Not that I don’t have enough to do around here, but on Sunday I went with our friend Pam of Hatchtown Farm on a road trip to Vermont. She needed to pick up a ram from another Coopworth breeder in eastern Vermont and wanted a traveling companion (Mountain Vewe Farm, West Newbury). When do I ever say no to a road trip? With the possibility of going to another sheep farm, it’s a difficult opportunity to turn down. So off we went on Sunday morning, armed for a cold day in a much higher elevation than we have on the coast. We decided that going west through Maine was a much better route than going all the way down the coast to NH and then taking an interstate all the way north again. Armed with a GPS unit, Google maps and a road atlas, we took off. It was really a beautiful ride, west on 302 through Naples, Bridgton and Fryeburg and on into North Conway, NH. As we drove, we began to see many less leaves on the trees, some rain, a little sleet, and of course,
snow-capped peaks in the White Mountains! And as we drove across New Hampshire, it really began to rain. We definitely were not prepared for that!
As we got closer to our friend’s farm in Vermont, we passed a farm with a field of Scottish Highland cattle. I have a very soft spot in my heart for these guys, and so we had to stop and take some pictures. In spite of the weather, it was a fun trip and Pam brought home a very handsome ram!
As usual things have been crazy around the farm. School ended last week and I have been scrambling to get ahead here at the house. Too many things to do and not enough time! But, we finally found a great home for our ram, Mr. Big. He has gone to live on Bridge Farm in Dresden, about 15 miles from here. They have a lovely, historic farm there along the river, and he will have some new ram friends, as well as some new ewes to get friendly with :*)
We took him over yesterday morning and had a lovely visit. Kathy and Bob have a great setup, and interns on the farm have built a cob bake oven. We have been planning on building one here and haven’t gotten to it yet, so it was lovely to see one in action. How exciting! Mike and Erin are making lovely breads and we got to witness the baking. And taste a great loaf!
So the ram who has done so much for us here finally has found a new home. Good luck, Mr. Big! We love you and are glad you are close enough so that we can visit!
Aside from having been really sick with this blasted chest cold, today turned out to be a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the leaves are looking gorgeous, and it was so warm that I traded my turtleneck and my vest for a t-shirt. We decided that it was time to harvest all of our root vegetables, which did beautifully. We have been eating some of our beets in the last month, but today we harvested 5.5 lbs. of golden beets, 13.75 lbs of red beets, 6 lbs. carrots, and we didn’t have time to pull the leeks. And even though we have eaten at least 10 lbs. of our Kennebec potatoes,
we still harvested another 23.5 lbs. today. Beautiful! We are very lucky that the blight didn’t hit us here. So we took the opportunity to roast up some golden and red beets, onions and garlic.
It was totally delicious.
And on another front, we finally made the decision to put Kyra’s Boy down. Our dear ram just kept regenerating infection around his knee; it leaked, we dealt with it, he got better, and it started all over again. He’s been living in his own pen for so long, it began to feel like the norm for us. I really didn’t dare let him back in with the rambunctious boys as he might have leaked infectious stuff all over the place, so he remained all by his lonesome. There weren’t many choices to be had, so a friend of ours came and put him down and took him to another friend who will use his carcass. I got as much fleece off him as I could, which I will use and remember him by. He had a good life here, and that’s about all we can ask of our animal friends. He made a lot of great market lambs for a few years there, so he didn’t owe us anything. Good bye Kyra’s Boy. We are all going to miss you.
It’s 6 days since we had Kyra’s Boy at the vet for his leg ailment. He seems to be coming along; the leg is less swollen and it’s draining a lot less. He’s on the heavy-duty meds, eating well, and is taking it easy, but calling for his meals from his sickbed! Can’t ask for much more than that! (Except maybe some treats from my husband!)
I feel like Nurse Nina this week. Our beloved ram, Kyra’s Boy, has been ailing. Late last week he was down in the pasture with his alter-ego, Mr. Big, when we found that he had a swollen and lame back leg. Usually we see a lame front leg if one of the sheep or goats has been booking across a hummocky field and hits something the wrong way. This was definitely not in that category. I thought that maybe the boys were slamming each other and he took a hard punch to the hip… we probably will never know. He had been lying there immobile so long that his whole underside was bitten up with tiny little bites that actually drew blood. What a mess. So we brought the boys back to the paddock area (can’t keep one ram alone in the field) and I did what I could to get Kyra’s Boy cleaned up and on the mend, but even though the swelling went down some, he obviously was not progressing. Not even using that leg much at all, so we began to think that he must have a break. Time for the vet call. And we got really lucky that our vet fit us in yesterday for the x-rays. So I loaded him up into the trusty Subaru and took him down (I wouldn’t want to have a hidden video of myself doing that!).
Most sheep would not be as accommodating as Kyra’s Boy. He is such a beautiful, mild-mannered guy, he didn’t get stroppy or obnoxious at all during the poking and prodding and x-raying that went on. As it turns out, he doesn’t have a break, but he does have a really bad infection in a major portion of that leg. The vet ended up putting in a drain and getting him onto penicillin and banamine. We are hoping for the best, but know that this is a difficult place for an infection to take up residence. We now have him in a smaller pen in a sheltered space next to our (half-built) garage. The Taj Mahal of private ovine hospital rooms!
So we did our sheep doctoring, in the rain as usual. It was pouring by the time I got home and I was soaked when I got into the house last night after chores and getting Kyra’s Boy settled, but at least he looked fairly comfortable. The drugs must have kicked in, though, because this morning he looked quite a bit perkier. I had trouble getting him to stand still for his shots, and he appears to be eating a little more normally. Time for some serious finger-crossing and good thought-thinking! Go Kyra’s Boy!
Coopworth Fiber, LaMancha Dairy Goats and Cheese on the Coast of Maine!