Rain, rain and more rain! Everywhere is so wet and we had to execute an emergency move last week for the ewes to get them safely on higher ground with some hay just before the Thames flooded its banks. And flood it did. We've been very aware of the flooding risk since we have been here and its not until it has happened that you can fully appreciate where the water will go and how high it will rise. Now we know! It is just beginning to go down now and the debris, including some big logs, are now noticeable in the middle of the fields.
Basil is now officially resting. We separated the rams from the girls last week so we now have to wait until we have the ewes scanned in January to see if the boys have done their job. There have been concerning reports in the press recently regarding poor scanning results from early lambing flocks which is either being put down to the Schmallenberg virus which remains a threat or poor conception rate due to the wet summer and the low nutritional value of the grass. There does always seem to be something which makes us concerned for the welfare of the flock. I guess it isn't surprising when we are dealing so directly with the elements.
We have started to feed the lambs fodder beet for the first time. This is a root crop, it looks similar to a turnip or swede, which is packed with sugar to help make up for the energy they need which they won't be finding in the grass so late in the season. It has taken them a while to get the taste for it but now they are tucking in! Feed prices are high this year due to the poor harvest so we are pleased to have found an alternative and it has been grown not far away from us.
We are taking lots of Christmas orders, so please get in touch if you would like to order your favourite cuts. Loin fillet is a bit of a treat or we like having a rack or 'best end' at some point over Christmas, it is so easy and so delicious! Finally, if you are looking for a unique Christmas present, why not treat a member of the family or a friend to be 'shepherds for the day' with us or to spend an 'evening in the lambing barns'.
You can find out more here http://www.camillaandroly.co.uk/be-a-shepherd
Camilla, Roly, Molly, Boris and Belle