Winter Critter Overview..

Ok, so I am going to rock though the ones that are doing really well and focus on the Problem area..

So the hounds are all holding well, even my older hounds which are feeling the cold this year as pretty darn healthy, everyone is eating well, keeping weight (silly gooses blew their winter coat early and are all now cold).. My oldest is as deaf as they come at this point but he is otherwise healthy and happy..

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The purrpots are doing well, my oldest purrpot Priss at 17 is struggling a bit to keep weight on, she is on kitten food and wet food daily, our youngest little purr-monster aka, sweek-bob Miss Mimi is growing well. Everyone in the middle is doing well, Sunny Cat is just tickyboo, but he is no longer thin.. a big boy now. Second biggest cat on the farm now, but Midnight Sun is of course a lot bigger yet..

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Other then a touch of frost bite, a sneak fox! our birds are all doing well with winter, the hens are in revolt between the cold and the lack of sun and the fact that I do not run lights in their pen inside, means that we are getting very very few eggs.  On the other hand, we have picked up our higher protein goose and duck feed to get our layers in tip top condition with high rates of hatch.

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The Horses are coming threw winter with flying colors, this is Calebs first winter with me, and so I have been keeping a close eye on his weight, and coat.. DSCN4494They both are getting a little bit of extra care in the sense of one cup of feed with a equal mix of one to three oats, so they get a total of four cups of feed, plus time on the horse lick, and salt block, with all the free feed hay they want to stuff themselves with.

I need to find time to go sit in the piggy pen and get you some cute new photos, but has not happened yet, they loved the move up from the big barn, they went from two wee porkers that would come out of their huge deep pile of bedding to eat, drink, do their bathroom and then run back into their warm bed,  to being playful happy girls that need toys, and things to roll, carry and chew on.. they also clearly have started putting more of their daily feeding into growing, and less into keeping warm.. they still have a big old fluffy bed to sleep in but they use it a lot less..DSCN4162

I had hoped to start getting them to dig and turn pens in feb but unless we get much warmer temps, we have another ten days of deep cold coming, it will not be happening..  They are very different pigs, Apple is long and lean, where Ella is short and stout, big hams.. its like looking at one that could be a model and one that is built like a little brickhouse. Apple however has gotten more pushy about taking over the best bites, so we have moved them over to two feeding dishes and I will at some point need to make them a new bigger feed trough

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The rabbits are huge and in full perfect winter coat and I need to get my butchering done! but they are healthy as can be.. they always do better in the cold then they do in the heat of summer.

Then come the problem critter, the sheep, while some of the sheep are perfect, growing well, good coats and are fat and fluffy.. I have a few that are struggling to keep their weights up this winter.

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This is a combo of reasons, all related to my lengthy illness and time in alberta, Hubby made sure that the sheep had full access to the pasture, 24 access to hay and water but he did not keep up on the worming program, nor did he give their Vit Shot and they did not get flushed in the fall to boot..

This meant that when I got up finally well enough to give everything a good hard look, the sheep were all wormed, feet done, shots given and the thinner put on a graining program to increase calorie intake, and extra bedding put down in their resting place for increased warm.

but the hard facts are this, we have had a hard brutal cold winter, and so a few of my need a little extra sheep, have been pulled from the main flock and put into their own pen in the barn, this allows me to feed them on the grain program without being mobbed, it also me to watch closely on both weights and what they are eating for hay, it allows me to feed a bit of extra higher calorie portion of pelleted feed..

They are recovering but they clearly felt the effects of a heavy worm load..  which is telling to me in regards to what kind of load my pastures are holding..

If only I have the ability to just move them to a new pasture, sigh, but I do not have that choice on my limited pasture land.

We are waiting and waiting for lambs this year, so after talking to my new ram breeder, looks like that breed tends to like to wait till nov to breed.. ok then.. so we will be having very late lambs for us if that turns out to be the case. that is whiskey in the photo, sure a healthy and sweet boy

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3 Responses to Winter Critter Overview..

  1. Sheri says:

    Dear Lord, When I die and if reincarnation really exist, Please! Oh Please! Let me come back as a pampered purrpot of Val’s!

    • to be fair, because my cats are indoor outdoor, and some are barn outdoor only, not all of them live as long a life as a indoor only but otherwise I do my best

      • Sheri says:

        Understood! I don’t live on a farm and it was just this last fall that my backyard got the deer and rabbit fencing installed. So far only my George kitty has gone out, he’s such a riot! For the first time in his life he experienced all four feet getting wet at once and was walking and trying to shake the water off all 4 feet. What a hoot! Then I took him out one beautiful moon filled night to go “stalking slugs” with the flashlight! One day in the garden he just sat on the step gazing at the blue sky for about a half hour. I don’t let him out alone because we do have eagles and ospreys.

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