Thanks for visiting my blog. It's rather flattering to have someone read your minds meanderings. I hope it's entertaining and sometimes educational.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Call duck eggs

    I picked up 37 call  duck eggs today to put in the incubator. Hopefully the incubator will stay working throughout the whole hatch especially since I wont' be here for a good part of it.

I was wrong about the price on corral panels at Tractor Supply so I have to rethink if I want to spend the money. It's twice as much as I thought it was going to be, but I bought the cattle panels and T posts and I am going to go back and get some really good hoses.  I am so tired of fighting the kinks and the stiffness.

The back pasture is starting to look good. I thought you might like to see.

Tractor Supply Day

    I'm so excited.  The sale starts  today and I have a long list.   Can't wait to get the stuff home and start putting it up .  My arena will look like a real arena.   30 T posts. 16 wire  cattle panels.  7 regular cattle panels, grain, jeans.  I know there is something else, but I can't think of it.  I will recognize it when I see it. LOL
    Today is also the day I pick up 34 call duck eggs and put them in the incubator. I hope the incubator stays running.  It's getting older and sometimes they just quit.  That would be very bad halfway thru the incubation period. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Aleve is working

   I have been out of commission most of the week.  Not sure if it's my hip or my back but darn it hurts. I have been sitting on a heating pad a lot in between feeding and raking rocks and moving panels and teaching lessons and working dogs etc etc etc.  Loading the pellet stove. No wonder it's not getting better very fast.
    Anyway, I worked Dually on the light sheep in the muddy 100 by 100 pen.  He kept cutting in and I couldn't get to him because I can't run, so I stopped him and outed him thru the mud.  I think he just didn't want to run thru the mud and  was cutting close by it. BUT   no diving in today at all. Granted I didn't work him very long but he had opportunity a number of times.  The furthur off I can keep him the calmer he will be.  If he gets inside the bubble he can't handle it. So I have been using the down much more which I really don't like to do.  As Bob used to say, " you only have so many downs".  I think I ran out of downs in Dare and I don't 'want to do it in Dually too.

I used Dare to put the ewes one by one back in with the babies after they ate.  He had to stay at the gate and eye them and not dive in.  He did very well.  I didn't have to yell once.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Rock Raking

We are (or Edward is)making progress.   Also had some help from Dave today.  They made a big dent in it.  I will take some pics tomorrow.  I guess we are getting snow Fri which may effectively stop us for a while.  Of course Sat is the rock raking party.  I might be partying alone.

    I used Dually to gather up the escaped ewes who were trying to get back to their babies after I fed them. I forgot and left them alone in a pen  and they were frantic.  One gate was left unlatched and they pushed their way thru to try to get to the lambs.  So they were around my travel trailer and baaaahing to beat the band. He was quiet and obedient and generally was less stress than using Dare.  He's a good boy.

Rock Raking

 I'm still at it.  It's slow going. I have hired Kathy's son to work on the farm and rock raking will be a big part of it.  He also moved the porta potti for me yesterday.  Now it isn't the only thing I see when I look out my window or the first thing you see when you go up the drive. There are a couple of big tree trunks that are effectively hiding it from view. I'm very happy with the new placement.  It's not quite level yet  though.
Edward also put some more fenceposts in the new arena area .  We would  have put more in but the ground still has snow and is frozen where the rest need to go.  Bummer --we were on a roll.
The good news is there is a Grand Opening at Tractor Supply the end off the week and I am going to be able to buy cattle panels on sale and an additional 10% off  .  So I will get cattle panels for one side of my arena and the big cattle panels for obstacles and a center pen. Nice can't wait. 
So I have some students coming this weekend to help with rock raking and one today.  I'm thrilled that they are willing to help me out.  But we will all benefit from this. 

I worked Dare yesterday for the first time in a while.  Again note to self--QUIT WHEN YOU ARE AHEAD!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Good boy Doo Dah

     I thought since I was trialing soon, I should take the young boy off  the line and the pinch collar, put up some panels and see what happens.,  He was a good boy and didn't dive in once.  I worked him in both directions and then quit.   Howevah,,,,, I let a student work him later and all he could do was dive in.   Still .... he didn't bite any of them.   

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rock Raking

    The new pasture has a new name, Rocky Hill.   It's so bad, it's hard to walk back there and they are all little rocks not big ones.  so I have started to rake it. At first I thought I could just pick them up, but I can see that is not going to work so I started raking.  My shoulder is killing me and I probably only worked for an hr.  Funny how if it were leaves on my front lawn I would only last 15 min , but because it's a stock related thing I don't resent the hell  out of it and will keep working.   Sure could use some help though.

      I used my new little compressor today and blew up the tires on the wheel barrels . It beats the hell out of a bicycle pump. LOL.   Then of course I saw a used one on craigslist for only a little more money and a lot more machine. Oh well such is life.

     None of my dogs got work today , just some lessons which went really well.  Some days are just good.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


      Since I am entered in a trial in less than  a month, I decided I had better get him out in a big field working light sheep.  He was on my lightest wethers. One is nuts.  He stayed off of them , sometimes too much so. I had to get him up a number of times  but he did cover once without my asking him.  He also figured out where to be to keep them from running to the draw.  He didn't dive in once out in the big field but then I brought him thru the pasture to go back to the house(which I didn't need to do)and since we were there I asked him to  walk up on the ewes and lambs and he dove in.  I couldn't leave well enough alone.

     I started driving in the rest of the fence posts in the back field and  wiring them up. That is so time consuming.Also rock picking is going to be on the LIST for a very very long time back there. It was little difficult to walk back there.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Trailer

   I saw it on Craigslist last night and it was the next town over and the price was only $300.  I thought what the heck I will go look at it, knowing it it was towable I would buy it.  I met the guy at CVS and followed him to the farm.  He said he had bought it with the thought  of fixing it for his wife but then she bought a much bigger horse and this is a small trailer.  He had started to fix it but didnt' get very far.  The doors work fine and the gate is in great condition. The floor is just ok. I would probably want to put a piece of plywood over it if I use it for animals. The tires are all a mess. One is completely flat and off the rim(I drove it home that way) He said he had filled it before he drove it home but it looked like that when he got home so there must be somethign wrong with the rim. Not sure if anyone has greased it lately but it was a short trip home and Yay I made it. I didn't go faster than 30mph.   If I don't use it for anything else , it will make a good obstacle for clinics or possible farm trials.

    Just worked Dare in with the  ducks. I'm working on shedding again. He was better today. Although it may have been because I was holding the Holy Grail in treats(sheep grain)but he came thru to me better than yesterday. He also very calmly without grabbing went into the narrow alleyway and brought the ducks to me a number of times. Each time I thought, ok here he goes he's going to grab and he didn't. Sometimes he does surprise me.  It got dark so I didnt' work Dually but Yay I'm outside working again after dinner.  It was nice out tonight, mid 40's maybe.  Still much much snow on pasture.  I fell in to my knees this morning walking around  out there. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


  I went up to the arena today to give lessons.  Kathy worked her young pup(nice job)and Ben (he did very well). I was going to work both dogs, but I started on Dare and never got to Dually.  Dare and I started working on his Down. I sent him for the ducks and asked for the down at balance. He went by balance and came in 5-6 steps and then downed consistently. So I tried going to him and taking him back to where I asked him for the down over and over again and got no difference. So  then I tried asking for the down earlier than balance and he came in on balance and downed after 2-3 steps. But that is not what I want even though it was better. So then I took the rattle paddle and rattled it at him on balance and got a much better down, but by this time he had been working hard for quite some time so who knows if he was getting tired or what.
    I put him away and brought him out later to work on shedding with all 10 ducks.  There is an AKC trial in May which will have course B ducks and I might want to enter and he would have to do a shed at the ADV level.  So I got him to balance the ducks to me and settle them and then I went in and split them and tried to call him thru the hole. It wasn't too bad, but boy he wasn't happy.  Next time I will try it more against a fence because as I called him thru they went around behind  me and joined their buddies. I didn't like that.  I am not going to even attempt trying to keep them separate yet.  His brain would explode.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Busy day for me anyway

  I spent 2 hrs outside this morning putzing around and working the dogs.  I am able to go into the duck enclosure and work on walk up and That'll do with Dually.  I also made him lay in the alleyway (2ft wide)and walked ducks by him (and as he lunged at them ) over him.  Working on taking the pressure calmly.  It's going to take a while. 

   Dare and I did a little shedding with the ducks. That is going to take a while too. He HATES it when he thinks some are getting away.  Well the first thing I am working on is calling him thru the hole.  He's not that bad at that but when he gets to me he tries immediately to regather the stock. I have to catch him up or he's gone again. But at least I can work on something at home now.

I cleaned the duck pen entry with a hoe and an hose today so it's much more pleasant to go in there. The newest lambs are doing ok. I have one with a low birth weight and I'm a  little concerned there maybe something wrong with her. She seems too have a tough time finding the teat.  Not much of a memory. Time will tell. They kept escaping from their pen today so I had to reinforce it. Mama wants to get out and socialize but I think it's too early yet. There is a heat lamp in there for the little one. I took her little coat off today and hopefully she will stay warm tonight. I may go check before bed or may not.

  I've decided that I need a little car in addition to my truck.  Something with superb gas mileage,but won't cost me much to buy.  I have some ideas just need to get working on it.

I took the dogs out back to run twice today.  The snow out back in some places is more than 6inches and the control pen is about the same.  It will melt sooner or later.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

New duckies

    I picked up the call ducks today.  I have 3 prs. a pr of grays, a pr of whites and a pr of blacks.  Ed came up and made them a pool, a dinner area and a bedroom. thanks Ed(Kathy's husband). I bought them off of Craigslist and I met the guy in Holyoke at Friendlys and we had duck exchange.  LOL They are really dirty but they seem healthy enough.

I worked both  dogs yesterday at the arena. Dually did not dive in.  I worked on walk up and That'll do which is when he dives in most of the time. He thought about  it, no question, but he knew I had a pinch and a long line on him, which in the past has not stopped him so I am hopeful.
Dare jumped out of the car and had explosive diahrrea, but  he seemed fine after that and he wanted to work so we did and he worked fine. I need to put a line on him for a while and work on his Stop.  He had rice for supper and was fine all night and he had hamburger and rice for breakfast and is still fine so what they heck was that all about?

Well there is a stream running down my pasture but at least you can see the ground under the 6inches of ice still left .  The lambs are all outside in the wet muck except for the 2 newest sets.  They can get in the barn if they want to, but it will be nice when there is some good dirt they can  walk and nap  on.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


    I have locked a ewe in the barn. She has been standing around looking contemplative for the morning and I walked out there to watch her and I actually say her have some contractions.  so she is inside and pawing at the straw and sorta making a nest.  I checked her 40 min later and more contractions.  No lambs yet. I have never seen a lamb born so maybe today is the day.

Not only did I see Brownie lamb twins, but 2 hrs later I saw Olive lamb twins Yahoo. One was an old  hand and Olive is a first timer and she did great.  Nice lambs 2 boys and 2 girls and fantastic color.  Nice to see 2 normal births so I will be able to  recognize and abnormal birth if I come across one(hope not).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Call ducks

I found a man who is selling call ducks on Craiglist.  I am buying 3 prs from him of adults ready to lay.  I will meet him halfway on Sat and pick them up.  I have been looking for months and I am happy with this deal.

Putting the ewes and lambs in the barn

    It would be nice if I could use Dare to do this but he will invariably do something stupid.  So I used the young calm sensible dog Dually.   Who'd thunk?  He wouldn't take a flank while he was in front of me and he was hard to call back to reflank but Dare would have just dived in full speed.  I did call Dually back to me and stood in front of him and asked him for a flank.  He took one but didn't go deep enough to catch the ewe and lambs behind the section of fence. That's ok , I walked up and outed him and they still wouldn't come out so I walked in the got behind them.  I guess they wanted to spend the night outside and I would love to let them but they are predicting rain and I would worry.There is no dry spot out there for anybody never mind little lambies.
     So I got them into the barn area and closed the gate(yay snow has melted enough to close some gates)and again tried to flank him in front of me. guess I need to work on that. He was good though. no diving in and a good helper.  I then let him come in the stall and be with the sheep. He didn't care , he was more concerned with the cat up in the loft. He's a good boy.
     I  sent in an entry for the ASCA trial in Ind in April and I filled in another for the AKC trial  a few days later.  The ASCA trial is am/pm and I entered both dogs.  so that is 12 runs a day.   Kill me now!

Monday, March 7, 2011


I had a set of twin ewe lambs on Sat and a black ram lamb  today.  Hopefully more tomorrow. I did leave them in the barn (all of them)so they don't lamb outside like Pony did last night. She was one I felt wouldn't lamb for months so I left her outside.  Good thing it was warm because it poured last night and their little shelter is not really totally rainproof and the footing is mud.  The little guy was muddy but not  cold when I  found him.