A Wintery Wonderland would be much more appreciated right now. This TX wind is a little overwhelming, especially now that we live on a hill with no trees to block it. The good news is that being on a hill keeps the flooding down and we can see all the storms coming way off and prepare for them. Our home is in tacked, the animals are well and most of our property is holding up, except the poor chicken coop. All the strong winds have managed to reveal the weak spots of an old coop with rotted wood. It's not delightful to see more work to be done but I see it as a blessing too. To have the weak spots exposed gives us the opportunity to repair them and make this place a fortified "city" on a hill. We pray for the safety of our family, animals and home and God answers with His loving protection and revealing the areas that are not safe, in a safe way.
1 Thess 5:18 tells us to give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Jesus Christ. I like that it does not say give thanks FOR all circumstances, because I'm not thankful FOR the damage but I can give thanks IN this situation. I'm thankful we have no hurt animals due to the damage, it's going to be an easy repair and I see how it strengthens our family by giving us the opportunity to learn and work alongside one another. But for now we will hunker down, wait the winds out and make new plans for fixing the coop.
Merry Christmas everyone! Whew. What a week! It's been so nice outside so I decided to do some maintenance. Man is that the gift that keeps on giving! Finally got my electric fence finished so my 2 breeding groups quit bashing the fence. Weighed them, trimmed hooves, gave wormer and selenium paste. I was happy until I awoke one morning this week and one of my rams, Yogi, was limping. Left front hoof was off the ground as he hobbled about. I inspected hooves and they seemed normal. I mashed around up and down the leg for signs of swelling or flinching and found none. I read to give paprika with molasses and I put in an aspirin crushed as well. I did, but he didn't like it at all! But I spooned it in. Have him isolated to rest and monitor.
Also to top it off, I have a Guinea hen with a broke leg and my daughters horse is gimpy to.
I do say, maybe this is the way animals say Merry Christmas! - Brad
"If you are using two or more rams (for breeding), do not put the rams with their ewe groups in adjoining pastures where they can "touch" each other at the fence or gate. Rams have battered each other through fences and been killed this way. If they are going to be in adjoining areas, create a "dead space" in between them with a double fencing".( http://lavenderfleece.com/rambehavior.html )
Wise words to live by. Our fencing is evidence that there is going to be more to separating the two rams than just one fence. We are now in preparation of setting up an electrical line on both sides. With all the signs that our single fence is just not cutting it; damaged fences, bent poles, broken lock clasps and Yogi getting his pulled horn caught in the fencing and yanked it off, ouch!
Thank goodness the rams don't seem to find us competition. I have read some hairy tales of other Icelandic owners receiving lovely bruises and doing a few self defense moves.
Hopefully we will have update photos of our DIY fortification soon, but in the mean time enjoy the ones below.
The sheep have settled in and the separation of rams and ewes is successful, so far. But I had my doubts. Brad's initial idea of just setting up an electrical fence line, without fencing, went to the waste basket soon after reading how aggressive the rams can be and some encouragement from his wife that it "just wasn't going to work". The fence has helped, but Booboo seems determined to get to the other side. Ella is no help with all her feminine temptings. We still need to run the electrical line on both sides to keep our fence from becoming demolished. All seemed to be going well, till this evening. Upon arriving home after several Christmas parties and errands we discovered one of our ewes, Plotulopi, had plotted to make it to the other side and was successful. How? I don't know. The investigation is still on and the fortifying of the fence has been heightened from yellow to red. If she could get through then Booboo will not be far behind. He seems to have the idea in his head that Ella is his girl and he's gonna have her. Still so much to learn about these wonderful fluffy creatures who have made their way into our lives and hearts. Fingers crossed that our electric fence idea will solve the problem to our mystery of the mischief sheep. (say that five times)