Dead lamb and mucky strawRSS feed

Posted: Monday 17 June, 2019

by Rosemary at 11:34am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 10th June

Sunny and breezy today. Moved the sheep to Home, with access to the wee paddock the caravan is in. The grass is pretty long in there and I’d rather they ate it down than us cut it.

Dan topped Near Top – nice to be topping, in comparison to last year, when we were scrabbling around for grass. Then he checked the bees – all way well; they are very busy and he should be able to take some honey in the next couple of weeks.

Did some paperwork, sowed three varieties of beetroot and did some weeding in the veg garden.

Tuesday 11th June

Beautiful morning – sunny, but still breezy. Put the cattle into Near Ditch to eat off the long stuff.

Zephyr was sharing Ace's hay this morning. She's so small and he's so big! Comparatively.

aceAce and Zephyr.

Wednesday 12th June

Two school visits today; one in the morning and one in the afternoon, so packed lunches were eaten here. OMG. If that’s representative of what our kids are eating, we have a problem. Sweets, crisps and sweet juice seemed to be the mainstay.

Just when it’s all going well, farming throws a curved ball. Out for tea with Rebecca, came home about 9pm and went to shut the hens in. I could see a lamb in Near Top – one of the pet lambs – so went over to put him back in with the others and found a second lamb down. It looked serious – she was unable to keep her head up, was blind and seemed to be fitting. Called Dan and the vet, and moved her into the field shelter. Vet diagnosed CCN (which we had identified from t’internet); despite the vet’s efforts, the lamb convulsed and died. Beautiful big ewe lamb. I couldn’t get to sleep and I could hear her mother calling – thankfully, the dead lamb was a twin, so the ewe still has a lamb.

We’ve had a good lambing this year and the good grass means the lambs are looking well – but never get smug – farming has a way of wiping any smug smiles right off your face.

Thursday 13th June

So tired this morning, after last night’s events and little sleep. Dead hen this morning – it was one of the old ones in the caravan, so not very surprising. Took it down to where the fox’s den is and threw it over the fence. Something might at least benefit.

Knacker came to pick up the dead lamb and I updated my flock register. Time to move on.

Heavy, persistent rain, so went back to bed for a couple of hours after doing the morning chores.

Dan moved the fence in Laing’s field. I’m really amazed at how the field is coming away.

swardSward in Laing's Field.

calvesCalves in Laing's Field.

Friday 14th June

Sunny today. Picked up twelve day-old meat chicks.

Blizzard has been a wee bit lame, so he's havinf regular pedicures and she seems a bit better.She's very good at picking up her foot and letting me clean it before bathing and AB spray. THankfully, it's a front foot.

blizradBlizzard's pedicure.


Gwenna seems to have matured recently – she and Bryn have become very close and often sleep together now. It’s kinda cute.


Saturday 15th June

Another sunny day. Cool in the morning but warm by lunchtime and the sun has real heat in it. You’d almost think it was summer. The bees were very busy late afternoon.

Having run out of prevarication, we decided to tackle the pile of wet straw that the ponies wasted round the hay bell. Tara had put some on the livestock trailer but we needed to empty that so I can pick up hay and straw tomorrow. It wasn’t as bad as I feared and we got most of it bagged and on the trailer; the rest we’re dumping outside the gate on a bit of unusable land.

This is when you wish you had cleared it regularly over winter.

strawWaste straw.


Dan emptied the flat trailer of the stones and bricks that we had used to surround the apple trees – they don’t need that level of protection now. A few folk on tours have offered to come and help, so he’s planning to have an orchard day and see if they are as good as their word! He spent a happy hour with his new strimmer!


Sunday 16th June

Showery, then sunny. Bruce came round and fitted the new couplings on the front loader; he and Dan are going to connect it all up this week. What a nice man he is – and amazing for eighty years old. Drives a motorcycle trike!

Dan emptied the livestock trailer, so I could go for hay and straw. We’ve a broken bale of straw that I’m going to bag up in the big haynet for the ponies before we put the new one in. Don’t want to waste it. Bertie has reverted to farm cat mode – found him asleep in the straw. Well seeing it’s summer  - usually he prefers being under the duvet!

bertieBertie the farm cat (in summer).


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