Wool but no lambsRSS feed

Posted: Monday 4 April, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 10:15am in Smallholding 1 comment Comments closed

As one might expect for the time of year, the weather has been a bit changeable but I’m hoping that April showers will bring May flowers. And lots of grass. We ate lunch outside on Saturday – Dan pressure washed the patio and put the table and chairs out, while I went for hay. It’s pretty much rained since them though – not heavy, just a constant mizzle.

We have no lambs yet. Our tup went out on 5th November and served one ewe on Day 1, so she’d be due 1st April. When I say “she”, it’s actually one of two white gimmers; both scanned with singles and one was served on the 5th and one a week later but I’m not sure which is which. Anyway, neither has lambed so far. One has a wee udder and both seem well, so nothing to do but wait and see.

However, there’s about four due from the 6th, so we should see some action soon. The thirteen (twelve ewes and the wether) that are in the barn have settled in fine although they nearly flatten me at feeding time. It’s a real lottery as to whether I’ll get the ewe nuts in the troughs before I’m thrown to the ground and trampled.

The three expecting triplets are still out in the field, with access to the field shelter. Two of them are twins (Poppy and Pixie), so poor Smudge is a bit left out. Two’s company and all that! I’ll be bringing them into a hurdle pen in the barn probably Wednesday – first one’s due on the 10th, last one on 2nd May.

We moved the ewe hoggs and the two oldies to Barry Mill yesterday. Open the trailer back, open the gate and they’re loaded. Love Coloured Ryelands J

John’s got the new perches for the green hen house ready so I’ll get it deep cleaned and disinfected this week.

I did a bit of weeding in the veg garden over the last week. It’s looking quite tidy. The garlic is through and I planted two varieties of shallots on Saturday – Bistro and Golden Moon. The salad in the polytunnel is sprouted – but so have a myriad of weeds L We picked and froze 9lb of early rhubarb – I can’t recall a year when it’s been so early, but I’m not complaining.

Dan did a bee inspection last week, during a warm, dry spell. All three hives seem to be flourishing, so he put a super on each. He’s also made himself a hive record book so he can keep track of what’s going on.

We got our wool back from The Natural Fibre Company on Thursday. From 13 fleeces – eleven coloured and two white – we got 288 50g balls of Double Knitting wool. Although the processing was expensive, at the going rate for Coloured Ryeland DK, we should make a nice positive contribution to the sheep enterprise. I just need to work on the marketing now.

And finally, it’s the end of the financial year, so I’m getting all the paperwork ready to go to the accountant. I’ve also got the quarterly VAT return to do. I started to complete our SAF 2016 on-line but had a few problems, so I’m waiting for someone from RPID at Perth to phone me back. Soon, I hope. I’d rather it was done and dusted.

And that’s kind of it for this week. Off to buy some ring binders for the paperwork now J



Monday 4 April, 2016 at 1:40pm

You probably know already, but Jane Cooper maintains a list of 'single farm yarns' on the Woolsack website. http://www.woolsack.org/SingleFarmYarns

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