Hello beautiful peeps,
We have lots of new babies on the homestead. There are 36 quail babies in the brooder. We have 4 lambs now — one was abandoned by mom and is now on a bottle. She is doing great. Mom has a big boy that she loves. This is the first time we have had an abandoned lamb. We know it happens from time to time, but we have never had one out-right rejected. As always, we adjusted. I made a quick trip into Galax to pick up some lamb colostrum and milk replacer. Sure it was an hour drive there and another hour back, but you do what you gotta do to get the job done.
As I said, we have 36 quail babies. There were 40 that hatched out. We lost 3 the first day and one more just today. It’s always sad but we also know it is part of God’s creation and we lose animals from time to time.
Sheep and Lambs
Last year we had a 100% success rate with our lambs. It was too really too much to ask that we could repeat that amazing feat. We currently have 4 lambs living. We did lose one lamb. She was so small and very weak. She never got strong enough to stand up and passed a little over an hour after her birth.
We have four ewes that are having lambs this year. The first one had a very healthy single boy. The second one had twins, a boy and a girl, but we lost that very tiny girl. She probably weighed less than four pounds. Normally our lambs are six to eight pounds each. The third one had twins also. She abandoned the second one and is raising only one, the big boy. We are bottle feeding the little girl. She is very strong and we expect her to do fine. Scott has had her with him out in the garden nearly all day.
That’s three out of four ewes with lambs. Let’s pray the last one has her babies with no issues and raises any and all of them.
Cloud gave birth to a big boy on March 27th and Claire followed up with her big boy on April 1st. All are doing very well.
Princess was getting very greedy and drinking all of Rosie’s milk. We had a choice to make because we need the milk. That’s why we have milk cows. Princess was going to have to be limited in her milk consumption. We could simply separate her and control that by bottle feeding her, or we could turn Cloud into a nurse cow. Cloud is now impossible to milk so adding on another calf seemed the appropriate thing to do. She makes lots of milk and there is plenty for Princess and Winston. That makes her worth keeping. We were questioning whether we could afford to keep a milk cow that we couldn’t milk.
To bring you up to speed on her, last year she got spooked while in the milking shed and started kicking off the inflations. Later she started kicking Scott while he tried to take off the inflations. Then she started kicking Scott when he went to put on the inflations. We had to stop milking her. Scott was really getting beat up badly. We thought we might be able to milk her this year. Perhaps she would have calmed down over the winter with us not bothering her. Nope. Neither of us were even near her or her udder and she got spooked. Immediately she started kicking at Scott who was standing next to her and working with Rosie. That was the signal that we would not even try to milk her when she delivered. We just let Winston nurse her out. And Cloud date of giving birth was perfectly timed for us to move Princess off of Rosie and onto her. That also helps use of the abundance of milk that Cloud produces. One calf could not drink it all. Well, at least not in the beginning.
It took little more than three days to get Cloud accustomed to another calf. At first she kicked Princess off every time she tried to nurse. It can be a challenge to get an animal to accept a baby that is not hers. It’s almost impossible with sheep. But we were persistent and it was really easier with Cloud that I expected.
Everyday we bring Cloud up to the milking stanchion. She puts her head in and eats her treat. We lock the head gate and she is secure. Now she can’t get her head out. She can’t walk or run away from Princess.
Princess learned very quickly how to avoid getting kicked off. Cloud was not kicking her very hard but she was easily bumping her off the teats. Princess learned how to latch on to a teat and then get up almost underneath Cloud’s belly. She was just out of reach of that hoof trying to push her away.
We still bring them all up every day and Cloud gets her treat. She is eating for three now and needs a bit more energy. Princess is not frantic and nursing voraciously anymore as she was the first two or three days. Most of the time now she is not really that interested. This tells us she is not hungry and must be getting some milk out in the field. That means it’s a done deal and Cloud has accepted her as her own.
I’ve heard stories of this process taking a couple of weeks. But we were pretty confident it wouldn’t take that long. All of our cows are quite docile and we have had several calves figure out that they could get a little extra milk from someone other than mom. This is a great success story all around.
Scott has been taking some time off from the creamery to work on the garden.
The root strawberry plants — all 500 of them — have been planted. We also have two long rows of green peas planted. One variety are snap peas and the other are shelling peas. Look for to have some ready for you at the farmer’s market in a couple of months. Next to be planted are the onions.
The tomato, herb and pepper starts are still inside under the lights and doing very nicely. The California Wonder bell peppers I replanted are doing great! In month or so I will be bringing these plants to market as well.
That’s it for farm news. Now on to the farmer’s market update.
We are offering meat products on Independence Online Farmer’s Market. You can sign up for that market by clicking HERE. The online market opens on Friday evening and closes on Wednesday evening for pickup two days later on Friday afternoon.
This Saturday 3/27/2021 is the second market for March at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market. The hours are 10:00 am to 12:00 noon.
Wytheville also has an online market. For your convenience, you can set up your Wytheville online market account HERE. This market opens on Sunday at 7:00 pm and closes on Thursday at 7:00 pm. Place your order with whatever vendors you choose during that time window and pick everything up at the Wytheville Farmer’s Market between 9:00 am and noon. Anything ordered from the online market is not picked up at our booth. Your purchases are picked up on the covered side of the building. Feel free to come on in an chat with me even if you placed your order on line and picked it up outside.
These items are available at either market. The prices are higher at the Independence Market as their fees are significantly higher. The online Wytheville market are also more expensive than visiting us live at the market. Again, there are fees involved in using online services.
We are out of quail eggs. Look for them again in a month or two. We do still have quail meat in 1 lb packages.
Again, I’ll have pickled peppers (not very hot), pepper jam (HOT, Medium and mild) and apple pie jam.
We have the usual grass-fed meats available – ground beef (approx 1 lb), ground goat (approx 1 lb) and ground lamb (approx 1 lb). Quail meat packages are available (approx 1 lb).
Herd Share Peeps, I’ll see you in my usual location. YOGURT IS HERE. Add on as you desire and all cheeses and butter are at your service. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday and/or Tuesday.
You can pickup at the Wytheville Market between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon. You will be able to request yogurt and MILK (Yay) for the next market. Email me to let me know want anything extra this time.
I still have new raw milk cheese shares and a couple of milk shares available. Contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (276-694-4369).
As always, we love meeting you in person. You can find us at the Wytheville Farmers Market on Saturday from 10:00 am to Noon. Special procedures are in place for your health and safety. Masks are still recommended but not required as far as I know.
As always, you may visit us at our dairy farm in Claudville, Virginia Tuesdays from 10 am to 12 noon and Saturday afternoons from 3 pm to 5 pm. Find out how we raise our animals and why you will love the taste of tradition that is inherent in all of our products. Herd share holders will be able to see up close how their cows are cared for and the cheese operation and where it is stored.
Peaceful Heart FarmCast
In this week’s podcast, “Spring Birth on the Homestead” is now available. I love this time of year. Lots of new babies. I gave you some of the info but there is a great deal more to talk about. Give it a listen and share in our joy.
I want to follow up on my previous FarmCast, The Taste of Cheese where I talked about developing your expertise with using descriptive words. The FREE downloads of Classifying Cheese by Type and Category and Expand Your Cheese Vocabulary are still available at our website. Please stop by and get your FREE resources.
You can LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE. Or, if you have an Alexa device, just say: “Alexa, play podcast Peaceful Heart FarmCast.”