Saturday 3 March, 2012
Well, our three Hampshire gilts have taken up residence in their new accommodation.
We picked them and their two brothers up yesterday from Robert and Lillian Waddell, dropped their brothers off in their woodland idyll then, rather unceremoniously, bundled the girls into their ark. We decided to keep them shut in last night rather than try to herd them to bed, so I put in a bucket of water and their supper, then left them to chill after what had been a challenging day for them.
This morning, we could hardly see them in the straw, but breakfast tempted them out.
Wednesday 28 March, 2012
I visited my sister last weekend and got a hard time over the lack of diary entries - I am resolved to do better.
Our lambing this year was due to start on Sunday 25th March. Jinx, however, hadn't made a note in her diary and I got a text from Rebecca (who feeds the ponies about 6.30am) on Thursday 22nd to say that there was a lamb in the field and that both it and mum looked fine. Rebecca was correct - Jinx had a black tup lamb, weighing 4.5kg.
Thursday 29 March, 2012
As expected and bang on time, Lyra gave birth to a white ewe lamb yesterday afternoon. The lamb weighed in at 4.2kg, so not far short of Jinx's tup lamb. Mother and lamb are doing great - Lyra is a very conscientious mother. As this is our first ewe lamb, she needs a name beginning with "S".
Since it was a lovely day today, I decided to let them out. Lyra got her "makeover" - wormer, flukicide, spot-on, foot trim and rear end tidy up - before they tootled off to the nursery field.
Friday 30 March, 2012
Well, contrary to my prediction, neither Niamh nor Luna lambed last night.
Niamh is starting to look like she's thinking about it - she's quite restless tonight and doing a lot of pawing the ground. I've not seen a water bag yet though, although it's easy to miss it, and she's not straining in any way. More preoccupied looking.
Luna has an udder like a cow, so I guess she's not far away.
The three lambs seem to be doing well. Lyra's ewe lamb has been christened Sweetpea (it's an "S" year for Ryelands ). The big white boy (Popeye?) is going to be trouble - he managed to get through the fence today. He wasn't concerned but Nova was frantic - she's going to have her work cut out for her, I can tell you. I noticed she was following him today - the other two lambs follow their mammys.
Friday 30 March, 2012
Dan's on "holiday" next week, we we've hired a mini-digger to do a few jobs about the place.
This morning, Roy bought Scott's big JCB along to clear all the stone and rubble from around John and LInda's house. The roughcasters have been here yesterday and today, but they're not finished yet and are on holiday next week - it's looking good though. The area Roy cleared today will be lawn and parking for the caravan, so we'll use the mini-digger to move soil on to the area, ready for turf. Linda's been doing loads of work on the garden and it's looking much better. She cut the grass this morning - even though it wasn't very long, it made such a difference.
Friday 30 March, 2012
We had set ourselves a target of planting all the fruit trees by the end of March. This morning, all that remained of the 70 trees we bought were four pear, to be trained up the west wall of the West Range and four "spare" apple trees.
John had cut wooden battens to take the wires a few days ago and I had applied wood preservative; John put them up yesterday and this morning, Dan planted the four trees. Tomorrow, I'm going to prune them and tie them in. We're going to espalier train them rather than fan train.
Saturday 31 March, 2012
Niamh had a white tup lamb at midnight last night. He weighed in at 5.1kg. I was concerned about her, especially given Nova's experience, so I called out the vet, since she didn't seem to be making much of it. I thought I could feel one foot and a big head but it was very tight and I didn't want to damage either ewe or lamb.
Millie managed to get the second foot and, with much effort on both her and Niamh's part, lambed her normally.
As might be expected, Niamh was a bit shellshocked, as was the lamb, but she had plenty milk so once I was sure the lamb was OK, I left them in the mothering pen for half an hour. When I came back, she was giving him a good lick and was chuntering away to him. He was almost up on his feet, so I gave him a hand to feed. This was 2am; by 4am, when I checked again, he was up on his feet, dry and full of milk.