So, I've been sitting on this for a while, since the beginning of the year... Through a series of failures in communications on both our parts, mine exacerbated by my seasonal effective disorder/depression and her's by a culture of never talking about problems/avoiding conflict at all costs and being a people pleaser, no doubt "enhanced" by the last four years of living in this country, Mrs. BoostAddict and I seem, at this point, destined to separate. I convinced her we should go to couples counseling, but our previous long standing issues and a lot of built up grudges and resentment have lead to her declaring that she will not ever want to get back together. I bear at least half the blame, and I accept that... I still feel very cought off guard, as I was/am willing to try to work things out, but she's already made up her mind, and basically didn't say anything (in a way I could understand, as I said I am not blameless in this) until she was already done with it. What this means in practical terms in an end to the farm. Neither of us can do it on our own, and though she will no doubt try (I could rant about her killing herself for her work, but that is just glossing over some of our other issues with perceived levels of commitment and acceptance of "the reality" of various things). This will not be an easy or quick process, she has already moved out, but one way or another the sheep are going to be winding down. I do not want this to happen, but I also don't want to try to run things by myself, or deprive her of what she has always said (and I thought I was trying to support, but apparently in the wrong way) was her dream. The most likely outcome is that we will sell our property amd split the proceeds... As she cannot afford it on her own, and as much as I love this location, the house/land is too large and too expensive/much work for one person. Like I said, this will not be a quick and easy resolution, too many details to untangle and iron out, but she has already said she is "not planning to keep the sheep here this coming winter" what that means exactly is still not clear... Our communication has broken down to the point that just figuring out what is expected of me re: sheep and farm operations is a guessing game. I am continuing to make hay this summer, and spent the last week working 8-12 hours every day, plus regular chores to do so... I feel very lost and aimless... I have had a good spring, depression-wise, and this all feels very unfair, but I have to acknowledge that she felt things were unfair before now, and I can only feel the way I feel, not change the past. I've got friends and therapy, but you folks are my internet friends, and I know many of you have enjoyed sheeppost and ranked it highly on the list Oppo positives... So I thought you should be in on this, also it never hurts to have more conversations about what went wrong and how to avoid the same mistakes again... At least that's my feeling. I really do like the sheep, and this lifestyle in general, but it seems it will be coming to an end. /downer post out.
I like big boost and I cannot lie
All you other brothers can't deny
that when a car rolls in with an itty-bitty engine
and a big turbo in your face you get sprung.
Also, I'm a sheep farmer.
Best posts made by Jawzx2
The end of Sheepposting...
IT BEGINS... (lambing)
5:50am 2/25, two black lambs, a girl and a boy born to Border Leicester #113. The barn cam was recording, but i'm having trouble transferring the video for some reason... Here are stills:
The actual birth occured behind the hay feeder, so it's not visible, but the audio recording says 5:50:34 was first cry. All the ewe lambs (who are mostly pregnant, but are going to be first time mothers) swarmed over to see what was up.. Which is why I do want to try to get the video, it's funny. All the ears and heads swivel toward the lamb baas and then they all get up and run over to see...
Edit: added some actual lamb pics...
So, I don't remember if I told Oppo that we had whole sheep's milk this year, to feed bottle lambs and supplement lambs with inadequate mother-provided-milk as opposed to the usual powdered formula. This is great from a nutritional standpoint, but bad from a usage and storage point.
We bought ~1000lbs (about 120 gallons) of milk from a sheep dairy that had failed it's well inspection and could not sell the milk (or milk products) for human consumption. It came frozen in giant food-service dispenser bags that hold ~5 gallons.
They take roughly three days to thaw in this tray.
As we do not have an appropriate dispenser for these bags, we are transferring the milk to 6-gallon beer bottling buckets for storage in our basement fridge, and dispensing. As I know I have mentioned sheep milk has extremely high fat and protein content, and this is whole, raw milk. Unpasteurized and unhomogenized. It will separate to cream/fat and whey if left still in the bucket.
Each 5 gallons lasts about 3 days, taking the bucket out of the fridge to slosh it and stir it is a PITA, also we only access it every 6 hours, which is plenty of time for separation to have occurred, requiring extensive stirring to recombine the milk, and leading to the formation of unwanted fat globules... The solution is to stir it often... Like a bulk tank agitator....
So I made one.
An arduino nano, a DRV8825 stepper driver, a beefy NEMA 17 stepper, a 1amp 12v wall wart from an old router, a cheap plastic stirring paddle, a 3D-printed arm, a heavy-duty servo pushrod, and a bit of 2x4, some deck screws and ingenuity later and I have a device that stirs the milk for two minutes every half hour without any input from us!
Initial tests look promising. We'll see if it solves our milk separation issue long term over the next couple of days.
Lamb Update: 5:22pm EST 2/26 2021
No house lambs yet, but we did have a small ewe give birth to two very large lambs that required assistance, as they were a very tight fit on exit. All lambs born so far are Border Leicesters, all are black, as our Border ram is dominant black genetically. Total so far: 3 ewes have given birth, 5 lambs - 2 sets twins, one single
We have at least two other ewes likely due in the next 12-24 hours.
Edit: update 2nd lamb from small ewe mentioned above seems not to have nursed well, and also his mom has been a little lax in licking him dry, so we brought him in to top him off and get him dry and warm.
He's quite skeptical about the whole process.
Busy night in the barn... [updated]
It's cold and blowing (10F and 20+mph wind) , so of course we have babies coming left and right.
These several day old lambs are snuggled up, 'cuz it's cold...
Sally loves her lamb... But I have to stay away, because she would rather hang out with me than her lamb, as much as she does seem to like him.
We've got two from an old notch-eared border ewe who does not seem to have any milk at the moment, so we are going to supplement them and hope she starts flowing in a little bit, that happens sometimes with older ewes...
We've got a first time border mother working on labor right now, she seems likely to be a single or else small twins... We'll know soon.
Old 102 with the blown tendon is taking care of her lambs, but she isn't quite producing enough milk, so we're beginning to supplement them too. She seems pretty OK, as far as ewes with major injuries go, but she's just falling behind the demand in milk production. On a cold night like tonight those babies need energy!
Will try to remember to get more pics when I go back out to check on the new mother's progress...
Super-goopy newbie from first time mom...
And then there were two!
Forgot pics of the twins from ol' notch-ear... We'll get them photographed yet!
Latest posts made by Jawzx2
RE: White Controllers.
@frinesi2 I work on dirty stuff every day. I tried gloves for a while, but the budget was... Uh, steep. Especially given the still-covid-elevated prices and near total unavailability of heavy (7+ mil) gloves these days. I could (should) probably refresh my supply of cheapo mechanic's gloves, they're all oil and grease saturated and make my hands dirtier than without... I'm a cheap bastard, though
Why, Sony? Sure they look cool at first, but use them a while and it becomes grossly obvious how dirty human hands tend to be...
Then again, if I didn't come in to play an hour of Plauge Tale between tedding and lubing the rake and actually going to rake mine might not look quite so gross...
yes, I did wash my hands,, even used the GoJo Orange... that dirt is ground in... I should probably invest in a good hand scrub brush...
RE: FLIGHTLINE: 191- SAAB 37 VIGGEN ("BOLT" OR "TUFTED DUCK")
@skyfire77 the SAAB jets are all just really cool, unique aircraft due to Sweden's distributed wartime airfield approach to operations and unique needs for air, sea and land defense. The Viggen seems to have been a hell of a plane, cutting edge technology, engineering and performance for such a small operating airforce. My head is still spinning at the idea of a 4 hour engine replacement.
RE: Automation Challenge #7: Post War Performance Cars!
@taylor-martin I think I'm in this time...
RE: Who needs a lawn mower [goat edition]
@jminer @ForSweden rams, meaning in-tact male sheep CAN be VERY mean, but ewes and wethers (castrated male sheep) tend to be quite sweet animals when properly socialized with humans. Even some rams can be quite nice. We had a VERY large Blue Faced Leicester (~300 lbs) ram named Fred who was super sweet and non violent. His biggest problem was that he loved being payed attention to so much that if you scritched and hugged him then were rude enough to stop he could get very pushy, and even a little ram-y about you failing to love him as much as he desired. Fred engaged in his favorite pastime. I miss that handsome ol' lunk. He was a good sheep.
RE: Well shit.
@aestheticsinmotion I've not bumped mine with a car, but if you don't stupid-drop your bike at least once are you even a motorcycle rider? My F650 has been on it's side at 0mph because of my stupidity at least four times. The most fun: I was doing an early spring ride and the roads were all clear, but I needed gas, so I pulled into a station with a big canopy that shaded the pumps (no sun on the area around them) and everyone at the station got to watch as I locked the front wheel on the patch of ice I thought was water right beside the pump and went over like a moron. Too bad i was wearing a full face helmet, as I probably would have been even more entertaining if they could all see the incredulous look on my face as I pulled a slow motion crash right in the middle of the everything.
RE: Well shit.
@hfv fun phone story: i left mine on the roof of my car leaving a buddies place and realized about 5 miles later, went back to look for it, hoping to god it was in his driveway and not the road, it was winter, and had just snowed, it was in the road, and it had tire tracks over it, but the snow was a couple inches deep, it had survived! As I was blowing the snow out of the ports the plow came by. #blessed
I dropped that same phone (a Palm Pre) out of my pocket on a scooter on the highway, went back and rescued it just before an 18-wheeler chugged by. #doubleblessed
RE: What's your automotive guilty pleasure?
@nerd_racing I thought all the B series engines were interference, even the SOHCs... In any case it didn't get fixed. The interior was a wreck anyway, and it was starting on some serious rust, so when it died he bought a Neon (also on this list, and I also understand the attraction) and just gave it to one of his neighbors, who never fixed it and it sunk into the ground and never moved again as far as I know.