We’re not the best at keeping our blog up to date, sorry!
Since January we have been lambing. First off we lambed our ten Shropshire sheep, from 10 mums we ended up with 10 lambs; not the 12 we had at scanning time but you have to make provision for death rates unfortunately. Batch two lambed throughout February into March, this time 38 mules producing 61 lambs. Our mules like to produce triplets so we had 10 cade lambs to look after which enables us to run our bottle feeding sessions as an activity for visitors to the farm to get involved with. The third and final batch of lambs are now down to single digits with a week left to go and then its all over for another year…well September when the process begins again!
So, the plan going forwards is to try and write a blog once a week (optimistic we know!) and give a bit of a round up of what’s been going on in our little corner of the world.
This week we’ve welcomed a few thousand visitors onto the farm as part of the lambing open days the fundraising team hold to generate funds for the education team and their alternate provision work. Day 1 was glorious sunshine, Day 2 quite the opposite. Both days saw Mr Farmer on a microphone chatting to the visitors about sheep facts and a bit about what he does as a shepherd. No lambs were born during this time; they don’t like to perform for the masses haha. This week also marks the end of our one-to-one sessions focusing on lambing jobs and bottle feeding the cade lambs. We have been truly overwhelmed with the amount of interest and uptake in these experiences and have loved getting to share our lives with so many of you. We’re currently putting together an offering for over the summer months so there will be more on that soon.
On Wednesday we welcomed a pair of Rheas on to the farm. A friend of our is moving and needed a new home for them so that’s something exciting for the kiddos to get involved with.
We’ve also visited North Yorkshire twice this week, schedules couldn’t be aligned to tick both boxes at the same time which is how it goes sometimes. Mr Farmer was recently appointed treasurer for the North of England Highland Cattle Club so we went to handover from the previous treasurer and then we went to collect some Dexter steers to fill a gap in the farm shop supply coming up in a couple of months. With the cattle we breed, any used for beef production take 2 and half years to be fit to go and whilst we’ve certainly got enough cattle to be self sufficient to supply the farm shop, it’s two years away before the calves born over the last season will be ready to go! It really is a long game with beef but absolutely worth the wait. We’re really fortunate to have a decent network of other farmers with the same ethos as us and breeds!