Sunday, March 16, 2008

Supper Time!


My Altenburg Trumpeters are seen feeding here at their supper time. These are all birds that are F1-F4 bred down from imports. Only three domestic birds were introduced for colors a few generations ago and they were only around 20 years old or so since they were imported. The breed fortunately hasn't changed much in past 50 years. Thankfully, the 'trumpeting' voice has been retained and refined. This is what they are known for, as well as a multitude of colors. Its true they kind of look like barn pigeons, but in all reality, they are a voice breed, not known for their fancy ornaments like other trumpeter breeds, which unfortunately, the voice has all but been lost.

I took over 100 photos today (I took the Nancy K. way of farming)(always camera ready for that perfect photo) and have lots to blog about! I sat with the girls tonight and most of them came up for their scratches. I think not only are they more' lovey' at this late pregnancy, but they also cannot get to their itches under the wool. Buttons nearly fell over when I was scratching her brisket. Maya nearly knocked me over when she found out I not only scratch necks and chins but I also scratch the spine and ribs LOL. They were too funny.

I started feeding the 'maternity' mix that Cynthia whipped up. I has Beet Pulp as the main ingredient and the mixture is stirred up good and then soaked in warm water for an hour. it has other things like oats, soybeans, kelp, mineral, vitamins and DE blended in. Kind of a 'forced' feeding of minerals. No worries about over feeding. I weighed all girls and the ratio of what to feed was based on how big they were. WOW are there some hefty girls! 100 pounds or more for some, and wow are they um....er...well i suppose if i were a lady I wouldn't want to be called any name but skinny.........but let's just say these girls haven't missed many meals :) They are so pregnant they cannot run down the snow packed trail that leads to their 'new' spot where the hay is fed is morning. They are getting pretty smart....scanning the pasture to see where they be any 'non white' lumps. Hey I guess they didn't survive awful conditions on the Shetland Isles on luck :)

This is also my 2nd favorite time of the year (lambing is first, breeding groups 3rd) when they have their full fleece in. They all look so regal (and they KNOW it too!). The day of shearing they all seem so embarrassed and man do they look TINY! I was thinking tonight while getting overrun with the selfish girls wanting scratches, that some of the girls are looking so BIG and so much FLEECE. Then realized that I still own the smallest sheep breed and I should be lucky I don't have Suffolk or some other huge breed.

I tried getting photos of the baby goats but geez those two girls are FAST! They were either running around and jumping off of their mom's backs or standing at my feet waiting to have their tiny backs scratched. They are too cute.

We also moved cattle to their calving pen. Not many, as the AI'ed girls didn't seem to take very well this year. I was using old semen (from the 70's) on many of them so wasn't thinking it'd all be vital. So there will be more due the end of April and May, instead of March like most years.

Photos to come of all of this. PROMISE!

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