Wednesday, 20 April 2011

New lambs for Easter


Domino and her new lambs

Close followers of this blog will know that back in November my position as Alpha Male at Haul Y Bryn was temporarily challenged by a magnificent ram by the name of Mayfield Grenadier who came to stay with us for a few weeks. Like me, he took a right shine to our 3 ewes, Spotty Nose, Woolly and Domino (we've given in and named them), and pretty soon all were in-lamb. Here we are a few months later on and it's lambing time.

Back on the 4th April the first ewe to lamb, Domino, produced twins, a ewe and a ram lamb.

Little ram lamb - just 2 hours old
















As these were Domino's first lambs labour took longer than usual, but I had no need to assist. In hospital on the 9th April with my busted thumb Louise was the only one here and in the late evening of the 10th she was busy helping ewe, Woolly, to produce a large single lamb.

The cord was trapped around its neck so Lou had some fiddling to do to enable the ewe to give birth. Indeed Louise had to help it out as it was bigger than average, often the case with a single.

We have friends who are currently preggers so Louise's recent practice may be of use if they are visiting and there is an urgent need to scrub up...!

Domino and her lambs - names please

We keep them in for a few days, but let them out during the day after 4 or 5 days, and out permanently after a week. Foxes are the main problem, along with crows, so keeping them in helps them put on a bit of weight and strength.

As we only have 3 ewes that leaves one last one to lamb - Spotty Nose.

Spotty Nose resting in the sun

She was covered twice, a few weeks apart, so we are not sure when she is due. Logic dictates if she didn't take the first time then the due date should be calculated from the second date she was covered. All well and good, except she's pretty huge now and has a lovely set of boobs on her. We've had her in the last few days and have seen no signs she's about to start lambing, so today she's been let out again; we'll bring her in tonight and monitor her till she starts. At least i'm home to do this given my thumb is knackered.


We've had to seperate Amber the chicken who is looking a bit crook.
Poor Amber, the sickly chicken
She has a very pale comb and wattles, and has that hunched up look that we always see just prior to a chicken dying. Fingers crossed she's ok as we've had her the longest now and she's only just got her nice new feathers after the winter moult.

Meanwhile, back in the greenhouse, things are starting to grow with a fury.

The runner beans are shooting up....

Runner beans begining their marathon
















.... and the leeks are poking through too...

Leeks peeping through














The spuds are through the hard cap of clay topsoil we have imported; tonight we'll have to water (the onions and garlic especially) as it's been so dry of late.



Swift spuds doing their best against the clay soil
The blossom is out in the garden....

We are lucky to have spectacular blossom

and the ferns, of which we have an abundance, are unfurling their long, delicate fronds.


Ferny ferns


















We even have a white bluebell.

Oooh, a pretty white bluebell
















More anon when Spotty Nose has popped.

Spotty Nose, the recalcitrant mother