured the second one to be born didn’t belong to her. We’ve named this incredibly sweet little girl Molly. The final bottle baby is an orphan lamb. He was a difficult birth for the ewe, and she sadly developed an infection after a day or two. He’s doing great with the bottle, though.
(Photo credits: Top left, Pat Kight; all others, Paul Deatherage)
We opened the barn up to the public for two days this month (most of the photos in this post are from those events), and we had really wonderful turnouts and such a good time with everyone who was able to make it. The first Sunday, we could not have asked for more perfect weather. Some of the visitors took advantage of the sun and picnicked down by the creek… that is, until they were rudely interrupted by some horses and a donkey looking for snacks! Unfortunately, the good weather didn’t hold long enough for the second Open Barn day, but we still had some brave souls make it out, including a couple who traveled from Vancouver, WA! Thanks to everyone who made it out to the farm for either day – we really appreciate the time you spend with us!
Thanks also to the photographers who lend us the use of their images to help us show off all the animals and the farm. You help us to focus on the beauty here and not just the chores we see that need to be done.
Speaking of chores… time to go out and bottle feed some lambs! We’ll have some more photos from around the farm in the next post, so stay tuned!
This week, we hosted our very first “Open Barn” event, inviting the public out to see the lambs and explore the property. Despite the cold temps and POURING rain on Sunday, we had a great turnout!
We had over 30 lambs born by Sunday afternoon, and many of them were out in the field with their moms. The day would go from downpour to sunny (though definitely not warm) and back again within minutes, and the ewes seemed much more interested in munching on grass than keeping their little ones warm and dry. Eventually, we let them all into the loafing shed and mixed them with the ewes who had yet to give birth.
We also had a few ewes and their babies still in the barn, and the visiting children — and some of their parents, too! — have had a great time holding lambs on their laps.
(Photo: Paul Deatherage)
And, of course, Paco was not about to be left out as long as there was petting going on:
All in all, we think the event was well-received and had a decent turnout, and we learned some lessons in case we do this again next year. We extend a hearty thank you, to everyone who attended, to the photographers for sharing their photos with us, and to anyone who was able to donate to help us cover costs. We hope the kids came away with some lasting memories, and we’re glad the rain didn’t keep you away!
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013 Scottie Jones