Thursday, 14 June 2018

The Wooly Gang

Sheep are crafty little so and so's and always scheming, I also find them very noisy when they see you they holler for attention.
The day that little compost hatched the sheep were planning a surprise too, this time it was Tuffty, so called because she has a tufty Mohican on her forehead.
Here she is can you see what she has done
No here is another photo 
Now you can see the fluffy cowpat in the grass
Yes Tuffty produced a surprise lamb, I went to do the morning feed round and this is what I discovered
Little lamb arrived during the night was already up and feeding and dry and clean.
Tuffty was a first timer and managed all by herself, she was now behaving very smug about the whole thing.
and being the proud mum she showed off her daughter to the other half of the woolly gang who live in the next field.
One of the reasons for getting Hebridean sheep is they come into season in November and you can have a ram run with them all year, I don't think ours read the book properly or someone was  playing hooky from school that day.
Then there is Miss Hairy Chest
 Like a few of the ladies she decided to undress but she wasn't being elegant about it, she unzipped her fleece down the back and was trailing it everywhere, I took her in hand and plucked her I couldn't get round to her chest area as I was holding her by her handlebar horns at the time.
 She just had to sport a hairy chest until shearing.
Which took place a couple of days ago.
 Starting with Randy the Ram
Of course we made another discovery during shearing although, I had a suspicion, 
Tuffty wasn't the only one who played hooky from sheep school that day.
This young lady having a pee is bagging up and due to deliver any day.
 Randy who is pictured here has a lot to answer for, we now know what he was up to during that cold snap we had. 
The rest of the woolly gang got sheared the other day too
here is a short video of Odd Job being sheared watched over by the others. 
 They also have there teeth filed down if needed and a pedicure.
 And the result after
 Pipe Cleaner Alpacas.
The others are at the back of field lining up for a roll in the dust bath. 






Tuesday, 12 June 2018

The Story Of Little Compost and Friends

There has been so much going on I will need to do posts over the next few days to bring everything up to date, but I am going to start with telling you about little Compost 
 Little Compost was once an egg sitting in the incubator with lots of eggs, something was not going right with the hatching, first it was the chicks from our own eggs, only two hatched,
a week later the ducklings were due to hatch Little Compost was in that batch
The first little duckling hatched and I popped it in with the two chicks while it waited for some friends to arrive.
A week went by and there was no friends. These three were named, Hear No, See No and Speak No, the three wise chicks.
I cleared out the incubator and threw the eggs in the compost heap.
A couple of days later I was emptying the tea bag caddie in the compost heap and spotted one of the eggs had pipped, I was annoyed with myself thinking it must have started to pip when I threw them away, it had been there for two days.
I started to peel back the shell and 
the little duckling was still alive !!!
 Quick dash back to the house, set up the incubator and popped the egg in

 Evening time and little Compost broke free of his shell, to be honest I didn't hold out much hope he lay there all curled up 
I went off to bed leaving him in the incubator  
 Next morning Little Compost was all fluffed up and on his feet so he joined the others in the brooder.
 A week on and Little Compost is still doing well, spending some time in the sunshine with his friends,
 Last Night, Speak No and Little Compost got separated from the chicks and moved into there own brooder I don't want ducklings and chicks growing up with identity issues.
While this was all going on one of the Hens went broody
 I collected a dozen mixed eggs off a friend and
Mrs Broody was popped into the small hutch with the eggs. 
I also picked up some day old Ross Cobbs to be raised for the table 
They are growing so fast they have now been moved outside to the other brooder and only have heat at night. 
Last month Mr & Mrs Dove hatched out a little one, who has since fledged another egg was laid ans yesterday it hatched I have not seen it yet but the egg shell is on the ground, Mrs Dove is still sitting tight. 
Lots of hatching new additions along with a bit of drama.
Something else happened the day Little Compost hatched I will tell you about it tomorrow. 


Monday, 4 June 2018

Something Fishy Going On

Its been a busy couple of weeks and the sun continues to shine.
Bank Holiday week end saw us take delivery of something special

 The aquaponic tank was getting a delivery of fish 
Water test was done and everything was perfect for our arrivals.
we still had some resident crayfish in the tank and goldfish were there, the tank was ready to go.

Our new arrivals, Unable to get the trout we settled on Tilapia fingerlings,  not the best of photos but they are only small and very fast so its difficult to get a proper photo of them, a week on and there is a difference in there size already, all being well by Autumn we should have them at table size.
 The growing bed has exploded into growth
 A few carnivorous plants have been added to help with pest control. 
Another bit of fishy news
Martin has been away this week end with his boat on a diving trip to N.Wales
He got home last night with some additions
 Spider Crabs
 And some brown crabs that they had already cooked but were left over from there lunch. 
It was always part of the plan Martin would use his boat to supplement our diet.
Foraging at its best.
When we were viewing smallholdings we specifically wanted to be within easy traveling of the sea. 
It looks like Lobster is on the menu for tonights dinner, the crabs will be cooked and the meat frozen for future meals.



Monday, 21 May 2018

Plant Of The Month For May

I bought my May plant at our local village plant fair 
 Abutilon Megapotamicum
 Bit of a mouthful, common name is Trailing Abutilon
I love the flowers on it  they remind me of chinese lanterns,
More details of the plant can be found here 
With all this gorgeous weather we are being spoilt with I am up to date on outside jobs
 giving me plenty of time to work on the pretty garden, creeping buttercup and hairy bittercress are the worse invasive weeds here 
 I am making headway through the borders clearing out as much as possible to try and prevent them for seeding and spreading even more, as sections of borders are cleared I am topping them off with a thick mulch of Alapca poo, I did lose a few plants over that cold winter we had but on the whole most have survived and pests so far are minimal.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Just Kidding Around

Kidding is now finished for this year
5 Does 3 Billys.
For Helen it will be her last kidding
 Things were not going well when she started to kid on Thursday and I had to call the vet out, she was bleeding a lot and kids were not coming.
It was a horrific delivery her kids had badly presented and the blood was coming from a tear in her uterus, she was going down hill quickly and once the kids were out the vet told me she wasn't going to make it and it would be better to put her to sleep, I wasn't ready to give up and asked them to do a hysterectomy, to be told they don't do them on goats but I pushed for it, Sam the vet phoned ahead to the vet centre and they got theatre ready for her, Helen and kids were bundled into the back of my car and they were waiting at the door for her when we arrived, Colostrum had already been milked off and the nurse took the kids for a feed, Helen was taken straight into theatre. I got a call a few hours later she had come through the operation and come round from the anaesthetic, she had a 10 inch tear in her uterus and lost a lot of blood, they kept the little family in overnight and I collected them in the morning,
 Kids in a crate with Helen in the back of the car.
 Once home they were settled into there own little stall away from interference from any curious kids.
Helen was on a lot of pain relief she had a very big incision, top up feeds had to be given to the kids so they didn't become too hungry and start butting her for feeds.
 Enid and the other kids were very curious what was happening in the stall, but they were sent away and would just have to wait to meet the new arrivals.
 1 doe 1 billy who took to there new bed under a heat lamp so mum could rest up and recover.
 Sunday evening saw the arrival at last for Connies triplets all a good size 2 billys and 1 doe no complications.
 Monday we got all the pens cleaned out the new mums were bedded down on lots of clean straw with there kids
 and Helen got moved into a new pen in the main part of the goat house so everyone could meet her kids.
and Tuesday Helen got to go outside first time post op and her kids got to enjoy the sunshine for the first time, Friday we will take her to get her stitches out. She is managing very well with the kids and is being a good mum.