October 17, 2012
August 20, 2012
Here are Willie and King, two of our bottle babies from last spring. Willie is a Hampshire/Suffolk lamb and King is an Alpine buck (dairy goat). We fed them twice a day for about 12 weeks, 8 ounces each time. Check out their wiggling tails to see how much they enjoy their bottles — and how much they love to race to the finish.
King wins, both on speed and style. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdz9yCj1lkY&feature=youtu.be
July 17, 2012
I was chatting on Facebook about my 4-Hers getting ready for the Sedgwick County Fair, which included E. washing her chickens.
“How do you wash a chicken?” they asked. “Very carefully,” I answered. Sorry…couldn’t resist. Here’s the real scoop on how E. washes her chickens. In this case, Speedy.
1. Catch Speedy by moving very quickly, cornering him in the chicken house and grabbing him.
2. Slowly submerge Speedy — but not his head — into warm soapy water. (We use Dawn dish soap.) Hold tight with one hand. Use other hand to rinse off feathers and scrub feet.
3. Remove Speedy from water. Let him drip just a little. (Don’t know why. That’s just her technique.)
4. Make sure Cesar doesn’t sneak in or a dirty chicken will be the least of our worries.
5. Submerge Speedy again, this time just in warm water. Give him time to enjoy. (He just bobs about in the bucket, like he’s on a floatie on the lake.)
6. Give him to your brother to hold, so Speedy can drip dry. Must ask nicely because brother doesn’t really want to hold a wet chicken. Then, place carefully in pet carrier to transport directly to the fair.
Finally, enjoy spending time with Speedy and his friends in the poultry barn.
May 9, 2012
April 22, 2012
I’ve been a farm wife for more than 20 years. Not once has a farm animal made its way into the house. That is, until a couple of weeks ago when a ewe (female sheep) died after giving birth. What to do but start bottle feeding her lamb? Since the little male, who came to be known as Willie, needed to eat about every four hours, he came inside.
My farmer-in-law brought out a baby bottle and diapers from the grocery store and we were set. Since Willie had only sucked on his mother for a short time — and because he was hungry — he quickly took to the bottle. We started him on canned goat milk until we were able to buy powdered milk replacer for sheep.
He was just so darn cute — always eager to eat, snuggle and play. The kids took turns falling asleep with him each night. I would gather him up before I went to bed, so he could have his last bottle of the day and then settled him in to his blanket in our mud room. I didn’t even mind those 2 a.m. feedings.
But, lambs grow up and need to be sheep. So, today Willie is back outside in his pen. We brought home a three-week-old Alpine dairy goat buck yesterday, so he has a pen mate. We just finished feeding both for the night. When we left, they were busy practicing butting heads. Their pen is full of fresh straw, so I’m sure they’ll tuck themselves in soon. Or, not. Who knows what happens in the farmyard when the farmer goes in the house?
March 8, 2012
These twin lambs were born this morning, on National Ag Day. One is male and one female and they’re doing great. This is the first lambing for this ewe and she’s keeping them warm and full. See them in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrHOHVriP9c&feature=g-upl&context=G27b7a95AUAAAAAAAAAA.
Last year, we also had an Ag Day birthday. My 4Her took “Sparkles” to the Sedgwick County Fair last July and she’s now part of our herd. Here she was a year ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbOLxpLdBbU&feature=channel.
Happy Ag Day everyone. Thanks farmers and ranchers for all you do.
January 25, 2012
December 11, 2011
Our farm animals are putting on their winter coats. No one does it better than our sheep, though. Don’t Molly and our other young ewes look warm, even fashionable in their wool coats? Our sheep are mainly a cross between the Hampshire and Suffolk breeds. D. shows lambs at the county fair for 4-H.
We shear them once a year, in the spring, and deliver the wool to our area sheep association. They pay 29 cents a pound — a little spending money for D.
June 20, 2011
Good storytellers write about what they know and what they love. For Roberta and Ramona, what they know is that prairie dogs can be pets, calves can sometimes find their way into the kitchen and a Clydesdale named Ruby was destined for divadom. What they love is turning these stories into children’s books about farm life.
Roberta Seiwert Lampe and her daughter Ramona Lampe together have written two novels, six children’s books, four books of poetry books — with several more in the works. I wrote about Roberta last year (http://lynnwoolf.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/strong-women-and-their-stories/ ) and was lucky to meet Ramona this spring.
Roberta has written throughout her career, but started writing her first novel later in life, as a way to cope with her husband’s cancer and other family tragedies.
“Agnes was a story I wanted to write for years. I thought ‘This story has to be told,’ “ says Roberta. Agnes was her grandmother, who emigrated from Germany, moved to Kansas and married a widower with six children.
Ramona started writing her first story, Ruby the Diva Clydesdale, at Roberta’s urging. “I kept saying she should write this story, but she said, ‘I don’t know anything about Clydesdales. You write it.’ So, I did.” Ramona drew upon the personality of a real-life Clydesdale from a horse farm where she works.
Their author relationship is separate from their mother-daughter relationship. Ramona says they’re not a creative team, but a marketing team. They write separately, but share book signings and speaking engagements. Both are good talkers and good listeners, so they enjoy conversations with strangers as well as friends.
I believe their mother-daughter relationship strengthens both their creativity and marketing efforts. And, it’s heartwarming to see their mutual admiration. For instance, Ramona warmly refers to Roberta as her “rebel mother.” Roberta tears up when she says how proud she was of Ramona at a recent book signing, when Ramona shared her personal struggles after a head injury.
They share a common goal, too: Draw upon their own experiences on their family farm to help educate children about agriculture — and bring a smile or two.
A testimonial from my own farm girl (and artist): “The stories are funny and cute and the drawings are very inspirational. My favorites are Prairie Dog Pet and Calves in the Kitchen.”
You can learn more Roberta, Ramona and their books here: http:\\lampebooks.tateauthor.com.