Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm

Lovin' time at Coon Hollow Farm
Our Olde English "Babydoll" Sheep and their lambs

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Lambs first outing...

How does Coon Hollow Farm spell cute? Olde English "Babydoll" Southdown lambs of course! Here they are at 2 days old and having their first day out with "Belle", their mom.
 They are so curious with every new discovery. "Belle" looks on as they are examining a food bowl and of course it is for the first time so they find it very interesting...
and what do you suppose it could be? These two already do everything together, they nurse at the same time and are always looking for each other...
and here they are outside for the first time as "Belle" has a snack. It's a big world out here! Sorry the picture isn't better but have you ever tried to photograph moving baby lambs?! Not an easy task.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh poor "Rose"

My poor "Rose" is so miserable. We have been having issues with her having an ever so slight vaginal prolapse. This can be problematic if she gives birth, she can have a complete uterine prolapse. In the picture to the left she is wearing a belt to hold it all in...
a better view here on the right shows how it works. It puts enough pressure to push everything in. She's not too happy with it but it is for her own good. We can't wait until her babies get here!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We have lambs!

Belle's lambs arrived first thing this morning, I turned on the lamb cam and heard the first baby cry and ran down there as fast as I could.  All is well and we have two very healthy black rams. One is really big and one is average size...
 and per Belle's usual she has cast off another beautiful rose colored baby...
looking for a nipple, but Belle is nugging him to tell him he needs to find it down more!
 Here are the two boys, the black one is smaller and the rose fleeced one is larger. It just amazes me how they are up and ready to go so fast, walking around and already demanding.
the first attempt at nursing is an awkward one, but this little guy got it and went to town. The ewe will have a wax plug so it is important to clear it with gentle massage and thrust until you get it squirting...
 Tim is helping this little guy find it, but once he latched on all was well and he had a nice drink to start off with...
and here is one in the fleece baby jackets I made for them. It is a cold this morning and will only get up in the 40's today so they should keep nice and warm. They are also under an infa-red lamb that is helping to provide some ample heat. These are hearty little lambs and this is why I love the "Babydoll" breed so much!

The making of the Lamb Jackets...

In frantic anticipation of our impending lambs, I had made a pattern of my friends lamb jackets that I have been borrowing every year. Now it was time for me to make my own. First I cut the pattern to size,
 then I laid out the pattern onto a batt of Alpaca, Llama and Babydoll blended felt provided by my friend Pam. I pinned it to the felt...
and cut out the jacket. Next was cutting out the arm holes...
and here is the cut out product ready to be stitched so the lambs will be snug and warm in their little jackets of love.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Free Manure!

Yes, that's what I said, "Free Manure"! Just drop us off a 55 gallon trash pail with lid, buckets with lids or what ever you have and we will kindly fill it for you and call you when your manure is ready! Alpaca manure is rich in all the good things, low in acid so it doesn't need to be composted until the following year. Our gardens are beautiful because we use it in everyone of them. Give us a call @ 203-881-1986 for your free manure today!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Maple Syrup season is over...

Well like our friend Greg said on his blog..."it's sad to say goodbye...". Maple Syrup season has come to an end. All that collecting, schelping the sap, straining, hours of boiling and work has come to an end. Here our buckets getting ready to be put away for the year.




The spiles and top holders drying before being stored for the season on Tim's work bench...





 
 
 

The finishing process takes a little bit of time to complete, boil, boil, boil...





 
and the finished product! So the next time you go into the grocery store and see the price of syrup, it's actually a bargain for all that goes into it! 'Till next year maple syrup season!



Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Lamb watch begins!

The wait begins as of today, the girls have marked their 147th day since their dates with the rams. The picture to the left is "Rose" who seems to have dropped today. I was pretty sure when we took her for breeding she was in heat that day. We are a bit worried about her prolapsing but we will wait and see.
 Here are "Rose" in front and "Belle" in the back. They are heavy with lambs and it is any day now. I get so stressed out this time of year, I wish for easy births and healthy, happy lambs.
"Belle's" utters are big and ready to feed her lambs. The wool around them naturally falls out as the utter expands so the lambs can find their milk.
The most important tool to have during lambing season is the "Lamb Cam". This gives me and instant look at what is going on down there. I can here every sound, even the crows and people who stop by to see the animals. So now we watch and wait for the true signs of spring, lambs!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring in Connecticut, spells snow!

Wow, the first full day of Spring here in Connecticut and my mom's 70th birthday, was meant with snow! The picture on the left is our backyard taken as snow was falling this morning. When I woke up this morning and looked out I couldn't believe my eyes.
The picture here on the right is our front yard, even the power lines are coated with snow. The weekend was beautiful with sun and warm temps. That's what they say about New England weather, "if you don't like it just wait a bit"...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Royal and his dental floss!

Our most handsome alpaca "Royal", has the best dental health on the farm! At any given time, you can find "Mr Royal" with some kind of "floss" in his mouth. He drives it back and forth, back and forth all day long always taking care of those beautiful chompers!

Monday, March 14, 2011

"Garth" the man!

I just had to snap this picture yesterday of our Suri Alpaca we call "Garth". Lately something has gotten into him, he has been playful and full of confidence, romping, playing, kicking and trying to get the others to play with him. Most Suri's are shy and nervous but not this guy lately! He is king of his mountain here on Coon Hollow Farm.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What a mess!

What a mess in the barnyard! In the picture bottom left, is the debris that has been washed down and is laying up against the fences. We will have to lift them all and clean it out so it doesn't comprimise the fences. Picture bottom right is just an idea of the mud, the beautiful white snow has melted leaving brown yucky mud! But, I am o.k. with that as Spring draws closer we will deal with the mess!


In the picture above left, is the 3 inch sheet of ice that is under the mud, straw, hay and manure. Cleaning it all was hard between each storm we had this year. In the picture, above right is "Angus" inspecting what I am cleaning out of the hay storage area that we are preparing for the lambs arrival. You just gotta love Spring!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

There he is!

Wow after two long months of snow and over a 2 foot snow and ice pack as well as snow drifts as tall as me, I can finally start to see some of my garden statues and bird baths. Here is my "Pan" that is in my garden leading up to the house. He has been covered for nearly two months now and with the snow melt he is finally starting to peak out playing his flute!