Farm Life May 2019

May has been a manic month. I didn’t realise how much had happened until I sat down to look at the photos I have taken.

It started off with the hilarious tale of picking up Stud Muffin the pygmy goat billy so that he could come and (hopefully) impregnante Chip and Cupcake for autumn goat kids.

The farmer will still not let me drive the trailer so he put a dog cage in my car and, despite me predicting that the goat was never going to fit in it, he packed us off.

My predictions were obviously right so we had to drive home with the goat loose in my boot. One child wailed all the way home because he thought Muffin was going to jump over the seat. I kept my fears in but there was one point there I thought he might just do that.

Thankfully he didn’t and it took him very little time (seconds of getting out of the car) for him to do the business with Chip. I haven’t actually seen him do it with Cupcake but I am sure he has. He is staying here now until about a month before they are due. Then he will go back to my friends goats for more loving. What a life. Imagine what the drivers behind us must have thought with a goat staring out at them.

Lambing is officially over. It dragged on for ages in the end. We would say it was over, then surprise births kept happening.

All the pet lambs are in the field now apart from two who are small and who, we are hopefully keeping. The children have called them Tommy and Beady. They do have really sweet little faces.

Then we had the rams sheared because some of them were looking extremely wooly and uncomfortable. We usually wait and have the whole flock done but at least they are happier now and it gave us a little teaser for sheep shearing day in a month or so.

Field work is also upon us. First cut has been mowed and wrapped in one field for haylage and the farmer is constantly stalking weather apps to find out how dry it is going to be to mow more.

The chicken shed has expanded a lot. I re-homed ten ex-commercial hens and I bought my last chicks of the season.

The ex battery hens were in a sorry old state but they are laying eggs, acting like the bouncers of the hen coop and generally loving life at the farm.

All of the young hens are now in the main coop after my moaning succeeded and it was moved into the field. There are just five in a little run inside the coop for a week or so to ensure they know where to go back in at night and they are a bit bigger to survive with the clucking bouncers.

The most funny thing (it could only happen to me) is that we have ended up with a cockerel. The chicks I bought were sex-linked so they are bred so that the female chicks are yellow and the male ones are white. I mustn’t have had my eye on the ball because a boy came home with us. He is staying because we don’t have a cockerel. I didn’t really want one but I suppose fate decided for us.

We took some ewes to market and amazingly we got more for them than we have for some lambs. It was the beginning of the Muslim month of Ramadan so we are putting down to that. We do try to keep one eye on the religious festivals but sometimes animals aren’t quite ready. We must have just been lucky.

The last bit of news which is very exciting is that the ducks are sitting on eggs. There are very conscientious and only come out for food. I do think the females are a little old so whether the eggs are fertile os anyone’s guess but at least they are getting the opportunity to do something natural and we have all got our fingers crossed for ducklings.

I can’t believe all of this happened in just one month. I always say no two days are the same at the farm but this month was defiantly a busy one.
I just hope this time next month I am writing about ducklings.

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