Winter is a careful game of dates and mates here on the farm to ensure our spring babies come at the best time of year for maximum survival rates and a steady run of new born fun for our holiday guests. The Theory is one thing, ensuring the animals cooperate can be quite another. Last week we said good bye to Boyo the Boar. He has been a companion and lover for Dotty our sow for the past 6 weeks, but his services are required elsewhere now so it was time for a fond farewell as his owner came to help us take him on to meet his next lady!
Working like clockwork on the farm
Sometimes moving large animals like Boyo who weighs around 30 kilograms can be fraught, however when they cooperate it is a joy. Today was one of those days that went so well to plan, I was back indoors with a coffee and cake before you could say Bye bye Boyo! I think he knew he had fresh "totty" waiting for him!
A text book farming manoeuvre!
Boyo seemed quite happy to see the car and stock trailer drawing up with his owner Mark on board.
A temporary corral is erected by Mark and Farmer Nick and Boyo bribed with a handful of food!
All is going to plan for a perfect example of pig movement!
The Final Hurdle and last Good Byes from a few farm friends
Job done in time for Morning coffee break, now that's what I call productive farm work. I hope those alpaca have been taking notes from Boyo. It is their turn next!
And how not to do things!
Farmer Nick made the dubious decision to leave Ted and me in charge of moving the alpaca while he finished re roofing the laundry in the dry. They needed to go across the road and swap with the sheep who we want to bring down this week into the sheltered field for lambing. Now the Alpaca trio of Coffee, Toffee and Caramel can be stroppy devils, but Ted and I pride ourselves in being able to handle them. Ahem, things didn't go quite to plan. They gave us the run around to say the least, not helped by me trying to carry hurdles in one hand and the camera in the other! Worth it though to bring you our funny endeavours:
With animals it can't work like clockwork all the time, but we managed it eventually.
Sheep all sorted
Following previous fun and games with the sheep Nick is well prepared this year. Each morning he coaxes them into a corral for their breakfast, so next week's move should be a walk in the park!
Our handsome new stag comes at vast expense with his owner and a vet to administer the tranquilizer for transport. This is an essential and very expensive process every few years, but without which the herd would become too inbred. I think this young beast will do us proud for the next couple of years. He skipped off to meet his new lady friends and explore his lovely new field with no sign of distress; just what we like to see.
Even Mother Goose is now sitting on her clutch of eggs
Hopefully we are all ready for spring on the farm and for some young "Little Farm Holiday Helpers" to join us and enjoy helping out with feeding and caring for the animals as the spring season unfolds. I love this time of year, the excitement of new life and hope of a lovely summer to come, I hope you can come and share in a little piece of our fun too.