Monday 25 July 2011

A tough decision

On Wednesday we decided to worm the male lambs as some had mucky back ends. When we brought them into the barn, we had to carry 2 of the lambs (Poorly Boy and Hobbit) into the barn as they were down on their feet, and as they were so poorly we put them into a pen. We also gave them a dose of antibiotics, some medication for grass staggers as well as a drink of glucose. The two lambs seemed to pick up and we were very hopeful for their recovery, but on Friday morning they were both very poorly yet again. Hobbit was grinding his teeth, a sure sign he was in pain and Poorly Boy could not even get to his back legs, let alone this front ones. So we decided to call in the knackerman, and by the time he arrived a couple of hours later, Hobbit was already dead and Poorly Boy was unconscious, so the knackerman put him out of his misery. A tough decision, but a necessary one.

Sunday 17 July 2011


We have decided, for a number of reasons, to put our smallholding up for sale. It's been for sale now for about a month and we've had lots of viewings, and things are looking very positive.
As a consequence, all of our sheep are for sale and today we had someone come and look at the Teeswater Ewes and ewe lambs. They have bought all of them, so tonight we are 9 sheep less and I'm glad they have all gone to one home.
Ghilli & Grommet, our 2 alpacas, are going to live at my friend, Jayne's smallholding. Ghilli & Grommet were the one's I was most worried about, as to what was going to happen to them and when Jayne offered them a home, it was a great load off my mind.
Now we just wait until we start having to pack up and move.

Great Escapes

This week has been the week of "The Great Escapes". It started on Wednesday morning, when I went out to do the morning feed to discover next doors' cattle in the field with Ghilli, Gromment and Gus, who were not best pleased! The cattle had broken through some fencing, and our neighbours were out for the day at the Great Yorkshire Show. Thankfully, Pete, a local farmer, came and gave us a hand to move them all back and put up some electric fencing to keep them where they should be. Tim then repaired the broken fencing.
On Thursday, one of the Cream Legbar chicks, decided to get out of the brooder and walk around on the lid. As I was at work, Tim had to catch the chick and put it back into the brooder, which was not what he wanted to do especially as we had a someone coming to look around our smallholding which we are selling.
Then today, when we were on our morning dog walk, we saw some young cattle on the common land, much to our surprise, and Brenda as the cattle should have been in the field at the front of her house. They had also taken out a long run of her fencing. We shall find out tomorrow morning if the cattle are back in their original field!!!!

Sunday 10 July 2011

Hen Party!!!!

Not the feathered variety but our goddaughter, Abi's hen party in York this weekend. The festivities started with 9 of us visiting a spa on Saturday afternoon for a pamper afternoon, complete with champagne and nibbles.
Then in the evening we all met up in one of the York's many pubs (only to discover that it had been Geordie Race Day in York)

Abi in her outfit for her hen night out and the first of her drinks!

After the drink, we all (20 of us) went to "Ask", for an Italian meal, where Hayley had dressed the table and placed hats on our chairs for us to wear.

Here I am, with Dawn (Abi's mum), sat behind me, and Jan (mum of the bridesmaid) sat in front of me, at the end of the meal and not too much alcohol had been consumed.
After the meal we all went out for a drink, the idea being, the "oldies" would have another drink and then catch the last bus home, leaving the "youngsters" to hit the night clubs. The trouble was, because it had been Race Day in York, the pubs were full and for some reason some of the bouncers were not keen for a party of ladies, of mixed ages, to frequent their pub wearing cowboy hats!!!!!!
Here is Abi and her bridesmaid, Laura, in the only pub we could manage to get into, and before us "oldies" left to catch the last bus home, the only trouble was, the future bride and bridesmaid also wanted to leave for home as well! They did stay out for a little while after we had left. These girls are way to sensible for their age. But I had a great time and am looking forward to her wedding at the end of the month.

Sunday 3 July 2011

A quieter day

After the excitement of yesterday, if you can call it that, it was nice to be able to spend some time out in the veg garden and catching up on some much needed weeding.
As always I've planted way too many Broad Bean Plants, which have lots of pods on them, my peas are also have lots of pods on them, but they really need some rain to help fatten up the peas. My young leeks are looking more like "drips" than proper leeks and I'm sure that's down again, to the lack of rain, but my winter and summer onions seem to be thriving in this heat. But my brassicas are a bit hit and miss, some are growing well and some are a little on the small side. But I seem to have very little problems with slugs and snails and I think this is down to the hens spending the winter in the veg garden.

Weaning lambs & new chicks

We had this weekend all planned out, Saturday - wean the lambs, Sunday - chicks due to hatch with Ian and Elaine coming over to watch their chicks hatch. But as always when dealing with livestock, things never go to plan.
The chicks decided to hatch a day early, so there was a mild panic. A phone call to Ian and Elaine to say that their chicks were hatching, so that they could re-arrange their Saturday to come over and watch their chicks hatching.
We decided to go head with weaning the lambs, it shouldn't take us too long, or so we thought!!!! Firstly the ewes and lambs wouldn't go into the barn, we could only get them into the barn in small groups. It took us over 1/2 hour to get them in the barn, a job which normally takes half that time! Then the ewes wouldn't go through the weighing machine or up and through handling system, again something they normally do without any problems!!! Thankfully the lambs behaved a bit better and moved into their respective paddocks, especially when they saw all the new grass. The ewes are up on the common land, with very little grass to help them dry up, the weather and tup lambs are in the Alpaca's winter paddock and the ewe lambs are in the very top paddock. Last night was very noisy, but today everyone seems to have calmed down a little. We had just finished sorting out the sheep when Ian and Elaine arrived.
The Cream Legbar eggs were supposed to hatch out today, Sunday, but, I understand that because I put very fresh eggs into my incubator, this is the reason why they have hatched a day early. So the brooder wasn't switched on, it wasn't even ready!! 4 chicks hatched very quickly and thankfully, because of the warm weather, the brooder came up to temperature very quickly so I could put the newly hatched chicks in to it to give the remaining 3 chicks, still in their eggs, some peace and safety to hatch in their own time. The final chick hatch around tea time with me assisting the final 2 chicks, one of whom was backwards and the other just very tired. Anyway all 7 eggs have hatched, which is 100% hatch and as the Cream Legbar chicks are an auto sexing breed, I can see we have 5 pullets (females) and 2 cockerels. This evening all 7 chicks are eating and drinking and starting to explore the brooder.