Sunday 26 March 2023

We need a name


The lamb we are hand rearing (see video above) needs a name. She is a Texel/Suffolk cross. Feel free to post up suggestions in the comments or on Youtube.

Tuesday 21 March 2023

You can tell it's spring


You can tell it's spring. The days are now longer than the nights and the amphibians are out and about.

Hand reared


One of the lambs born recently looked as though she would not survive her first night as she was shivering and the weather was freezing. So we decided to hand rear her while her mother continued to raise her other lamb. We knew that taking the lamb in this way would break the bond with the mother and that we would be stuck with the task of feeding her. She has responded well, treating me as her mother, following me about the field and working up a very good appetite which has resulted in her being bigger than the other lambs. For the first few days, because of the cold snap, and not having a ewe mother to keep her warm, her nights were spent at our house. She then learnt to climb stairs and we found her sleeping on the floor next to our bed. The improved temperatures means she now stays on the field at night. She uses the sheep shelter under the hedge.

Seed potatoes


I normally use my mum's garage for storing apples. At the moment however we are using it to store and prepare seed potatoes. They are chitting at the moment - growing shoots ready to be planted in a few weeks.



When I milked Penelope, our new milking goat, last week, I found she had early symptoms of mastitis in her left udder. The milk was coming out full of lumps. We took her straight to the vet who confirmed my diagnosis. Fortunately we identified the problem early and she was given antibiotics to cure her. The lumps in the milk were pus and she continued to produce pus in the milk for 3 days. You can see in the photo above, taken on her 2nd day of having the illness, that, though not lumpy, the pus was still being produced though in reduced quantities. We can't use the milk from the right udder for 30 days but the vet said we can feed it to pigs. The milk therefore is going to our friend Steve who has a couple of pigs. The milk from the left udder still has a few traces of pus in it so until that has cleared, we are having to throw the milk away. 

So if you have a goat that is producing lumpy milk, get her to the vet ASAP and stop the illness quickly.

Wednesday 15 March 2023

Recently arrived lambs


Last week, another 2 lambs arrived, a boy and a girl. Here they are on video. They arrived just at the start of a cold snap. Not the best of timing.

Wednesday 8 March 2023

Another arrival


We had an arrival yesterday - 2 lambs (one male, one female). This is the mother's first birth. When I checked on them late last night, I was concerned about the female lamb. It was bitterly cold - we are going through a cold snap - and she was cold and shivering. I took the decision to take her home to warm her up and feed her. I knew the outcome would be that I would be breaking the bond between mother and baby (leaving me to be the surrogate mother to the lamb) but this was preferable to getting to the farm in the morning to find she had died.

I took her back to the farm this morning. She hung about with her brother but she didn't suckle from the mother. She is now bottle fed by me. While this cold snap continues, she will be kept in our house overnight. A lamb's biggest source of heat is the mother and if she no longer accepts the baby, she will provide no heat for it. Once the cold snap is over, we can look again at leaving her in the field with the other sheep overnight.

Friday 3 March 2023

Storm damage no. 2


Last month's gale didn't just wreck our duck pond. It also blew away the roof of one of our goat shelters. Fortunately, in our collection of 2nd hand wood and roofing panels was a plywood board waiting to be repurposed which was the right size for the shelter. Shelter repaired as required.