Tuesday 30 November 2010

There was just a rumble.......

Mid morning there was a rumble and we thought it was the over hang of snow on the house. But when Tim looked out of the bedroom window, this is what he saw!
Thankfully there was no one or sheep under this roof when it collapsed. But somewhere under this are 2 trailers, a chipper and a friend's tractor. We've no idea what sort of the state they are in we will have to wait until the snow melts and we can start to pick up the mangled roof
This shows you the side wall and how it's lent inwards. Not all of the roof has gone, where Tim replaced the perlin and created the area for the pet lambs is still standing.

This is the wall behind the diesel tank and there is a crack from top to bottom. Thankfully the tank is still intact.
We spent this afternoon moving some of the hay that is stored in the middle of the barn and now exposed to the elements, into the lambing barn, the rest we have sheeted and tomorrow will be moved into the lambing barn as well. All the electrics are off outside and tomorrow Tim will have to sort out some electrics for the garage for the freezers and then over the next week or so, sort out the outside lights and power to the lambing barn.
On the bright side we very nearly replaced the old sheeting on this roof with new, no one was injured and no livestock harmed. We've always wanted to do something with this barn and now we have the opportunity! Something to work on during the rest of winter.
I think I can now say I'm officially fed up with this snow.....

Sunday 28 November 2010

Enough is enough!!!

We had yet more snow overnight, and when we went out to feed the animals, Grommet came out of his shelter to meet us....
As you can see, the snow is a bit deep!

Tuppyman walking from the hay rack to the feed trough in a track made by Archie and Cecil

I just had to take this picture of Archie, with snow on his face as he looked at me from behind the hay rack after we had refilled it.
Though we have a lot of snow it's not cold, which means that the sheep are not going through the hay like they did last year. Which is good as if this weather is going to last for any length of time.
The chickens are not particularly happy, they are staying in their hutch more than most. But today with the sun and mild weather I opened up their main door, to air the hutch out and they seemed to appreciate it, but by 2.30 they were all shut up again with water and feed. Two of the hens have decided to go into a moult, so I will have to check my chicken book to ensure that they don't need anything extra.
There's one good thing about the snow I've no excuse not to finish painting the bathroom now that Tim has done all the tiling.

Friday 26 November 2010

More snow

Overnight we had some more snow. It's now over a foot deep. The snow plough has been down the road into the village and past our track end, unfortunately the plough has piled all the snow across our track end, so we're more or less snowed in.
Here is Holly trying to walk in the snow in the yard, she's not too keen about going out and will only walk in your footsteps, like the poor page in the Good King Wenceslas carol.
The Gimmers too are finding the only way to get to their hay rack is to "follow my leader" through the snow
The hens are not venturing very far at all. As you can see from this photo, the snow is deeper than they are tall.

With all this snow, there is only one thing to do, is light the wood burning stove keep warm, though I have been painting the bathroom ceiling now that Tim has finished the tiling. It also looks like I'll not be able to get to the craft fair I'm supposed to be at on Sunday, at Danby Village Hall.

Thursday 25 November 2010

This is what we woke up to this morning!

The yard and gate before anyone or the dogs had a chance to leave foot or paw prints


Holly's been sniffing around in the snow

Some picturesque trees laden with snow

Looking back down towards our house on the dog walk
Walking towards the windmill in the village, showing the sky out towards the North Sea, from where the snow has and is coming from

Deefa forgot about the ditch!

And finally Holly's snow boots, what you can't see is the snow on her tummy!

Wednesday 24 November 2010

The White stuff has arrived

We walked the dogs in the sleet this morning.
We fed the sheep and filled up the hay racks in the sleet.
On and off all day it has either pelted down with hail stones or great flurries of snow, and this evening snow is 2" deep on the window sills outside and it's not December yet!
So I've spent the day either in the office or dying some Superwash Merion Aran wool ready for the craft fair at Danby Village Hall on Sunday.
Yesterday we had a move round of the ewes. The ewes that are with Gus and Finn all have access to a barn, but Tuppyman and his girls don't. So we put Frea with Gus and Missy, Anya, Ariadnne, Allium and Abbie with Finn. Tuppyman has gone back to be in with Cecil, Fluffy and Archie.
With the snow we've had today, not a sheep could be seen in the fields!

Sunday 21 November 2010

Some more new girls

On Wednesday we went over to our friend's Richard and Steph's smallholding to pick up 3 Teeswater Gimmers.
This is Seekie

This is Dimples

and this is Diddles

We didn't choose the names, but the girls are used to them, so we won't be changing them. They are now in with our other gimmers, so we now have a small flock of 12 gimmers to replace some of our older ewes next year and also to increase our breeding flock to 30.

Talking about the ewes, finally ewe 703 has a been covered by Gus. We were going to give her until next weekend and if she wasn't covered by then, she was off to the cull ewe sale.

Life is going to be very busy over the next 2 weeks. I'm working for the Employment Tribunal for 10 days, then next Sunday and the following weekend a couple of craft fairs at Danby. I've had to order some more sock yarn as I've nearly sold out, that should arrive on Tuesday. When I will get chance to dye it up I don't know, but I'm going to have to get it done. It seems as if my work at the moment is like buses, nothing for ages then loads come along at once!

Sunday 14 November 2010

All change...

On Wednesday we swapped the raddle colours for all the tups. Gus is now Green, Tuppyman yellow and Finn, orange.
On Thursday morning Flora had a green coloured bum, where she had been yellow, and as she was the first ewe Gus had covered, we had a slight panic as was this a sign that Gus was "firing blanks". But thankfully no one else has a green coloured bum, and today Tuppyman has finally covered Ariadnne, so we have only one ewe left that is not covered, and that is Scottie 703, who did not lamb last year and we are not hopeful that she will lamb next. Another cull ewe I fear.
The weather this week has been very mixed, one minute it's been so windy that it's been so hard to stand up, the next it's been sleeting followed by rain, already we are wallowing in mud. Then the last two days it has been fine and cold. You just don't know what to wear!
I finally managed to get the last of my potatoes dug up, with the help of my chickens. I've had to put the potatoes on a pallet in the barn to dry before I bag them up and put them in the shed for the winter. So that's another veg year over. I've got the seed catalogues for next year, so I just need to decide what I want to grow next year.

Sunday 7 November 2010

Store Lamb Sales

On Wednesday we took 11 lambs to the last store lamb sale before Christmas. There were 1600 lambs for sale. We had two pens of lambs, a pen of 4 that were under 30kgs and a pen of 7 that were between 30 and 35kgs. We averaged just over £50.00 each for them. We were very pleased with the price.
Tomorrow we are taking 3 old ewes to the Cull ewe sales. Not a nice trip, but sometimes you just have do these things.

The Tup's have been busy...

Out of the 26 ewes the Tups had to cover, there are only 4 left uncovered.
Tuppy man has just Ariadnne to cover
Gus - 2 Scotties
Finn- just Berniece
Looks like we are going to have a tight lambing period. On the 31st March 2011 8 ewes are due. Good job we have a much bigger lambing barn.

Friday 5 November 2010

This just came down the chimney...

On Wednesday night we heard some scratching in the Dining Room, we just presumed it was Deefa "knocking" at the door to come in.
On Thursday lunch time Tim was going to clean out the wood burning stoves, when he saw this!

How on earth this owl managed to get down the chimney, and into the wood burning stove, we've no idea, but there it sat, backing in the sun. I gave my friend Jayne a ring to come and rescue the owl as she's already successfully raised an owl chick.

Here is the owl in Jayne's hands, ready to be taken to her barn to be looked after.
She rang me later to say that after she had given the owl some water and it had, had a little sleep, it was flying around the barn, so she was going to open the door and give it the option of flying out. It should be able to find it's way home as Jayne only lives on the other side of the A171.
But now I know that if this little owl can get into the wood burning stove, down our chimney, so should Father Christmas. I still don't know how they manage to do it.........