Still lambingRSS feed

Posted: Monday 18 April, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 2:46pm in Smallholding Comments closed

And it’s mostly about lambing this week. The gimmer due on the 1st (or so we thought) still hasn’t lambed so I think she’s slipped her lamb after scanning, which is a real shame as she’s a canny sheep.

We’re had three lamb this week. Lucy had a nice set of mixed twins – her sixth lambing. The tup was born first; the ewe lamb had a leg back but lambed herself anyway. On the 16th, Ursula, Smudge’s daughter, had a big single ewe lamb in the evening – this was surprise as I thought she was due on the 19th; and overnight into the 17th, Trixie had twin tups. Again, this was surprise as I thought she was due on the 19th as well. One of her lambs is a  bit bleaty but I think it’s just dim, rather than her not having enough milk. The other one is fine.

So, we put Ursula and Trixie out today and that’s the pens empty. Two left to lamb – Usha and Pixie – on the 25th April and the 2nd May respectively.

We’re topping up Wee Malky, the twinned on triplet, and Umber’s twins (the Number Sevens) but they don’t take an awful lot. I feed them at 6am, 2pm and 8pm. I’ll keep an eye on Trixie’s bleaty lamb as  well.

Wee Malky’s a wee trier – he’s as feisty as anything. His “brother” was awful lame on Sunday – like not putting any weight on his near fore – so I took him in to the vet. Turns out he had an infection in the interdigital gland, so the vet squeezed out the pus (not popular) and gave him some pen&strep; he’s much better this morning and I can’t get anything out of the gland, so hopefully the ABs have done their job.

Our bee mentor, Stan, agreed that it was starvation that killed our hive. Putting a super on was a mistake as it meant the bees had more space to heat. Anyway, lesson learned and hopefully we’ll be back to three hives over the summer.

Dan’s been really busy outside. Now that it’s longer clear and he’s managed to get a couple of big contracts finished, he’s able to get a couple of hours outside every day. He’s been mulching the apple trees with wood ash and hay and he’s getting ready to start spraying with Neem, against aphids. But he’ll need to wait until the wind drops.

He’s also been in the veg garden, digging in grazing rye that was sown as a green manure, and tidying up the beds ready for new planting. He also put the harrow on the tractor yesterday and harrowed Sheepfold.

I finally got the green henhouse cleaned and disinfected, ready for our new POL birds arriving later this month. I actually had someone come to the door looking for pullet eggs today.

With the weather being good, I’ve actually done some gardening – in the flower beds. We only have five smallish flower beds but they tend to be bottom of the list, but I’ve managed to get them tidied up and the roses pruned (at last). Unfortunately, all the lavender hedge has died so I’m in the middle of pulling it out. Not sure what I’m going to replace it with yet.

With the grass coming in, Bug, out Shetland Pony, is “off grass” for fear of him getting laminitis. I do feel a bit sorry for him but the alternative is worse.

And I’m off to the Rural Payments Perth Office on Wednesday to complete my SAF – I reckon it will be quicker and less traumatic this way J

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