But Lambs Can't Swim!

April 14, 2014 at 7:38 AMCoombeMill

A tale a week on the farm this spring.

No sooner had we settled the new kid goats into their trailer home in Nick's shed, than we needed it for a farm emergency. One of our lambs had given birth in the early morning down near the lake. The very same lake the children had been playing in during the week. It isn't deep, well unless you are a new born lamb that is! Mother and one lamb were safe on the bank but some of our guests were up early and walking their dog round the lake admiring the ducks when the baa-baa they heard coming from the lake was clearly not matching up the quack quack they expected to hear! They followed the sound and couldn't see anything but could just make out rustling down by the reeds and brambles at the edge of the lake.

Lamb stuck in the lake

Alarmed by the sound they raced back to ring us at reception. Farmer Nick was up early and just doing the VAT paperwork when the call came. The first I knew something was up was as I came down to make a cuppa and saw Nick running up the garden path shouting for everyone to help. I can assure you Farmer Nick doesn't do running so I knew it was serious. I grabbed my wellies and camera, more important than clothes, and ran after him in my pink fluffy dressing gown! Guy and Ally were soon there too. Tying a rope to the tractor we lowered Guy down the rope to see if he could see and rescue the lamb.

 

A good boy scout knot to keep Guy safe

 

There was a huge cheer as he came back up, scratched from all brambles but with a soggy little lamb under his arm.

 

Guy the Hero as he rescues the lamb

 

Farmer Nick brought out the new stock trailer, the goats looking very comfy in the old one, and the plan was to put the soggy lamb, Mum and the other twin all inside together in the hope that Mum would take to her lost lamb, feed and nurse her and prevent pneumonia setting in.

 

New Farm Trailer into action

 

The fear was that if we didn't keep them all together, and quickly, Mum would reject the little soggy bundle. We were already worried that the lake would be rubbing off her new born scent. The plan was sound and Ally had the second lamb in seconds. Capturing Mum on the other hand was far from easy. Nick thought he had her and was just feet from dragging her into the trailer with her lambs when she pulled back so hard it snapped her horn and she was off. This time it was harder as Ally and Nick tried to catch up with her and grab onto her coat. Meanwhile time was ticking for our poor little lamb that was cold and wet. They managed it, it was probably only a minute, but it felt like an hour. A lack of photos as I was still hanging onto my modesty in nothing more than a dressing gown whilst trying to block off Mums escape route past the trailer!

 

Rounding up the new lambs and Ewe

 

All safely aboard it was off to Nick's shed. Here we added a good bed of straw, a bucket of water and some hay which Mum tucked into while Nick sprayed her head with antiseptic spray where the horn had ripped away.

 

 Making the lambs & ewe comfortable

I grabbed a nearby towel and rubbed down the lamb placing her quickly back with Mum while Nick rigged up a heater pointing into the trailer. 

 Rubbing the lamb dry

From here it was time to hope and pray that fifteen minutes alone before the morning feed run would see both lambs bonding with Mum. With just enough time to dash home, dress and make Ebony's milk up before the tractor ride we warned the guests they were in for an interesting feed run! As the tractor chugged to a stop at the shed we were delighted to see both lambs curled up with Mum. The guests peered in as we told the tale of the early morning drama and Nick went about his usual duties with iodine on their cords. We left tagging for another day as we felt they had had more than enough to deal with for one morning.

 

 Guests get to meet the newly saved lamb

 

We are so grateful to the foresight of our guests to call us straight away. It might all have been very different by the time we came round on the morning tractor run. My guess is the lamb would have drowned; we would have found the mother and assumed she only gave birth to one. How wrong we would have been. 

To see them together just a few days later out in the field is a joy.

Lambs in the field

 

Posted in: On the Farm

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Silent Sunday / Project 52

April 13, 2014 at 12:50 AMCoombeMill

 Coombe Mill Crocodile takes a tasty bite to eat!

 

 

                   

Posted in: On the Farm | Weekly Photo

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill

April 11, 2014 at 11:54 PMCoombeMill

A little sun and my kids go wild

We had a weekend with some wonderful sunshine. It puts everyone in high spirits and brings out the adventurous side in the children. We were hard at work on the farm preparing for the Easter holidays, the children had been working hard on the farm and deserved some free play. Thank goodness for a ready made playground here at coombe Mill, except that they declared it too hot to be running around. I'm not sure how they will cope when summer really arrives! In true Coombe Kids style they took matters into their own hands. I followed the sounds of shouting and laughter this is what I found:

 

By the Lake

 

I looked up and smiled at my adventure seekers who were cooling off in their own way. 

Fun in the Lake

Needless to say it lasted just minutes before they were frozen and made a dash for home. However the idea had inspired the others and I suggested if they wanted to play on the lake wearing their wet suits might be a good idea. This prospect appealed to Guy and Clio too. Jed ran off to collect the quad bike having struggled carrying the surfboard back and forth and they all suited up.

 Of to play in the lake

 

The island at the far end of the lake became the target with the surfboard acting as a Ferry. Quite a lot of teamwork and a few squabbles along the way and a plan was hatched. 

 

 

Still keen to continue their adventure they all piled aboard the surfboard. There were a few man overboard episodes along the way. Their destination was the Coombe Mill crocodile for more imaginary play and fun.

 

Crocodile play

 

Finally chilled to the bone I pealed their wet suits off on the doorstep and ushered them all into a hot bath while I rinsed off their suits. Another happy day here on the farm and a hungry bunch for dinner. 

 

Chiiled after fun in the lake

 

It turns out their adventures had not gone unnoticed by our guests who were quick to follow their example the following day borrowing our wetsutis from the shop and playing in the river. My own soon joined in with the surf board and laughter and shouting reached epic proportions as they jumped, surfed and dared one another until well into the evening, cementing some great Easter holidays friendships.  

 

River fun with friends 

Joining in with Country Kids

Country Kids is all about enjoying some fresh air in any shape or form and giving children time away from screens and sofas. Keeping active is good for mind and body and the outdoors gives the freedom and space that children need. Please join me here on the linky with family days out, crafting, playing or any other outdoor adventure. There are some wonderful posts each week and a thriving community on Pinterest and Google Plus. If you are not already part of these please join me there.  Please grab the badge and showcase your fun here on the linky, be sure to stop by others, it could inspire your next adventure.

Just a few of my favourite posts from last week

The Reading Residence share a Coombe Mill Feed Run.

City girl gone coastal shares some stunning photos of a beach walk at sunset while Mummys Memories shares holiday day time fun.

Redpeffer show how much fun at day at a National Trust property can be while and then the fun began shared a great family day out at Hobbledown.

For preschool adventure this trip to the forest has it all going on by Takoma Park school

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill Beauty in April

April 9, 2014 at 9:55 PMCoombeMill

A Splash of Colour on the Farm

Spring is such a happy time of year. We have baby animals born on the farm giving cuteness overload and delighting all our holiday makers, our farm stories are dominating the blog at the moment with a drama a week. It is easy with so much excitement to overlook the natural beauty of the farm itself at this time of year. Buds are springing into life at every turn, colours are vibrant and already the Camellia are turning and falling. The grass is greening up giving fresh nutrients for the animals in the meadows after a long winter of hay and Farmer Nick delights in the bills saved in animal feed as he zips around on his tractor mowing the formal garden spaces which are not munched into shape by the animals.  

The children have been off from dawn to dusk playing with newly found friends on the farm over the Easter Holidays and I found myself with an hour to spare. I grabbed my camera inspired by the photos from One Dad 3 Girls who is staying with us this week and wandered round the farm to capture some of the beauty. With time on my hands I was keen to dabble in manual mode on my camera. Despite having my DSLR nearly a year I have been hesitant to try manual after my early attempts were a poor replica of that which I could achieve in automatic mode. Furthermore, if I am following a farm story or the morning feed run, I rarely have the luxury of time to capture the moment and fall back on the safely and speed of automatic mode. Today something clicked with me *excuse the pun* and I am really chuffed with the close ups here. I really want a macro lens too to take things one step further, but for now I am sharing some photos I am proud of for How Does your Garden Grow, The Gallery & Savouring the Season 

 

Hyacinth in bloom at Coombe Mill

 

Spring Daffodil

 

 

Camillia just on the turn

 

 A lone Tulip

What a difference a day can make when the sun shines, I had to capture that lone tulip again:

 

Farm Tulip open & enjoying the sun & breeze 

 

Leaves of farm colour

 

Springing into life on the farm

 

 

A fusion of colour

 

Mammasaurus and How Does Your Garden Grow? Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery  

Surprise Farm Twins

April 7, 2014 at 8:30 AMCoombeMill

A Busy Changeover Saturday

Last week I was marvelling over our star of the farm Ebony, the little rejected lamb, who is now enjoying nights in our green house and days in the field with the other lambs or accompanying us on our farm jobs. She was out with Theo on his farm duties on Saturday, the only day where there is no tractor rides for the guests, since everyone is busy packing to leave and we are all deep in our changeover jobs.

 

Saturday jobs on the farm

 

Theo and Ebony were just passing the "naughty goat" field with Billy goat Gruff, Bully and Naughty when he spotted Naughty preoccupied in the field shelter. 

 

Twin kids a lovely morning surprise

 

Farmer Nick and I had suspected she might be pregnant as her usual slim body had swelled in the past month, but we have been fooled like this before with pigmy goats, feeding them up believing them to be pregnant only to discover they were simply developing little over fed fat goat waddles! This time it turns out we were correct and it puts to bed another fear, that our Billy goat of two years was a dud. We bought in our last goats already pregnant due to Billy failing to deliver any kids with our lovely nanny goats last year, so these twins are a double bonus! 

 

Billy Goat Gruff: Proud Father

Theo ran back to tell Farmer Nick who was on the glamourous job of changing all the general bins and recycling bins ready for the new guests. Sometimes rubbish just has to wait. I continued to check out the last guests then grabbed my camera to see what they were up to. I knew Nick would want to move them, baby pygmy goats are no larger than our adult rabbits and could easily be prey to a circling buzzard above. Nick's Farm shed was the obvious answer but we had long since dismantled the old section we had for our January goats and then the new donkeys. They needed something fast to protect the kids and so that Nick could return to his rubbish collection before the new guests arrived. They agreed on a plan utilising the old stock trailer which Theo lined with straw and together they manoeuvred it into a clearing to one side of the shed.

 

Farm Trailer turns into Goat house

 

Theo commandeered some help from one of the guests staying for two weeks and together they brought some of the portable field corrals to make a safe "garden" area around the trailer while Nick used one of the logs we left behind from making stepping stones in the play area to jack up the front of the trailer. A bit of baler twine, every farmer's essential fix it aid, and a little help from Jed, who had appeared to return fishing equipment, and the shelter was complete.

 

Farm Trailer Shelter in Farmer Nick's shed

 

Ebony thought it might be a cosy new bed for her!

 

Ebony carried away from the new goats

 

Meanwhile Nick brought an unwilling Naughty, who was as feisty as ever, while Theo carried her adorable twins over to their safe new home.

Goats on the move with Farmer Nick and Theo

A bucket of fresh water from the stream and some food and hay and they were ready for farmer Nick to dab a little iodine on their umbilical cords to keep them infection free. This gave me a chance to see that they were a boy and a girl.

 

Tending to the new Kid Goats & Mother

 

Ebony looked less impressed with the new arrivals, I'm not sure she is ready to share the farm limelight just yet!  

 

 Watching the goats

I took a quick peep later that night when all the guests were safely into their properties and was reassured to see both the twins feeding well from Mum.

Mummy Goat with Twins Feeding

 

They were of course the highlight of the morning tractor feed run, along with Ebony of course!

 

 Kid goats & Ebony are the stars of the morning Tractor farm ride

 

Posted in: On the Farm

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Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Coombe Mill

"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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