Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Yet more Lambing!

As I am sure you will realise, it has been a tiring and busy time with ups and downs as usual.  There have been some wonderful highs - one of my wildest sheep with lambing problems waiting for me to come and help her and following me to the shelter with her lamb (gone back to being wild now!!) and lows - arriving at 5am to find my oldest ancient black had started lambing in the night and exhausted herself - managed to get the lamb out but she died shortly after.  There have been frustrating moments - the ewe with plenty of milk and lambs she loved but whose lambs seemed unable to get the idea of sucking.  And funny moments - the little black lamb who insists on launching himself at you every time he sees you.

But this is the photo I really want to show you!  I don't know whether I told you, or if you remember if I did, but last year Angelina Jolie suffered a crow attack when she got stuck on her back.  Her eyes were pecked out and she is now totally blind.  She has adapted remarkably after a few weeks living in the garden and now is back in the field where she finds her way around with only occasional bumps into fences.  Last week she had her lamb and she loves it!  She keeps it close and it is very good at coming straight back when she calls - as it is a girl I think I will keep her and they can stay together.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Lambing in the snow

Well this has been a very challenging lambing time!!  Never did I expect this extreme weather - it is bitter on the hill.  Sixty lambs so far but there have been a couple of casualties - one lovely little girl was taken by a badger and had her head bitten clean off, and twins were born in the night and frozen to the ground when I got there.  I had a few restless nights worrying about them out in the cold and snow but they are remarkably strong animals once they are up and going.  This morning they were all huddled by the hedge row.  The hill was dreadful yesterday with the snow drifting across the road and looks like it will be very icy in the morning.  A few photos for you!
Driving along the top of the hill

Coming out of the field gate to go home

Born in the snow and just warmed up

The two who escaped through the gate!

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Flu - and lambs!

I have been a bit quiet on the blog due to the dreaded Flu which has struck at exactly the wrong time  as I have also started lambing!  I am gradually on the mend now but still only have the strength of a termite (actually I think termites are pretty strong for their size so not a good comparison)  Took me half an hour yesterday to lift a barrel of water over the fence!!
So here are just a few photos of the first lambs

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Thank you!!

Well!  What a lovely surprise I had just now!  Took me a while, due to the amount of mud around, to sort out all the animals - third field can only be accessed by foot at the moment.  After a quick trip to the vet to pick up a few lambing essentials I got home to find the post man had been and left a parcel.  Thank you so much Willie!  Willie had told me all about an alpaca scarf he had seen in Blandford - and he sent it to me!  It is beautiful and lovely and soft, certainly will not be ruining it by wearing it in the field.  I had to hang it up quickly as the cat was eyeing it up thinking it would make a lovely warm bed on such a grey, damp day!
You are a star Willie!!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Poor Gracie

 With only three weeks to go until lambing, preparations are well underway.  The ewes are beginning to get a bit grumpy and like their own personal space with old black welsh mountain 47 being the worst.  She does not want any other ewe any where near her and waddles around, head own, butting any other sheep that ges get in her way.  The three ancient, toothless sheep are still a bit on the thin side and are having extra rations which they love hopefully, they will only have a single lamb each as I don't think they will cope well with twins.  Apart from that everyone is looking good with the exception of poor Gracie.  On Thursday I was greeted by Gracie with a huge prolapse - as this is not a topic all will want to read about I will put the next bit in a separate paragraph (feel free to skip!!)

So - Gracie is the daughter of one of my favourite sheep who sadly died a couple of  years ago.  Last year Gracie lambed for the first time and it was not an easy lambing and ended up with her having a caesarean.  Now, technically, after such a problem birth Gracie should not really have been put in lamb again and should have gone on but, being rather a favourite I decided to give her another year and that may have been a mistake.  Why she has prolapsed I do not know but putting it back in on your own in the middle of a field is not the easiest of tasks!!  After a lot of lubricating and pushing we were finally back in and she then had a spoon in to keep it in place and a harness to keep that all in and she now does not look too bad.  Now got to keep fingers crossed it does not pop out again and that I can get the lambs out when they are ready.  She will be going in a pen when she is closer to lambing so I can keep a very close eye on her.
Win is getting up again now and I am about to go and brave the mud to take hay an water round  There are murmurings of snow on the weather forecast but, although it does now seem to be getting cooler it only looks like yet more rain to me.....I may be wrong!

Friday, 5 January 2018

Alpaca weekend

It has been so wet I am now struggling to get around third field - so glad there is not long now until the sheep come back down.  Thee weatherman says a colder snap is on the way and, as long as it is dry, that will be no bad thing.

This weekend is a busy alpaca time as all the alpacas need their extra shots of vitamin D on Saturday, two girls - Belinda and Zara - need to be checked over to make sure they are good to go to their new home the following weekend.  Belinda has been here for a long time so it will be sad to see her go and Zara, although she has not been here as long, is a gentle sweet girl who will also be missed.  Then on Sunday it is off to the other side of Winchester to check on the herd we look after there.