There are melting snow and puddles everywhere! Which means I needed to get the barn cleared out while the muck isn't frozen. Mucking a barn is not the most glamorous part of sheep and goat farming -I'm not sure if there is a glamorous part- but it is satisfying to know it is done.
I had a feeling Rosemary's babies would be born soon. Within the week, I'd thought. Cleaning the barn is one of the things that tends to get neglected in the winter because the snow and frozen weather makes it hard or impossible at times. But it NEEDS to be done before babies are born. Babies need clean playpens.
I fed hay out in the field this morning so I could clean while they ate and have them out of the way. I got the top layer of mucky muck cleared out, which is better than nothing. But, man was it hard! I ended up slipping on melted-poop covered ice, getting the wheelbarrow stuck in a melty poop bog and having to dump it in place, and also having Kallan decide the wheelbarrow was too full and dump it back out for me in the barn.
Too soon, everyone was done eating and were way too interested in what I was doing. It's hard to shovel when there's one sheep standing on your foot, one pawing at the wheelbarrow, and one tugging on your coat. So that was fun. Then I spread straw to make warm, clean beds for everyone. But really I just ended up making a mess of the goats who wouldn't get out of my way.
One of the other things that need to be done before the sheep begin to lamb is shearing. I'm looking at the first weekend in March to have shearing day. (Helpers are welcome!)
For the rest of the morning I dyed some yarn I'd spun up with the last of my dried flowers. Hollyhocks and coreopsis from the garden at our old house. I got some great color from them.
Jiah and I ran some errands in the afternoon. Grocery shopping and such. As we pulled up back home I heard a little bleat. Immediately I knew there was a kid somewhere. I changed my boots and ran to the barn. Sure thing, triplets! Rosemary had just had 3 beautiful bucklings. I'm so glad I didn't put off cleaning for another day. I knew she would be early because she had snuck into Blue's pen about a month before I was planning to put him out with the herd. She's such a stinker. So these are Blue's first kids! Go Blue!
Rosie is such a good mom. She may not like me most days, but she knows when I'm trying to help. She let me clean off the babes and hold them up to her so they could find her teat. I just had to make sure they all ate before I went inside.
I'll be checking in on these precious little boys a lot. Make sure to follow along on instagram.