Author Archives: RJ

Lambing 2016 (part 2)

Twin lambs born overnight Wednesday to Thursday this week, one gimmer, one tup, all healthy and tagged. Born to older ewe (the texelly face one).


Pile of Ducklings

For the first time in two years we actually have some muscovy ducklings! Yay! They started hatching yesterday and she was sitting on three by the evening. This morning a pile of fluff had emerged. It’s a bit tricky to count, but I think there are 13 or 14 so far with a couple more eggs to hatch (or not). They are are real mixture of colours this time because she has been sitting on eggs that have come from our original white girls, Batman (who is a pied girl…) and the chocolatiers. And Orlando is the daddy, we hope we managed to keep them seperate from Linford for long enough to avoid ‘contamination’ with the furry banana. We assume the offspring of the chocolatiers are the kind of greeny looking ones!

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Family Goose

The gosling is growing very well and has been outside all the day and night for about a week now, as the weather has been good. He/she avoids Lucy as she’s still a bit mean to he/she, but we’ve lost count of the number of times Pierre has grabbed us or when we (I) have fallen over backwards trying to avoid being poked at. He is enjoying being a Dad again I think and is teaching gosling all he knows about how to walk along sticking your neck out. As you can see, we have no idea if it’s a boy or girl…

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Final Lambing Update

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.


Sitting Chocolatier

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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.


Polytunnel and Grafting

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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.


Easter Lambs

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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.