Friday, October 16, 2009


My favorite catalog came in the mail yesterday. While I can't paint myself a true, radical, left-oriented person (I have those occasional flashes of conservatism) I can certainly enjoy most of what the catalog has to offer, and definitely enjoy having a laugh. (Wit is appealing, no matter your politics)

Each year, I prowl the pages looking for my "must have" t-shirt. This one was my first choice:
After a summer of trying to eat exclusively off the farm, struggling with the worst gardening season in recent memory, and actually having outright arguments with people who are convinced it is impossible to feed oneself without the heavy use of groceries and processed food, I liked this one.

But a close second was this:
I mean, it's been practically non-stop Wall Street greed, force-feeding of the "national health plan", and a bogus Peace Prize nomination just to touch on the highlights...but I was trying to remain positive and limit my spending.

That's over.

This is something everyone should know about. The government is fully involved in telling us what we can put in our mouths. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, what you put in your mouths, what you CHOOSE to consume, is now under the purview of Washington. Because, lord knows, you can't be trusted to recognize actual food when you see (or taste) it.

It was freaky when the Corn Refiners Association began stalking a flower farmer in Iowa who happens to make and promote salsa WITHOUT high-fructose corn syrup, it was frustrating that the government allows such rampant deception when it comes to food in our stores, but I have to tell you, it's FRIGHTENING when the government can step in, confiscate and destroy something already paid for through a private transaction, (purchased in the name of healthier living) and determine it is only fit for animal consumption. That's comforting.
Growing food, saving seeds, supporting organic agriculture, eating for health is becoming more of a radical act every day.

There's going to be a revolution in this country soon...and just remember:

It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Usually this means cutting back, laying off, and generally not good news...but we have a new twist on that phrase -

We've gone small (er)!

Introducing our Coturnix quail:

Ivory - the daddy, and Topaz, the mommy.

And now we have
Babies! The laying flock is on its way...although it will be 4 weeks till this little guy is feathered, and a few weeks after that we shall see if it's a boy or girl (Coturnix quail start laying around 6 wks.) A second baby hatched soon afterwards - you can see it's relative size
Their eggs sell for gourmet cooking, sushi, bento boxes and just the fun of itty, bitty omelets. And they sell for the same price as a dozen of our free-range chicken eggs. So no one can say these guys are slackers - they'll pay for themselves!

Monday, October 05, 2009

He came a knockin'

One moment I was sitting at the computer doing some work, and the next I heard a banging and a rustling in the back hall. Normally that means the chickens have gotten into the cat's food again, but this sounded a bit too rambunctious to be greedy poulty...
Isn't he regal looking? I was amazed that he flew into the back hall in the first place; I can't imagine what he was chasing...
I knew from the beak and the talons he was a raptor, but I had no idea what he could be (he was smaller than our banty rooster). It took some searching on the internet, but the views I got of his markings helped - here he is "resting" after another round of crashing into the windows -
He is a Sparrow hawk. How lucky I am to live here and be able to experience this kind of thing during my "work day"...

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

It knocked me backwards...

Last time I was here, I had been tagged with an award. Not just any award, but the Bella Sinclair Award. The tagging literally stopped me in my tracks.

First, I took time to find out what the award was about and in who's honor it was given. I spent a lot of time thinking about Bella's circumstances and the artful community she is a part of. (Grammar be damned...) I was sincerely flattered, but also touched by her story - would I, could I, manage in her shoes? How would I be whole again if half of me was gone? What would my art become?

I stopped to think about it a great deal.

And it gave me reason to think about a lot of other stuff this last month. It turns out, when you are thinking, you don't do much talking. That gives you plenty of time for listening. Which, in turn, means you hear more. What you hear, provokes more thought, and so on...

So, yes, I have been here all along. Lurking, mostly. But commenting when I could. And listening.

Now, the goal of the creator of this award was to have it spread across the Web as an honor to Bella. But I don't feel qualified to "nominate" blogs to carry on; there are so many and how do you choose just a few? So I am leaving that up to all of you. Feel free, if you know of a blog that embodies the ideals of being "gifted, accomplished, eloquent and talented blogger whose friendship and influence inspire us to do our best" then I look to you for help.

Tag, you're it. Pass it on.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pull up a chair...

I'll catch you up.

(sigh) Where to begin?  

After much consultation, we concluded that a raccoon attacked the bantam hen and took her wing.  We haven't reduced the raccoon population around here; but there hasn't been any more problems.  Thank goodness.

Now, voting weighed heavily for either snakes or rats in the barn.  If there was really a snake of that size, then there would certainly be a limit to the rat population.  After seeing a few in the barn, we decided it was most likely rats.  We caved, and put out poison blocks.  (I hate putting anything chemically harmful on our property, but this was serious.)  We found 10 rats.  Of disturbing size.  That is seriously disgusting to me.  Glad they were dead, of course, but really creeped out.

(DH re-affirmed his special place in my heart because he did the actual "cleaning up" of the bodies.  Ick.)

So, we have totally restructured the chicken housing and made sure babies (especially) are safe.

I've made a Mama Hen, so our chicklets can go outside sooner and survive without the usual heat lamp.
It's a box, with fringes of clean rags hanging down where they can hang out and conserve body heat while they snuggle and sleep.   The idea came to us from Sue, who had a friend in the Peace Corp who used to use these in areas that had no electricity or frequently lost the power to traditional heat lamps.

The current crop of babies seems to love it.  Here they are playing Hide-n-Go-Seek.
                                                              (See the little one peeking out on the left?) 
 These guys are housed in a small dog crate, attached to the upper wall of the large coop.  It was designed as a safe spot to house various chickens, safe from pecking or bother, but still in the same coop so they become/stay familiar with the flock.

It was also the start of our last story about chicken adventures - just yesterday I thought we lost another one.

I went in to feed everyone, and behold!  the door to the upper cage was open, and the fourth chicklet was missing.  I searched all over, even sifting through the pine shavings on the floor for a little body, and nothing.  I combed the barn, looking in every cranny.  No chick.  I looked outside in the chicken yard, expecting to see that the flock had pecked the little thing to death, and no chick.  I double and triple check.  Nothing.  Resigned, I go to tell DH we have somehow lost another baby, and as I begin the tale, I hear a little "peep, peep, peep" from the brambles.   I am stopped mid-story, craning my ears to hear it again.  Sure enough, a "peep, peep, peep" comes again.  I dig through the brambles and weeds and finally find the little guy.  Somehow, he fell out of the cage, down about 5 feet (probably bumping down the laying boxes), got across the coop floor, up over a ledge exit twice as tall as the chick, out the door, across 15 feet of fenced-in chicken yard, and across another 20 feet of lawn to the brambles, all without any predators, cats, or full-grown chickens discovering it.  Not to mention the humans who had been traversing that area all morning!  We've named the chick Marco Polo.

I have been keeping up with my commitment to eat my meals from all that we grow here or I can barter with local folks, and it's been an interesting challenge.  Especially considering we have had rain 39 of the last 43 days, and the warmest day this year was back in April.  I have to have a hot flash just to sweat most days.  If I don't get tomatoes soon, I may make the 6:00 news.  But...
this is what it looks like on most days...eggs, lots of salads and greens, bread, cheese.  Jams and berries fulfill the sweet; pickles and salsa fulfill the savory; and I don't miss soda like I thought I would.  In fact, the thing I yearn for most is pasta.  I just haven't had time to try making it myself...

Some of you know I have been struggling with designing my website - terrified that I would get it together and it wouldn't work - so that has been tapping my time and energy.'s up!  There's been a website before, but now I am solely responsible for it, and actually the business is now all mine.  So I had to start fresh, and here's the new look.  Granted, there are still issues with the shopping cart and there's more content to load, but it's like giving birth - exhausting, joyous, unbelievable, and nerve-wracking.  Now to work on the small stuff...

On one of our rare sunny days, I caught these guys taking a nap on the foundation:
That's a pile of three garter snakes.  Cool, huh?  

And I have 4 WIP's/UFO's on the needles right now, none of them close to being finished,  so pics will have to wait.

That's it for now;
no, wait!  One more thing - I think we are getting a new sheep.  More on that later... 

Monday, June 29, 2009

Something evil this way cometh...

We've had our share of poultry mishaps.  In six years, we've had dogs, rodents, disease, a marten attack, and even human callousness take some of our flock.  But something is plaguing our barnyard this year, and I can't figure out what it is...

I'm pretty sure a skunk took the 14 turkey eggs from their nest.  But they were on the lower property, and we don't monitor that plot for wildlife like we could.  But up near the house is the layer flock and the goose, with housing for chickens, chicks, bantams and the like - all within 25 yards of the house, and all secured - or so we thought.

It started two months ago when something ate the wing off our bantam hen.  Yeah, the whole wing.  I wasn't telling you about this one, because I thought maybe it was too much...but now is the time to come clean.

I went to the bantam house in the morning to open them up, and there was the hen, with a big patch of blood on her side - way too much for the usual pecking or pestering of fellow poultry.  Not actually bleeding anymore, but bloody.  Upon closer inspection, we realized her wing was bitten off.  Gone.  We can only figure that she fell asleep in the laying box and her wing dipped down through the 1" ventilation slot on the side, and something got her.  They left only one small drop of blood on the wood, and nothing else.  At a loss for what to do, I slathered the wound site with Super Salve, and housed her inside the small poultry barn to give her time to heal and be away from the bugs and sun.
This is a picture of her right side, showing the feathers growing back over her stump.  She was posing on the top of her coop, and was actually so "recovered" that she struggled to get free and consequently moved her pretty little head right out of the shot.
As you can see, she has recovered.  Having one less wing doesn't seem to hinder her, and so I have dubbed her "Lefty".  (Madison does not share my dark humor, BTW and still calls her Jelly.)   

As soon as she was recuperated, I returned "Lefty" to the bantam compound, and to lessen the cramping in the house, I moved another broody bantam and her five eggs to the indoor cage.  Everything was fine for a few days, and then I went to check on Ms. Broody, and all the eggs were gone but one.  Gone.  Overnight and they just disappeared.  No shells, no mess.  She was totally over the idea of sitting on the remaining egg unfortunately, and I returned her to the bantam house.

Two weeks ago, I was doing the evening chores and I spotted a baby grey catbird, hopping about after Candy the goose.  No parents were anywhere around, and it was too young to fly.  I didn't want to leave it to the after dark predators, and it was peeping desperately, so I scooped it up and brought it to the barn.  I locked it away in a small poultry cage with some straw and Candy to watch over it, and thought I would figure out the next steps in the morning.

Well, come morning it was gone.  Gone.  No sign of a struggle, no apparent opening large enough for the thing to escape.  Just gone.  I told myself that it must have squeezed out and found another small way out of the poultry shed overnight.

Now, two nights ago, I "graduated" two of our largest turkey poults (2 and 1/2 weeks) to a cage on the floor with larger mesh, (but none large enough for escape) and put the lone 6-week-old bantam pullet in with them for company.  It was the same set up I had used for the wounded bantam as she was recovering, and for our broody bantam.  They seemed to like the arrangements, and did well for 36 hours.

Last night, it struck again.

All three are gone.  Gone.  No feathers, no bodies, no sign of a struggle.  The littlest Narragansett poult and the Bourbon Red poult next to them in the smaller mesh cage were untouched.


I have set the trap in the barn.  But I don't expect we'll get an answer...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Testing, 1, 2, 3...(er..4)

Rose, one of our two Bourbon Red hens, sat diligently on the nest of eggs for over three weeks.   There were 14 in total; mostly hers, but with a few from the Narragansetts snuck in for good measure.  Well, despite what we (humans) felt were adequate security measures, the skunk (s?) got them all.

Having a healthy skepticism for natural hatching, I had tucked away several in the incubator, even though nothing had worked so far.  Over three incubators and four different thermometers, we had failed with almost thirty eggs  - none hatched.

Success at last - thank goodness!  (I was beginning to drag out all my tofurkey recipes that I had accumulated over the years...)
#1 and #4 show the difference in plumage.  #1 (on the right) is a Bourbon Red; the Narragansetts are darker,  duller browns with a bit of black.

Despite the claims by numerous sites that the incubation period is 28 days (don't believe all that you read - it can cause traumatic boo-boos) our poults have widened the hatching window...#1 and #2 came on the 30th day, #3 on day 28, #4 on day 29.

And not to be outdone - precocious #5 is announcing his/her arrival on day #27:
Turkeynomics 101
Last year we bought the poults (11) from the local feed store at a base price of $8.75 each.  Add organic game bird starter, at $16.95 for a 25 lb. bag, and we were starting off pricey.  We lost three to various ailments of baby poults.  

They arrived the third week of May, and we let them free-range for a lot of their lives, with minimal supplementation of organic turkey grower.  The decision to let them range was part kindness - our chickens free-range, and seem much happier and healthier for the experience, and part financial - we had to be able to sell these at the end of the year, and could not afford huge use of organic feed at $21.95 for a 50# bag.

By November, they were not as large as we would have liked, averaging around 8 pounds from the processor.  (Who charges $10 each for processing, BTW.)  This was due, in part to the fact that heritage breeds naturally take longer to put on "Thanksgiving weight", and in part to the leaner range diet.

By Thanksgiving, organic, free-range, heritage turkey was selling for $4 -$7 a pound.  New York City (three hours away) was going for $8 and more, but our customers were local, and we wound up charging $4.  We kept breeding pairs of both Narragansett and Bourbon Reds for this year.  We ate two ourselves, and sold the rest.  It was not a money-making success.

With all the difficulty hatching our own poults, we are getting started three weeks later.  So, like it or not, there has to be more grain supplementation.  We want to exceed 10 pounds for all the birds; hopefully some higher.

Free-range has to be greatly limited, due to the proximity to the enlarging food gardens and my neighbor's reluctance to host turkey pool parties again this year when the poults discover the fun of his yard... (did you know cabana chairs make lovely roosts on hot afternoons?)  

So, we shall see if we can turn this turkey business around this year...


Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Well, it was finally time to check on the bees...
Looks like they've been busy building comb, and we pulled a few outer frames to look closer...

And so we added the second hive body to give them more room to build and expand.
They were still very mellow and not too concerned with us humans, so long as we moved slowly and didn't shake things up.
All good for now...until the honey super goes on in July...

Plus, yesterday the cat and I found a little friend in the cellar, hiding amongst the Market stuff:
Little Miss Garter Snake was trying to hide, but we got her and found her a more appropriate place to hang OUT...

And have you seen that show on television that chronicles what would happen to the Earth once the humans are gone?  Well, the plant growth would be swift, immediate, and engulfing for one we spent a little time battling back the beast:

Bill's green concord grapes were sucked under a year or more ago, and we liberated them!  Always important to keep the DH happy...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In Review (or how to knit several posts into one)

Plant Something: At this time of year, it's hardly news to plant something...but the corn is in the ground, and about a third of the vegetable plants, and raspberry starts, and the best so far was some horseradish from a friend farmer, Becky.  Horseradish fans - when do you harvest and grind?  Why? I've heard both Spring and Fall...

Harvest Something: I've told you about my aspirations of supporting myself from our about including the wild?  I picked fiddleheads from our camp a while back and made a nice big dish for dinner - yumm!
Preserve something: (Allow me a little latitude on the word "preserve") we are trying doggedly to incubate and hatch heritage turkeys.  After fifty eggs, rats, skunks, bad weather, faulty thermometers, four different incubators and pretty uncooperative hens, we are just letting nature handle things.  This season, the preservation of Narragansett, Bourbon Red, and Midget White populations is just going to have to rely on the whims of nature.  
So far:
Born this morning.

Prep something: Spent days and days winding and dyeing yarn for the summer festivals and markets.  Don't want to touch sock yarn anytime soon...

Cook something:  In the never-ending quest for things made with maple syrup instead of cane sugar...I present maple-banana-fudge bars: (a made-up recipe, but my ample butt can attest to the goodness)

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

1 C maple syrup, Grade B preferred
1/2 C softened shortening (butter)
2 free-range eggs
2 C flour
1/2 C rolled oats
1 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1 C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C walnuts, chopped (optional)
2 Soft ripe bananas, mashed

Cream shortening and maple syrup.  Add mashed banana.  Mix, then add eggs and mix again.  Sift flour, oats, soda, and powder together and add to liquid ingredients in portions; mixing after each one.   Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.  Pour batter into prepared 9x13 pan, bake for 40-45 minutes.  Test for doneness with the toothpick thing...

Manage reserves:  (Well, more emphasis on the "manage" than the "reserves")  About a week ago now, we checked the hive to make sure the queen had been released.  Yep.  She's left the wee box and is off to laying eggs and eating royal jelly, or something like that...
Work on local food systems: We've finished taking memberships for this year's CSA and have compiled the little surveys on what folks want.  Beets are a new request, and less greens and lettuce was mentioned a few times.  Other than that, we appear to be on target.  We are trying more dry beans this year, more onions, broccoli and herbs.  First Market weekend: June 6th.

Reduce Waste/Recycle:  We finished our 3-bin compost system.  (Plans from the Winter issue of Organic Gardening magazine)  Due to the presence of bears in the neighborhood, we cannot compost food waste; just chicken coop droppings, barn sweepings, grass and weeds, etc.
Learn Something: Never think that you're done learning anything.  Even after all the socks I have knit, I learned a new technique - knitting on two circular needles.  And I like it!

Be a friend:  I have connected via the phone with one of my blog buddies, Michelle.  It is always so interesting to hear an actual voice to go with the persona you have already put together in your head. We are having a wonderful time delving into the world of sock knitting...actually, I already live there, and I am pulling her in to join me...(*evil grin*)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pygoras for Sale

Reg. Pygora goats for Sale $150 each; White Doe and Silver wether - you must take both. 4-H discount of $50.

Almost since the inception of the farm we have had the Pygoras.  They are an excellent hobby farm animal - milk, fleece, and meat.  Not too large, and not too small.  But we have decided to concentrate on sheep as our primary ruminant for now - with all the projects we have going on, it was time to consolidate.  We've used them mainly for fiber - and even now we are not taking full advantage of that.  So it is time to find them a new home.

They are The Oaks Cicero, b. 2004 and The Oaks Clio, b. 2004.  

If you know of anyone who would like to add to a fiber/spinners flock, or if they just need two more goats, let them know.  They can contact the farm through our e-mail:

Sunday, May 17, 2009


I went to BetterBee Friday afternoon and picked up our bees. (They suggested I should put them in the truck cab to drive them home; I declined.) They came in a screened box.  And we had the hive ready - one super and parts; all painted for durability and cooling.  (No paint on the surfaces the bees will contact.)

Here's a picture of the frames before bees (we'll get more pictures like this as the season goes on):
The smoker won't work with new bees; so you have to spray down the bees, all the frames, and the box with sugar water.

You pry the cover off the box of bees and remove the queen - she is in a little box with several drones attending her.
Then you shake the box of bees hard to get them all to the bottom, invert the box over the hive, and shake hard again to allow the bulk of the bees to fall into the hive. (The idiocy of shaking a box of bee just inches from oneself was not lost on me - but it worked.)

Once most of the bees are in, you replace the frames, and hang the queen box between two frames.  (Ours fell in, and I had to retrieve it, but it worked the second time.)

Put everything back together, and marvel at how easy it was, how calm the bees seem, and how quickly they seem to settle right down to business.

And of course, say "thank you" to the photographer:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Garden like you can't go to the store

It's not my phrase; I read it on one of the fantastic blogs I read, but it has been bouncing around in my head all week.

Really.  What if you couldn't go to the store?  The plants and animals around you take on a whole new meaning.  Work in the garden takes on a new intensity; projects like the bees seem even more important.  

I've wanted to try eating just from my own hand for several years now; my last attempt was sidetracked by medical issues.  But I am going to try it again this summer and see how it goes.  How long before I have my first choc-o-holic freak out and need to mainline a brownie?  How long before my MSG levels drop dangerously low and I have to snort an eggroll or frozen veggie nugget?  Can Diet Pepsi withdrawal give you the shakes?  Hmm...we shall see.

Victory Garden logo from Victory Garden Supplement specially written for The New Garden Encyclopedia, 1943

It gives the message of this old logo even more impact - no?  I know many of us raise food - but what are you doing differently THIS year?  I'd be interested to hear...

Monday, April 27, 2009


When I started blogging, I never dreamed that I might one day use the word "sisterhood" to title a post, but it has been one of the most unexpected and joyful parts of this cyberworld experience.

A while back, I was tapped for a blog award by a cyber twin of mine - Michelle.  She was recognizing the amazing similarities and fun parallels of our two lives, and I have been thinking about the significance of her award for some time now.
It is so easy to get caught up in your own little world and believe that your circumstances are uniquely your own, and nobody else could possible share your worries, your dreams, your ideas, or your thoughts.  Michelle rocked me out of that bubble in a most delightful way, and I have thoroughly enjoyed finding out how similar our personalities and lives can be, while still being very different - she on the West Coast, I on the East. I think she has a faith much deeper than mine, so where I might be labeled the skeptic, she is the believer.  But from this relationship, I am constantly learning.  And it is that aspect of it that I think I like the best.

Blogging has taught me endless skills, viewpoints, factoids, perspectives and launched a thousand ideas.  It has also deepened and fortified relationships that I might otherwise have let go.  Last week, Karin, had a blog contest and I actually won! (That was VERY surprising to me, as I never win anything...)  But more importantly, she is a wonderful person that I might otherwise have lost the opportunity to know.  I met her through her yarn shop, but my life has changed so much in the last two years that even if it were still open today, I would almost surely never be able to visit - as Albany fades further and further from my sphere of travel.  She is very talented, and wonderfully passionate about all kind of important things (which of course, includes knitting) but she is not a farmer.  And doesn't need to be - but our interests still mesh.

( I won this - how cool is that?  BTW - the red yarn is the exact color I have been searching for to match a gifted piece of jewelry, it must be fate...)

And even in my ever-shrinking circle of contacts these day, I have found sisterhood in the neighborhood.  Two women whom I met through the Farmer's Market have become welcome "partners in crime" and they seem to be able to inspire me or enable almost all of my addictions.  Can you believe they dragged me off to a poultry swap and made me walk away with yet another chick? 

The telltale eye ring, green-grey feet, and patterned feathers gave this little peeper away as an Ameracauna.  The moth-eaten, scraggly look gave it away as a face only a mother could love.  In stepped Madison, lover of all things chicken, and viola!  it lives with us.  How could I say "no" when green eggs are one of our best sellers? was purely a business decision.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


For those of you that can access NPR, there was an interesting piece on the Hear & Now program with Robin Young.  Her April 22nd show contained a piece on the
Farm Census and its trends and potential impact and an interview with a mid-size farmer in Vermont.  It was very interesting to hear about the growth in small and woman-run can listen to the show if you go to the website...

On letter writing...I received my third form letter response from White House.  The first was a generic postcard from the fellow in charge of White House correspondence.  (yawn)  The second was another generic postcard, this one signed by a computer with the ability to forge the presidential signature.   And finally a form letter, referencing one of the many topics I have written about, again signed by some automated something or other.  (At least they took the time to read my letter and make the proper choice of form letter to send back...)

Of course, it would be nice if they would get my address right, and send my mail to Petersburgh (with an "h").  I've written and told them of the error...but I don't really expect a change...

Commercial Break

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to bring you several important announcements.

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival - May 2 & 3  Howard County Fairgrounds  West Freindship, MD.  Dye-namics Yarn will be on sale at the G&W Sharpening booth in Barn 3.  Please stop by and see what Stacey and her family have to offer, and tell her you said "hello"...

Bennington Mayfest - May 23  Downtown Bennington, VT.  Dye-namics Yarn will have a booth in the all-day craft and culture event in Bennington.  I don't know our exact location yet, but just look for an olive green tent and two crazy ladies with WAY too much sock yarn for sale...

And for anyone keeping track, the first Sock Madness Knit off is down to the Elite 8, awaiting Pattern #3...

And this just in....

Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival - October 3 & 4  Tunbridge Fairgrounds  Tunbridge, VT. I literally just found out...booth location to follow (when they let us know).  And by then, we may have more to offer than just sock yarns...although there's nothing wrong with just sock yarns.  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What the...?

Sometimes all you can do is shake your head.
Despite ample nesting boxes, I have hens who insist on packing themselves into this cramped cage used for chick transport that is about 10 inches each side. (How can that be comfortable?)

And after sitting for the better part of an hour yesterday, one of our Ameracaunas produced this:

(Is that like a chicken fart?)

I saw Hattie, my oldest ewe, making funny noises and motions with her mouth as if she were sucking on a sour ball candy, so I went over and held out my hand and opened her mouth.  This fell out:

(Was it hers to start with, or did she pick it up out of the grain feeder?  And if there were tooth fairies for sheep, would this be one dollar, or more?)