Category Archives: Frazer Family Mini-Farm

Growing Livestock

Since, when we began raising livestock, we were not allowed to have pigs on our property, I never thought we would have any. But the zoning laws changed last year, allowing a maximum of two. Still, I was surprised when we received a call from a good friend asking if we would like a free, lame pig and even more surprised when Daddy and Mommy said, “Sure, if someone wants to take care of it.” So, Bacon took up residence in the old sugar shack. And his leg has vastly improved to the point that he now comes running if he thinks you have food for him!

Two other new barn tenants arrived even more recently, but they were neither free, nor unexpected: Honeycomb and Apple – two purebred Finn ewe lambs. Though quite skittish and nervous at first, it didn’t take them long to get friendly and sociable. Appealing to the stomach goes a long way with animals!

Honeycomb

Apple

And Bounty is growing by leaps and bounds – quite literally. She has already succeeded in jumping her stall wall which is higher than her back! And the photography session last week was an active one!

It was hard to get her not moving!

Bounty!

So far, Hershey has always calved early. Since her calf was due today, this year it looked as though she might not. But late yesterday evening she had a surprise for us!

Unlike last year, the calving went very quickly – so quickly that we missed the whole thing! When I checked Hershey at 6:30, she looked normal: eating happily. When, at 8:30, I heard her bell ringing continuously, I went out to check and found Bounty already trying to get to her feet.

Yes, Bounty is a little heifer! With a birth weight of 61 lbs, she’s one our our largest calves. And she has energy to match! A straw bale “fence” is easy to jump even at only 12 hours old!

Aren’t I cute?

We chose the name Bounty (the name of a chocolate bar) to combine her parents’ names: Hershey and Profit Driven. And after losing two calves last year, we feel bountifully blessed to have such a lively, healthy calf this year. Praise the Lord!

Summer Garden

The gardening season here in Quebec tends to be short and intense. Right now it is the beans that are coming in!

Today it was 10kg (22lbs) of them! Picking took most of the morning. Then came the washing…

…which took most of the afternoon! And finally they made it into the freezer.

What a delicious garden-fresh-tasting meal they will make come winter! How grateful we are for the Lord’s faithfulness!

“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” Genesis 8:22

A new barn tenant

A newcomer arrived in the barn yesterday evening…

She is 8 months old and very friendly. She was worried at first about being separated from her original flock, but she’s adapting quickly and already seems to be making friends with Yoghurt in the next stall. Her wool is very dense and such a beautiful colour! We’re thrilled to have found a black sheep at last!

We’ve come up with a couple ideas for what to call her. Anyone else have a suggestion?

More Kittens!

Muffin just had her kittens yesterday. She is much more relaxed than last year – opting for delivering in the cow’s stall! We decided that the cats should move before the cow came back into the barn for the night. Muffin didn’t mind being relocated.

She had 4 kittens this time.
Kittens are cutest around 4 or 5 weeks old, so it will be a little while before we get some really cute photos. I think this one will be my favourite.

Rabbit Rescue!

We had 51 baby rabbits born a couple weeks ago. As usual, we lost a few. Three were dead by the time we found them. Two others died within a couple days of being born. A sixth one looked like it might not survive either…

It was a lot smaller than its siblings, but Stephen, the rabbit man, has learned tricks to give runts a boost. This kitten’s mother is rather aggressive, so Stephen took to giving the littlest bunny extra feedings from a tamer doe with more milk. One evening, however, when he came to check on it, he found it outside the kindling box, nearly dead from hypothermia. Stephen warmed it up under a heat lamp, but it didn’t have the strength to nurse. Stephen brought it inside and fed it cow’s cream from an eyedropper. We’ve tried this trick before with a 0% success rate, but the aspiring vet didn’t want to give up on the tiny creature. Amazingly, the kitten grew stronger and was soon able to drink from the does. Since its own mother didn’t seem to have enough milk for it, Stephen put it into a higher producing doe’s nest. (Rabbits don’t seem to be able to count.) That went well and the little bunny was just looking like it would probably survive when tragedy struck.

After checking on it early in the morning, Stephen was just putting it back into the nesting box when the adoptive mother reacted to this “intruder” and attacked. The side of the little kitten’s face was badly torn, but Stephen, from following vets around a few times, had seen a few veterinarian tricks including the use of crazy glue (probably actually a similar product). Yes, you read that correctly! After disinfecting the wounds, Stephen crazy glued the cuts closed. Of course this new turn of events greatly reduced the kitten’s chance of survival. But Stephen faithfully disinfected the wounds and put on antibiotic cream. For the tiny kitten, eating became very difficult. Its whiskers on one side were caught in the crazy glue so it couldn’t find the teats. And of course it was in pain, so it wasn’t inclined to try hard. But Stephen persisted in trying to get it to drink as often as possible – even milking one of his does once! We all expected infection to set in, but it never did. We also thought that with the injury being so close to its eye, the eye would be damaged and rendered non-functional. But a couple days later, it opened it’s eyes, obviously unharmed!

Now it is doing amazingly well. It still need a little additional care, but it certainly looks on the road to recovery. With the amount of fur rabbits have, the scars may not even be visible eventually. We’re just waiting for the hair to grow out so the crazy glue can come off. (That’s crazy glue, not scarring that you see in the picture.)

“Are not two sparrows sold for a fathering? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

Still Winter!

Winter is hanging on this year! Usually there isn’t much snow left at the beginning of April, but here is what it looked like on April 20th:

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful new snow to photograph one of our new lambs.

It looks like we’ll probably have snow into May! But I like snow, so I don’t mind! 🙂

“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Isaiah 1:18

Hair Cut Time!

It was hair cutting time in the barn this week! Well, not technically hair actually – wool.

Chipit and Maple had theirs cut a while back, but the three younger sheep still needed to be done. Yoghurt was by far the most agreeable. He loved the back rub! Strawberry and Raspberry were more ticklish and wiggly, but even so it was nice to work with sheep that aren’t afraid of us.

I forgot to photograph Strawberry before and after, but here are Yoghurt and Raspberry.

Before

During

After

Before

During

After

Quite the change! We measured Yoghurt’s fleece at 9 inches long. It is really beautiful wool. The ewe lambs have a lot of hair in their wool, so the quality is less good.

And of course while I was in the barn… How could I resist photographing those cute little lambs?

And now we are watching Maple and wondering if she’s pregnant…

What do you think?

Lambs!

Chipit just lambed this morning.

Congratulations, Jérémie R. Your guess was correct: Chipit had two ram lambs!

A few weeks ago we decided to award a prize for the one/ones who guess correctly: a wool hat made from Chipit’s fleece!

Yoplait and Iögo are large lambs with voracious appetites. Chipit doesn’t seem to have much milk yet, but thankfully, we had some of Hershey’s colostrum from last fall in the freezer. We’re using that as a supplement until Chipit starts producing more. With both parents having large ears, the lambs were destined to have big ones too. Yoplait is having trouble holding one of his up!

A tired little lamb: