AFTER a relatively slow start to lambing, the warm dry weather is bringing the lambs on a treat. Every time we go and look in the lambing shed at night, or out in the field during the day, one of the ewes is heaving away and popping out a couple of charmers.
It’s not been all plain sailing though. It never is with livestock.
We have a few orphan lambs whose mothers have passed away with unknown (for us and the vet) reasons. One or two of the shearlings have also needed the vet’s assistance to lamb as they ( the shearlings, not the vet ) had small pelvises and the lambs were stuck. But the rest have managed well so far.
The last remaining lambs from the 2010 crop are fetching tremendous prices at market. Just a few pence short of £100, so there is no chance of me buying one from my housekeeping for the freezer. My own lambs cost too much.
With everything else in spring overdrive, the ducks, bantams and guinea fowl are all laying too. I have eggs in baskets, pots, mixing bowls and Tupperware containers. I hard-boiled some of the duck eggs for Jessica to take to school for an egg decorating competition. They are a gorgeous pale blue shade and a good size for titivating. She plans to do a blue penguin on a surf board with yellow tufts and chest. Don’t know whether such a bird exists, but there again, I don’t think many penguins are actual surfers.
A big thrill has been finding where the guinea fowl lay. I knew they must be up to something from their raucous cries, but just could not locate the nest. Then, when I was cleaning out the greenhouse, I spotted a clutch of their eggs tucked into a nettle patch and the roots of a bush.
I would never have seen it without looking at it from inside the greenhouse. It was very artfully hidden. Tough. Guinea fowl scrambled eggs for breakfast.
But to top even the guinea fowl excitement was discovering that once more our nest box with a camera has another occupant, I cleaned the box out last week but never thought that the nest box hunters would be on the move so early. Not so. One spuggy is in. She even slept in the nest box last night. We would have loved a blue tit, but hey, its a little bird and sparrows are quite endangered now.
So the only other exciting things to happen that will really assure us that spring is under way and firing on all cylinders will be the swallows nesting in the trailer and the barn owls in the tea chest nest box. The trailer is getting quite a lot of use currently ferrying ewes and lambs back out to the inland fields and taking those top price lambs to market.
But John parks it up in the same place every night, The swallows will expect nothing less.