Diary

Scoot / Astrid / No2RSS feed

Posted: Monday 18 April, 2022

by Rosemary at 10:32am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 11th April

Kit and her lambs are now out in the wee paddock; I’ve put No3 in there with her single ewe. I’m not delirious about No3’s lamb – she looks a bit tucked, but her mother has plenty milk. Made sure she got a good feed this afternoon and will keep a close eye.

No1 is in the pen in the barn with her twins, because she has two doses of antibiotic to get before she goes out. If I let her out, my chances of catching her again are slim. She seems well and the lambs are quite content.

Scoot lambed this morning in about twenty minutes. After moving No1 and No3, I cleaned out the field shelter, rebedded the pen and put Scoot and her two lambs – both ewes – inside. She’s a terrific wee mum.

scootScoot with her two ewe lambs.

Cleaned out the caravan, which was minging. I’ll be so glad when the hens can get out to range again.

Forecast to rain tonight and tomorrow and there’s a brisk and cold east wind now so we moved Kit and No3 into the veg garden, where it’s much more sheltered.

I think the ring feeder is going to need a bit of work over the summer.

ringfeedeNot quite a ring any more.

Two ewes /five lambs to go. Not due to 14th / 15th by service date / 147 days, but they might go early. Plenty room in the field shelter now though. Scoot has bagged the best shelter.

shelterSmart Scoot.

Tuesday 12th April

This is such a pretty wee corner – daffodils, purple hellebore and snakes head fritillary.

helleboreHellebore, daffodil and snakeshead fritillary.

Astrid lambed this afternoon. She’s a first timer; lambed the first one, a ewe, by herself but dropped her in a patch of sand, so cleaning off must have been a bit gritty. It was cold and wet, so we moved them into the pen in the field shelter. The second lamb, a tup, came with elbows locked, but once the legs were straight, he came out easily. But he was very slow to get going. I think if I hadn’t been there, he would have died.

astridAstrid and her ewe lamb.

We swapped Astrid and No1, moving Astrid into the barn pen where we can put the heat lamp on. No1’s lambs are bouncing and had it not been for leaving No2 on her own in the field shelter, I’d have put them out with Kit and the other lambed ewes.

Tucked the wee tup under the lamb and on a hot water bottle to warm up then tubed him. He had no suck response. Will monitor through the night.

Wednesday 13th April

So tired. Wee tup is alive and looks OK, but still no suck. Astrid loves him. Tubed him twice overnight and then at 6am.

Dan went to hitch the car up to go for hay. Wouldn’t start. Thankfully, Ian, our mechanic, came out right away, bless him. It was the battery and he’s going to get us a new one. So, two rather than four bales brought home, but that’s fine.

Sadly, Astrid’s tup lamb died this evening, peacefully, watched over by his mum and with his sister cuddled into him. I don’t think there was anything more I could have done; he just wasn’t meant to be. Never gets any easier though.

Thursday 14th April

Nice mild day. Tested negative yesterday so went to the bank, for some shopping, put diesel in the car – I’d almost forgotten how to drive. Still feeling tired and just flat; and feeling a bit overwhelmed with what needs done here at this time of year. Bought some compost so will get on with potting up the brassicas and tomatoes tomorrow.

Turned out Astrid and her lamb this morning; she’s lame in her near hind, so I’ve trimmed it and sprayed it, so we’ll see what she’s like tomorrow.

Finally, No2 started lambing at 5.30pm. She scanned with triplets. When I say “finally” that’s a bit unfair because today is her due date. At about 7pm, not much was happening, so I had a feel. Nothing. Another half hour – two feet and a head. A big head. What a pull. We were all grunting and sweating. Big, really big, tup lamb. Ewe’s up; she likes him, he’s up and sucking. After an hour, nothing happening; had a feel. Can’t feel anything. Now, my scanner is never wrong. So, I’m thinking – “has she lost two lambs?” It can happen. Called the vet; she had a good rummage, found nothing. Went back in, found a head – dead lamb, way, way in the depths of the uterus. Fully formed but dead some time. Third lamb, about the size of a hamster, passed with the afterbirth. Ewe has had antibiotics and painkiller and has a stonking lamb to raise. Not what we wanted but could have been much worse. If we didn’t scan, we wouldn’t have looked for other lambs because the first lamb is certainly big enough to be a single.

tuplambNo2's tup lamb.

Friday 15th April

No2 and her lamb are doing grand; I slipped into Dundee to pick up wormer for the sheep, plus an antibiotic and painkiller for Astrid. No2 got her second dose of antibiotic and Astrid her drugs at feeding time.

Dan and I had a couple of hours in the veg garden this morning; got the peas planted out and covered and I did a bit of weeding. The peas are now netted.

peasOne hundred and eight Hurst Greenshaft.

Hoping to get back in there over the weekend. Plenty rhubarb ready now.

rhubarbRhubarb and weeding.

Saturday 16th April

Mild, haar in the morning clearing by lunchtime. Went for hay, while Dan repaired one of the wheelbarrows – it’s the biggest one and therefore the one that gets used most.

wheelbarrowWheelbarrow repair.

After breakfast, we wormed all the adult sheep and fluked those not going to the abattoir in early June. Tailed the lambs – what a performance. Never seen anything like it – they were throwing themselves around. And tagged Bean, the two wethers and two hoggs from last year. Good job done. And the associated paperwork.

The ewes and lambs have gone on to fresh grass in Near Top and the others into the wee paddock next to the barn, to eat it off.

The lambing pen in the barn is down and cleared up; the meat chicks now have access to an extra run and the heat lamp will now be off during the day.

Buster the bull calf is going to his new home next Sunday. He’s quite mature and causing havoc now with the heifers. Rora’s in season and jumped Blizzard while she was tied up; Blizz went down but she seems OK.

More weeding in the veg garden and a quick run to Harbro before settling down for the FA Cup semi-final.

Sunday 17th April

Happy Easter! Lovely day - mild, light cloud, some sunshine and almost no wind. With the sheep all settled, and the pig pen now vacated, Dan and Andy got on with the fence splitting it in two. It was a big area for three weaners, so we’re taking a third or so for comfrey and to plant some wildlife friendly trees and shrubs.

pigpenNew pig pen fence.

I cleaned out the pig ark – the tup lambs used it over winter and their toilet habits aren’t as good as pigs. I bought pig food yesterday and Dan checked the fences, so we’re almost ready for Wednesday’s collection.

After that, it was into the veg garden. Between yesterday and today, I’ve weeded four of the six beds. I need to get into the office for a few hours tomorrow, then it will be back out to do the remaining two and start planting out the brassicas. I sowed courgettes (Tuscany F1) and pumpkins (Blaze F1) today too.

Alistair and Janet popped over to see the lambs and Alistair ringed the tup lambs for me -I’m real chicken about it and again, it was a real performance from the lambs. That’s it done now though and at least it’s a nice day for thrashing around on the grass. Other than that, all the ewes and lambs look grand – Astrid is sound, which is great.

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