Monthly Archives: May 2017

Lambing starts today

I loooove this time of the year. There is something special about having new babies on the ground, the renewal of life and all that……

 June 1st is officially our starting date for lambing, so tomorrow, in theory.  But every year we get a couple of early lambs, which I guess is no different in the human world.  It was decidedly chilly last night (0.4 Celsius when I checked the thermometer first thing this morning) so I was keen to go round the ewes early.  And what a wonderful surprise.  This little Bub was in one of our main mobs of flock ewes, perfectly protected from cold winds by the old long lucerne stalks (you can see the lush new growth coming up underneath). He/she was born probably less than half an hour before I arrived as it was still lying down and being licked clean.  So what you see here are it’s very first steps.  You can see it still has quite a bit of the yellow “goup” (don’t know the official name for it) that covers its body when it is inside the womb.  The mother will progressively lick this off over the next few hours.

As I headed into the next paddock, where our stud ewes are, I came across this healthy set of twins.

They may have even been born yesterday, as they had obviously already had a couple of drinks from the ewe, and their little umbilical cords were quite dry.  They were both sleeping in the warm (ish) morning sun, until I came along and disturbed them.  The ewe wasn’t too worried about me though. Leading up to lambing we spend quite a bit of time slowly driving through the mobs, so that they get used to us checking them out.  This means they are much less likely to take run off and abandon their lambs when we come past.

Lambing will be a fairly busy time, so although I get excited at the start, I’m always glad when we get near the end. Each trip around our four mobs takes about an hour, and as we like to check them twice a day, that’s an extra two hours each day we need to make time for.  And that’s assuming we have no issues on each trip.  Occasionally we may have to assist in a birth, or we may find a lamb who has lost its mother for one reason or another. In this case we try and catch the lamb so we can bring it up the house to be bottle raised.

I’ll post some more pics of lambing in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about how we manage lambing, or what is involved, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below……

Categories: The Farm, The Menagerie | Leave a comment

The Autumn Vegie Garden

We have been very lucky this autumn so far, to have not had any frosts!  As a result quite a few of our summer veggies are still producing quite well.  The tomatoes have finished up, as it has been quite cold, but the chillies and capsicums are still going well.

I also grew jalapeño chillies which we prefer so didn’t pick too many from this bush.  Lots of new plantings though, and because the weather has been so mild, they are bursting with vigour.

The brassicas are so healthy, and there’s even the beginnings of some broccoli and cauliflower heads starting to poke thru.  Bottom left, above is Brussel sprouts- but they are a bit slower.

Above is, from left, beetroot (under a cage because every pest in the world seems to want to eat me beetroot), then carrots, and spuds.  Below is one of my pumpkins.  Our local tennis club has a pumpkin growing competition each year.  Originally it was the biggest pumpkin, but this year we got mystery seeds – 5, and its the most overall weight from all the pumpkins. Mine were prolific however a lot haven’t ripened properly.

I tend to plant a row of beans every couple of months, so I have a yea round supply.  This latest planting has just started flowering. As have the peas.

I visited an old friend a month or so ago and she gave me some rhubarb that she had divided off from her patch.  I wasn’t sure they’d survive as I didn’t get them in the ground for a couple of weeks after getting home. But they are growing superbly.

I still have some more planting I’d like to do, but first I need to do some more cleanup of old plants left over from summer.  I still have 2 rows of old corn stalks to pull out, as well as some cherry tomatoes. Then I have garlic and onions to get in! And maybe some more peas….

Categories: Home Grown, Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Where are we now….

Well its been a while between posts – and who knows, I may get better at posting, I really want to….  We’ll see.  Here’s a summary of where the farm is at, at the moment…..

The Farm

We have had fantastic rains over the last 6 months – a very healthy spring, probably the best in the 10 years we have owned the farm, reasonable rain throughout the summer and a pretty good autumn break.  As a result of our spring rain, in particular a huge flood we had in September all our dams filled – they were all just about empty if not completely empty as a result of 5 very dry years.

Having good water sources on the farm makes an enormous difference to the running of the farm, mainly meaning that we are not carting or pumping water for the sheep and cattle every second day.  Our work load over the summer was soooooo much less as a result!

It also meant that we had great feed in the paddocks heading in to summer, which meant that we weren’t carting hay and feeding grain all summer also!  In fact we didn’t start feeding until late March, which has never been the case as far as I can remember.

We are due to start lambing in the next couple of weeks, due date is June 1st, but we often get a handful in late May.  The cows have all been scanned and in calf, due in early September, including our new house cow, Marmalade – so that will be exciting.

This weekend just gone we finished our main sowing.  The large cropping block at the end of the farm has been sown down to wheat this year.  The only other sowing we did was some hay pasture down on the Flat, and some resowing of the smaller horse/house cow/bull paddocks around the house.

The Menagerie

Not too much has changed in regards to our animals.  We are running roughly the same numbers of sheep and cattle as this time last year, although we do plan to purchase some more cows towards the end of the year.  We still have Jackie and Clancy, our two kelpy dogs, as well as our cat Emma.  And we still have a hodge podge array of chooks in the hen house, including two beautiful young ones that I fear are actually roosters….  We have three ferrets, two very friendly older males, and one young feisty female that will sink her teeth into you if you turn your back on her – we are working on winning her over, and getting her used to being handled.

Our two horses, Marley – little black shetland, and Rosco – large chestnut quarter horse, lead fairly quiet lives with regards to being ride.  I am finding it hard to fit in much riding these days, but always love it when I do.  Jazz has become quite confident riding Marley on her own, which is great.

Categories: Lifestyle, The Farm, The Menagerie | 1 Comment

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