I don't know how folks in the midwest have stood for 28 days or more of this heat. It's only been the second day over 90 degrees and already I can't take it. Of course the air conditioner in the car decided to call it quits and my commute is an hour and a half. All the animals are suffering. The sheep are panting in the shade and the livestock guardian dog is alternating between digging huge pits and soaking in this kiddie pool in an effort to stay cool. Even the chickens and quails are panting.
The corn is gone. Squash, pumpkins and melons are all wilting even though I am hand watering each morning. Beans look like they're ready to call it quits too and the tomatoes have petered out. Unfortunately we put them in a bad location this year.
This morning I found three of our quail dead in their cage. It was obviously the work of that masked marauder....the raccoon. I knew the dangers of living in a rural area with small critters when we moved to the farm over a decade ago, but this has NOT been a good weekend.
I'm truly losing the heart for keeping livestock; we've suffered so many losses this year.
Initially I had planned to reduce our sheep flock to just the smaller Coopworth, but now I've decided to stop shepherding altogether. Three sheep remain, two registered and proven ewes; one ram lamb. Prices and pictures available on our sale page: http://www.freewebs.com/laingcroft/forsale.htm
Our Border Collie Lena, crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. Lymphoma. She had a rough start in life, but it improved drastically when she was rescued and trained to herd. That was her calling. Even though she slowed down quite a bit over the past year, she still had her hollowed out spot under the trees near the pasture gate where she would lay to watch the flock for hours on end. Unlike the LGD who never leaves his flock no matter what, we knew if she found us before she was called in, there was something wrong in the pasture. Though we only had her for the last half of her life, I'd like to think we provided her with a happy retirement home where she spent her days doing what she loved best.