Wednesday, 7 November 2012

First Frosts


Brrrr, It’s cold today! Even the sheep had frost on their backs this morning and the cats Polly and her son Toby , who are usually keen to accompany me on my morning husbandry routine were reluctant to venture out doors.
The chickens were itching to get going of course and were soon preening and chatting in the morning sun. Though the egg that I collected last night in anticipation of breakfast today had been left outside and was frozen to the spot so I had to rethink my breakfast plans.
Once the chickens are liberated from their coops it’s the lambies turn to be released from their folding paddock. The lambs, Charlotte, Little Nell and Alice were born in March this year and although they are not really babies anymore they still gamble about and leap in the air whenever they get excited and are therefore still collectively known as the Lambies.
This morning was no different despite last nights storms and the heavy frosts, Nelly was full of her usual excitement at the prospect of her sheep nuts and was bouncing up and down like tigger! The lambies are released to wander around the farm during the day where they graze down the grass verges and keep the place tidy. They return to their folding paddock in the late afternoon for a feed and the protection of their field shelter.
This system works well with my sheep as they have learnt a few simple commands are very quick to respond to new routines. The lambies currently only have five commands which are,  come to me, walk beside me,  follow me, stand  with me and go forward ahead of me. These seem to be enough to cover any eventuality at present but I’m sure that they will learn more as they are bright and confident.
In fact as I watched Nellie take hold of the slide bolt on the feed room door in her mouth  and move it up and down as she tried to work out how to open it up....I had a feeling that they might be a little too bright and confident!
Having completed my morning round and checked on the breeding ewes Lilly, Lucy and Pippin, I retreated indoors to light the wood burner and enjoy a couple of slices of hot buttered toast and the remains of last summer’s plumb jam. I was joined by Toby who has three great loves in his life which are food, heat and cuddles. After helping me to polish off my toast and jam Toby supervised the stocking of the wood burner and then watched the hypnotic flickering of the  flames until he finally fell asleep.
I however am not so fortunate and must sign off my blog now and go and evict the lambies who have gate crashed the chicken coops and are eating up all my layers pellets!
Until next time.....

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