Sunday, 16 September 2007

Foot and Mouth again.......

This week has not been particularly a good one. It started on Tuesday when Tim went to book the truck in for it's MOT only to find that the earliest it could be done is Tuesday of the following week. Normally that is not a problem, but we had arranged to deliver Elli, Bella and Eloise to their new owners on Sunday. So this was arranged for the following Saturday, the 22nd.
Then on Wednesday the news broke of another Foot and Mouth outbreak in Surrey, so the delivery on the 22nd is now postponed until we are allowed to move animals again. At the auction mart in Whitby, anyone who had not moved their animals from the mart when the news broke of Foot and Mouth, could not move their animals until they had been inspected by a vet.
We were hoping to go to a farm sale on Saturday, but this too has been cancelled, along with all the other farm sales. This includes the Rare Breeds Sale on the 5th October, where we were hoping to send 15 ewe lambs. We have plenty of grass at present, but the knock on effect of these lambs staying on our land past October will only be known come Jan/Feb next year when we are struggling for grass.
A useless piece of information - this latest outbreak of Foot and Mouth is nearer to France than it is to us!!!!!
As you know we've purchased 5 Wiltshire Horn ewe lambs, well on Tuesday Tim was doing the morning feed when he noticed on of the ewes was "weeing from the middle!!!". A check that evening confirmed that the ewe was a weather, so rang Sue and after a bit of a giggle about Sue's eyesight and needing new glasses etc, it's been agreed we will keep him and she's found the missing ewe lamb, and again once the movement restrictions are lifted we will go and collect her!!!
On the plus side Tim has finished digging the ditch on the common land and despite the dry weather we have been having, the ditch is filling with water.
Denise spent Saturday, spot spraying the nettles, docks and thistles, despite what the instructions say on the bottles, of spraying in spring, we have found that the best results occur when they are sprayed at this time of the year, the plants must take the chemical down into their roots and because they are dying back anyway, it kills them more quickly.
Today we sprayed all the ewe lambs that have Orf, Denise had been putting a homeopathic spray in their water, which looking at the lambs today has certainly helped to dry up the ulcers around their mouths and noses.
Whilst we were doing this Lucy/Lotty came to the gate to watch us, she is still thin so we decided to move her into the handling area, she can see all the other sheep and alpacas, so we can give her some extra feed, as in hay, sheep nuts and sheep lick. I don't think we will be putting her to a ram this year.
As we are not delivering the alpacas in the near future we have moved them back into their own paddock for the time being. The trailer will be moved back to where it normally lives and once we are able to move animals again, we will put the girls and the trailer back into the race for the girls to once again get used to the trailer.
So what of next week, well it's "batten down the hatches" yet again thanks to Foot and Mouth. The weather is predicted to be unsettled so I'm not sure what will get done on the land, but on Sunday it's the first of our hedge laying days, with the hedge laying Marshalls. Really looking forward to it, but this signals the end of the summer, though we still have some swallows flying around, so summer isn't fully over, but once they go that is the sign that summer is over!!
More next week

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