Early this week it was announced that animals in a Low Risk area, that's us, could start to do a farm to farm movements, but again with very tight bio security, a 20 day standstill etc. So we are in the process of arranging the delivery of our 3 alpaca girls for next Saturday. Denise has managed to negotiate the Defra help line and web site to download the new movement licence but still has to speak to the local animal health department in Leeds. She will need a strong coffee before tackling that phone call!!!!
On Thursday it was Denise's birthday and the celebrations went on for 2 days. Thursday night was a meal out in the local pub, Friday was a day of chocolates, followed by an office night out at a Mexican (the office is now on a diet), a farm sale on Saturday morning, (a galvanised trough was purchased for fleece washing) and a trip to Masham Sheep Fair on Sunday. No sheep but lots of gossip and fleeces and fibre to see, not one of Tim's favourite of fairs.
The rain this week has proved that the ditch Tim dug is working really well. It's weired watching the water running out of the top layer of soil at the "Y" start of the ditch. The part of the fence line that was previously wet, appears to be dry. This winter will test it more, but it's good to see the water running down the newly dug ditch.
The problem with being able to move sheep is that we are 1 Wiltshire Horn ewe short, but if we pick her up we are then on a 20 day stand still, apart from sending sheep to slaughter, and on Saturday we heard that sheep markets are back on, so we are hoping that the York Rare Breeds Sale will be back on soon. Gossip is that the prices paid for sheep is very low, so we're undecided what to do. It will cost us to keep the lambs through the winter but to get just £5.00 a lamb is an insult. We will take this year's lambs, but we were going to take a couple of ewes from last years lambs. but we are now thinking about keeping them and putting them to Hector, our Shetland Ram.
Speaking of the rams, they are looking well and getting ready for tupping, we will start to put in pre tupping licks for both the rams and the ewes. Two of our "old girls" will not be going to the tup this year, Lucy and Lotti our Hebridean X's, they are both looking thin. One of our friends is looking for a couple of "grass cutters" to keep her paddocks down, so they may go there for a few months. We will see what happens.
Next week see us getting the alpaca girls used to the trailer they will be travelling in to their new home. Will post as to how it all went.