Perky had his horns trimmed this week. One was heading to being in-growing if it wasn't cut. He is now looking as elegant as usual.
4 ducklings hatched in our incubator recently. We added them to the duckling run where they were adopted by the slightly older ducklings we got a few weeks ago. As you can see, they rather like bathing together in the seed tray we use as a water bowl. They have a paddling pool as well which we use as a duck pond.
A friend has been fishing in the Shetlands. He caught this rather nice cod and has now swapped it with me. I will be providing jams etc in return. It's rather nice to have fish back in our diet. We have so little of it now as the two people we previously traded with for fish are no longer in a position to go fishing.
It has been years since we have had a decent crop of sloes but I spotted a blackthorn in a local hedgerow recently which had lots of fruit on it. Not yet ripe but it could be that we are heading for a decent crop this autumn. Fingers crossed.
Our new Anglo-Nubian billy kid has now been named. We asked local residents to come up with names and we would choose the best. We chose one with an Egyptian theme (the Nubian desert is partly in Egypt). To find out the new name, click on the video!
Mabel, the British Alpine goat we bought in April, had her baby last night. We had no information on the breed of the father but the moment I saw the kid, I could see that Dad was an Anglo-Nubian. The kid is a billy and this time, that's good news for us. We need an Anglo-Nubian billy for Bubble, our Anglo-Nubian nanny who so far has not fallen pregnant to our two other billies (which are Saanen crosses). We bought Bubble because she is from a milking breed so no pregnancy means no milk. Mabel's baby will hopefully solve that problem when he grows up.
Last month we had much more rain than usual. The result was a flooded goathouse. To avoid a repeat, we took up the paving stones on the floor, put down a thick layer of recycled gravel and relaid the paving stones. The result: a dry goathouse!
We turned our hand to sheep shearing today. As a first ever attempt it wasn't too bad though I doubt we will win any sheep shearing competitions. Ethel however was pleased to be rid of her heavy winter coat. We will shear the other sheep on Thursday.
Three kids were born this month, all females. Two were to new mums and sadly neither knew what to do and showed no interest in their babies. We are raising them by hand. They are pictured above. We've named them Janie and Dolly. Until a couple of days ago we were keeping them in the house at night and taking them through the day to be with the adults.
Spot, our older nanny, has, as usual, been a great mum for her baby Seren. No need to hand raise her.
We had our first baby of the year born yesterday. Jolene, one of our nannies gave birth to Dolly who, unfortunately, she rejected. We are now raising her by hand. This was Jolene's first birth.
Today, Spot, our oldest and most experienced nanny, gave birth to a boy and a girl. They don't have names yet.
We are going through a rather cold snap at the moment. All water has turned to ice. The duck pond is frozen solid. I'm not sure what the ducks are making of it but they are unable to bathe and keep themselves fully clean. Hopefully a thaw is on its way.
Our weather has been alternating between cold and wet. We can get the land rover around the smallholding when it is cold but we very nearly got stuck when we drove over our main field to move a load of manure recently. The ground was wet and not frozen. The land rover was redecorated and then had to have a clean up!