April 2009RSS feed

Juno's personal groomer

Thursday 2 April, 2009

by Rosemary at 8:55am in Sheep 4 comments Comments closed

Juno muscles in on the hens' corn - last year she grew some wheat on her back, as a result of catching it in her fleece. This year, she's decided to have a personal groomer. She is, in fact, large enough to accommodate several dozen hens but only the Light Sussex is brave enough so far.

A hen riding a sheep from asmallholder on Vimeo.


Thursday 2 April, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:36pm in Sheep 2 comments Comments closed

This lamb is so funny.

Firstly, he looks funny. He's got really long legs and clumpy feet; his ears dangle a bit and his grey and black face make him look like a wee, old man. Secondly, he's really laid back - I've only heard him bleat once. To be fair, he's been shut in with Jinx, so he's never been "abandoned" and his belly is always full, so he's never asking for a feed. He doesn't seem to be a very enthusiastic feeder either but he always seems full. I wondered if he was brain damaged - he's just a bit slow.

Wine, anyone?

Wednesday 15 April, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:12am in Growing Comments closed

Dan had a significant birthday a couple of weeks ago. My sister, getting into the swing of smallholding from a distance, sent him two quince, a spindle tree and two vines - one black, one white. All have been planted - the tree in the hedge, the quince in the orchard and the vines in the fruit bed where the raspberries currently are. The rasps are coming out at the end of this season.

We shall keep you posted of growth and development if we are sober enough.

Li'l' Bud's buddies

Thursday 16 April, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:16am in Sheep 3 comments Comments closed

After the trauma of a couple of weeks ago, you'd think the hens deserve a quiet life. Li'l' Bud doesn't think so. In the absence of other playmates, he's amusing himself hen chasing. He also spent a happy ten minutes yesterday headbutting a clothes pole. He was also very interested in Juno's bum - sniffing and displaying the Flehmann response! Jura hunts him if he hangs about her, though. His mum, Jinx, is very indulgent, even when he's jumping on and off her back. I'll be glad when he has a proper playmate.

Juno's lambs

Thursday 16 April, 2009

by Rosemary at 12:21pm in Sheep 1 comment Comments closed

Juno lambed yesterday. She was scanned as carrying twins, so I was a bit worried. In the end, she lambed herself - two tup lambs. Unfortunately, the second one was born dead. It seemed perfectly formed, too. Hey ho, just one of these sad things.

Juno and surviving lamb seem fine. She's got loads of milk and seems to like him well enough, so I'm happy with that.

Newborn Ryeland Lamb from asmallholder on Vimeo.

New grazing

Sunday 26 April, 2009

by Rosemary at 10:43am in Sheep Comments closed

Today we rigged up barriers at either end of our track and let the sheep in there to graze and browse. We have to meake best use of our limited grazing and since Dan was preparing to cut the roadsides, it seemed daft to expend the effort doing something the sheep do willingly. Roadside grass is so much nicer than field grass!

Both lambs are doing well, as far as I can tell. They are growing like weeds and full of nonsense. Herbert's better able to stand up for himself now, although Jura knocked him over the back of the trough yesterday and he was stuck - on his back with his legs in the air. He was soon rescued though and seems none the worse.

Cheaper by the dozen

Sunday 26 April, 2009

by Rosemary at 10:51am in Poultry Comments closed

We took delivery of 12 Black Rock pullets on Wednesday. At 16 weeks, it will be five or six weeks before they come into lay. They are in the big Forsham ark with the extension run and seem quite settled now. It's "Sardine Sunday" today so we'll see how they like fish!

These are replacements for the laying hens killed by the dog. Although we only lost 6 layers (and 7 meat birds), the delivery charge was £20 so I decided just to get a round dozen. They'll stay in the run until they start to lay, then they can go in with the other layers.

L'Oreal, Strawberry and Gertrude

Sunday 26 April, 2009

by Rosemary at 11:00am in Pigs 3 comments Comments closed

We picked up this year's weaners yesterday; three gilts this time as the litter available only had two boys and we prefer to have all the same sex. These are 7/8th Tamworth and the last cross-breeds that Sue and Mike are doing; it's all pure Tamworth now.

Pigs just arrived in their cage

We got them loaded, home and into the pen without incident. Then I did a really stupid thing. Our dog, Tess, loves the pigs so I took her to see them. The pigs were less than happy and two of them wriggled through a gap in the fence into the second pig pen. The second pen has bigger gauge netting, so they wriggled through that as well, into the next field and then set off along the riverbank. Fortunately, one didn't get out and was calling frantically so when the other two discovered they were one down and didn't know where they were going, they were fairly easy to get back to the correct pen. Sigh of relief!

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