Spring arrives in March thank goodness…. though
someone should really tell the weather ! Cos it clearly thinks it’s still Winter ..
The cold doesn’t stop lambing tho and on our daily check round the fields me and Lauren spotted our first Grobdale lamb for 2018 .. so cute . On our way back down , we spotted another sheep up on the top , separated from the main flock , a tell tale sign she’s about to lamb so we took the kubota up to check her out . The lamb was coming so we hung on to watch , but it all seemed to be at taking a bit too long and she wasn’t going to let me get near and without a dog or a crook (or any sheep wrangling skills for that matter) so we bombed back to the house and rang a man with a dog . Within the hour he had her caught,birthed , and shown us how to tube feed the lamb . Mum and baby claimed the first stall in lambing shed and by bedtime the lamb was suckling as he should..
(this is us heading back out to the main flock next day)
A lovely bit of drama to kickstart lambing season .
You’d think as novice farmers we’d stop at lambs , but it seems we’ve got babies on the brain .. So after looking for and buying a cheap (sorry couldn’t resist) incubator on one of my Facebook groups… I ordered some eggs. The chickens we inherited with the farm give us lovely eggs but we wanted to raise some for meat, and our lovely speckled Marans were not going to make much of a meal. So I asked google and it seems there are a few breeds that make a good Sunday roast one of which
“Buff Orpington’s “ sounded
so posh ,they must be good..
And got some ordered .. so the incubator is up and running though am worried it’s a bit too warm ,
we will have to wait and see if we’ve made chicks or boiled eggs .
Still on the theme of babies, we had been keeping an eye on Nora , watching for signs of her coming into heat or “Oestrus” , basically it involves checking her bum ! And the minute it looks different (I won’t get too technical ) making a note in the diary so I can work out her cycle.
I had been noting my pigs bum for the last 2 months and researching how to artificially inseminate her .
Oh the glamour of this new life !
So one Thursday morning , the time was right (follow the link above if you truly want the details ) and I made the call to the lovely lady at Deerpark pedigree pigs over in Ireland .
They promised to send me a pack of Pedigree Tamworth semen out the same day by special delivery ,so the next day our postman was slightly amused when I told him what he’d just brought me on Friday morning !
I spent the next 3 days teaching myself how to AI Nora .. yes twiglet I did the deed myself and no Nora doesn’t want a boyfriend ..
So we will wait and see if it’s worked , I checked dates and we should be able to tell around the Saturday 14th April fingers crossed. And so we can add another item on the skills learned list .
Artificially inseminating pigs !
March was the month I had a message from our very lovely horsey friend Emma, asking me if I was still interested in keeping horses at Grobdale .
She and I had lots of chats about loaning and buying ponies , it was the push we needed and before I knew it Lauren had had her first riding lesson and we had started our search for the right pony for our patch.
We had visited a stables , at the end of last summer close to Gatehouse, that specialised in rehoming rescued ponies and horses.
The 3 R’s (rescue,rehabilitate and re-home) is a fabulous project run by Susan and Gordon along with a team of helpers.I have a feeling that we will be seeing more of these rescue horses .
The hubby was obviously feeling the love too ,as the weekends project up at Grobdale became , build a loose box and typical of him it is a perfect textbook gorgeous new stable .. we feel very lucky..
It’s a tense month March ,waiting for the sheep to give birth and worrying if you might miss a mum struggling somewhere , they tend to bugger off and hide whilst in the throes apparently so not easy to spot !
So to all my new and old sheep buddies out there “good luck” oh and will everyone please wish us some luck for Nora.. she does not want me obsessing with her bum for another month !
Piglets at Grobdale ? …