The second ewe who I have now named Mabel is still in waiting, she is showing all the signs except producing lambs! Every time I go and check on her she is just stood chewing on her hay, probably wondering why I have appeared again. Betty continues to go from strength to strength totally holding her own in with the others even though she is a week younger she is not about to let anyone push her off a teat at feed time. Stumpy is still hunching over after feeding and we have now got him on a bit of bran to see if that helps, he is fine when he is playing with the rest of them so I think it is a touch of belly ache from colic or bloat. April is in with her Mum, Lily Blackfoot, and doing well, I feel a bit sorry for her as she is all on her own while the other lambs get to play together. I did put Betty in with her for a play but it frightened her so I abandoned that idea. Once they are all outside it will be so much fun for them all, running and leaping around, it’s one of the best sights of Spring.
Talking of Spring, it is finally springing, the leaves on the trees are just beginning to burst out and the daffodils have finally shown their beautiful flowers, the primroses are also slowly unfolding to reveal little pink flowers. The rain was much needed and has freshened up the grass, although it has bought back the mud, the trashed areas had not quite recovered and it didn’t take much to make a mess again, the difference now is that it dries out a lot quicker than during the Winter months. I have been busy in the garden this week, finishing off the tidying up on the veg plot and cutting back old foliage on the flowers and shrubs. I decided to put some chicken wire over the top of my box beds, if the chickens get out they take great pleasure in hopping up onto them and digging, this should foil them and protect the flowers as well as providing a little bit of support for the taller ones.
We have finally got rid of Roland the rat in the roof space, it took quite a bit if bait to finish him off but we couldn’t risk him chewing through the electrical cables. We do have something living in the ground in the chicken pen in the orchard though, I filled in the hole a couple of days in a row but each morning it had been excavated again, also something is stealing the duck eggs from inside their house and depositing the empty shells in the ménage, I have never caught it so have no idea what it is. We are gradually reducing the number of chickens, we sold a dozen this week which is great because we were getting so many eggs, I actually scrambled some up for the dogs breakfast this morning! A fox has been on the prowl again, we have lost two this week towards the later end of the day, foxes will have cubs now and needing to feed hungry mouths but I don’t want them feeding on my chooks.
The quail, who never really get much of a mention, have started laying in earnest again and so quail eggs are back on the shelves, if you fancy trying some they are £1.50 for a dozen. The chicks that I hatched out are doing well in the brooder, and two of my gold laced Orps have gone broody on a clutch of eggs. They don’t take much to go, just have to leave a eggs in with them for a couple of days and they go all maternal and once one goes they all go so eventually there will be three or four of them sitting on eggs while the cockerel is wandering outside by himself all day.
We are only a couple of weeks away from exchanging contracts on our house now providing nothing goes wrong, then we can start looking in earnest for a compact tractor which will make all the difference to the heavy work that needs to be done. The first job will be to turn the muck heap, the more it is turned the quicker it will be ready, at the moment it takes at least a year to rot down but turning it would make it ready in a few months and much easier to bag up to sell. At the minute we give a way for free and will still be doing that if anybody wants to come and bag up their own you are welcome to do so. Our middle daughter is living in our old place at the moment and is nearly ready the exchange on the place they are buying but if there is a lap over they will be staying with us here until they can move in. With that in mind and the fact that will still have quite a bit if furniture at the other place, Hubby has been taking down walls in the caravan that is usually a workshop, so that we can use it to store everything. We have a huge pile of stuff already here that has been sorted out for car booting, goodness knows why we collect all these things and then store them in the loft, never to be seen again until you move! We have filled one skip and are about to order another, eventually we might get straight.
Today’s jobs including cleaning and tidying the house after the weekend, putting some washing on the line for the first time this year, planting up some seeds now it is finally warm enough in the greenhouse and checking on the ewe every couple of hours, only to see her stood eating I expect. Happy Birthday today to our youngest in Aus, and to two of my sisters who also celebrate theirs today and tomorrow, have a great week to the rest of you and enjoy any sunshine that may miraculously appear when we are not expecting it!