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Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Changing of the Guard

 On Tuesday 3/29/16 we lost our faithful guard llama Pele.  Pele came to McTavish Farm in 2005 and served as our sole sheep guard since.  He did his job well as we had no attacks to the sheep from outside preditors.   Although our relationship with him was strained at times, those times including foot trimming and shearing, with the help of my brave husband we worked out our differences and he became somewhat cooperative.  Unfortunately he developed a "mass" at his TMJ (jaw joint) which caused his jaw to dysfunction and he could not adequately chew.  Being as stoic as he was, I did not realize the extent of the problem until we handled him prior to the arrival of the vet.  It was then I could feel through the thick fleece just how emmaciated he was.  Obviously the problem had been going on longer than I thought.  Poor guy.  Llamas have a great way of hiding their illness.  He was no exception.  I miss seeing his serpentine form down in the pasture with the sheep in the misty morning.  Thank you Pele for your years of service.

Monday, March 21, 2016


Our last lamb born this season, despite being a boy, was a fun surprise.   His mom is solid black the father solid brown.  And look what came of that!  As his skin is spotted I believe he will hold these spots into adulthood.

 I apologize for the dark photos, wanted to get some pictures of him before he got out to play in the mud but the barn is a bit dark.

. A couple more fun shots from yesterday

Some spring sunshine through our dirty window
Hopefully it will be nice enough today to get some outside shots.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Sheep Shots

As I'm waiting for the last 3 ewes to lamb and the sun is shining thought I'd get out the camera and take a few shots, of sheep that is.

Athena's boy
McTavish Cobault    

This is the father, Cobault.

Mctavish Oatis

McTavish Bourbon

Oatis and Bourbon

Friday, March 18, 2016

Recent Update

 For those of you that read the previous post you might like to see the update on the solar panels.  Don't they look nice?  Appears that they will get loads of sunshine, provided the sun shows itself.

 So far 3 ewes have lambed and we have 3 still to go.  Ram lambs are winning 4 to zip.  Cross your fingers for more girls!

Here is Rachel with one of her two ram lambs.  I only have to show one of them as they look identical.  Lovely fleece though.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sheep Going Solar... more ways than one.
 Lots happening here on McTavish Farm and it seems to come at once.  Earlier this year we stumbled on an ad in the newspaper about a short seminar introducing a solar installation program.  As we have considered a photo voltaic system before, we attended and it all sounded good so we put our names on a list.  Wasn't long before we had a local solar company out for a look see and later a bid.  One thing led to another and we were set to go, work to start sometime in April.  Who knows what happened but things got moved up;  I have a sense they liked our spot so well they were excited to get a system up and running.  And here we are 3rd week in March and it looks like they will be done fairly soon.

workman all over the lambing palace

At least I hope so.  This 3rd week in March is our planned lambing time, babies to come anytime now.  In normal times the sheep will most often choose to go into labor in a quiet corner of the barn.  Nice and dry and easy for me to give them a pen of their own to rest and bond with their offspring.   But now, poor mama ewes, how can they find any peace around here with all these strange men tromping around on the roof and making all that "work being done" noise?  If they decide to lamb now, it will most likely be at the far end of the paddock in the driving, cold rain or, better yet,  in the middle of the night, when the workmen are not around.  These are the possibilities.  Yes, for our sake,  I do hope they finish up the work very soon. 

Cleo looking quite large!

Morning mist

Signs of spring