Well, this has been a week of highs and lows, with both Lucy and Pippin lambing early and within minutes of each other. Pippin really struggled with it all and had a difficult labour. An under-developed lamb who died shortly after birth only added to my feelings of disappointment, and to her distress.
Fortunately I had little time to dwell on Pippin’s lambing losses before I was distracted by Elvis escaping from his bonding pen and Lucy giving birth to twins! The twins are a perfect pair of lovely big Ryelands, a ewe and a ram. Lucy, like Lilly, is a great mum and is doing a brilliant job with them despite Lilly’s attempts to interfere.
|Got anything to eat in here?|
The sun was out again this morning and I let the ladies and their babies play out in the orchard. Elvis and Buddy investigated the chicken coops, much to the distress of the large croads who had clearly no idea what they were. As you might expect, it wasn’t long before they had escaped and their mum had broken through the temporary fencing to join them. We returned them to the paddock and collected up any available pieces of board and breeze-blocks and set about lamb-proofing any potential escape routes.
Pippin is looking no worse for her ordeal and our daily cuddles and cookie session has resumed. In fact she was well enough to find her way into the chicken coops and eat the layers pellets, much to the dismay of the growers! I was relying on her to keep Elvis in check, but I fear that she is not such a positive influence!
|Meeting Rufus - and ignoring him!|
Elvis is clearly a lamb who knows his own mind and doesn’t seem to worry too much about doing what he’s told or what Lilly wants him to do. Buddy is a little more obliging, but easily led by Elvis. This morning I found them both chasing Buffy round the chicken coops. Teddy enjoys climbing on things, especially his mum, who doesn’t seem to mind, and Tuppence is always on the lookout for a cuddle and doesn’t mind who she gets it from.
The chicks that I incubated (known as the chig-lees) are now fully feathered and they are getting the hang of independent living. They are now no longer the babies, with Poppy’s hatching of a couple of large fowl chicks. They met Rufus for the first time today!
The large birds Joseph, Angel and Gloria, are on the last day of their breeding confinement and have provided me with sufficient eggs to post to a fellow Croad Breeder in Europe. Spring has finally arrived – and it’s busy!