While we kiss good bye to flip flops and enjoy the end of a beautiful Indian summer on the farm our plans turn to the winter ahead and next spring.
A highlight each spring is the arrival of the first lambs and kid goats. Last year Farmer Nick’s planning went slightly askew and we had kids born in the January storm who ended up spending their first month of life in his shed waiting for a dry spell before venturing into the great outdoors. This year Nick has downloaded a spreadsheet with all the animal gestation dates and ring fenced February for our first arrivals.
The first ewes have been put in with Rambo whose chest has been sprayed. This way we can tell if he has done the deed or not as the orange paint marks transfer to the ewes behind. I am slightly concerned as initially the orange splodge only appeared on the rear of a young ram in with him and not the lady in waiting!
Things are looking more hopeful with lady number two. She proved less than willing to move fields testing all Farmer Nick’s strength but Rambo on the other hand was only to eager to greet her and get down to business. Hopefully he will now be on the right track. The other ewes will be gradually introduced to Rambo’s field over the next two months so that spring births are spread out through to May half term giving more of our guests the chance of seeing a newborn on their visit.
The same timing applies to the goats so Billy goat gruff has a lady friend called Ginger added to his field.
It turns out Billy has competition from last year’s little ram kid who thought he would get in there first!
Billy soon worked out that he was missing the action and chased the young chancer into his place. A friendship of the correct goat order has now formed in their field.
With Ginger out of the way Titch and Hairy were led back to the main herd. They had taken up residence in our lambing field over the summer thanks to bullying led by Ginger. So far so good for the pair back in the main field and a chance for their field to rest before lambing next spring. However we have a second shelter in there just in case anyone is bullied out of the shed.
Goat politics is worse than my daughter’s class at school! Hopefully now all will now be well with the new mix of personalities in each field, though I’ve no doubt each week a new goat is moved a fresh settling in period will follow.
While Spring is magical here on the farm, the indian summer has left everything looking fresh and lush right now. The animals have vibrant glossy coats and look in peak condition just as they should in readiness for the winter ahead and the trees are just beginning to turn colour leaving a beautiful glow across the 30 acres that forms Coombe Mill. If you fancy joining us this season we are open until the 15th November for a late break and then again from 17th December for Christmas. We also have one remaining cottage to sleep nine for half term including heaps of halloween fun but hopefully no baby animals unless someone has given Farmer Nick the slip!
“Tales from the farmers wife” shares the funny and interesting happenings on our lovely holiday farm with Farmer Nick and our 6 children. A behind the scenes look on balancing family, farming, the holiday business and cooking for all.
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