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Posted: Monday 8 April, 2019

by Rosemary at 6:59pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 1st April

Where’s the rain? And the grass? A wee bit drizzle today – not good enough. And it’s cold.

First open farm tour today; Niamh lambed a few minutes before everyone arrived so first stop was the lambing shed to see her and her lambs. Both the kids and the adults loved it; Niamh wasn’t in the slightest bit bothered. She’s got a black boy and a black girl. The wee boy has quite bad entropion. If I can’t sort it by tomorrow, I’ll need to get the vet to put a stitch in it.

No8 then lambed – huge white ewe lamb, then a good sized black tup. He tried to come head only, but t was easy enough to sort the legs – she’s a big roomy ewe.

Poor No7 is the only occupant of the maternity ward without babies – but we’ll bring No11 in (she’s due to lamb 7th April) and Kit and Bambi, who are due w/c 8th April (as far as we know). Keeping the two Shetlands in might be the issue.

Today’s tour had banana muffins and fruit scones - always amazed at how many kids like scones. I thought they were just Granny Crack.

Tuesday 2nd April

Cold and wet this morning but the sun came out about 10am, so it’s rather nice.  Another farm tour this afternoon, but no new-borns. The kids liked the chickens best, anyway.

Brought No11 and the two Shetlands in to the maternity ward; Bambi was giving No8 and Niamh’s lambs a bit of a hard time, so No8  is in a  pen and Niamh’s are on the lawn. The wee boy with the entropion seems to be much better, so if it looks stable today, they can go out later. Tailed and weighed them tonight – ewe 4.6kg and tup, 4.9kg, despite his dodgy eye.

No8 has two vestigial teats – which her lambs love, at the expense of the real ones!!!! After a couple of training sessions, they seem to be getting the hang of it. She was full of milk so the real ones were quite big, but now that she’s feeding, they’re a much better size. Tailed and weighed them tonight – 4.9kg and 5kg with full bellies. What a relief!

The oldest lambs are now trying a wee bit of cake.

lambWas it something I said?

The dogs are exhausted – between the 2am checks and farm tours, they can hardly lift their heads – except for food and afterbirth.

Dan went off to London tonight on the Caledonian Sleeper, for a business meeting tomorrow. Had to get the suit out and everything. Back early Thursday morning.

Wednesday 3rd April

Cool, windy and drizzly. Dosed Niamh in the field – she didn’t even get up (I love Ryelands) and No8 and put her out with her lambs.  Called the vet for Niamh’s lamb with the entropion – the eyelid was turned again when I checked at 2am, so a better solution was required. Vet injected antibiotic and left drops for ten days / twice a day. By tonight, it was looking much better.

Since Dan was in London, we had no tours and it was miserable outside, I gave myself the afternoon off. And with no ewes due, I missed the 2am check. Bliss.

Thursday 4th April

All good overnight – although I woke at 2am, it was nice just to turn over and go back to sleep. Dan’s train due at 6.23am was delayed to 8.15am – never mind, he gets compensation.

Dan built me some staging for the polytunnel - solid oak, no less.

stagingNew staging.


DieselDiesel checking out the staging.

Niamh’s lamb’s eyes are much, much better and he’s very good at getting his drops in.

Been a “four seasons in a day” here – cold wind and showers, now (7pm) blue skies and sunshine – hopefully the grass will get a shift on now.

I think No7 might not be due for a wee while yet. From her service date, we expected lambs on 1st April but when she was scanned, the scanner said “60 days”. The others that have lambed were 85, 80 and 75 – so I think she’s not held the first time and been caught in the second service, but maybe the day we changed the raddle. Heyho, time will tell – maybe one of the Shetlands will be next.

Really good farm tour today – we’re almost fully booked for the rest of the Easter holidays. So glad Angus Council and Dundee City Council take slightly different holidays. Two wee problems – the surplus home baking and, because we use the classroom for the tours AND it’s our office, I feel like my paperwork is all over the place. Very disconcerting for a control freak.

Friday 5th April

No farm tour today, so spent some time in the polytunnel – sowed radishes, spring onions, carrots (Oxheart and Chantenay) and basil and planted out some early peas and dwarf French beans. Sowed 72 peas and 12 runner beans in the greenhouse. Just SO behind with the garden –still no shallots or spuds in.

I made a pen for our pet lambs, which are arriving soon.

penPen for the pet lambs.

Dan built a new comfrey bed where the old compost heaps were and tidied up the prunings in the orchard.

comfreyNew comfrey bed.

Saturday 6th April

Rainy and cool, with a bit of a breeze. Moved No2, who’s expecting twins in May !!!!, into the maternity ward. Early, but it means I can stop feeding the ewe hoggs now. The ewe expecting a single will need to come in over the next couple of days.

Dan lit the bonfire in the pig pen – it had to be done by Thursday and there was no wind this morning for the first time for several days. Then he took hay to East Pitkerro for the steers and picked up a bale of straw for the ponies and a bale of hay for the sheep and cattle here.

No11 lambed just before lunchtime, no help from me – one black ewe and one little white ewe. Somewhat surprisingly, No7 lamed this afternoon. See Thursday above for speculation on when she was due. She’d looked uncomfortable for a wee while and I was a bit worried about her – went into the shed to check No11, at 1.30pm, and No7 had a nice black ewe lamb. We had  a tour starting at 2pm, so the group came in quietly to see the first lamb and maybe the second being born. I put a glove on, lubed up and slipped my hand in – breech! I’ve never had a breech presentation before! Thankfully, because it was the second, there was no “leg / head bingo” and there was plenty of room, so the legs came round and out she popped. All three are fine but the breech lamb had quite bad entropion so the vet put some staples in and she’s better today. I’m using the eye drops for Niamh’s lamb for her too.

We had three further new arrivals  after teatime – three Lleyn wether lambs for bottle feeding. It’s really for the tours, so that the children can fed a lamb. Sadly, they’re not here for the 2am feed.

petsl to r Tiny Tim, Milky Way-ne and Dagenham Dave.

Sunday 7th April

Cool and grey this morning, then windy and grey but a nicer afternoon, but not until the farm tour was over. Baltic.

After I finished the morning chores, had breakfast and baked for today’s tour, I went back to bed for a couple of hours. Dan took muck to the allotments and pottered around. Of course, I overslept and was rushing around like an idiot before the tour. I think it was worth it, though.

Good farm tour. Todays cakes were cherry and almond muffins, fruit scones and coconut mounds. Boy, they were popular so will definitely make them again. The lambs behaved well. No7’s wee girl is much better and looking much happier in herself, although her eyes are still quite cloudy

Moved the old hens from the brown house to the caravan and swapped Rocky and Nugget – couldn’t have Nugget in a pen folk were walking through.

Almost time for the 10pm feed then a few hours kip until 2am.

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