Keeping Watch

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After morning chores, we noticed a ewe in labor who seemed to be struggling with the birth.  We took Jenna with us and selected a spot in the pasture where we could watch her without stressing her out.  FiFi immediately showed up looking for a dog biscuit.  Then Nellie wandered over with her twin lambs to see what the heck her people were doing sitting in the pasture.  Then my bottle kid spotted me and made a beeline for my lap.  I was thinking it might be nice to picnic in the pasture this summer but have changed my mind!  We did end up helping the mom and she had a lovely little ewe.  Pictures to come!

Big Girl

Summer the bottle baby is nibbling on hay and grass now.  Of course, everything tastes better when it’s handfed.

Doggie Jail

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Milos came over to me a few days ago while I was feeding the bottle kid, laid down beside me and closed his eyes.   That is how he told me he wasn’t feeling well.   We kept an eye on him and noticed he wasn’t chasing cars along the fenceline like he usually does.  Taking our guardian dogs to the vet isn’t an option.  They are unmanageable.  150 pounds each of  ‘don’t touch me’.  We tried to lure him into the barn with food.  He knew something was up and refused to go in.  The next day we were finally able to capture him in our sheep handling area.  One of the baby goats crawled through the fencing and kept him company.  Brian cornered him and laid on him while our vet gave him a sedative.  While he was knocked out, he got a thorough assessment, his matted fur trimmed and a new flea collar.  We weren’t able to get near either of them last year with a flea collar.  He was found to have a tendon injury so will be on meds for a few days then hopefully good as new.  I’m just glad our vet didn’t have to dart him!  And FiFi still needs a new flea collar…

Fluffy

Sunlight first thing in the morning makes for perfectly backlit photos of our critters.  I took my camera out this morning because I kicked myself for not having it yesterday.  I sat down after chores to rest in a pile of hay next to our feeder and found myself with two baby goats in my lap (one asleep), a goat nibbling at my jacket collar and our cow licking my boots.   I felt like Snow White in the forest.

The Triplets

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They are just adorable!  I’ve been calling them Summer, Nymeria and Shaggydog after the direwolves of Winterfell (vague literary reference!).   Summer is my little bottle baby.  She’s a little bigger than her sisters, which makes me happy because she didn’t start out  that way.  I can’t get a photo of the three of them together because she runs to me whenever she sees me.  Maybe I can use a long lens to catch them at play.  For the last few days I’ve noticed her romping with the lambs.  Interspecies play time.

Keeping Hydrated

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I sat down by our Ritchie livestock waterer to feed the bottle baby and Augusta wandered over for a drink.  She pushes the float aside with her mouth to get to the water.  Our sheep normally run off when I approach them at the waterer.  I guess since I was already there, I wasn’t too scary.

My Paella Recipe

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I made paella last weekend and thought I’d post my recipe.  My family loves it so now they know where to find the recipe when they need it.  I make everything but the chicken and rice ahead of time then gently warm everything in the microwave and assemble it right before serving.

The first thing I make is lemon garlic mixture that will flavor the rice when it’s done.  In my mini chopper, I whirl together:
The zest of a lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
12 garlic cloves
salt & pepper
This goes into tupperware and waits in the fridge for assembly.

Then I saute the sausage.  I used a fresh chorizo and a fresh andouille sausage removed from their casings, crumbled and browned and smoked andouille sausage links sliced and browned.

Red and yellow peppers were sliced, seeded, splashed with red wine vinegar and olive oil then roasted for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Once they’re cool enough to handle, I peel the skin off.

Then comes the seafood.  Sea scallops patted dry and sauteed in a little olive oil just 2 minutes per side.  Then shrimp were peeled, deveined and sauteed in a little olive oil.  They just take a minute or two per side.

To do the chicken thighs, brown both sides in a little olive oil and butter.  Put them skin side up on a baking pan, season with salt and pepper then put them in the oven at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on how big they are.  They come out crispy and delicious.

 

Here’s what goes into the rice:
3 cups of long grain rice sauteed in a little butter
6 cups of chicken stock
A pinch of saffron
salt and pepper to taste
Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes, toss 1 cup of frozen peas in during the last 3 minutes of cooking.

Assemble everything and enjoy!

 

Snow Baby

Lambs have a natural camouflage in the winter.  The snow doesn’t seem to bother them at all.

Hey… Thanks!

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With the ground covered in snow, our grass is covered which means the critters need a new bale to munch on.  This is a complex project.  The goats are closed in the barn, the sheep in their pen.  The tractor bay needs to be closed as soon as it’s opened to keep the cow out of the square bales which are stored in there.  The dogs need to be bribed with treats to keep them away from the pasture gate (the round bales are kept outside the pasture).  Then when the process is reversed, it’s a party!

What It Looks Like Around Here

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We finally had our first snow.  It’s just beautiful.

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