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Yesterday and today I have been working on my pallet shed. I started the day by trawling the industrial estates for MDF sheets and hard board. I wanted to box in the insulation and make the walls feel more solid. I also needed to clad a bit more of the outside. I picked up some large pallets and split them into timber boards, and then fixed them to the outside.
I am pretty pleased with it, but I still think it needs a few more days work.
Two more lambs today born to the ewe with only one ear tag, number 36. Twin gimmers, the second very little. She took a while to attend to the second one who is a little shaky, but will hopefully catch up. They have been tagged with 15 and 16.
Went out this morning at 7.45, came back at 10.30 to find two freshly born lambs. No messing about with Soays! Ellie (the one ewe we know because she’s friendly) had healthy twin tups, numbers 12 and 13. She had kindly used the catch pen to give birth so we also took the opportunity while tagging the lambs to worm her.
It seems with Soays that they often lamb in clusters, so we weren’t that surprised when a couple of hours later one of the older ewes started to look very uncomfortable and started manically licking her licks. No idea what purpose this serves but they all seem to do it. After a fair amount of circling, lying down and getting up, she had a single gimmer lamb (number 14). She continued to look uncomfortable though so we wondered if it was twins. We hadn’t seen any after birth either though so we thought it may be related to that. We decided to give her an hour before approaching her and tagging the lamb. We managed to catch her by using the lamb to entice her into the catch pen (the older ones are more wiley than Ellie) and did the tagging and worming. She seemed ok although not as relaxed as we thought she should be. We decided against poking around to much and thought perhaps it was a difficult birth and she may need longer to recover than normal. I’m glad we did as a couple of hours later she was fine and eating the after birth. Hmmm.
Anyway, all good, 3 ewes to go!
Just a quick note to say that Viginnia is now sitting on where goose eggs. Lucy is still laying and I am inclined to start leaving her to sit now rather than taking tHe eggs. In our Spring rotation we separated the Geese and the Muscovies.
Yesterday was literally the first nice day in Spring. It was clear and sunny all day. We took the opportunity to get the animals moved into their Spring configuration and rotate and rest some areas of the plot. We like to move the birds and bunnies under the large Ash tree for the summer, to give them plenty of shade. They also love to scratch in the dirt around the base of the tree and generally appreciate a change of scenery. The sheep are now very near to lambing, so we have move them onto the bottom pasture near the paste and the river. Once the lambs are born we will open up the top pasture as well and then secure the whole area around them with electric netting.
This morning we found our last magpie Muscovy girl dead on the plot (the other two having been eaten by foxes following persistent flying episodes despite heavily cut wings). She didn’t have a mark on her but a little bit of blood on her feathers. She was still within the electric fence area. Also dead was Denise, our last female runner duck. She was at the back of one of the shelters and had an enormous neck injury, like something had taken a big bite out of her. This too was all within the electric fence. There were a few feathers on the ground next to the Muscovy, both white ones and Denise’s brown ones.
The original 3 muscovies were in with the geese (who we’ve separated off for the breeding season). Linford, the male runner was fine, all the chickens were fine and there was no sign of struggle in the chicken house. The bunnies were also fine. The electric fence is working and there are no apparent holes or breaches.
We are stumped at what has happened. It’s like one of those lateral thinking riddles. Did they kill each other? Was it a weasel or similar? Crow? Someone’s dog who got in and out? All very odd. I think we’ll never know, which is really frustrating. And now Linford is by himself which is a pain and a bit sad really. He’s outlived both of his clutch mates.