Saturday, February 22, 2014

Last set 2014

Last ewe delivered a set of ewe lambs while no one was home. 
Sorry for the butt shot but I'm excited.
No more up during the night or baby monitor squealing static all night long!
An 11# and 15# set of healthy ewe lambs completes a rocky year. 
They were dried off and bellies feel full so in a dry stall to bond overnight will do it. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Gym Results

My Butt-Tocks (think Forestt Gump) are too sore to sit down.
My upper ab muscles are too sore to set or get up.
I'll leave it to your imagination what bodily functions and normal activities this presents a problem for!
Gosh, I love working out. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Advice welcome ...

LN's trial cakes were baked on Tuesday evening.
We knew the filling was complicated and would take several hours so we wrapped each layer and
was going to fill and glaze yesterday.
That didn't happen because LN had homework and reading due.
Today was a snow day after all so we started on filling this morning.
After making the filling and glaze she cut into her layers to even them out and the middle of 1 was raw even though we baked them and checked with the finger press and spring back it called for.
The other had a small spot as well.
They were baked side by side so seems to me that my oven has an issue.
LN wanted to toothpick them but I said follow recipe.
Should have listened to kid.
We started over and put filling and glaze aside.
The 2nd set came out better but still 1 had small raw spot so oven is issue there as we noted the same side of rack was used for one of the layers that was worse than the other.
1st issue-  It calls for sugar and water to cook over med-high heat then simmer for 20-30 min.
It says 20-30 or till it turns amber colored.
After 35 min no amber coloring.
Did she not have it turned up high enough for the simmer?
It didn't seem to affect filling at the end but still...
2nd issue- The cake is 2- 9 in layers that will be cut horizontally later to form 4 layers.
Her layers crowned high and curved so she had to slice the tops off to try to even them up.
Any way to avoid this?
Could batter be spooned into edges more before baking?
Is it because 1 t. baking powder is used?
Could that be adjusted?
Trimming still left a curvature to the tops which doesn't look good stacked because sides are not iced.

Any thoughts?
On a side note this cake is so tall I can't use the cake lid, the glaze touches it.
Maybe cutting the whole curve off would help this but that'd have narrow layers then???
The flavor seems fine.
I know because we made a small sample out of the scraps cut off.
Of course this all needs settled quickly.
We waited too late to start trial runs.
The entries are due Friday and no late entries are allowed.
LN says we go with this and modify as needed on contest day.
Anyone with any ideas I'm open to any and all suggestions.

Can't do this

I literally am typing this with my phone laying on a ewes back while holding her so her remaining lamb can nurse. 
My view ...
At 6 am while it's snowing and freezing rain no calf or labor was showing. At 7:30 calf born into rain snow mix . Big bull calf barely alive, freezing cold and mom not interested in him. S and I bring both into the barn and I tried to revive calf. Still no interest from mom but quick sniff and lick. She s disoriented since she never comes into barn yet alone a stall. I rub the hell out of him and smack him around a little. He moos softly and lifts his head. I keep it up and get mom to lick some more so I oh get a flake of hay. I'm gone 2 min and come back to him dead. I tried a few more minutes but ...
Mom must have known something cause she's at peace. I'm not. 
It started out a good birthing year and has gone to hell real fast.
Hence why to make myself feel better that I couldn't save the calf I'm holding this bitch of a mother and forcing her to let her remaining lamb nurse . 
Hope everyone else has a better day.
I'm over this ...
I never considered myself a softie but days like this I'm crying my eyes out and don't care what it makes me.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fun and Sad

It is always fun baking with this kid.
LN is trying a cake recipe for her 4-H Favorite Foods contest.
Her entry forms are due Friday so of course we just chose a cake to test.
We always cut it close but not usually this close.
Spice cake with chocolate pecan filling and chocolate glaze
Sounds good but we'll see.
She baked the cake layers today and will finish cake tomorrow.
That means cake for supper, yum!
Lambs are being born.
7 but only 5 are still here.
A ewe stepped on one of her lambs and broke her leg right after being born.
After splinting her she never got mobile enough to clear her lungs or get enough nutrition to survive.
Another ewe seems to have a cold or pneumonia.
We've medicated her but her lamb died.
I think she got sick from whatever her Mom had and transmitted through her milk.
This is the part I hate about having animals but it is a fact of life.
I have another cow due (actually a few days overdue) and 2 more ewes.
I'm hoping my bad luck has played out.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

1st set of lambs

1st time ewe delivered by herself. She even came inside where its dry and warmer even though it's 40'. A ram and ewe lamb, both finding the spickets and doing well. I hope it's a good omen for the rest. 
Sorry if the pictures are bad but I just had my phone with me. I'm sure I ll take more later or LN will. 

2nd Ewe

2nd ewe just grunted a big one out. She s cleaning it up. I'm going to wait a bit to see if there's another one coming and to weigh it and sex it.
Just adding how frustrating it is to the lamb when he gets up and is actively trying to nurse and the ewe keeps knocking him over to clean him off. He has sucked for 30 seconds a few times but mom wants him clean so she ll need to chill so he can fill his belly up. Still not bad for 1st time momma. She has sense to come intro shelter to deliver , always a plus.