Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Miniel Update

Miniel is still here with us. She wasn't doing well at all last week, and we talked about putting her down.
I stopped her Dexamethasone last week. Her appetite has improved. We have been doing passive range of motion on her legs. Her neck is weak so she finds it difficult to hold her head up. I know this sounds nuts, but I sing to her everyday to keep her spirits up.......of course, that may be agitating her, also! We put a diaper on her and bring her in at night to watch football , but her favorite is SpongeBob  SquarePants. She bleats for tortilla chips, snack crackers, and popcorn, but she isn't spoiled!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Me and Miniel

At this point, we are still encouraging Miniel to make it. She has setbacks which results in depression.
We still don't know what the future holds for her, but she is still with us today and for that we are grateful.....

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Spinning Cory's Fleece....


We received Cory's  2010 fleece last month.  It was processed into a silvery roving by Woolly Knob Fiber Mill. I have spun three double ply skeins so far with future plans including a sweater for my husband.
Cory is one of a set of twins. Linc is the other twin. They came to Dor Galen as bottle lambs in 2004 so they are really gentle, friendly guys who love having their ears and backs scratched.



Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Image to Set a Holiday Mood


It's a cold December day!  Winter arrived yesterday here and caught us unawares. The water hydrant froze in the barn and we had mucho trouble with water hydrants plural last December. I think we went through three new hydrants last winter until we finally found one that worked and these were brand new hydrants, mind you! All of these hydrants were made in China. I think that this year we will find something made in America, but we will pay a pretty price. My husband will try heat tape on the current hydrant and see how that works.
Meanwhile, Miniel is on the back porch in the sunlight practicing getting up on her knees then lying back down. I can hear her little hooves strike the wooden floor as I type away......

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Government Control of the Food Supply......

For everyone interested in eating locally produced foods, read this link.....

Miniel and Meningeal Worm

As far as we and the vet have been able to determine, Meningeal worm is the infection we are fighting in Miniel. She has been wormed twice and now is being treated with steroids only to control the inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. The vet left it to my discretion to give her 1-2 cc's daily of Dexamethasone to control the symptoms. She is still displaying signs of neurological involvement , but the signs appear to be not as severe as a couple of weeks ago. We can only hope there is no permanent neurological involvement as she has been unable to walk for two weeks.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lack of Posting due to our sick ewe......

I will blog about everything as soon as we can get Miniel back on her feet. To everyone with a medical degree, it's like having a total care patient, except she's on the back porch instead of a hospital room. I named our back porch " The Sheep/Goat Recovery Unit"... and have minded visitors to "Watch Your Step"! I should have some extra beautiful flowers next summer!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Calling All Shepherds and Sherherdesses!!!

If anyone can help solve the illness that has struck our sheep, Miniel, PLEASE HELP!
We finished six days of Penicillin treatment last Saturday, October 30th. After this regimen of Penicillin, we wanted to give Miniel's body a rest from the antibiotic. She was improving, but now has gone backwards in her progress. She has been lying down more in the past couple of days and it is very difficult for her to stand. When she is able to stand she is very shaky on her legs........her forelegs more than hind.  I started the Penicillin again last night and again this morning. We had been giving her 2 cc's Penicillin S.Q. and that is the dosage I continued. Our farmer friend, Tim, is coming over tonight with a different antibiotic and some worming medicine in case it is liver flukes that somehow managed to get in her central nervous system., although the vet didn't see any signs of worms. We continued the Probiotic every couple of days to ensure that her rumen is working. She continues to eat and drink appropriately passing formed stools.
I know there are shepherds and shepherdesses  in the blogosphere...............we would appreciate any and all suggestions, comments, etc.
Thank you so much!!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Miniel's Progress

Here's a photo I took yesterday of Miniel.........

She is grazing and up on her feet today for longer periods of time. We continue to give her 2cc's Penicillin S.Q. morning and evening. It's a great feeling to see her grazing with Tadiel in the south paddock!

Handspun Yarn From Our Back Porch

A couple of photos of my handspun yarn..........

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Miniel Turns the Corner

 Last night my husband and I checked Miniel around 10 30 P.M. We were prepared to offer her water again from the shallow pan, but as soon as she saw us, she got up on her feet and went over to the bucket to drink. It was if she was saying to us, "Look, you guys, I know what you're here for and I'll get my own drink, thank you very much!"
This morning she was up on her feet and she ate hay with her sister, standing up on her own. She walked around without much difficulty. There is still a slight arch in her spine, but her posture is notably improved. We, again gave her 2cc's of Penicillin S.Q. and the Probiotic.  Our fingers are still crossed, but she is definitely improving!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Drought Conditions in Indiana

The storm that passed though this morning brought us a whopping total of one half inch according to our rain gauge. We really need more rain!

Link here to the ongoing drought in Indiana.

Miniel's Fight

Yesterday afternoon, Miniel was not doing well at all. I brought her onto the back porch and fed her Raisin Bran by hand followed by water from a shallow pan.  By the time my husband came home from work, she had spiked a fever and was having what appeared to be febrile convulsions. We thought she wouldn't last much longer and discussed whether we should put her out of her misery and suffering.
Fortunately, we decided to hit her with 2 cc's of penicillin S.Q. at 7:30 P.M. We made sure she ate some hay and drank water about 8:30 last night. This morning she was doing much better and even attempted to stand for a brief few seconds. We hit her with 2 cc's of penicillin again this morning after the major storm passed through. My husband fed her by hand again and ensured she drank her water. She is eating hay, continuing to chew her cud and passing normal formed stools.  Her kidneys are still working as she continues to pass urine. She is in the stall with her mother and sister and we shut the stall door to the outside to keep her out of the ferocious wind. The temp is supposed to drop to 30 degrees tonight as a cold front passes through Indiana. We will make her as warm as possible with straw bales in the center aisle of the barn. Everyone keep praying for her to make it..............Thanks!

Monday, October 25, 2010

My First Sheep, Lionel

Aside from the bottle lambs that my father brought home when I was a little girl of four, this is my first sheep.  I purchased him from my husband in 2007 when Lionel  at the time was heading for the slaughter house. My husband, who was my fiance at the time, had already sold him to slaughter, but after we blade sheared him, I couldn't bear to part with him. I paid my husband $175.00 for him. He is a wethered Horned Dorset with white eyelashes and a pretty pink nose. After his first shearing, we got most of his fleece except for his neck and head.  The result was a strange, mythical creature who, from a distance resembled a lion with a mane, so my hubby suggested we name him "Lionel".  He is a very, loving, affectionate sheep. I sold his 2010 fleece to a spinner from SWIFT.   The Horned Dorset breed hails from England and Lionel is quite the proper English gentleman in my book! 

The Hard Part of Being a Shepherd or Shepherdess....

Miniel is sick and has been for three weeks. We noticed her lying down alot about four weeks ago. We have been tending her closely for the last few weeks. The vet gave her a shot of selenium last Wednesday, and sent us home with Banamine  and Probiotic. There was no signs of worms according to the vet. She is still eating and drinking but she is very unsteady on her feet. Her twin sister, Tadiel is as healthy as ever. We are giving her Penicillin in case she has a spinal abcess or possible liver flukes.
We are doing everything we can for her.............I hope she makes it, but it is very depressing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Glad Tidings of Roving

I talked to Jamie at Wooly Knob Fiber Mill yesterday and Pig's and Corry's fleece from this past spring are now roving!  I need  to send the payment to them and they will be shipped .  I'm excited to see how these particular fleeces processed into roving as Pig is a Texel and Corry is........well, we aren't quite sure what Corry is!  I know he is a very sweet sheep with a loving personality and a beautiful, silver-brown fleece with considerable color variation  as he ages. I will post a photo of him  as soon as I can.
Have a great day all you sheep fans!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Clouds Without Rain

This photo was taken about ten days ago.
Today is bright and sunny with a perfect temp of 71
degrees without a cloud in sight.
It is so dry farmers cannot disk their fields.
Here's hoping that October will be more generous in rainfall for Indiana as vast portions of the state remain under a burn ban.........

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sheep Have Even More Enemies.....

A very interesting read from the New York Times on coyotes. Check it out if you have time!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Spinning Away..............

I have and will be spinning today. I purchased a beautiful hoggitt roving from Donna Jo at Breezy Manor.
She has beautiful roving that is dyed and natural. This is a natural of a gorgeous chocolate brown and spins itself with a little guidance from the spinner! People wondering where I can be found today, will find me at my spinning wheel.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How Dor Galen Yarn Takes a Natural Dye

Here is an image from a fellow blogger's  site that shows our Dor Galen yarn after it has been dyed  with
Japanese Indigo............

Please check out her blog http://tgrows.blogspot.com/ !
 She does great work towards sustainable gardening and natural dyeing.


 Yes, it's finally going to rain on the farm. We have had sprinkles, but nothing of significance, lately.
I can see it coming across the cornfield through the kitchen window......at last! I'm hoping for at least a couple of inches....that would be nice to help with the pasture and garden.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Art and Sheep

ince I am a visual artist as well as a shepherdess, I like to find images of sheep.

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Name

This morning as we were doing chores, my husband remarked, " If you had a Native American name , it would be "She Who Talks With Sheep"!" And why not?
  I "Dance With Ewes", do I not?


This is Stubby, the oldest ewe of our flock. She is a Horned Dorset and we estimate her age at approximately 10 to 12 years of age, She came to us from Conner Prairie, history museum
about thirty five minutes from us in Noblesville, Indiana. I guess her horns weren't perfect and one is broken off, hence her name. She is a good gal and we love her just the way she is!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rambo and Roo: Wether vs. Ram

Rambo is the breeding ram for the Dor Galen flock. He was born here last July. Since March, he has been in with the other Dor Galen ewes and we hope for spring lambs, sired by him. He has been a pretty gentle fellow so far.
In June, he accidentally got in with our other flock, and I had to get him away from the ewes before my husband  came home to help. I managed to get everyone away from  him except Roo, our two year old Texel/ Blackie wether. Rambo looked at Roo and Roo returned the look.
 Oh, boy!, I thought. Here we go!  Roo and Rambo squared off and Roo hit Rambo a good one, smack!
Rambo was stunned. His head rolled around and around with his eyeballs going in circles. He started to go down to the ground as if he was passing out. I thought for a brief instant that maybe one of our wethers had killed our ram. Rambo did not go completely down and he managed to regain his composure. He gave Roo a very respectable distance then I breathed a sigh of relief and laughed my butt off!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Nice Illustration.........

Ewe and Lambs

Things I did today.........

1.  Helped husband with morning chores...led the Dor Galen flock to front pasture.
2. Watered the garden.
3. Went to New Ross Grain to get feed for sheep and chickens. Helped load 150# of feed in my trunk.
4. Stopped at gas station and got $4 of gasoline to ensure I didn't run out of gas coming  back from Lebanon.
5. Went to Wal Mart to get 3 skeins of yarn to finish a pair of slipper socks I'm crocheting for my husband. Told the cashier how I hated Walmart and didn't want to shop there but I have no choice as that is the closest source of commercial yarn. Went into a rant about how America's hunger for cheap goods is destroying our economy.
6. Came back to farm unloaded 150# of feed by myself. Shut the barn doors as it looked like possible rain.
7. Ate some lunch, took some Tylenol for the headache I was developing.
8. Crocheted 10 rows on my husband's sock.
9. Laid out pork chops( pastured raised, of course!) from freezer for supper.
10. Took a nap.
11.Woke up, fed dogs and rabbit.
12. Put in 6 dozen eggs to wash.
13. Started on supper. Cooked supper after hubby got home.
14.Unloaded dishwasher, reloaded dishwasher. Washed supper pans by hand.
15. Helped hubby with evening chores, feeding sheep and barn cats.
16. Did this post..................more to do tomorrow!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Another Sheep Enemy......

    I'm glad we don't have to worry about kea as they hail from New Zealand. New Zealand has a huge sheep population...... more sheep then people. This parrot must be a problem for the shepherds "Down Under".

Ruminating About a Central Indiana Fiber Mill.........

Just ruminating, mind you, but it would be great for central Indiana spinners to have a fiber processing mill that is closer to everyone here. I sold a fleece to a SWIFT member a few weeks ago and she was wanting a fiber mill that was closer. Alot of spinners buy raw fleece at fiber events and drop off the fleece at the fiber processing mills that attend the event, but it would be great to have one closer and not have to pay for shipping........

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Sleep of Sheep......

Our sheep sleep pretty soundly in the afternoon......No, Pig is not dead....she's sleeping!

Here is Linc snoozing away with Little Mac sawing logs in the background......

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lionel....Up Close and Personal

Wild Thing's Face

Wild Thing

Little Mac's Face

I took so many sheep photos yesterday, I'm afaraid I got carried away, But here is Little Mac from yesterday......

Little Mac

An Additional Sheep face......

Chunky Buns

 Chunky couldn't be left out!

September Sheep Faces

Sheep faces through the fence are always fun! Here's some of our sheep from yesterday afternoon....Enjoy!

Mild Thing

Thursday, September 9, 2010


    Brittany was born here at Dor Galen Farm in 2007. She is the head ewe of the Dor Galen flock.
She has the most wondrous fleece  with a temperamental  attitude just to make things interesting, I suppose.
She is the mother of Little Mac and her mothering skills is how she acquired her name. Little Mac is the surviving twin, the other twin did not survive birth. Brittany turned away from Little Mac every time he tried to nurse. We did manage to get about 20cc's of colostrum from her to help Little Mac survive .  Little Mac became a bottle lamb and lived in the house with us for the first couple months of his life, but that's another story to be told . So, my husband in an exasperated tone, named the ewe "Brittany"......"after the mother of the year", he said.
   Here she is at her resting place ( and it is HER resting place, by the way..) at the side of the hen house.....

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Leading The Dor Galen Flock To The Front Pasture.....

Yes, here I am leading our Dor Galen flock to greener pastures! I say "greener pastures" in jest as dry as it has been lately.  Every morning one of the ewes tries to grab a sneaky bite from one of the maple trees we planted. There are times that Rambo tries this, also. All in all, it's not too chaotic a trip from the barn, trotting through the yard and up to the gate. They wait patiently for  about a half a scoop of grain from the blue bucket, a.k.a. our number one sheep enticer.......

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So Dry You Can't Spit.......

or so it seems...... a view of the freshly cut cornfield immediately west of us...........
We really need some rain! This past month was the driest August in Indiana since, oh, about 1800
something. The pasture is really dry and the sheep seem extra hungry. I hope this does not mean we are in for a long, extra-snowy winter!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Holiday?

    Do farmers get a respite from their labors on a Labor Day Holiday? I think not, at least that has been the case on this farm and the farm just west of us. While my husband and I observe vacationing Americans zooming down the highway with boats and campers in tow, we are taking wheelbarrows of sheep shit to the compost pile. The farmer next door got his cornfield completed harvested and yesterday he was mowing the weeds along the fence row. He chatted to my husband for a few minutes and said he would send one of his boys over to mow our pasture as soon as they were done harvesting which would be a couple of more weeks.
    Meanwhile, my husband worked all day to make the compost pile higher. He has worked all summer to clean the side stall where the flock was last winter. Our barn is ancient and the stalls are narrow. The only way we have been able to clean them is with the good old pitchfork! Believe me ,
this is hard physical labor if you have never tried it!
    One of the neatest thing about harvest time here, is being able to listen to the elevators humming at night as they dry the crops. It's also neat to watch the tractor headlights at night in the fields working in the darkness to harvest the fields.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sheep Have Enemies........

Who are the primary predators of sheep? Well, coyotes rank right up there. Surprisingly enough  domesticated dogs are  up there, too.  Everyone usually thinks of wolves, and wolves definitely take sheep down. Here is a drawing of a wolf I did in 2006 while I was in Minnesota...
    Our farm is approximately thirty minutes from Lafayette, Indiana.  Wolf Park, a nature preserve is located there.  Wolves are beautiful creatures and part of nature's food chain: however, it gives this shepherdess cause for concern......

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's a Farm Without Barn Cats?

    And here are our ferocious feline defenders of the grain............

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Remember September.....

    We finally got rain today, the first rain for at least a couple of weeks. The sheep didn't try to get in from the rain, either. They just stood there and continued to graze, Bill, the llama, was completely soaked and acted like he was loving every minute of it.
   I did not have to water the garden tonight which was a break I needed. Even though it is the first of September here, it looks like October without the fall foliage. Our next door neighbor had his combine out earlier and cut half the corn field before it rained. The cornfields around here are that dry!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Scottish Shepherd with His Blackie Flock.....

   This photo reminds me of our Scottish Blackface: Wild Thing, Mild Thing , Malcolm and Whitey.
Blackies can be very skittish and standoffish, but I do have Wild Thing and Mild Thing eating raw carrots and apples from my hand. I'm still working on Malcolm and Whitey, hoping they will come around eventually.

An Adorable Sheep Face.....

    I found this sheep photo on a UK volunteering blog and I couldn't resist........

Sunday, August 29, 2010

This contrary farmeress reads "The Contrary Farmer"

    I am very intently reading "The Contrary Farmer"  by Gene Logsdon.   This book provides much food for thought (no  pun intended)  and a view of agriculture that mirrors my own.  Anyone unfamiliar with his work can check out his books and his blog at the links above.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just a Morning Post......

    A Chinese version of sheep!