New calves, kid goats and lambs

When there are new calves, kids or lambs the entire herd likes to check out the newest members. The bull calves and 'freemartin' heifers are wearing red tags this year, the heifer calves have yellow tags.

Cussing is Livestock Abuse... what?

Ewes 9-15-13

"Hey, ewe are they swearing at us?"

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) issued a formal complaint to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in Australia that sheep are offended when sworn at.

One of PETA's volunteers recorded this abuse while working undercover at a sheep station in New South Wales.

The rancher, Ken Turner said, “To my knowledge there was no actual cruelty on the job. The allegation was that bad language was used by an employee on the property in front of the sheep and that they could have been offended by the use of bad language.”

RSPCA in New South Wales chief executive Steve Coleman says the complaint was rejected, but not because it was bloody stupid in the first place. He said the video footage was ruled  “not legally usable.”

Having worked with both sheep and goats for over twenty years I confess to cussing, in their presence, on multiple occasions. Especially when I find them eating the apple trees and running through the garden.

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DSCN1973The joke's on me.

I love April Fool's day. I enjoy playing pranks on my family. This year I had an elaborate stunt planned. I got some fleece material, some boards and decided to make a flock of baby lambs. I was going to dot the hillside with my fake lambs, placing them near our ewes. From the kitchen window it would look like we'd had an overnight windfall of new births. Before Keith goes outside for morning chores he always looks out the window to check on the livestock. He likes to see where they are. Well, Mother Nature beat me to it this year. On Sunday, when I checked on the livestock for the night, four new lambs were milling around with four ewes fussing over them. Getting them inside the barn was easy, but then we had to sort them out. Through careful observation of their behavior we figured out which lamb belonged to each ewe. One ewe had twins, two others had a single lamb. The odd ewe, without any lambs, followed us inside, too. Half an hour later she delivered triplets. Once they were all fed and bedded down we checked on the outside ewes again. Two more were ready to lamb. So, my April fools day plan didn't go as planned. Mother Nature delivered real lambs instead. As of this morning twenty-one new lambs are in the barn. The joke's on me!