On Wednesday whilst doing some ditching work up on the common land, Tim was slowly moving the tractor on when it decided to slide slowly sideways and get stuck in the soft marshy soil. He rushed to get the Zetor, but by the time he got back, the tractor and digger had sunk to it's axles. With Tim on the Zetor pulling and me trying to drive the International (the stuck tractor) we attempted to get it out, but to no avail. We rang Colin to help, but he was still on his holidays, so Gerald brought a tractor across, but before Gerald arrived Brian and Kathleen from the next farm had seen the tractor slip and arrived with a very big tractor to pull us out. It took Brian no time at all and the International was released from the marsh. So now Tim can still do the ditching but with the International at a very different angle and on very hard ground. It will take longer this way, but at least we shouldn't get stuck again.
But the other problem with the International was that the starter motor finally packed up so one had to be found pronto. It's amazing what you can find on e-bay.
We had a couple come to look at our 3 remaining female alpacas, and after looking at Ghilli's offspring they decided to buy the girls. We will be delivering them to their new home in a couple of weeks time.
Now that the restrictions for Foot and Mouth have changed, we can move sheep on to our farm but incur a 20 day standstill, so with us taking some lambs to the Rare Breeds Sale at the beginning of October, we have a very small window of opportunity to bring our Wiltshire Horn Ewe lambs onto our holding.
So in readiness of the lambs arriving on Saturday we had a mass move round of our livestock. Something we thougth would not take long so we could go to Kildale Show.
First we moved the female Alpacas to the top field next to the common land, we then moved the breeding ewes to the top paddock that was fenced earlier this year, shedding off the gimmers that are to go to the rare breeds sale. Next to be moved were the lambs in the back field, into the barn to be sorted into females and tups. We then moved the alpaca males, into the back field, they moved reasonable well, but they have not been in this paddock before and were a little nervous, we played "chase the alpacas around the tractor" a few times before they got the idea of going into the field, where they spent their time hugging the fence line to watch the females. But this was nothing compared to what was to come.
We first shed off the 5 lambs that were to stay into with the breeding ewes, we had to use Deefa's help as they thought it was a "good game" to chase up and down the field rather than through the gate, they finally went. Next to move were the lambs that are going to the sale. They have never been moved on their own with a dog before and typical of Shetlands they do not flock. Deefa has learnt to "tack" down a field with them and to ensure they don't turn back on him. He's good at that. After a good half an hour they finally decided to go through the gate and up the race into their new paddock, but Deefa was all for grabbing them and chucking them over the fence and to hell with what Defra say about the correct way to handle sheep, no grabbing of horns or wool. They obviously don't handle our sheep the little horrors or words to that effect.
We then moved the alpaca girls into the race along with the trailer ready for them to be moved, so they will get use to the trailer, the ram lambs into the field the alpaca girls were in and finally the alpaca males into a field near the common land with fencing capable of dealing with them.
Today we picked up the Wiltshire Horn girls, we were originally to have 7 but 1 died and a 2nd got fly strike very badly. The 5 remaining lambs loaded easily into the trailer and when we got them home we gave them a shot of Heptovac and Selco, they are now in isolation for the next 3 weeks, and they certainly have some meat on them.
So what does next week hold for us, well we are both back at work, Tim at the cafe, Denise for the railway but the weekend is hedge laying, subject to the one of hedge laying Holland's ribs mending, but that's another tale or as he put it a "Bugs Bunny moment" running whilst a ladder is falling does not stop you getting hurt.
Perth Festival of Yarn, and a bit of dyeing
5 weeks ago