Sunday, 28 February 2016

Lots of moose and a few coyotes

This past week I have been bumping into about 16 moose everyday.
Usually together on a large field.
I have tried snapping a few pictures with my cell phone but that does not do them justice.

As soon as you stop the moose head directly for the bush so, pretty hard to snap a picture of them.

On the road home
that black speck on the road is another moose.

So, this morning I decided to head out and see if I could find them.
I did, however most were just cow-calf pairs scattered around, not in a large group together.
Moose do not "herd or flock", they are solitary animals. It is actually quite unique to see such a large group congregating together.
Only the cows and their babies remain together as a pair.
Seeing all these cow/calf pairs together makes me happy.
Unfortunately not quite the photo's I was hoping for, but on a grey, early morning it is the best I could get.
I will try and few more times this week to get a group shot.. try and try..

My total moose number this morning was 12,
at home I came across these 3..

and a few hundred feet further, this one.

Making my morning tally, after 30 mins of driving around and less then 2 miles from home,
12 moose and 4 coyotes.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Pups 7 weeks old

Wow, where did 6 weeks go?
It seems like the weeks are just flying by.
The puppies are doing just great.
They have had their nails trimmed, they have got new collars and they have had a deworming.
Next week they will be off to the vet for vaccinations and check overs.
They got to hang out with some people who came to the sheep shearing course.
What they did not like was that I locked them up in their original whelping kennel.

Our "system" right now is that the pups have the heated part of the barn, during the day the door to the part where the ewes and lambs are housed remains open, so either the sheep can come into where the pups are, or as the pups go exploring and expanding their world more, they can go out to the sheep.
The heated side is to the left, door allows access to the larger pen to the right. Sheep, lambs and puppies can come and go.
Hanging onto mom.
The pups like to have some peace and quiet and hang out in the lambing jugs, however the ewes will always check it out just in case some grain appears in the pen. A tight fit at times.

The pups are closed into the heated side at night, simply to keep them safe.
In the mornings the door is opened and the pups have free range.
Now, 95% of the ewes are actually sweet to the pups, many are very curious and like to check the pups out.
A few are nasty and the pups soon learn to avoid the mean ones.
The lambs are fearless and are incredibility curious to meet the pups, sometimes there is a lamb mob around a pup.
As long as the pup is not in distress, I just let them figure out what they need to do. I have to because the lambs and pups are with each other all day, I am only there during feeding, chores and puppy snuggle times.

Here are the photo's from today.

This is a ewe that will head butt a puppy. It pays to be careful.

Door closed...

door open..
Who, watches over who?


Tuesday, 23 February 2016

This day a year ago..

It feels like a life time ago..

 but this day a year ago,
we had a big fire that destroyed our barn.
It was just one night, and we are still rebuilding from that night.

It is hard to believe that one night turned our lives upside down.
We did not really have a choice, but to rebuild and move forward, so that is what we did.

Perhaps as "outsiders" in this tight knit community, this fire allowed us to fully understand how caring and willing to help these fiercely independent people really are.
We were so overwhelmed with the kindness shown, the wonderful notes, words of encouragement, the donations and the rallying together the internet world of friends have  shown us.
We hear so often of the dangers and negativity of social media, 
well, I have learnt that there is a strong and supportive community on the internet.
 I am happy to have you as friends and appreciate all you have done for us.

We have a great new barn, and still in the process of getting all the power and water in.
It has seen its first round of ewes lambing, has housed a litter of pups, the 4-H animals are comfortable in their pens and has seen the first sheep shorn.
The new tractor is not so shiny anymore, but we are back to work feeding, making hay, seeding and all the other chores a tractor needs to do.

We still have a ways to go, but we are on our feet
and those feet are moving forward.


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Puppies are now 5 weeks old

The pups are such fun.
Everyday is an adventure.

They have had their nails clipped, moved to a new pen.
The see, smell and can interact with the ewes.
They get tuned in by the red cat when they do not behave.
They are eating solids well, they chew on bones and nibble at meat.
They are become individuals, one a little braver than the other.
Most enjoy belly rubs, some get a little grouchy at times, the mock and play fights.
The wrestle all the time.

I am very happy with this litter.

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