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Elsie-Belle
My fixer upper sheep
Learn about my most feral sheep, Elsie, and how she became tame.
June 2, 2019

Because sheep are livestock animals, and are therefore sociable, you cannot just have one sheep. With this in mind, two months after acquiring Daisy we got Elsie, a Columbia Dorset cross. Elsie came from the typical flock raised for 4-H, where the tails are bobbed too short, the ears are tagged, and she was constantly harassed by dogs and four-wheelers. I find this a common problem among such breeders, which is another reason I have qualms about 4-H. Furthermore, Elsie was advertised incorrectly as a full Dorset, but once I saw her crammed in a barn with about 20 other lambs, I knew I could not leave without taking one. There were several there which had the Dorset traits more strongly than Elsie, who favors the Columbia, but I chose her largely because she did not have a tear in her ear. The rest, sadly, did.

Whereas we were all happy about Daisy’s arrival, once we got Elsie home and had a good look at her, even I thought I had made a mistake. She was lifeless, filthy, pale from too many parasites, and frightened of everything, including my sweetheart, Dobby, who despite the appearance of his large stature has always been a gentleman to every farm creature. I was sick with a terrible respiratory infection at the time, and though I tried to socialize Elsie, I was too sick and tired to do the job. Luckily, my husband spent hours brushing her and getting her used to his presence, day after day. Eventually, Elsie came around, got interested in Daisy, and Dobby and she became good friends.

To this day, though, Elsie still prefers my husband, which is rather frustrating since I am the one who walks with her, brushes her, shears her, cleans her, de-worms her, and feeds and waters her. Oh well, there are the other two.

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Deciding to vaccinate your chickens or not is an important decision you should not overlook

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Chickens are able to keep themselves tidy and clean, if given the tools they need

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There are pros and cons to both long and short tails, and I have both in my flock.

June 5, 2019

There are pros and cons to raising sheep. Know both before you start.

June 2, 2019

Meet the sweetheart of the flock, who is aptly named after the Easter flower.

June 2, 2019

Learn about my most feral sheep, Elsie, and how she became tame.

June 2, 2019

Get acquainted with my first sheep Daisy and my bumpy reintroduction to the world of shepherding.

June 2, 2019

How I got the woolly itch and decided to get back into rearing livestock.

May 31, 2019

We get a reprieve from the heat and I spend some time with the sheep in the field, and with one of our spring bunnies

May 25, 2019

Peonies, honeysuckle, and strawberries come off in buckets and basket as spring's bounty continues

December 31, 2019

I end a busy 2019 sharing my best wishes to everyone and a wish for the 'quiet life'

December 25, 2019

The season marches forward with Christmas bakes, and I try a few experiments on some old favorites

December 7, 2019

With Christmas on its way, I take a look at the 400+ seedlings in the basement, and Harry helps . . . or so he thinks.

November 30, 2019

I substitute an old favorite in our rarely altered traditional meal, and my family and I head to the tree farm again

November 24, 2019

My daughter's birthday inspires some unicorn decorations and the sky seems to join in the fun

November 17, 2019

After so much heat, and still so much green hanging on the trees, an early snow surprises us all

November 9, 2019

I get my husband to make a late season alteration to our coop, which will hopefully help my bones this winter

October 31, 2019

I make some last minute adjustments to the yard, just in time to catch the last of the warm weather

October 20, 2019

The frost finally shows up and autumn activities accelerate to match the change in weather

October 13, 2019

I scurry around gathering seed tops and cuttings for spring 2020

October 6, 2019

When we should be thinking of hot drinks, the weather keeps summer barreling into fall, which makes late season gardening miserable

September 30, 2019

As we wind down the year towards the fall season, another repair presents itself, this time our refrigerator

September 22, 2019

Following a recipe mishap years ago, I attempt use up some of our pear bounty and make a tasty chutney

September 15, 2019

My husband gets nostalgic on our 35th wedding anniversary, and somehow I end up recreating a misadventure on a motorcycle

September 8, 2019

Harry has unearthed a family of skunks seeking shelter from the heat beneath my old shed, which makes my gardening interesting

August 31, 2019

In preparation for the apple season, I work on a new quilted runner and realize finding cute fabric has gotten difficult

August 24, 2019

Offsetting what seems like a year of repairs, our chickens and garden surprise us with some bonuses for the kitchen

August 17, 2019

My silly sheep go chasing our tree frogs in the yard and mistake one for a pear

August 10, 2019

I decide to make my sister an early fall gift, a candy dispenser with a nod to raising chickens

July 31, 2019

I hope I've finally reached the end of my bucket carrying days by finishing some inside repairs to our basement

July 28, 2019

Harry celebrates his second birthday and I make some sauerkraut and peach gold (aka peach jam)

July 21, 2019

While my husband picks up some overtime, I pick up the masonry tools and fix an old problem in the garden. Surprise!

July 14, 2019

The produce begins coming off the vine and I rush to keep up with the orders Mother Nature has for me

July 7, 2019

Over the Independence Day holiday we celebrate by redecorating the living room with colonial raised panels

June 30, 2019

My family plays to my love of gardening and throws me a birthday party utilizing all my old yard outfits

June 24, 2019

Storms have been doing their worst and the latest casualty is one of our black walnut trees

June 16, 2019

I whip up a healthy Father's Day meal and Harry cleans the bowls

June 8, 2019

I take the second risk of the year and move some bushes out of season

June 6, 2019

Mixing breeds and ages can sometimes ruffle quite a few feathers

June 6, 2019

One of the drawbacks of owning old fashioned breeds is some terrible broodiness!

June 6, 2019

Nutrition is paramount for good egg production and healthy chickens

June 6, 2019

As chickens age, these kinds of ailments increase.

June 6, 2019

Sometimes egg laying can turn dangerous. Know how to prevent this ailment.

June 6, 2019

Chickens can incur long-term injuries that affect their quality of life. Know what happens to talon and body.

June 6, 2019

Deciding to vaccinate your chickens or not is an important decision you should not overlook

June 6, 2019

Chickens are able to keep themselves tidy and clean, if given the tools they need

June 6, 2019

Getting chickens through the postal service can be both hectic and pleasurable.

June 5, 2019

We've gone through some different designs over 30 years and have learned quite a bit.

June 5, 2019

Rear-end pasting is both common and easy to treat.

June 5, 2019

How people get into chickens is hardly a novelty anymore, but here are my beginnings and my favorites all the same.

June 5, 2019

The differences between brown, white, or colored eggs. Egg anomalies, and why not all eggs are fertilized.

June 5, 2019

We are fortunate in our environment but even spoiled sheep can have problems

June 5, 2019

The main event and what everyone thinks of when you say you have sheep.

June 5, 2019

See the tools of the trade and how I tackle this arduous task.

June 5, 2019

Learn what's what and who is going to get them. Also, horns aren't that bad.

June 5, 2019

Sometimes newborn lambs can get too cold. Learn how I dealt with my frozen baby.

June 5, 2019

Replacing a ewe's care for her young comes with many surprises, troubles, and pleasantries

June 5, 2019

Sheep are not generally susceptible to many poisons, but the few that exist are truly awful

June 5, 2019

This problematic condition can be deadly if you don't know what you are doing

June 5, 2019

Shots I have had experience with, and how it feels to give a vaccine

June 5, 2019

Natural grazers, sheep endure many elements, but do sometimes require more than just a field.

June 5, 2019

Even nutrition has its factions: grass or grain, supplements or treats. Learn more.

June 5, 2019

There are pros and cons to both long and short tails, and I have both in my flock.

June 5, 2019

There are pros and cons to raising sheep. Know both before you start.

June 2, 2019

Meet the sweetheart of the flock, who is aptly named after the Easter flower.

June 2, 2019

Learn about my most feral sheep, Elsie, and how she became tame.

June 2, 2019

Get acquainted with my first sheep Daisy and my bumpy reintroduction to the world of shepherding.

June 2, 2019

How I got the woolly itch and decided to get back into rearing livestock.

May 31, 2019

We get a reprieve from the heat and I spend some time with the sheep in the field, and with one of our spring bunnies

May 25, 2019

Peonies, honeysuckle, and strawberries come off in buckets and basket as spring's bounty continues