Monday 28 February 2011

We have our first lambs of 2011

They were the reason why there was no blog last night. We were in the barn watching and waiting for their mum to deliver. We decided at 11pm that nothing was going to happen, so went to bed. When Tim did the 6am check, there were 2 lambs with their mum. Twin gimmer (ewe) lambs
These are our first Teeswater lambs and it's amazing how big their feet and elbows are. They remind me of a heavy horse's foal, all legs and feet.
When my friend and fellow smallholder called to look at the lambs mid morning, we were about to top the lambs up with a bottle, as they were looking a little hollow sided. But a quick check on mum revealed that one of her teats still had it's waxy plug so the lambs were finding it difficult to suckle any milk. So the ewe was quickly turned over, Jayne and I milked the ewe to get the milk flowing and then "latched" a lamb on to each teat.
They very quickly got the idea and soon had very full tummies. This evening, when I checked in on the lambs after work, they were certainly a lot fatter and starting to try and bounce around. A very good sign.
The other Teeswater ewe is due tomorrow, but is showing no signs what so ever. But it can all happen in a very short space of time.

Monday 21 February 2011

Photos of the new lamb

At 10 o'clock last night I finally gave in and went over to see how Jayne was getting on with lambing. As it turned out the ewe only had one lamb, a tup lamb. I went back this morning to take a couple of photos.

Sunday 20 February 2011

sat anxiously waiting...

My friend Jayne's Teeswater ewe is due to lamb today, and I've been on tenterhooks all day waiting for her phone call to say all is safe and well.
She rang 10 minutes ago to say that she was just letting me know that one lamb safely delivered and she was going back out to the barn to check on her ewe.
So I'm sat here anxiously waiting, with a glass of wine poured out but not touched....

Thursday 17 February 2011

Catching up

I don't know where the last week or so has gone, it's not as if we've been particularly busy, but the days seemed to have flown by.
We moved the 2 Teeswater ewes that are due at the end of this month into the lambing barn as the weather has turned for the worse, wet and cold. They have half the barn to wonder around in and they seem a lot a happier. We will put them into separate pens later next week so we don't have missed matched lambs.
As the weather has allowed Tim has been slowly been taking down any loose corrugated sheets from the barn and I must get the planning application sorted out next week so that we can order the new barn.
I've been "busy" painting one of our spare bedrooms. When I first painted it, I did it in a light terracotta, but it always looked as if the room had been "tango'd". So now it is a lovely "Blossom White". We've also had a bit or a sort out and we will be selling the Harris Loom we have as we've not used it all the time we've been here. The next room to re-paint is the other spare room, but as the Resident Vandal arrives on Monday, so I'll have a week's break from painting.
The hedge laying Hollands are here on Saturday to help take down the old railway carriage as it will be in the way when we have the new barn put up.
The chickens are back to full time laying. I'm thinking about moving them into the smaller veg plot by my shed for them to have a good scratch about as they have done such a good job of clearing the veg plot of the winter weeds, so I'm looking on eBay for a cheap, but good summer hen house for them. I also have a chicken that seems to escape on a regular basis from the veg plot and yesterday I finally saw how she got out. She stands on the wood surround of the veg bed by the gate, jumps/flaps to get onto the gate post and then drops down to the grass on outside the gate, unfortunately she can't get back, so she has to wait until I lock the hens up at night to get back into the hen hut, none the wise for her exploits, though a couple of weeks back, because I went straight from work to a Teeswater meeting, the hen house wasn't shut up until 1.15 in the morning, she was out until I got home and had frost on her feathers, she was fine, if a little annoyed at being out for so long. Now why was that my fault!!!!
I'm seriously thinking about giving a friend's son some of my hen's egg to put in his incubator to check my hen's eggs fertility, so that I can sell fertile eggs on eBay. I also have some other plans for my hens, but they are in the planning stage at the moment.

Monday 7 February 2011

Alpaca Shearer wanted......... Again!!!!

I thought I'd got the problem of a regular alpaca shearer sorted out last year when I managed to find a shearer who came over from Lincolnshire and added us to his run. Well he rang this weekend to say that due to work commitments he would not be doing any long distance alpaca shearing. I'm glad that he rang me earlier than later as I've now got some time to try and find another shearer.
I know that only having 2 alpacas means that I have to fit in with a shearer's schedule, which I don't mind. But what I really hate is when a shearer promises to call, doesn't and hasn't got the manners to ring and say they are not calling.
So I will have to get back in touch with the British Alpaca Society for their list of shearers and hope, against all hope, that I can find a good, reliable Alpaca shearer! I'm not holding my breath!
Any recommendations greatly accepted.

Sunday 6 February 2011

The North Wind doth blow......

Well, the wind came from the west actually and as we live in a dip, the wind fairly whips through our farm. It was so bad on Friday that a lorry was blown over on the Moor Road just past the turn off into our village. Thankfully there was doctor passing when the lorry went over and was able to make sure that the poor unconscious driver was O.K.
The barn has stood up to the wind reasonable well, despite part of it not having a roof, part of the wall has come down, but Tim could do nothing with it until the wind had at least subsided some what.
Thankfully the only other damage we have sustained is a roof tile and ridge tile blown out of place, but on Saturday morning I had arranged for a roofer to come and give us a quote, for the insurance company, to replace the guttering and re point some of the ridge tiles due to the snow, so he was able to add this damage to his quote.
This last lot of wind started to blow on Wednesday whilst we were trying to replace some broken fence posts. It was blowing so hard that it completely saps your strength and on Thursday and Friday night was so loud we got very little sleep. My poor cockerel hardly dare move from the shelter of the hen hut as the wind blew his feathers inside out and knocked him off his feet. Very undignified and he was not impressed. The sheep took refuge in the barn.
The rest of the week is supposed to be calmer and a little bit wet, but as usual we will see what the weather throws at us.