Cold Sunday Morning and Lady Madonna

It was cold this morning when I left work.  I noticed the first Trumpeter Swans I have seen this autumn flying over.  I drove home and started the chores.  

On Thursday I had moved the hen and her hay loft chicks into the empty mean rooster pen.  By Friday they had escaped into the chicken pen.  This morning they are out in what we call the pheasant pen (where we used to keep pheasants).  Here they are, growing up:


I moved these guys out of the weasel proof pen to give the peachicks more room to roam.  Here they are this morning with the hen who hatched them.  They are growing up too and starting to get nubbins on the tops of their heads.  


With the frost the squash leaves all wilted.  I harvested the remaining squash and found some more hidden by the leaves.  Here are the spaghetti squash I grabbed.  You can see some more were eaten by rodents again.


I also found some pumpkins, the salvageable ones are on the right.  I did find one more butternut squash this morning too.


The chewed on squash went into the barnyard.  This hen was the first to start eating.


Then Little Man and one of his hens started.


Finally Saphie the goat started eating one too.


In other news, we had to say goodbye to Lady Madonna this morning. She was born to our Miss Lizzie, sired by Lewis, in April 2007.


I sold three lambs (including her) and three goat kids to a man that July.  In February 2013 we had to rescue two of the sheep (her and Ewegenie) from a horrible situation.  We also took back in two of the goats (Gertie and Wiki) we had sold him that had subsequently gone to a goat rescue.  One lamb Shauna and one goat Little Queenie had died in his care.  The photo of Madonna above was cropped from our blog’s banner which sadly showed all three of the lambs that I sold into that horror.  I keep it there as a tribute.  Below is the photo of Ewegenie and Madonna being brought back home.

Ewegenie and Lady Madonna in the trailer0213

Below is Lady Madonna about to be sheared later that month.  I assume that she hadn’t been sheared the whole time she was away (>5 years).  

Madonna before shearing0213

Here she is with her 5 years old wool removed as best I could.

Madonna mostly sheared0213

Here she is three years later hanging with Heidi.  

Heidi and Madonna 122016

Here she is being sheared in 2017.

madonna being sheared 0317

That fleece was combined with three other of our black Shetland fleeces from that year to make this yarn which I love.

2 ply sportweight black Shetland yarn from Hodor, Diddley, Jet & Madonna, ~3 oz, 250 yards, $9 1217

Here is her shearing from 2018.

Madonna 0318

Here she is with her maintenance last year.

Madonna 1119

And here she is being sheared this last spring with her last fleece below that.

Madonna shearing 0320Madonna fleece 0420

She was doing well then, but she has been dwindling over the last 2 months.  She was slightly thin with fall maintenance in September so we were spoiling her with extra feed.  But over the last 2 weeks she was eating less and separating herself from the flock.  I did try antibiotics as these can be symptoms of pneumonia, but it didn’t help.  Here is my last photo of here from 4 days ago.  She was still eating some and getting around, but we found her dead this morning.

old Madonna 1020

Now we only have one animal from that rescue, our Ewegenie. I will miss sweet Madonna. She was a nice sheep who survived a lot and deserved better than she got in her life. But I have tried to make it up to her these last 7 years. Hopefully I did.

PS One of my favorite bloggers had a accident and is in the hospital. I am hoping for the best for The Weaver of Grass.

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9 Responses to Cold Sunday Morning and Lady Madonna

  1. Jeanne says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I remember reading about Madonna and the others, earlier. It broke my heart. It must have been terrible for you and Tom! Madonna was so beautiful! And that black Shetland yarn you spun – is exquisite!! Have you used any of it?

    I would like to see anything you did!

  2. Jeanne says:

    I’m glad you were able to gather more of your squash.
    And the birds are very interesting! I look forward to more pictures to come!

  3. Jeanne says:

    I enjoy reading your blog and exchanging comments with you!

  4. FullyFleeced says:

    rest in peace Lady Madonna. I’m so glad she had a good last seven years back at your place.

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