At the beginning of the week I had such a massive ‘to do’ list that I had to prioritize or nothing would have got done at all, thankfully with the help of the rest of the family we have nearly ploughed through all of them 🙂
The lambs have been high up on the list, we have had to get the vet out to one of them as she was not doing very well out in the field, the vet diagnosed Pasteurella which is a lung infection probably caused by it not getting enough colostrum when it was first born. She has been having antibiotic injections daily and at first we could not even force feed her a bottle but, I have just looked in on her and she has been having a nibble at the hard feed so hopefully although she is terribly thin she will pull through. The other lambs all had to have a bum wash with a diluted disinfectant, this keeps the flies away from their nether regions and hopefully prevents flystrike, which is very nasty and if it goes unnoticed would cause their death. A most unpleasant job to do as the lambs tend to wag their tails whilst you are doing it and you end up covered in splashes of poo! Worming was next on the list, and as the vet was paying a visit we decided to do a worm count, this is basically picking up sheep poo, testing it for worms and dosing depending on the result, we were very happy that the vet reported a negative count, which means that we don’t have to worm at all, this is good news for animal rearing in a natural way as we like to do, so that we do not give unnecessary medication.
The little Shetland ponies escaped from their paddock this weekend, I was in the kitchen and suddenly heard tiny hoofs clattering around, as bad luck would have it I had left the gate to the veg garden open and Jazz decided to charge all over the veg beds! As good luck would have it he managed to miss every single plant I had put in only the day before!
I have almost finished planting out the veg plants, just a few more brassicas to go, the beans have not appeared from beneath the surface so my guess is that they have been eaten by mice, luckily I had planted some in pots too and they are growing nicely although too small to go out just yet. Everything else is growing steadily, we even picked the first strawberry of the year last week! That is very early and I am not quite sure what is going on, someone else told me that their tomatoes are already setting trusses, I can only think that it was all that warm weather we had has confused them, lets hope that the return to seasonal temperatures does not interfere with the fruit too much or the harvest could be poor.
The Rhubarb champagne is well under way, I bottled it yesterday, it now needs to stand for two weeks until its ready, I did have a sneaky slurp and if it tastes as good at the end as it does half way through it is going to be delicious, the recipe did say to open carefully when it is ready so I have stood it in an outbuilding just in case it explodes! It made just over 5 litres of drink, and from a few cups of rhubarb some sugar, vinegar and water, is a great return, I have put it on the recipe page for anyone who wants to have a go, it’s very simple and does not need a lot if equipment. I saved the squash bottles to put it in but you could use milk cartons or lemonade bottles.
We have small garden birds nesting in the walls (yes, in the walls, the building is wooden with various holes ideal for nests!) A pair of Blue Tits are nesting in the front next to the window, I can hear them all cheeping as I type, one fell out of the nest the night before last and before we could rescue it the dog pounced on it and tossed it in the air like a ball, poor thing was a goner! We will keep a close eye on things as the develop, the fledglings will be flinging themselves out any day and we need to make sure the dogs are in so that no more of them perish!
I am going to the 2011 Smallholder show at the Royal Welsh Showground this weekend, we are looking forward to meeting up with like minded people and having a look at the livestock, who knows what we will come back with, but we are taking an empty trailer so watch this space 🙂