Spring time = running!

It’s been a busy two months since the last update!  The lambs are all doing amazingly well and are growing well on the lush grass!  Our milder winter, early warm weather, and then moderating temperatures over the last few weeks have led to thick, nutritious pastures.  Hard to tell the lambs from the adults! This years crop of meat lambs are going to be big, lean, and ready in the fall!  Reserve your share today!

Unfortunately, farming isn’t all happy news.  Bossy our herd lead, lost her calf.  There were no apparent deformities, but he was premature and unable to survive.  She’s a great cow and we are hopeful she will breed back this year.  (Bossy, mugging for the camera in the winter of 2017).

Bossy’s daughter – Heffa (out of our former bull – Arturo) – did successfully calf a little heifer of her own.  She did what our Highlands have always done, found a secluded spot and delivered in the bushes.  Fiona, had a little bit of a difficult time figuring out life at first, but Heffa was patient and the pair are doing well.  As hoped Heffa has her dam’s mothering instincts!

Believe it or not – there is a baby cow in all that grass!

Last, but certainly not least on the baby front: PIGLETS!  Sweet Nora delivered 6 healthy KuneKune piglets on June 7th.  4 boars, 2 gilts – all are double wattled and cute as can be.  They will be DNA’d in ~3 weeks.  Expected parentage: Nora (wilsons gina) x Tabor (boris).

 

Spring Time is here!

After our VERY long and snowy winter last year, we held off all breedings to plan for late March – May babies! We are very happy to say that the lambing this year has been great and so far we have 5 lovely little Babydoll Southdown lambs romping around the property!  All the Ewe’s and their babies are doing great!  We are now into a rainy period and it doesn’t seem to phase these healthy critters.  

Betty and her twins (girl/boy)Aurora with her ram lamb
Emmie with her boy(black)/girl(white) twins

 

Next up is our lovely KuneKune sow Panama who is due in the next week or so with our first 2018 litter of piglets.  She’s always a solid mom and was bred to Chester, a goofy fun smaller sized boar.  Panama’s daughter, Ophelia, is hopefully recently bred for a June litter – also to Chester.  And we are hoping Nora may also be pregnant.  

Panama – expecting in the next 1-2 weeks

Finally, the cattle – We know that we have at least one calf on the way and potentially two – due anytime in the next 4-6 weeks.  It will be a fun time in the next month!  Grass is growing, rotational grazing has started and soon it will be time to put the gardens in. 

Bossy the cow and last years heifer calf

Each season offers something different – spring is definitely an awakening!

 

 

2018 Live animal and meat requests

As a light dusting of snow falls outside, we are forced indoors to work on planning!  As a result we have been able to start our 2018 animal request spreadsheets!  Doesn’t that sound like fun!!

 

If you have been looking to add Babydoll Sheep, KuneKune Pigs, or Scottish Highland cattle to your life, let me know. We anticipate lambing to start in mid to late March, piglets should start early April, and calves will drop April or May.  

 

We will also start meat share lists for lamb, pork, and potentially beef. What is available depends on animals being retained or sold for breeding.  If you prefer to raise your own meat, we can accommodate that as well.

 

Feel free to reach out with which list(s) you’d like be on and any questions you may have! As always thank you for your support of us and all small farmers!

Oh, how time flies!

I am not sure where the rest of the fall went after August, but here we are in Winter and 2018!  Our lovely Scottish Highland bull Arturo, did find a lovely new pasture to make beautiful babies!  We trust he is doing well in Yakima, Washington.  The farm is doing well this winter and the animals are enjoying not being in 3 feet of snow! We did get one storm come through, but only produced about 6 inches of lovely light, fluffy snow!

We also added a few more pigs to our mix – a breeding pair Nora and Chester; acquired a new breeding ram for our sheep and reduced the number of ewes this year; We also gained a foster cat – Muffles (shown checking out Nora below and snuggling with his buddy Poco)! Whew!  


Ophelia (Jenny x Mahia Love) – born in 2017, will be growing up at Balanced Earth Farm for potential breeding 2018 or 2019!

Finally, we also had a hen decide that October was the perfect time to hatch out that clutch of chicks she’d been wanting all year!  On the night of a predicted 4″ of rain – she came out with her babies, proud as can be!

Life is always an adventure here and sometimes we are too tired to post, but please always feel free to email us!  Looking to get on prospective lamb, pork, beef, piglet or live lamb lists – drop us a line at dana@balancedearthfarm.com!

 

Some weekends are more eventful!

We had a slightly unanticipated busy weekend here at Balanced Earth Farm!  

With less than 24 hours notice, we received word that our amazing (74 y.o) sheep shearer would be arriving on Saturday.  We feel so luck to have such an amazing person shear for us, we drop everything to make it happen and we help our other local sheep friends get their sheep ready to!  Shearing day is definitely a community.  

Before…getting difficult to see!

After – Whoa – look at all the green grass I get to eat! 

Then….early this Morning our always stead and stellar sow Panama delivered 4 live piglets!  All double wattled. KuneKune babies are the cutest!

Born where Panama chose in a shed with straw.  All nursing and doing well.  All without us intervening!  This is why we love this breed. 

From Top to Bottom: 1) Ginger and Black Boar 2) Ginger gilt with with cream belly 3) Ginger and Black gilt 4) Cream Gilt

Bottle lambs happen

We’ve had a mixed lambing season with seven live lambs and two that didn’t make it.  The count is 4 ewes and 3 rams.  As happens sometime, we had an experienced ewe reject one of her twins.  We tried to see if we could convince another ewe to take him on (called grafting), but without success.  And so…we introduce Norbert: 

We will bottle feed him until we are able to wean him and move him back into the flock.  He’s a feisty little guy with quite the voice!

The dogs seem to be taking it all in stride: 

Poco is very protective of Norbert and will often not allow Pharaah near them. 

Norbert does enjoy cuddling up with Pharaah the ‘herding’ dog!

Winter Farm Visit!

I love having visitors to the farm!  Usually, people want to come when the weather is nice and the animals are frolicking in the pastures.  Thankfully, I have a few hardy friends who are willing to come when it is cold, snowy, and muddy!  

Oli and his mom Paloma came over to see the new lambs!  We actually have a wether (a castrated male sheep) a little younger than Oli, that shares his name and that this little guy got to bottle feed!  Thanks for the smiles guys!  

More Snow – and lambing has begun

What a winter this has been!  We have had consistent storms since December and we have not had much true melt off.  The animals have come through the weather well and who would have thought that we would have started lambing in the snow?!?

On February 5th, 2017 one of our best ewe’s: Betty, delivered a large and vigorous black ewe lamb!  We had to improvise a lambing ‘jug’ (pen), but they are both doing well.  

We have another ewe about ready to join her  – mostly likely with twins!  I guess while Spring might still be 6 weeks away, new life has started here!

 

Winter weather is here with 17″ of SNOW!

I love the first snow of the year!  So quiet and peaceful; everyone slows down (at least for a little while!).  The whole town seems more like the quaint mountain town we are.  Even with the extra work needed on the farm, I still love the snow!  It is a time to allow ourselves to relax a little – at least after chores!

Thankfully for this storm we had some warning and we were able to get the pigs tucked into super insulated shelters!  The cows and sheep seem to mind less, but (as you will see below), we did move the sheep out from the trees and into an area with more traditional shelter.  We ended up with just shy of 17″ in this first storm with more due this week.  I hope you love the snap shots of the farm in winter!  

Hauling water out to the pigs and sheep!

Pig Train coming out of their straw insulated Pig-loo.

Checking out the fresh water, wondering where breakfast is!

Tabor – our little boar from Loreen Milbrath at East Island Farms!  He’s such a poser!!

These large trees also help shelter the pig lot – allowing an easy place for them to feed. 

Pharaah the farm dog having fun in the snow!

Love Machine and Panama are not so sure about all this stuff!

The Cattle enjoying their Organic Cabbage scraps from Oregon Brineworks!  Check this company out if you need amazing fermented foods or the best hot sauce around!

Poco helping lead the sheep to more sheltered pastures!

MORE fun for Pharaah!

Morning light!