Lambing Season – Ewe Care

Our Expecting Ewes 2016 Lambing Season feels like Christmas on the Big O Franch.  We watch with anticipation as the babies develop, and make sure the ewes are in good condition.  We introduce the rams to the ewes in September and October for lambing late January through mid March.  Sheep are seasonal breeders, and we…

Sheep Milking Pail Review

Milk Pail 101 A superior sheep milking pail is as important to a dairyman as fine clubs are to a golf pro.  Milk can be unforgiving when handled improperly.  And, clean milk starts in the milking parlor.  We try to avoid plastic as a general rule, so we were only interested in metal or glass…

How to Protect a Flock From Coyotes

This actual post is more about how NOT to protect your flock from coyotes. Our first chicken flock existed blissfully unaware inside the protective walls of our six foot fenced city back yard.  We lost one or two small birds to hawks, but rarely had much more excitement than the odd rat or cat.  Our…

Coyotes Destroy Flock

Forever more, labor day weekend will go down as coyote massacre day on the franch.  All seemed well in the morning until we noticed a pile of white feathers blowing in the morning breeze.  My heart fell, then I noticed more feather in black, red, a brown. The kids started crying, and we began amassing…

The Big O Franch Produce

We love to work our hands into rich, fertile soil. There are few things more satisfying then harvesting a green bounty moments from your front door step. When we moved to the franch we inherited a modest citrus and avocado grove. The trees were laden with fruit, and we are learning to make the most…

How to Milk Sheep

Sheep milking is one of the little pleasures in life. It is a beautiful moment on the franch when shepherd and sheep work together as partners. In the beginning milking time resembled a rodeo event, but after a few weeks everyone learned their parts gracefully. Once you learn how to milk sheep, you will be…

The Race to Cool the Milk

After our dairy ewe lambed, we were slapped in the face with all the things we didn’t know about milk, milking, and milk handling, which was about everything.  It took a few weeks, okay it took 8 weeks to feel mostly comfortable with the idea of playing with another creatures, um ….. teats, but we…

Weaning Time

So, the lambs made it through infancy with only a couple minor emergencies, lots of kisses, and one round of penicillin for Val.  Last week, as I took a moment to survey the vista, I noticed sheep shenanigans out of the corner of my eye.  Sasha was high tailing it away from Doc, who had…

Introducing Our 2015 Dodge Ram

Our East Freisian Ewe, Sasha, gave birth to the prettiest ram lamb.  We really enjoy getting to know him, and can’t get enough of his playfulness.

Learning How to Lamb

Our first lamb was born February 4th, 2015, and it was high drama.  When we arrived back at the house around 3:30, Sasha’s water had broken, and she was in active labor.  We kept a respectful distance and marveled at the miracle of birth.  As I looked down at Sasha, I sent a little plea…