Everything outside feels so alive and vibrant this time of year! I love watching the world wake up after winter. There are so many things I want to do outside right now since it is so nice. It is hard for me to focus and complete one task before moving on to another one tempting me when there are so many things to do.
Colton was very excited that the goat kid numbers ended up being 4 doelings and 3 bucks. One doe still hasn’t kidded that should have. She is starting to look like she might be bred so I am hoping the buck just bred her late.
We are currently having the slowest start to lambing that we have ever had. It is so frustrating! They were due to start on May 4, but so far just over half are done lambing. We have had more ewe lambs so far too! The sheep flock was culled pretty hard last fall because we finally decided exactly what our goal was for it so now we will rebuilding our numbers. All of the ewe lambs will make that process go faster!
The first ewe to lamb seems to always be a Finn. This year was no different. Ewe 049 gave us triplets, 2 ewe lambs, and 1 ram lamb! My favorite Finn ewe also had triplets and all 3 are ewe lambs! They are the prettiest little brown lambs. We’ve even had a set of quads! This is the first time we have had a set of quads (3 ewes & 1 ram) all survive. The smallest one is getting a bottle twice a day. Having a bottle lamb makes Kinzie very happy!
Four hair ewes have lambed so far with singles. All of them have been first-time mamas and have done a great job of taking care of their babies. The bonus is that all 4 are ewe lambs!
The shearer came a few weeks ago. Shearing day is always exciting and a little nerve-wracking for me. Raising wool sheep is still new enough that I am working to figure out the correct management program for them, especially in regard to their feed. The hair sheep do not need any grain and do just fine condition-wise through the winter and pregnancy. Our Finnsheep however, seem to need grain through pregnancy. After shearing this year, I was very pleased with how the Finnsheep ewes looked. All of them are in much better condition than in previous years so I think I have found the right feed combination for them.
Most of the wool seems to be nice too. Of course, a few of them appear to really like the burr patches which makes skirting their fleeces difficult! I am working my way through the fleeces so they can be delivered to the fiber mill for processing. Working through the wool helps to give me an idea of which ram I want to keep based on the types of wool his lambs are producing. I now have a better plan for who to keep for this fall’s breeding season.
The garden and flower beds are calling my name. I usually wait until around Mother’s Day to plant most things because this is Kansas and the weather can be crazy. I do have a few things planted but will be working to get most planted over the next couple of weeks. My Iris’ are beautiful this year. While at Home Depot last weekend, I picked up a few flowers to add to a flower bed I am redoing. I love the hot pink daisies and the coreopsis. The most exciting garden-related thing we have done is finally put in an orchard. I have 4 peach trees, 3 apple trees, and 2 pear trees! I am so happy about our little orchard!
The kids and I have been working to add manure from the barns to each bed so it is taking us longer to get everything prepared. It was definitely time to give all the beds a boost and the barns need cleaning out.
We wrapped up our bookwork for homeschool at the end of April. The kids learn so much outside this time of year between helping with the livestock, working in the garden, mowing/trimming for their great-grandma and at our house, identifying plants coming up, taking care of pastures, etc.
We have been blessed with rain the last few weeks. Our pond was very close to being completely dry and now it is overflowing. The vibrant green of the world that follows rain always amazes me. The grass in our pastures was struggling but is already starting to grow nicely. The sheep want to be put out to grass so bad but there just hasn’t been enough yet. They are tired of being fed hay!
I hope you are having a good spring as well and have a chance to enjoy this time of year outside!