Monthly Archives: August 2011

Sheep Doctorin’: Abscesses

I found this in my drafts from March 29, 2010!!!  Time to get it out of there.


Every once in awhile our sheep will develop an abscess.  We’ve actually had two ewes develop them on the side of their neck recently.  I’m still looking in to that a little more to see if there is a certain condition that causes abscesses in that area.  In any case, treatment for an abscess is basically the same.  An abscess is a boil or a pocket, usually containing purulent (pus like) material.  They usually form when their has been a puncture that scabs over and cannot drain.

It helps if someone else can restrain the animal, giving you access to the wound.  Wipe or gently soak the area with an antiseptic.  I use a  Chlorhexadine solution.  If there is an obvious scab you can try to loosen it by applying a warm compress of the antiseptic  solution.  If I can get the scab off most of the time the pus will drain out from underneath.  If there is no obvious scab or wound I pierce the area with a 20 gauge needle to let the pus out.  Then I usually flush the area with a lot more antiseptic solution.  You can use a large syringe without the needle to draw up some antiseptic and flush right in to the hole you made.  Depending on the severity of the wound an antibiotic injection may be warranted.  If the sheep doesn’t have a fever I usually wait a day and if things are healing nicely then I skip the antibiotic.  During warm weather you may need to apply a protective ointment such as Swat clear.

These posts are in no way meant to substitute the care of a professional veterinarian.  I only share my experiences with the hope of helping you become a better shepherd.  If at any time you think you might be doing more harm than good STOP and call your vet instead.


Farm Junkyard

I’ve decided I’m just calling it the junkyard.  The area out back behind the shed and shop was everybody’s dumping ground before we bought this place.  Brian always comments when we find things that his family took to get rid of for him:  they didn’t take anything very far, and then we got it all back.  It looks terrible back there.

Funny, you wouldn’t believe it but it is a big improvement over how it looked when we moved in.  Brian has hauled tons of junk away.  This year we fenced it off and turned the sheep loose in there.  That helped a lot, now it looks like we mow it.  Unfortunately, now that the weeds are gone you can see every little piece of anything that is scattered around.  Beer can anyone?  Old rubber hose?  Rotten boards that are way older than me?  A lawn mower… with no mowing parts.  A shopping cart!?  (Okay, we actually moved that inside the shed and out of sight, but it used to be out there.)

I’m not sure how we ended up working on clean up back there this week.  We were talking about how we get sick of feeling like the place looks so crappy even though we’ve done so much work already.  It’s not like we don’t have a million more pressing projects but we jumped in to cleaning it up anyway.  Brian and I worked on it Sunday night and then I spent all day out there on Monday.  We burned the old rotting boards and some other short pieces of scrap lumber.  Brian is cutting up the rest of the lumber to use in his wood stove this winter.  I raked and raked and raked and still have more to do.  A lifetime worth of pine cones still covers the ground back there.  There are a ton of sticks and tree limbs, too.  Those are a little harder to rake.

Anyway, I’m sore and sun burnt but at least we’re a little closer to getting rid of our own on-farm junkyard.  We probably won’t be back out there until Wednesday because tomorrow is our anniversary.  I can use a rest anyway!  🙂

What’s the worst looking spot in your yard?  Tackling any big projects lately?

Foto Friday Challenge: Silhouette

I’ve always wanted to participate in Foto Fridays over at Renaissance but it hasn’t ever worked out until now.  I saw this last night and just had to catch it so I could share.

Our friend came and held the baby so I started weeding the potatoes while we visited.  Brian joined in and with the two of us working at we got almost through the patch.  The potatoes are a whole story on their own.  The short version is that we fought the Colorado potato beetle and the beetle won, and then the weeds came on fast when I was busy learning to be a Mom.  The plants are pretty much annihilated but luckily they didn’t succumb until most of the growing was done so there are still some potatoes to be dug.  We pulled up some potatoes with the weeds and set the potatoes on the clothesline – out of reach of the dogs.  Eventually the clothesline was full plus some.

Here with a little cropping, just for fun.

Be sure to check out the other Foto Friday posts and share the love!

Here’s Your Nudge…

If you’re like me, you intend to get in the Bible more regularly.  It sounds so nice in theory:  sipping on your morning coffee tea while reading a passage and mulling it over.  Quiet words with God.  Starting your day with a fresh perspective and the reassurance that comes with knowing He is there at your side.  It sounds good but who has time!?

Quit putting it off.

Stop waiting for tomorrow.

Let’s carve out a little bit of time NOW.  Not next year, or the one after.  This year.

I probably know less of the Bible than most anyone reading this.  I didn’t become a Christian until I was 17, but that’s a story for another day.  I only mention it now because I don’t want you to feel intimidated about reading the Bible or joining a Bible Study.  You may be surprised to find a lot of other women don’t know or understand much of it either.  All the more reason to spend time with the women who know more and can teach us.

Any time reading and studying will benefit you.  The problem I’ve had in the past is falling off the wagon a few days or weeks in.  If you need someone to hold you accountable I have two options for you.  I’ll be participating in both of these and I am so excited about them:

  • Online Only:  consider joining up with the Good Morning Girls group.  It is a “tech accountability group”.  Basically, you do your studying on your own and then log on and let someone in your small group know that you’re sticking with it.  You can share and discuss more as you’d like.  The whole thing only takes a few minutes.  You could even do most of it while you’re nursing (ask me how I know!) or eating breakfast.  The Fall session runs September 15th – December 15th and the study is of 1 John.  There is no cost associated with joining and they do provide a reading plan, blog posts, and videos to further the study and encourage discussion.  All they ask is that you try to commit to the whole study.  There are several groups there that you can join.  If anyone is interested in starting a small group with me let me know, I would love to work together!
  • Local folks: If you’re local to me you may be interested in an on-site study.  The Fairgrove and Watrousville United Methodist churches are hosting a study of the book Twelve Extraordinary Women by John MacArthur.  I am very, very excited about this one.  Like I said, I don’t know much of the Bible and this is a great way to learn about the women who have the most to teach us.  The study starts September 19th and runs until we’re through the book.  The group meets twice each month for one hour each time.  They are very good about sticking to the hour so we can all get home.  The cost of the book is $15 and they need to have orders in my the end of August.  If you’d like more information about this one call or message me.  We can even carpool is you live near me!

So there you go.  Is it time?

If you’ve already made time for this I’d love to hear what you’re doing!

Still here…

Just popping in to say I’m still here.  I’m still doing my baking day and working out the kinks in my routine.  I’ve been taking lots of pictures so if I get the chance to update I’ll have things to share.  We had the last of our meat chickens processed this week so I’ve been busy getting our own supply in the freezer for the year.  I’m committed to eating only our own chickens from now on, except eating out.  In the past I have still picked up chicken breasts on sale and, even though it makes me  a hypocrite, I kind of love those chicken patties from the store.  Anyway, it’s stupid for me to spend $$$ on that stuff when our only chicken is readily available and so much healthier, not to mention they actually have flavor.

Be back eventually!

Baking Day 8/1/11

In keeping with my newly expanded routine I spent a lot of yesterday in the kitchen.

What I did:

The puddings are both absolutely delicious.  I dish them up in little single serving containers so they’re ready for me to grab when I’m famished. Brian likes the chocolate for his lunch, too.  They are both easy peasy.  If you make the vanilla you really need to try it with some farm fresh eggs – the rich golden yellow color is amazing!!  If you live around here I might even know where you can get some eggs like that. 😉

I’m not sharing the mac & cheese recipe yet, it needs some tweaking before it’s worthy.  I did make a quadruple batch though which means we had some for dinner last night, leftovers for my lunches this week, and 3 more meals of it to go in the freezer.

I had intended to try a new dinner roll recipe but our food club called and reminded me that my order was in so I had to run up town in the middle of the day and that didn’t leave enough time for bread making.  Ah well, we’ll get there.

Ideas for next week:  Pork Sausage, more muffins, maybe some cinnamon rolls.

What are you doing in your kitchen this week?