We are now the proud owners of one very cute gosling. It is the first one we have actually managed to hatch from an egg in the incubator. It pipped internally on Sunday night and had pipped externally during the day on Monday. It was rocking the shell and peeping madly but was clearly struggling so we helped it a little last night by opening up the crack it had made to make a whole just the size of a 5p. It hadn’t made any progress over night so we gradually helped it out over the course of a couple of hours this morning having done some research and quickly becoming apparent that it is so hard to get the humidity right with goose eggs in an incubator that helping the gosling get through the tough shell is often necessary. It does unfortunately have slightly splayed legs so we have used plaster to bring them together and are doing regular bouts of gosling physio to help strengthen them. It is very chatty and lively though and seems very robust otherwise so we are hopeful! There are two further eggs still in the incubator so we’re going to leave them another day just in case. And of course the chocolatier is still steady on 4 eggs so hopefully she’ll do better than us and create a friend for this one. In the meantime we’ll happy waste time watching it and squeaking at it to keep it company.
Monthly Archives: April 2014
All the ewes have now lambed. The first of the last batch was born last Tuesday to one of the caramel ewe lambs from last year. Unfortunately it was tiny and despite various bits of intervention from us to get it feeding it passed away early on Wednesday morning.
The next set to come were twins that arrived on Friday morning, a pair of gimmers who are very healthy. Then on Sunday the second caramel ewe lamb from last year gave birth to another gimmer who is also very small. We penned her immediately as despite displaying lots of bonding behaviour, she wasn’t letting it feed. We ended up getting hold of her to turn her upside down and show the lamb where the teats were. Lots of monitoring and quiet later and things seemed to be improving and the lamb looks to be latching. It seems ok today, following mum around and feeding. It is warm and has a round belly which is a good sign. It is considerably smaller than the others though so I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet.
Then this morning the last set of twins arrived, a pair of tups. So we have 10 lambs currently on the field, which is a great result, and seems to be of great delight to the village residents. Of our main flock, we’ve achieved a twinning % of 180, which compared to breed average of 130% means we must be doing something right, and Rambo has certainly done his job well. None of this last lot have been tagged yet as we’ve having problems with our tags so are awaiting some samples to come from an alternative supplier. Tiny Soay ears are tricky and our applicator is just downright frustrating. This isn’t a problem as we’ve actually got 9 months to tag them, we’d just rather do it sooner so it’s easier to identify them.
Today we have harvested the first polytunnel salad of the season. Usually things get very busy from here on in, culminating in more salad than we can eat by June.
We noticed a few days ago that two more of our ducks were getting a bit broody, and wanting to sit on eggs. One of our chocolate girls was sitting on some spare duck eggs yesterday so we decided to move her onto four goose eggs in the hope that she might do a surrogate job of raising some goslings. Geese usually sit for 28 days, so we’ll keep an eye on how she progresses, and hopefully have some baby geese in about a months time. We have decided to put the nest directly on the soil as we thinking that the extra moisture might help the eggs to develop. The last time we had success with this method was with one of our naked neck chickens a few years ago.
Our squash plants are making progress. This year we have germinated most of them inside in the bathroom, and we have had better results than normal.
The grafting that I did in February is looking very positive with little leaves sprouting from the tops of each of the root stock. I now need to keep them pest free and hope that they continue to strive through the summer when the tape can come off.
This morning we woke up to find to little tups had been born. We tagged them 24, and 25, and checked them over. This makes a total of 5.