Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Some amazing new residents have arrived...

....what is the saying, always ask a busy person?  As lambing just started to slow down our bull (Henry) and 15 traditional Sussex cows and calves arrived!  Suddenly the farm really does feel busy with many of our lambs now out in the fields with their Mums enjoying the spring grass and our cows already looking very at home in their new surroundings.  Henry the bull has taken up residence in his own pen next to the sheep who are waiting to lamb.  He seems so big!  and apparently is a little overweight so we are being careful on how much hay we are giving him, poor old boy, it seems amazing that an animal his size can fatten on just hay alone.  His wives are out at grass with their calves.  They are a wonderful deep red/brown colour depending on the lighting.  They are so quiet and seem quite happy to let us walk amongst them.  The day they arrived the youngest calf got separated from her Mum and sat on her own which allowed us to give her a big cuddle! They are so soft, almost like velvet.  That evening Roly scooped her up and reunited her with Mum.  My favorite visit to see them so far has been 2 days ago, we walked out to see them just after it had stopped raining and the sun had come out.  Their coats against the blue sky and spring grass was just so lovely and again noticing just how quiet they are.  We can't quite believe they belong to us!

Other big highlights of the last couple of weeks have been our 2 open days, the sun shone for us, we were so lucky and we welcomed lots of visitors to see our sheep and the girls performed with lots of people being lucky to see lambs being born.  Thank you to our amazing team of helpers who were just fantastic. To see some photos from the weekend click here

We've had wonderful vet students again this year, Annika and Charlotte from the Royal Veterinary College in London and Maria studying veterinary science in Liverpool.  All of them have worked so hard for us and really taken care of the lambs and ewes, and definitely chosen some favourite lambs who are real characters.  This season has thrown all the usual challenges at us from difficult births and adoptions but we've had what we think were some badger attacks out in some of the fields which have injured some of the lambs badly.  We brought them back in to take care of them and thankfully most are recovering well.  So we've had to be careful where we let lambs out for their first few days until they are big and strong enough to out run any predators.  Henry (our first ever orphan lamb) has really done us proud this year and had 2 of the most lovely lambs, well we think so, and we will keep them both in the flock for future breeding as luckily they are girls!

The farm is looking so beautiful now everything is greening up, the cow parsley is coming out and our new hedge is looking wonderful.

Freddie is just tractor mad already and Molly has been so busy helping feed the orphans and sweeping the yards and  helping Annika and Charlotte.  A real shepherdess in the making.

More soon

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Freddie, Boris and Belle

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Lambing 2014 highlights - Week 1

Ewes expecting twins strategically positioned in lambing paddocks
Meanwhile ewes expecting triplets get the lambing yard with en-suite facilities
Our first arrival over 7 days early . . . we're never quite ready
Strong set of twins born with Saddlescombe Farm and Devils Dyke in the background
Belle has to wait patiently during most of lambing
Old hay rack meets new hurdles
OH! Get off my hay!
Moving new born lambs into the trailer to take back to barn before night fall
First of the banners goes up - no going back now!

More to follow