How to Build a Lamb Grafting Stanchion

Last year one of our ewes (Sombra) gave birth to twins — one ewe lamb (Lilly) and one ram lamb (Lincoln) — but she rejected the little boy. Whenever he tried to nurse she would put her head down and shoo him away with her horns. We milked Sombra and bottle fed Lincoln for the first day but we knew the best thing for his long-term health would be to nurse from his mother. And with 20 more pregnant ewes yet to give birth, we didn’t need the extra time commitment of bottle feeding him numerous times per day.

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Lambs Frolicking in the Pasture

All the lovely lambs are out of the birthing jugs and frolicking freely in the tall, clean pasture. Their mamas are happily grazing, nursing, sleeping, and trying to keep up with their babies as they discover every rock and stick, and rodent hole in their one-acre home. It’s been three days of late night, and early morning, checks on the still-pregnant ewes, but so far nothing new.

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Late night birth; glad I checked on the ewes before going to bed

I had to assist a bit by breaking the sack away from the second lamb’s face (a ram) while Joanie continued to clean her firstborn. Belle and Bradley, welcome to Bear Creek Farm.

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Doris graced us with twins this evening

We’ve named them Angie and Ace. The little ewe lamb has a face just like her mom’s along with very clean and balanced spots. I’m concerned Ace doesn’t have enough color to be registered. At first glance he seems to have a wonderful texture and quality to his fleece, and nicely spaced four-horns.

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The Farm is Heavy with Fertility

Pregnant ewes are fat with life, the garden lush with lettuce. We are sustained from within and around.

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Welcome to the Accidental Farmer

May Day seems like a fine day to go public with my farm journal. So, welcome to The Accidental Farmer.

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Horses Move to Town

From Dawn’s Diary, April 21, 2010 – The culmination of this odyssey came to fruition today. We brought the horses to Bear Creek Farm! I know they’ll miss the wide-open spaces that running on 300 acres has allowed, but they’re half wild after spending the winter mostly alone. Eddy really needs me to work on halter training every day.

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How to Get Water from the Pond to the Pasture

From Dawn’s Diary, April 20, 2010 – The irrigation pond is full so now we have to get the water onto the fields. We found a bit of underground pipe that seems to be working so the fastest thing to do is buy a bunch of hoses and sprinklers and tie into the pipes. Bought a 3hp pump. I wanted to go with 5hp but was overruled by the irrigation/electrician fellow we hired.

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Settled in to our new home

From Dawn’s Diary, April 14, 2010 – Settled in to our new home. Now the real work begins. This property has been overgrazed for decades; then left abandoned for more than a year as it moved through the foreclosure process. I love the location and I see the potential but we have lots to do. At least there is enough infrastructure (barn, fences, and such) to have the horses here.

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I’m completely smitten with this colt

From Dawn’s Diary, July, 2009 – I’m already wondering how I’ll possibly spend months and months away from him when we move back to Bend for the winter.

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