Transition Whatcom

We are so excited to have new animals added to our family this week!  We got two alpacas and four sheep, and they are quite wonderful creatures.  The sheep did give Chris T and Richard quite a workout when they escaped during transfer and had to be chased down River Rd, tackled, and carried home!  (See attached photos) 

We welcome visitors who want to come see our place this spring, learn by helping with farm chores, or just get a tour of the fun permaculture and farming projects we have going on :)  Kids welcome of course!

Our 50 baby chickens arrive March 7th too.

 

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Yesterday we obtained another three ewes (two very pregnant) and a little 10-day old lamb. And today we had our first baby born here at Riverhaven Farm!!!  One of our pregnant ewes that we just got yesterday had a quick, uncomplicated birth this afternoon of a little boy lamb. They both seem healthy and she is licking him clean while he tries to learn how to nurse.  So precious!  I am attaching two photos, of the mama and baby, and a close-up of just baby.  I challenge you to find anything cuter on the whole planet.
 
Luckily my first lambing went smoothly--mama did all the work. I need to figure out how to (if to?) cut off the umbilical cords, make sure mama is making milk, etc, but at least I didn't have to reach inside and pull out a stuck sideways lamb (not this time at least). Crash course in being your own veterenarian!  Good thing I stayed up late reading the chapter on lambing in Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep :)
 
After I carried this tiny wet bundle back to the sheep shelter, and got him and mama closed in there to be protected, I sat down on the ground and shed a few tears of pure joy. To be so close to life happening-- what a gift!!  I think I got a little taste of what new parents, new aunties, and new farmers must feel :)
 
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Our 50 baby chicks arrived by mail on Wednesday! 25 Rhode Island Reds and 25 Black Sex-Link. They are living in a brooder in our kitchen, happily running around, peeping constantly, eating voraciously, and then suddenly falling asleep beak-first in the bedding. So very cute!

Well, the week after the miraculous birth of our first lamb here at Riverhaven, we experienced the other side of the constant cycle of life and death. We had our sheep professionally sheared, and it must have been too early and too cold out, because our oldest sheep (Pomp) got severe hypothermia. Despite our efforts to warm him with heat lamps, hot water bottles, and blankets, he died. A very hard lesson for new shepherds like us.

We could not eat the meat because of the antibiotics the vet gave him to try to save his life. So we buried him in a hugelkultur mound, where he can become part of the soil and feed our new gardens.

Very funny it has been so long since we've updated this. We now have 26 sheep (15 lambs, 3 adult rams, and 8 adult ewes, or something like that!), two alpacas, and three cows. Three of our four ducks are sitting on eggs, our flock of 25 hens and one big beautiful Buff Orpington rooster is thriving, and our three cats look after the farm when we are exhausted. Come visit!

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