Monday, 18 January 2016

The Big Chill, finally

Belated Happy New Year!  We have been so relieved and grateful to see some dry weather and some sunshine this week.  Whilst we have not in any way struggled as much as some of our farming friends in the north, the relentless rain and mud is tiring to work with.  The animals do not like it either!  Some hard frosts and even a little snow yesterday morning has really lifted our spirits and put the spring back in our step.

Our cows are beginning to look significantly bigger and calving is now not far away.  We moved them recently due to the wet ground and they had to pass the General (our wonderful bull), who plumped out his chest as they trotted past.  Once he has lost a bit more weight he will be able to join them but he remains on rather a strict diet!  The cows are enjoying their hay and last years calves and the steers and heifers (born February 2014) are very content on their silage (grass which was cut last summer and wrapped, smells delicious!).

The sheep will be pregnancy scanned in the next couple of weeks and I always think that marks the beginning of turning our thoughts to lambing.  They will be split into their groups of triplets, twins and singles and then given the correct amount of food according to how many lambs they are carrying.  Freddie loves our 'snacker feeder' which attaches to the back of the quad bike and releases the sheep nuts in piles on the ground which the sheep race to nibble.  The feed is stored in a 'hopper' which is a huge wooden bin in the yard and releases the food directly into the snacker.

We are hosting a 'farmland bird identification day' here on the 26th January for the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust, ahead of the Big Farmland Bird Count taking place between the 6th and 14th February. This will be the 3rd time we are taking part and I've written a guest blog for the GWCT here   It is an excellent opportunity to take time to look and reflect on the farm and share sightings with visitors and in our news.

More soon

Camilla, Roly, Molly, Freddie and Belle