Sunday, 6 January 2008

Happy New Year from Meadowcroft Swamp!!!!!!

Since the New Year, we've had snow and rain, so now our land is very muddy. There is nothing you can do, and the best thing is to try and stay off it as much as possible. Thankfully with the ewes being fed in the barn, we no longer have to take bales of hay up to their feeders. All Tim has to do at the moment is just push the bales off the stack and they fall nicely into the ring feeder, cut the baler twine and that's their hay done. Teaching the Hobbit's how to do this when they were here last Friday involved shouting "Bombs away". I wonder if Tim does that when he's on his own!!!!!
We saw the New Year in as we were invited to a party at Ugthorpe House. We had a great time and it was 2am when we finally went to bed. So when it was raining on New Years Day, we were grateful as we were both very tired. Though I did go and visit my friend and fellow craft worker Phillipa (she will be with me and Sharon at Woolfest) to catch up on the gossip and to up date her on May, the Shetland ewe we bought from her earlier this year. She was gad to hear that May was due to lamb the middle of April
It was back to work for me on Wednesday, followed by a day working from home in the Thursday, partly due to the snow, but mainly due to the signalling cables being stolen and cut on the line between Saltburn and Bishop Auckland, so there were no trains running and I didn't fancy standing at Saltburn station, in the snow for several hours waiting to get to work. Thanks to technology I can now log on to my files at work via the Internet.
On Saturday Deefa had his annual visit to the vets for his booster, Kennel cough injections, weighing and worming tablets. All I will say about this visit is that Deefa is far from a brave dog in the vets. He hid behind me the whole time. The verdict from the vet is that he's in fine form and very fit.
As Hector and Charlie have now been away from the ewes for a week and all they have done is stand next to each other by the gate between their paddocks, we decided to open the gate and see how they behaved. They swapped paddocks and this morning Hector was sat in the entrance to the shelter, in the sun, not allowing Charlie in at all. So we put them both in with the weathers, Angus, Alex, Archie and Cecil. Hector and Charlie starting chasing them as if they were ewes!!!! Hector we noticed had a bad limp, his front feet needed trimming and were very soft. Thankfully this week I had ordered some homeopathic treatment for the prevention of foot rot. Not that this a problem on our land, we do get a few hobbling sheep but it's mainly due to mud and small stones lodged between the sheep's toes. But the year I was didn't put the medication into their water, we had a lot more problems with the sheep's feet. Now we don't take the risk.
I know that some people are sceptical of homeopathic treatments, but sheep don't know the difference and it works for us. We also put Cider Apple Vinegar in all the animals water butts to build up a resistance to intestinal worms.
So today, whilst Tim put away the hurdles that had been used with Hector and Charlie, the weather was ideal for mole gassing, sunny, dry and windy. So after putting fresh straw down in the ewes barn, added medication to all the water butts, I spent a very pleasant day gassing moles. I do have the appropriate training and licence to use the gassing chemical for some reason I no longer get asked to make the coffee at work!!!!
More next week and it's good to see the days getting longer. It was 4.30pm before it was dark today

No comments: