Monday, November 30, 2009

Busy Weekend

So it has been a fairly productive weekend around here. Yesterday (Sunday) we worked on repairing the fence a bit. We added new wire to the top in order to support the old fencing system which is not in very good condition. This was a lot of work and it took three people in order to weave the new wire into the old.
However we got side tracked when the neighbors who also happen to be Ryan's Aunt and Uncle came over to hang out with the sheep for a bit.
I took on the task yesterday of again trying to catch a sheep and this time it was successful. I was able to catch Rosie by luring her in with some tasty straw. She is very trusting. After having caught her to the surprise of Ryan, he showed me how to flip a sheep over in order to trim their hoofs. Although I don't believe that this is a task i will be taking on any time soon.
I almost forgot that we also had a little adventure with the dogs. The dogs being Kes and Jazz who belongs to Ryan's Aunt and Uncle. First Jazz got a turn to enter the sheep pen and try out her herding skills and then Kes had a whirl at it. Needles to say I don't think either of them did an amazing job but I'm sure with a little training they would be out there herding sheep to no end.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


So I know a number of you have tried to post comments and have gotten errors or the like. I managed to trace it back to a setting that would not allow unregistered users to post comments but I have changed that so that anyone can now comment on our posts.
If you would like to comment, but are unsure how just use the following steps:
1. At the bottom of every blog entry, this one included is a little link that will have a number followed by the word comments.
2. If you click on that it will take you to a new page where you can either read other comments or add your own.
3. All you need to do is write in your comments and then under the area where you enter text choose how you would like to be identified in the "Comment As".
4. If you have a google, AIM or other similar account you can comment from it, or you can choose Name/URL and just enter your name, or you can choose to remain anonymous.
5. Hit the "Post Comment" button and you are done...your comment will show up when people click the comments button under the blog entry and Amanda and I will know you have commented.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Not the Pumpkin Kind of Love...

I picked up a bunch of supplies yesterday at TSC (a local farm/other stuff supply store) and amoung them was a couple of livestock markers. These are generally used when sorting livestock, but during this time of year they get used for a different purpose...
Basically what you do is rub the marker (it is sort of like a waxy grease pencil, about 3cm in diameter) all over the hard area between the front legs of the ram until he is brightly coloured (my market is red). Then when he does his thing you can see the red market all over the back of the ewe. (a little birds and bees lesson there for ya :p ).
When Amanda and I went out to check the sheep this evening I noticed #30 was freshly coloured so it looks like I finally have some official word as to when we will be expecting lambs. I am sure this has happened a couple of times already undocumented as they have been with Rogue for nearly a week now and with another ram for a couple of days before that, but it is safe to say that they had not been bred before a week from yesterday or so, so at least we have a rough idea. This is exciting news as I finally have some evidence to show that I may actually get some lambs in spring if I don't manage to kill the sheep somehow before then.
*As a side note, a ewe's gestation period is about a week short of five months so we should get lambs just in time for my sisters birthday at the end of April. Yay!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Hay There!

Well yesterday I finally got the hay for the sheep. I was a little bit slow in sourcing the hay, which was bad, but I had bought some sheep food which I thought could hold them over, but that was never a good idea. The food is little round pellets, sort of what you would feed to a chicken or a rabbit and would have been quite a dietary jump for the sheep had I gone that route, even for a couple of days, and would have likely resulted in some digestive issues... Luckily when I got the sheep, I managed to get two bales off the previous owner which was able to tie them in until now.

There is quite the difference between the two bales. The ones Wendall gave me are very heavy, but also really coarse, although they do smell quite sweet. I thought they were not bad, that is, until I got these bales. Through a friend I was told about Jeff, a young man like myself trying to farm who made hay. He had a good price and would deliver them in quantities of 30 (which is all I can store at once). He came last night and the hay is beautiful. Not only does it smell delicious, but it is not harsh like the other bales. Running your hand over the bales it feels like a lawn. I am told it is a mixture of orchard grass and alfalfa, and I think the sheep are going to love it...too bad they have to finish the other bale first.

As for the rest of the farming operation the next couple of days will see us getting some fence supplies to repair the rear fence, and I need to spend some time finishing up my work on the back field so I can get it plowed if it ever stops raining and dries up. It will keep us busy and out of trouble anyway...or at least we hope!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pumpkin Love

So post the fall season we had a large amount of pumpkins just sitting around and the previous owner of the sheep told us that they love to eat pumpkins. So thinking what a brilliant solution we had stumbled upon, this morning i took a load of pumpkins out to the sheep. The fact that sheep go banana's for pumpkins would be an understatement. As I unloaded the pumpkins outside the fence the sheep were all sniffing at the wire trying to get at them. We had one large pumpkin that had been sitting on the step of the house so i broke that one open first (with a hammer). Rouge couldn't wait and as soon as that pumpkin entered the pen he went at it. Not just the flesh in the middle but the skin and everything he just chomped away. I had to put in a few smaller pumpkins as well because he wouldn't share the big one.
Well after seeing the excitement that they had towards the pumpkins I decided to go get my camera. When i came back Wendy was sitting with her face through the fence eating the box that the pumpkins were in.
After all that on Ryan's advice I tried to catch one of the sheep, which ended up being more of Amanda running around the pen like a crazy person. The sheep all ended up in their little house and would not come out. It's forcast for rain for the rest of today so i probably won't go out and see them again today.
That's all for now!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Farming for the Environment

So today I spent my morning at a course about Environmental Farm Plans. Although not as stimulating and interesting as I had hopped it would be, I did garner a large amount of knowledge about farm practices. They give you a very large binder with 23 chapters, each of which contains worksheets which you are required to fill out. When the whole process is finished you are certified as having an environmental farm plan. They also give you a nice little sign that you can put up.

Last night Ryan and I went to check the sheep at 10:30 or maybe later. They were all tucked in their cozy little home. Rogue did come out to have a look around and see what was disturbing his slumber but everything else seemed in order.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


The adventure begins...

Well, yesterday was the big day. After working hard to complete the fencing and sheep barn in the morning we ended with a pen with working area 32 x 16 feet minus the 8 x 12 sheep barn in one corner. Wall are made of 4' high, 12.5ga no-climb horse fence sandwiched between 2 x 4's to provide the required stiffness. I think we still need to reinforce the 32' length in the middle with a t-rail as it is a bit wobbly, but it should be find for now.

In the afternoon my good friend Randy and I went to pick the sheep up. We had quite the afternoon there rounding them up, selecting which ones we were going to take and then learning how to trim their feet by cutting off the tips of the hooves and then removing the rim from around them. It is quite the job when you have never done it before and left me quite tired.

We ended up getting 5 purebred Newfoundland ewes and 1 purebred Newfoundland ram. Newfoundland sheep are a rare breed in Canada and now we are helping to keep the breed alive with our small operation. The girl in the first picture is Wendy, my favourite and the ram in the picture above is Rogue who is a few years old now. As we have no experience with sheep we will start here and see where we go with our breeding program in the future, although we have no plans to change anytime soon.

We didn't get them home until dark as the afternoon adventure took longer then expected, but they seemed alright and we gave them a bit of hay to settle them in. We had my niece over for night last night(as seen above) and she absolutely loves the sheep and even got to feed one of them this morning when they had settled down a bit.

The ducks are also still doing well and we have learned that they do in fact love pumpkins as they will eat out the soft insides of the pumpkins if we break them open for them. The sheep will also be getting some pumpkins as well as we learned from their previous owner that they enjoy them quite a bit.

Kes was not really interested in the sheep last night, but it was quite dark. However this morning was very different. She was very excited to see them and was whining because she could not get into the pen. I can see that she has some herding instincts, but these will need to be worked on and controlled and hopefully she will start to calm down a little as she got really excited and ran around the pen barking which made it hard to keep the sheep calm. I was trying to drive them into one corner so I could catch one for my niece to pet, but she would run to the same corner and chase them away. I figure I can practice on her and when we get a young herding dog some day we will have a bit of experience.

We will have more later, but for now everything seems to be doing well. We are all very excited!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Tired Haze

So today we worked super hard and got the sheep pen all finished. Which may i say just looks stunning. I think it could be in a magazine. I'm sure Ryan will have more to say on that subject.
Today our niece came over to visit the ducks and she just stood there qucking at them which was pretty cute. They seem to eat a lot so today i decided to be creative. After having fed them their pellet food I decided maybe they would eat a pumpkin (We have a bunch of small pumpkins sitting around). So i cracked one open and chucked it in. Turns out ducks seem not to be fond of pumpking and have as yet left it sitting untouched.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Duck food?

So I am finally posting a picture of our Muscovy Ducks. Just a few moments ago Kes and I made a venture into their pen to put in some fresh water and take a couple of snap shots. While doing so I discovered Kes enjoys eating duck food. Which is surprising because she doesn't like to eat dog food.
We are looking forward to busy day tomorrow and will be posting some new pictures!!

Some Pictures

Amanda working away.

All the fence pieces cut to size, ready to go.

One of our Farmall A tractors. Great little things.

Amanda again....

Our logal dog.

One of the 32' fence panels all done up.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ducks, Ducks and MORE Ducks!!!!


So we recently got some ducks and I have to say...they are scary. When I first saw them I had no idea what they were. Big white things with giant flapping arms. Ryan tried to introduce them to me on the first day, but I decided it would be a bit safer if I ran off and played with Amanda and their cousins who had come over for a visit to see the ducks. I am starting to warm up to them , but I still have no interest in getting too close...I wonder what the sheep will be like.

On a different note, I got in a bit of trouble. It seems that running loose in the back field and digging up mice is not what I am supposed to do. I got locked in the sheep house while they worked after that one, but it was fun for a while. At least it is warm and cozy inside. Hopefully the next time we get out to the field I will remember to be more well behaved.

Thanks for reading, but I am off to my mat for another long nap...woof woof.

Ducks, Fencing and Cat Named Sam

Well it looks as though the ducks are finally getting used to us wandering around. For the first couple of days they would not come out of their little shelter, but now I see them wandering around the pen all the time and they don't run away as quickly or as far now when I walk up to see them.
Went to go look at them yesterday morning and it seems ducks are smarter than I thought. When I came up to the fence they ran away like normal, but then the older male walked up to the water dish, which was empty, looked at me, pecked it, and then looked at me again. It was as though he was telling me his water dish was empty and that I should do something about it. Maybe I was reading into it, but I like to think they were trying to communicate.
I decided to give them a bucket of water and within 20 minutes the eight of them must have drank/splashed out 3 to 4 litres and continued to consume water throughout the entire day. We must think about getting a bigger container sooner than later.

The fence is on hold for a couple of days, but we should be able to resume it soon. Not much is left as I had already had all the pieces cut to size and only a couple pieces are left to screw together. There is no cat named Sam, but it sounded good in the title, and if I had a cat, I would name it Sam.

Sheep are still scheduled for this Saturday or the next. If I could get the fencing up Saturday morning we will be able to get them, but otherwise it will have to wait for next week. I am getting really excited about their arrival and can hardly wait, but I guess waiting is half the fun.

That is all for now, hope to bring more news soon.

Inclement Weather

So today will be a hit or miss day for getting anything done as it is raining. But over the past few days a number of things have changed around here. The fencing is looking fantastic! Ryan put together two large panels on Tuesday which will be attached (and now are). I added the staples to hold the fencing on to the wood which I enjoyed doing. I also stuffed all the holes in the sheep house to keep out all the wind.
In terms of the rain today its a good thing that roof is mostly finished with a tarp having been installed recently to protect the wood from getting too wet. There is still a good amount to do before the weekend so that the sheep can come but I am sure it will all be completed.

Duck Update:

So the ducks have happily settled in the backyard (well technically the side yard) and are very much enjoying the wet weather today. We have given them a large bucket of water for drinking and what not which they seem to empty very quickly. I believe it is empty because they just splash around in it. But they all seem happy and are getting a little friendlier everyday.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Update

Well this morning I am off to pick up some chicken feed and sheep feed. Hopefully this will go successfully.
The ducks all arrived safely last night but none of them want to come out of their house. They all sit squished together in the back. On the way home with the ducks in the back we made a quick stop and when we arrived back at the car the oldest and biggest duck had made his way halfway out of his transportation bag. Despite that we had no problems. Upon arriving home two of our young cousins stopped by to visit the ducks and Kes. I believe that they enjoyed seeing the ducks and will be back for future visits.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pick Up

Today we are getting our first installment of animals here. That's correct we are going to have eight ducks running around what used to be our dog pen. The ducks are Muscovy's and due to the fact that they have not actually arrived yet I'm unable to post a picture of them.

Yesterday we (mostly Ryan) went to work on the fence for the sheep pen. All the wood has been cut and is all set of an energetic afternoon of set up. Yesterday for me also entailed a large of amount of pruning. There are grape vines everywhere on the chicken coop that needed to be cut down. Needless to say it kept me warm pulling and tugging so that some semblance of fence was actually visible.

Included in the post are a few picture of the sheep pen in creation stage. It is more finished now but i have yet to take a picture

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Roof on its way up.....

This evening despite the chill in the air, Ryan and I headed out to work on the sheep pen. We got two panels up on the roof and things look like they are really coming together. Our soon to be sheep will have a cozy home which at the moment Kes enjoys it to small extent.
After our cold evening outside we headed to our cozy little house for a hot supper.
Tomorrow we will be back at work finishing the roof and and hopefully getting the fencing up around the pen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Woof Woof

Today I went for a walk patrolling the border of our farm. Everything was safe. Job well done!

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Beginnings...

Creek Shore Farms has been born! After a life long of dreaming we have finally started our own farm. We are starting small, but at least we are on the path. Currently we are working on building the sheep structure as well as clearing land for pasture. More details will be added soon.