Monday, August 31, 2009

Less 4 more sheep... but a GOOD way this time!

The McPeek family of Clifton, TX came again on Sunday and picked out two ram lambs for 4-H. They had originally planned to take the twins that disappeared in the predator attacks over the last two weeks. They bought "Junior" a half brother, and "Tailor" the son of "Ralph" and "RickRack". We hated to see Tailor go since his mom was the one killed on Thursday. But we really didn't need to keep another ram.

Mr. McPeek had been so impressed by one of our rams, "Bart" on his first visit to the farm, that he asked to purchase him as well. They also bought Purdy, the twins' mother. So they are "in the Tunis business" now too!

We wish their son, Brazos, a very successful show career with the lambs!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Coyotes 5, Sheep 0

Now for some sad news... we have been having predator attacks on our sheep this past week. It started last weekend when I was in Florida to judge the Cotee River Cat Show. Bob called to say that when he counted the sheep we seemed to be missing 3 or 4.

He had walked the pasture but hoped that they had gotten into the neighbor's pasture and weren't ready to come home yet. Most noticably missing were the "twins," our youngest lambs. I had promised them to a young man who was going to show them in 4-H.

By the time I got home Sunday night, he still hadn't located them, so we planned to call around the neighborhood on Monday. Monday evening we took an inventory and realized that the twins' mom was in the flock and was very depressed and thin. Another young ram lamb was also missing. We assumed the worst and I wrote the dreaded email to the potential buyers.

Tuesday they called and offered to search some more since we still had not found any signs of "foul play". While we were at work, they came over and looked through the pasture again. This time they found one of our ewe lambs, mostly eaten. We had been penning the sheep up at night so we didn't know when she was actually killed.

Wednesday we stayed home and wormed all the sheep and tagged those that hadn't been for better identification. Thursday we turned them out during the day with all four llamas, hoping that would be enough protection. That evening we were missing another! Bob drove around the pasture and found one of our two year old ewes was partially eaten near our stock pond. Bob went into town to buy a shotgun and watched for the predators to return to the body. No luck, so far. We still don't know what is doing the killing during the day. We thought maybe a pack of dogs, but friends say mother coyotes teach their pups in the daytime so we are expecting they are the culprits.

We've since gathered that llamas don't work well together as sheep protectors. Only singles should be used. We have the sheep all locked in the pens at the barn now until we come up with a solution. We aren't even letting our mini filly out for fear they may be hungry enough to attack her.

We are open to any suggestions!

Photos from Jeff and Robin's Reception

Jeff and Robin had a house warming/ wedding reception August 8th. I am finally getting around to downloading the photos! It has been a busy month!

We had their invitation made into a poster at Sam's and had guest sign it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hay, hay, we need more hay...

With the lack of rains in our area, we are finding it hard to locate good quality coastal bermuda hay for the horses and sheep.

Our pastures have turned to dust and broomweeds so we know that we will need a lot of hay stored.

Bob was able to get a load of rounds brought in from east Texas. This was the first time we have ordered a semi truckload. Thankfully, I work for the manufacturer of material handling equipment. My boss let us move a new model out to the farm to lift the hay off the trailer. That is an MLT 735 model and it is specifically built to be an agricultural machine. It has a hay clamp attachment on it, but can also use a bucket, hay spear, silage facer, etc. to do work on dairy farms, feedlots and ranches. If anyone is interested I'd be glad to help you find a dealer in the U.S. (or world)!!!

It made things much easier, lifting two of the big round bales at a time.

Later that day while taking some scrap metal to the recyclers, we found a field of square bales, freshly baled.

Bob was able to get 62 bales on the trailer which we happened to have with us. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. While we were there several other people stopped to inquire about the hay. There will be a shortage this year.

I am so proud of Bob, he is amazing, I call him my hero! Less than 3 months after his major surgery and now with his "semi-colon" he is out there in 102 degree temperature loading up hay. The Lord has been good to us!

We will need some more, but we feel much better with having this now stored.

The Condo is Ready!

I just got an email from my son, Jeff. His condo in Ruidoso is now ready to be rented. He and Robin did a great job renovating the 3 bedroom condo. Take a look at it here

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fly Control

We tried the Spalding Fly Predators this year and we have seen a remarkable drop in the flies around the barn. Fly Predators by Spalding Labs

I came across this info too, worth a try:
Many people swear that a zip-lock bag filled half-way with water and attached over entry-ways will repel flies. No one yet knows how or why it works, but there is speculation that it has something to do with the way the moving water refracts light.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Thanks to Tunis buyer, Jenny of Liberty Hill, TX

We received a nice email from Jenny about her new Tunis sheep she bought from Unicorner Farm ... She is now the owner of UF Ruse and her son, "Tricky".

Jenny wrote.. "Thanks so much! They are doing great! The mama is doing a good job of leading our whole group around (most are around 4 months or less, so it's nice for them to have a leader!) We had fun visiting your farm! Thanks again! Jenny"

This is Ruse and Tricky when he was a newborn.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Too blessed to be stressed?

A great saying, I have had to repeat it to myself quite often these days. We have been busy even though work at the office has been slow. We have used the extra time off from work (me on 32 hours a week and Bob on a week off each month) to get some things done around the farm. It has been super hot and humid so we do our outside work early or after sundown.

We took time out to go to Jeff and Robin's house warming and wedding reception Saturday. Looks like they are already finding out the joys of home ownership... tree roots in the sewer line backed up the downstairs toilet at peak party time. But everyone seemed to enjoy the party... we took a stab at the Jamaican theme in honor of their honeymoon destination. I spent the day before baking pineapple upside down cupcakes and rum cake. Bob did a great job helping cut up veggies for shish kabobs. There was plenty of food for the big crowds that came buy to welcome them to their new home. Robin's parents brought lots of fresh fruit and deli sandwiches.

Holy Alphabet

Although things are not perfect
Because of trial or pain
Continue in thanksgiving
Do not begin to blame
Even when the times are hard
Fierce winds are bound to blow
God is forever able
Hold on to what you know
Imagine life without His love
Joy would cease to be
Keep thanking Him for all the things
Love imparts to thee
Move out of " Camp Complaining "
No weapon that is known
On earth can yield the power
Praise can do alone
Quit looking at the future
Redeem the time at hand
Start every day with worship
To "thank" is a command
Until we see Him coming
Victorious in the sky
We'll run the race with gratitude
Xalting God most high
Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but . . .
Zion waits in glory . . . where none are ever sad!