Sunday 31 March 2024

First Hebridean lambs of the year


Before yesterday, 4 of our Texel ewes had had between them 9 lambs. Our Hebridean ewes were a bit slower to produce their first babies but that changes yesterday. Our first 2 Hebridean lambs have arrived. At the same time, another of our Texels gave birth to two lambs. The total number of lambs now stands at 13.

Tuesday 19 March 2024

Ant and Dec at Whickham Library


Ant and Dec, our two young billy goats, were at Whickham Library on Saturday. The Library invites me to bring animals to each of their fairs and it was the turn of the two boys to be adored and overfed with carrots by people coming to the Easter market.

New goat house


Now that we have carried out the majority of the fence repairs, we have switched our attention to the need to build a new goathouse in the big paddock at the bottom of field 2. The two billy goats will be moved into this paddock once the goathouse is finished. With them will go two of our nannies, Star and Snow White. Once they are pregnant, the two nannies will be moved back to the herd. Other than the nails and screws, the goathouse is being built entirely from waste wood, mainly pallets and fence panels which friends have given us in recent years. It will have a sloping roof so that we can channel rain water into a water butt (at the moment we have to bring in all the water we need from home).

I am hoping construction can be completed and the goats moved in later this week.

Friday 15 March 2024

Like painting the Forth Bridge


Repairing fences is like painting the Forth Bridge on our smallholding. Just when you feel that sense of achievement by finishing the repairs to one fence, you have to move onto the next. When we bought the fields the fences were in a poor shape. We have gradually replaced the rotten fence posts and replaced the livestock netting. In recent days we've completed the repairs to the top of our hayfield and to the fence between fields one and two (see above). Today we were able to move on to the paddock into which we planning to move our two young billy goats. The gate into it is now repaired. The big job will be to build a shelter in the paddock. Hopefully a job to start this weekend.

Thursday 14 March 2024

First lambs of the year


Our first lambs of the year have arrived. Two were born last week and two a couple of days ago. Both mothers and all four lambs are doing well.