15 August 2012

Pearlie & Puddles

I'm a bit teary and sad.
The ewes are lambing and the weather has been horrific.
Icy winds and torrential rain.

Pearlie was the first ewe to lamb. 
Three days ago she had a creamy coloured girl with brown legs and nose. But the lamb died during that first night.

Then last night triplets were born - two boys and a girl. The mother rejected one of the boys. I named him Puddles.

It breaks my heart to see an unwanted lamb. It's wee tummy sunk in with lack of milk. And the pitiful baa.

I've had success with mothering on lambs to ewes who have lost theirs. But it was always done straight away. Luckily we'd kept Pearlie's dead lamb so even though it had been a few days it was still worth a try.

We penned Pearlie up and restrained her while Puddles had a good feed. His tummy grew round. :)

Next, this is upsetting and gruesome, I skinned the dead lamb and put the skin on Puddles. In an instant Pearlie rushed over and sniffed him.
You could almost see the confusion on her face as she could smell her own lamb but also smell Puddles. She wouldn't accept him and backed away. 

I'm still hopeful that it will work. She doesn't bunt him which is a good start and I will keep making her feed him.

At least Puddles is getting the milk he needs and if worst comes to worst I'll bottle feed him and he can be our pet.


Puddles in his 'skin jacket'.

2 August 2012

Makin' Soap

It was a bit scary!

I heated 1000g olive oil and 250g coconut oil.

Dissolved 172g caustic soda/lye in 450mls filtered water.
To avoid the fumes, I mixed the lye and water outside. 
It heated up by itself and was steaming!

Then came the juggling act. 
The oils and lye solution both had to reach 50 degrees Celsius at the same time. When that happened I carefully poured the lye in with the oils and mixed them together with a stick blender.

And kept blending until it reached trace.

Then I poured it into a greased container.

The next morning, after much wrestling, I prised the soap out of the container and cut it into blocks. 
Next time I will line the container with baking paper.

Not the prettiest looking cakes but they smell lovely and mild...like Sunlight soap.

After six weeks of curing they'll be ready to use.

Note to self.....When dealing with caustic substances, DO NOT use your teeth to pull your rubber gloves off!!!

The result is a singed tongue.


Soap recipe thanks to Rhonda of Down to Earth