17 February 2013 00:00
Sshhh..... Sunday photo of the week
4 April 2012 00:13
When everything happens at once....
A kid goat is born
We have had an eventful couple of days on the farm to say the least. It started with a lovely kid goat being born on April the first. Mum and Kid are doing just fine together. They are now in the "Lamb Nursery" while the 3 orphan lambs have been moved to the old goat meadow.
Runner ducklings Hatch
All this has coincided with the hatching of our lovely apricot runner ducks. They have progressed over the past 2 days from incubator in my laundry room to their own special house where they are now under a heat lamp. At a few days old they are beginning much enjoyed by the guests as they come out to say Hello each morning.
A disaster for our Guy
We are strong believers in the children helping out on the farm and earning pocket money. Making kindling bundles for the guests is one of their tasks. They are only allowed the small axe and have been shown repeatedly how to use it safely, but as soon as Farmer Nick turned his back yesterday Guy managed to chop his hand! It was nothing too dramatic but a nasty gash that meant he had to go straight to casualty. Kids timing is always spot on; I was just finishing off the BBQ for dinner!
Another baby Lamb
With Guy on his way to hospital with Nick, the remaining children and I continued to have our supper when the guests came round to say they were worried about a newly born lamb in the field who had no mother nearby. Abandoning our fated supper the kids came with me to the field. Sure enough I could see who mother was, her bottom gave the game away, but she could not be persuaded to go and attend to her bleating new born lamb. On feeling the lamb he was cold and clammy where Mum hadn't cleaned him up at all. I scooped him up and warned the guests that the mothers usually abandon them for a good reason, but that we would let them know the news in the morning. The kids then rallied round opening up Farmer Nick's shed and bringing our make shift lamb house and bedding into the kitchen.
Felix sat warming up the lamb as Nick came home. We then caught mother and milked her to give the lamb his (I had time now to check the basics) first all important colostrum 50ml which he guzzled. I now had two poorly soldiers in my kitchen! To be fair, Guy got away with glue and a bandage, but as he didn't feel that was impressive enough they gave him a sling too. Now he feels much better!
A new day dawns
I am pleased to report that the lamb is thriving today. I am feeling rather the worse for wear after the night feeds, but it was all worth it to see his perky face in the morning. We decided to give him another go with Mum and put them together in their own quarters. The little lamb was shown the basics of feeding and happy to go to Mum.
Sadly after an hour of trying we had to rescue little lamb back out as Mum was not having any of it and began head butting her own lamb with her horns and the poor little chap was desperate to escape.
Jed was only too pleased to have him back in the garden with us! Now we have 4 orpan lambs to the delight of all our guests!
It is certainly proving an eventful Easter holidays and it is only Tuesday!
26 September 2011 10:59
A windy day last week saw the Deer’s favourite tree come crashing down through the fence, lopping off some Oak branches before coming to rest in the pony field. It was a quick patch up job to bodge the fencing, before really getting to grips with repairing the damage.
Rotten yet beautiful
The old beech tree turned out to be rotten right through with only around 6 inches of strong trunk holding it up all round the edge. The structure itself is full of interest, call me a nerd, but 30 plus centimetre fungus in layers hanging off the sides is really quite fascinating along with the soft light interior. I wish I had a more elaborate camera to demonstrate!
What about the Deer?
Funnily enough the Deer must be creatures of habit, they still gather in the same far corner of their field during the feed run, even though their best camouflage tree is lying on the ground! As we creep up on them in the mornings they still make a dash down to the bottom of the field.
Turns out the goats are now in heaven. They currently share the deer field and oak leaves to them are like cake to you and me, the beech a close 2nd place! Just as well goats are deft climbers as the tree is so large and precariously fallen only they can wind their way in amongst the spindly branches for the tastiest leaves. Farmer Nick thinks the tree will keep them going all year, if they can ration themselves, I fear they will gobble up all the best bits and go pop beforehand!
The children have all been quick to see the attraction of the fallen Beech too. The potential for a natural climbing frame always so much more fun than one purpose built! My children are also planning den building and camps with great enthusiasm!
Farmer Nick, Always the Opportunist
Farmer Nick and a chainsaw are never far behind a fallen tree! The branches crashing though the fencing are already being collected for next year’s firewood to fuel our cottage and lodge wood burners.
3 Cheers to the British Beech
The old beech tree really was a beauty in all its years standing, yet is now still proving it still has much to offer for us at Coombe Mill!