Thursday, 31 March 2011
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Sunday, 27 March 2011
Saturday, 26 March 2011
Here is Missy with her triplets, 2 tup lambs and a ewe lamb
This morning we put Allium into a lambing pen as she was looking as if she was about to give birth, and by lunch time we thought she would lamb, but as the afternoon progressed nothing happend. So we decided to come in and have a cup of tea and to warm up. Tim went out to check on her an hour later to find that she was in the final stages of labour. A quick check and he could feel a head, legs and a tail. None of which seemed to match up. A quick call to our friendly farmer Pete to help out, who happened to be on the top road into the village, so he arrived very quickly and he soon sorted out the head, legs and tail.
Here is Allium with her quads, 2 tup and 2 ewe lambs. Tomorrow we will take the 2 tup lambs off of her and bottle feed them, so we end up with 4 good strong lambs, rather than 4 little lambs if we leave them for Allium to feedon her own.
After each evening feed the pregnant ewes are kept in a small paddock by the lambing barn, this makes checking them on a night relatively easy. As Missy and Allium were in the barn with their new lambs and the temperature has dropped some what, we decided to shut the barn door after the ewes had been fed. No ewes are due for a couple of day and there is a small shelter in the field. I went to feed the Teeswater ewes and Frea in the "new mum's" field when I noticed a ewe at the top of the field the expectant mums spend the day in, with a lamb. So we brought them down into the barn and put them into one of the lambing pens for the night.
No more ewes are due of a couple of days but one of our Teeswater gimmer ewes was due yesterday, so she is penned up in the remaining empty lambing pen in the barn, just in case as the jury is still out as to if she's in lamb or not.
Sunday, 20 March 2011
Just after lunch Tim went out the check the ewes before we both went out to do some Mole gassing for a local farmer, when he noticed that Frea was on her own and something was hanging from her rear, we were instnatly worried as she was not due to lamb until Wednesday at the earliest and as this is her first lambing we were going to take no risk with her.
We got her into the barn and quickly penned her up. We didn't have to wait long before she started to strain and feet appeared, trouble was they didn't look right to Tim, I had a look and saw 4 feet, 2 back and 2 front feet. So I rang Pete, our local farmer friend, to find that he's gone shopping in Whitby for his mum! I then rang fellow smallholder Jayne, who is a brilliant with complicated lambings, who said she would be round in 10 minutes. Everyone seem to arrive at once, Pete followed by Jayne.
Here is Frea with her twin lambs, a gimmer and a tup lamb
As you can see they are good strong lambs and Frea is a very attentive mum. Their Dad was Tuppyman and like both their parents the lambs like their food.
We've given Frea a shot of antibiotics because Pete "intervened", just to be on the safe side. Needless to say we are very proud of Frea, she's produce a couple of cracking lambs despite the bad winter we've had.
1 ewe down 23 more to go!
Saturday, 19 March 2011
But some more Marans will be arriving tomorrow, there was an advert in our local paper for some POL Marans. I'm going to pick them up in the morning. I will post some pictures of my new hens once they have all settled down.
Sunday, 13 March 2011
Today has been a very typical day weather wise. As I went to let the chickens out at 7am, it was mild enough that I went out without a coat and I didn't feel cold, but by the time we had walked the dogs and fed the sheep, it was bitterly cold and starting to rain.
I had to go and look at some fields for a local farmer, in regards to doing some mole control, and it was bitterly cold, my fingers and feet were like ice, but by the time I'd had lunch and caught up with Jayne on "life and sheep", the late afternoon was really mild, so mild that I managed to get my broad bean seedlings, that I bought yesterday, planted out. It feels good to get some veg plants planted out in the veg garden at last.
Saturday, 12 March 2011
It was a busy market and my customers liked the new colours that I'd dyed the knitting wool, which is good.
I had a bit of a panic last week as I'd put off the job of re-pricing my fibre, due to the VAT increase, and it looked like it was going to be a bigger job than it actually was. Serves me right for putting it off since the beginning of the year.
Pauline, a fellow smallholder, also has a stall at Saltburn selling veg, plants and her naturally dyed hand spun Jacob wool. This month she had some Broad Bean plants for sale, and as I've not sown any Broad Bean seeds I bought some from her. Hopefully I shall get them planted out tomorrow.
Packing up my stall at the end of the afternoon, it would appear that most of the stallholders had, had a good day. It makes all the effort worth while.
Sunday, 6 March 2011
The hens have also got a new hut and I will be moving them into another area of the veg garden in the next couple of days for them to help clear the weed seeds and eat any little "nasty" creepy crawlies that are hiding in the soil.
Having a very experienced Teeswater judge here, we took the opportunity to get him to have a look at our Teeswater Gimmers. One has a slight pink colouring in her ears, which for showing could mark her down and we will have to watch from a breeding point of view. He was taken by Dumpling, her fleece has a sheen to it and he thinks she will grow into a good ewe. Dimples, the smallest of the 3 gimmers, is doing O.K but still has some growing to do.
Michael was also with us when we bought the Scotties and he remembers how small they were, so he got a pleasant surprise seeing how much they had grown over the winter, no mean feat when you think how bad a winter we've had. Hopefully they should grow even more now that spring is just around the corner.
It's good to listen and glean some knowledge from a very experienced sheep man like Michael, every time we chat to him we learn something new, he's not afraid to pass on his knowledge or experience.
Saturday, 5 March 2011
Tim quickly pulled Gus out and put him in the handling area at the top of the race for the night. This left us with a dilemma as to where to put Gus. We decided to put him in with Ghilli and Grommet or two male alpacas and so far all 3 are quite happily munching the grass. So peace is restored and if Gus takes to being with Ghilli and Grommet it will mean that we won't have to keep any sheep weathers just to keep our resident tup company.
So what is going to happen to Cecil and Archie? Funnily enough when we took Tuppyman to the mart on Monday, Tim suggested that he also take Cecil and Archie, but we decided not to as we thought they would be company for Gus. Well they're off the to mart a week on Monday. It will also mean that we will have an extra paddock to use for grazing.
Tuesday, 1 March 2011
and a close up of him.
Hopefully, if the weather stays as mild as it has been during the day all 3 lambs will be out in the nursery paddock with their mums pretty soon. But as one of the twin gimmer lambs, born yesterday as a bit of a "rattle" and is now dosed up with antibiotics, along with her sister and mum, they could all be in the barn for a couple of days more.