Friday, April 27, 2007

What is more likely to worry and kill sheep? a pitbull or a nice family labrador?...........The labrador!! Now I know most people will not believe it but we caught 2 labradors sheep worrying a few weeks ago ..........luckily no sheep were hurt as they were interupted just in time but today we faced something much more serious.
2 weeks ago a nice strong lamb disappeared from one of our fields...........we were cross as we put it down to a fox. On Monday, a lamb who was one of twins (whose mother had only one half of her udder working so he was receiving a top up bottle of milk) had his bottle at 9am and was fine and jolly. At 2pm we received a phone call to say there was a dead lamb, it was him! His face was damaged but we put it down to crows discovering a body..............they can be quite nasty...........very odd though???
Today I gathered up the sheep and there was a lamb missing...........I scoured the field and found her.........with huge teethmarks in her head and neck, barely alive. We rushed her to the vet but she died 3 hours later. All the sheep have now been moved to another field several miles from this one.
Who did this..................well the suspect is a black labrador seen lurking near the field unsupervised by a villager...........please everyone keep your dogs with you at all times! Each of these lambs was worth £100 in lost profit, plus a vets bill, and when things are tight as they really are for us small farmers thats a lot of money lost to a dog whose owners are blissfully unaware of his or her activities!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Thought you might like to see some of my Shetland lambs!
We now have loads of lambs including another Ouessant ewe lamb!!
Unfortunately we had some losses too with a 2 week old lamb dropping dead in the field which was very sad and another 4 day old strong ram lamb being taken by a fox.

However all the rest are 'so far so good' and I have just bought 6 more ewes and their lambs.
I am off to Berrien on Saturday evening for a few days and am leaving the last 4 ewes who are due in May in the capable hands of Pete! The BBC are coming yet again tomorrow, this time to film my sheep........why I'm not quite sure but will find out I guess!
We have recently had an exhibition of local wool and related fibres in the barn gallery next to the field in the picture containing 27 of my sheep..........very appropriate!

Fibrefest amazing event which I will mention more of now has its own blog and website, do take a look and book your advance tickets online

Saturday, April 07, 2007

4 ewes left to lamb in the first batch, we have had some very pretty Shetland lambs born in the last week, I will try and post some photos of them tomorrow. The Blackdown Hills Fibre group are holding a 2 week exhibition and sale at Littlefields studios in Bishopswood, a little village a few miles away. My Shetland sheep and lambs are providing the live entertainment in the field next to the studio! If you are in the area do come and see the lovely wool, socks, scarves, skins etc
I have a propagator full of sprouting seeds including some Rhubarb of a variety I have not heard of before!I have not grown rhubarb from seed before so should be interesting! peas and tomatoes are well up as are the chilli peppers and lots of herbs. Pink fir apple potatoes are chitting on the windowsill and I have asparagus and onions going in tomorrow so busy busy!
I have had a very poorly lamb who was born on Tuesday morning. His mother went down with mastitis and he was very weak. Happily with mum receiving antibiotics and the little lad having had several feeds by stomach tube he is now suckling both his mum and a top up bottle and I think he will make it!
I sold 2 shetlands that were too wild to handle easily in the cull ewes section of the market last week. They go straight for slaughter and to be honest it was the best option as it was unfair to pass the problem on to another unsuspecting owner. They were impossible to catch without stress to both sheep and human and would have made the grand national runners look slow!
New pigs (Berkshires) are arriving next Sunday and in readyness the pig area is being sorted out, which has meant putting back up the mains electric fencing we use to keep them in, it will be nice to have them for the summer as we have not had pigs for a year.
Must go and get some sleep now as I have another ewe who looks like lambing in the next few hours