If two words could sum up July on the farm it would be field work.
It has dominated most of the month and the old adage, make hay while the sun shines has been ringing in all of our ears.
“Where’s Daddy?” “He’s in the field making hay.”
This was asked and answered every 20 seconds or so than the baby and there was more than one bedtime trip to the field for them all to say good night to him.
On the animal front, things are much the same as last month. The ducklings are in a secure coop by the pond now as the stench they made in my chick nursery was too much to bear. If I ever say I am buying ducklings again, feel free to slap me. The only ducklings from now on will be those hatched naturally from adult birds as they are much cleaner kept on the pond.
The chicks are growing too. The Brahmas are almost ready to go out with the main flock and the two Polish and Pekin have really grown but I think they are destined to be pets as I don’t think they will survive with the ex-commercial hens which the children call the pecking hens. Literally because that is what they do. They are not mean, just very curious.
Shaun the Ryeland ram was bought after we sheared so we have been on the lookout for someone to rid him of his very heavy fleece but it has been difficult to find someone to just shear one sheep.
Thankfully, the farmer called in a favour with a local farmer and, while it is not as professionally done as the rest of the flock, he is shorn and he seems much happier for it-especially in the recent heat.
It was due to rain so I led him into the shippen to keep dry with a secret sheep treat of mine-ginger biscuits. I think McVities need Shaun as their poster boy.
The downside to his hair cut is that he can now run very fast and his relationship with me is a fine line between love and lust so I have been running from the field each night as I put the hens away for fear of some frisky mounting from Shaun.
We weaned the lambs from the ewes this month too and all of the lambs were wormed and given a preventive dose to ward off fly strike. Most of the lambs are huge and the toll on the ewes must have been massive so the ewes are happily munching on grass again now, to recover condition for November when the rams will be off to do their job again.
The funniest thing to happen this month was when the farmer was busy baling hay and I sneakily took delivery of two new goats-a nanny and a whether.
I put Chip and Cupcake in a stable and sneaked the new ones into the goat pen with Stud Muffin who is still here.
I waited all day for the wrath of the farmer but nothing.
Later in the evening I asked if the goats had looked alright when he checked up.
“Yes,” he said. “I gave them some hay.”
Well, I couldn’t stop laughing.
“Did they look any different?” I said.
“No, why?” He said.
“THEY ARE DIFFERENT GOATS!!!”
He hadn’t even noticed.
In his defence, when he is baling, he has complete tunnel vision and can think of nothing else.
We have renamed the new goats Pudding and Sponge to continue with the baked-goods theme.
I am now wondering what else I can sneak in when he starts with the straw.
I am hoping that should be all done by the time I write next month.