Tuesday, 22 March 2011

In the thick of it!

Roly has just returned from one of the many trips to and from the lambing sheds and reported that we have had some 'cracking' lambs today, they are arriving thick and fast and it feels good after a slightly rocky start...

Two weeks ago we had about ten ewes with a condition called 'pregnancy toxaemia' or 'twin lamb disease'. During the last 8 weeks of pregnancy, the lambs grow at a terrific rate inside the ewe and puts a huge demand on her. If the ewe is not getting sufficient food her energy levels can drop dramatically and their rate of recovery is low. It is a very distressing condition and we think we had some cases due to 'trough bullying' where the stronger bullish ewes gobble all the food and do not leave enough for those lower down the pecking order....however, all of that is past us now and we are enjoying the fact that lambing is in full swing and that spring feels like it has finally arrived! The daffodils are out and we are already putting lambs out with their Mum's to grass which feels really good.

Other news from last week is that I had an unexpected trip back into hospital with appendicitis. Any one who has had this will sympathise I'm sure, very painful and it was hard with little Molly. She was fine though and got lots of attention from all the nurses and spent her nights back here in her cosy cot with her Daddy looking after her. Annoyingly she slept much better under Roly's supervision! Having said that she is beginning to sleep longer and our nights were beginning to stretch out before lots of woolly babies started arriving!

We are in full flow getting ready for the next two weekends. The Earth Trust are busy promoting the weekends and the weather looks good for this weekend at least, so we are looking forward to seeing everyone.

We have our 'shepherds for the day' starting with an old university friend of mine on Thursday who is coming with his two little boys Sam and Jack. He is looking forward to fingers crossed, having the opportunity of lambing his first ewe and experiencing that amazing feeling of bringing new life into the world.

More soon and we look forward to seeing many of you over the next two weekends to come and see the lambs.

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Boris and Belle

Friday, 4 March 2011

The calm before the storm....

With little under 3 weeks until our main flock start to lamb we are busy getting all our lambing supplies ready and in place. The ewes all look well and we are busy feeding them up to maintain their condition and give their lambs all the nutrients they need to grow inside them.

Our lambing weekends which we are holding jointly with the Northmoor Trust (soon to be the Earth Trust) are fast approaching too and we are looking forward to welcoming lots of visitors to the farm to see this years offspring! For those interested in picking up some lamb on the day or a sheepskin rug we are asking people to preorder with us first so we can have everything ready for collection, so do call us on 07776 393072.

We have a very exciting new customer in London, Corrigans in Mayfair www.corrigansmayfair.com who have had 2 half lambs and some racks for a VIP dinner they are holding this evening! So we are really pleased that news of our delicious Oxfordshire lamb is spreading to top chefs in London.

Despite the cold weather still the grass is beginning to green up and soon the fields will be filling up with newborn lambs and we will be able to hear them calling for their Mums when we are walking in the village. A true sign of spring.

We have lots of people joining us to be shepherds for the day and we are looking forward to having them with us and getting them involved with all the jobs which make up our busy days whilst we are lambing.

Molly is busy growing too! She will be 2 months old on Monday...she will be making an appearance at the lambing weekends and we hope will be on her best behaviour...

More soon, probably with news of the first arrivals up in the lambing sheds!

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Boris and Belle