Thursday 31 May 2018

Outdoor reared turkeys

Tuesday 22nd May 2018
The Dry Weather Turkey Chicks
The original plan was to move the young turkeys with one or both of their mums up to a stable once they were born. I don't like keeping birds inside, for I think that fresh air and exploration are key to their upbringing. However crows, cold and getting wet are most definitely not key to their upbringing.
A couple of years ago I made the mistake of putting some poults outside when they appeared strong and fully feathered at about 6 weeks old. They got soaked during a storm and were obviously suffering. I brought them back in, but over the next week we lost about one a day. It was heart-breaking.

This year we ended up with 14 chicks from two hens, ten from the more experienced hen and just four from the other. Very quickly two chicks swapped mums to the older hen. We sold four chicks while they were very young, which should pay for the others' food for a while. After a bit of 'negotiation' the ten remaining chicks are now being shared between both mums.
This year's turkey chicks have brought us good weather. They are ten days old now and have not yet seen a spot of rain. I am veering towards letting them stay outside. To this end I knocked them up a shelter, as much as anything to keep their food dry. While they are small they can all dive under mums protective wings, but they won't all fit forever.

A bigger job was to prevent them wandering through the heras fencing, for the crows have young now and will be on the lookout for any opportunity to grab a tasty treat. The young turkeys are inquisitive and go wandering through the nettles which surround the turkey pen. However the adults can't get through to protect them.
I rummaged around and found a roll of chicken wire and a roll of plastic tree protector. I found a jar of old twist ties which I'd been saving up too. Securing all this to the heras fence was a long and repetitive job and the young turkeys kept finding ways through.
In the end we got there though.

Thursday 24th May 2018
The first rain for a long while, which was desperately needed. The turkey chicks should be ok now. They are 12 days old and Mum knows what she is doing. When the wind turns cold or the air turns damp, she heads into one of the houses and spreads her wings to shield the poults.

Next to the turkey pen, the meat chickens are growing at a staggering rate. I have them separated from the other chickens so I can feed them the appropriate diet for their stage in life. At present they are on what is known as growers pellets, though they go mad for any bit of greenery I throw in the pen. They stay on these pellets until a couple of weeks before their time is up, when they move onto finisher pellets (the clue is in the name).

Growing fast
Finally  a couple of other images from the smallholding. The first is a wonderful wild rose which is brightening up my native hedge at the moment.
The second shows the strawberry rows which we have been weeding ready for the harvest. No sign of the dreaded strawberry beetle which plagued us last year, so fingers crossed for our best ever strawberry year.

Sunday 27 May 2018

A Swarm In May Is Worth A Load Of Hay

A Swarm In May
Is worth a load of hay.
A swarm in June
Is worth a silver spoon
A swarm in July
is worth not a fly.

A lot of a bee-keeper's time is spent trying to prevent colonies from swarming, for when this happens off goes half the hive and honey production for the year will be minimal from that hive while they build back their numbers. Too late in the year and they may even struggle to regain enough strength before heading into winter.

But if they are going to swarm, the earlier the better, for it is a chance to increase the number of colonies you hold, possibly making up for any losses over winter or during the hungry period in early spring. Of course you have to catch and keep hold of the swarm before it disappears over the horizon or up into someone's chimney pot!
There are other options to multiply your bees by deliberately splitting colonies which stimulates the queenless half to produce a new queen.

Of course, the reverse side of all this is that, if you are lucky, you might just be able to catch someone else's escaped swarm. In the world of bee-keeping the rule is finders keepers.

This spring was pretty disastrous for many bee-keepers, for winter kept poking its head back through the door and spring got off to a very slow start. There are tales of many beekeepers losing half or more of their colonies.
For us at Swallow Farm, all three of our hives were at one point in peril. The smallest, which was marginal whether or not to take into winter as a whole colony, almost vanished to nothing. The middle one looked just about ok. And the largest colony, which had been a real monster at the back end of 2017, well the queen started laying drone brood - males - pretty useless beings. 

The last post I wrote about Sue's bee-keeping saw her deliberately killing the queen and we were left hoping that the queenless colony would make itself a new queen. The other two colonies were looking precarious to say the least.
Sue also set up two empty hives and rubbed lemon balm on the frames inside in the vague hope of attracting any passing swarms, something we had previously completely failed to do.

So it was somewhat surprising when, after just a few days, we noticed there were a lot of bees entering and leaving one of the bait hives. We thought they might just be robbing out the old honey on the frames, but there did seem to be a lot of them. And when they were still there after a week, it did indeed seem as if we might just have gone and caught ourselves a colony of bees. Sue looked into the hive but could see no eggs or queen, so our best guess it that we maybe have a virgin queen who will by now have made her mating flight. Hopefully soon Sue will find new brood in the hive.

Meanwhile, the two smaller hives have made a comeback with the better weather. Patience is definitely a virtue in beekeeping.

And so forwards to last Friday. My peaceful pottering in the polytunnel was accompanied by a louder and louder buzzing of bees, enough to make me go outside and investigate. It was a warm muggy day so no real surprise to see thousands of bees over the central pathway near the stables and hives. I observed from a distance and it became apparent that the focus was inside the near end of the privet hedge I planted a few years back.
This was a swarm. In the past I have suited up and collected these for Sue, but I did not know where my bee suit was and would surely split Sue's if I tried to squeeze into it! Besides, the spare hives had been used as lures.

So Sue popped back in her lunch break. I lopped off all surrounding branches and twigs while Sue held an empty box under the swarm, which had now all settled down. One last snip and the whole swarm was in the box. I took shelter in the house, though swarming bees are in fact remarkably peaceful, while Sue shook the swarm into a quickly improvised spare hive.

In the past, these captured swarms have always quickly disappeared again. I don't know whether it was the lemon balm or not, but this swarm has stayed. We are now up to five hives.

Then a week later - it's Friday, it must be another swarm. I was weeding the onion patch after heavy overnight rain. It was getting quite late and I became aware of a couple of bees quite peacefully buzzing me. I could hear more bees somewhere nearby, though I could not imagine what was attracting them, especially when they would normaly all be heading back into the hive for the night. I looked above my head and there, on one of the willow arches, was a very settled swarm of bees.

I would guess they had been there for some time as swarming normally occurs early afternoon. Besides they looked settled and one or two were starting to act a bit more defensively, as if they had been there a while. Sue donned her suit and I grabbed the loppers, but this time the bees were just a tad too active for me to help out unarmoured. Instead, Sue shook the swarm into a box.
We had to beg and borrow spare hive parts for the last swarm and were supposed to be replacing them soon. Now the replacement parts, which had just arrived in the post, would be needed.
We left them be, but later when we returned to the willow arech there was still a small cluster of bees there. It was possible that the queen was still in this cluster.
Early Saturday morning, while I was still in a slumber Sue shook the remnants of the swarm and transferred them in with the others.

As I write they are still all in there. In a short period of time we have gone from struggling to hold onto three hives to having six hives!
Sue will be kept busy as a bee.

Edit: Sue has just inspected her hives. The ex-monster hive, where Sue killed the queen, is in trouble. Despite making two queen cells, there is no sign of eggs or brood. We may have to let this one go and hope they sort themselves out during the year, either that or kick them all out.
The small swarm we captured on Friday have gone! They obviously didn't like the nucleus box Sue shook them into. But very positively, the other two swarms which we have acquired this year both have eggs inside, so they are up and running.

But the story doesn't end there. For this morning Sue and I were busy making up some more frames and brood boxes for the bees. They must have heard us, for just now while I was hoeing the onions I came across an absolutely monster swarm hanging on one of the willow arches. I assumed it was the departed swarm, but there are far too many bees for that.

I didn't notice this monster swarm until I was hoeing the onions right next to them.
These swarms seem to like my willow arches.

Sue has now captured the swarm. Finders keepers!

Saturday 26 May 2018

Shear delight

Monday 14th May 2018
Shearing Day
Next to pantomime, sheep shearing is just about as seasonal a job as you could get.
You don't want it done too early or the sheep will feel the cold. But too far into early summer and they get too hot. More importantly fly strike becomes a real problem.
Luckily we realised early enough that our usual shearer had become unavailable. He got himself a job in Australia so, quite unreasonably I thought, would not be able to shear my sheep this year.
Fortunately we were in time to piggy back on someone else's arrangements.

Last year the sheep were not shorn until the second week of June. They were hot and were in various states of self-shearing. There were clumps of wool all over the paddocks.
So this year we managed to get the job done a few weeks earlier. The lambs came down with the adults, but they don't get sheared. Two weeks later and we might have kept them up this end to wean them.

Shetlands are small, so shearing is quick, but they can be a little feisty at times. One of the ewes gave the shearer's arm a good kick! I was very happy with the shearer we used. He was quick and efficient, but just as importantly his communication was good. It is always a worry that your shearer won't turn up after you have taken time off work and gone to the effort of penning the sheep. It's not easy to book a replacement in a hurry.

All penned up ready for shearing.
I put them in a large pen until the shearer arrives, then narrow it down.
That's Rambo on the floor getting a hair cut. He was calmer this year than usual.
All done and heading back down to the sheep field.
With the shearing done, fly strike is much less of a worry. The shearer offered to apply a spray-on fly strike preventative too, which works out much cheaper and easier than if we did it ourselves. This chemical can be used at shearing, unlike some of the others. The chemical is pretty strong stuff and means the sheep are not organic, but if you have seen fly strike in action you wouldn't want to be pussy footing around with garlic and essential oils! We asked the shearer to check their feet too and trim where necessary. Again, better to do it all at once.
One reason I like having the shearer round is that it gives a good chance for someone who knows what they are doing to give the flock a quick look over. I do check on the health of the Shetlands every day and spend quite a bit of time with the in the field, but apart from Rambo and the lambs I rarely get very close to the others to inspect them closely.

Shearing made it obvious that last year's efforts at castration were only partly successful. Two of the ram lambs will need to be kept away from the females later in the year - it is a good job they will be going off to the butcher before then.
One which for some reason I had fixed in my head as a young ewe is actually a male!! I had begun to have my suspicions. This is quite useful, since a wether (castrated male) is good company for the ram when he needs to be separated from the ewes. Come August they will be coming into season but we don't want Rambo to service the ewes until early November so that we can aim for lambing to be during school Easter holidays. This year we will also have to separate the one female lamb. She can go with the wether while Rambo is in with the older ewes.

It was good to ascertain the condition of the ewes too, especially Ewe 00004 who nearly died earlier in the year. She is still skinny but not disastrously so. Hopefully she will begin to put weight on again quite soon.

Happily settled back in to a new strip of pasture.
There was one other surprise while the sheep were being sheared. The ewe which did not give birth this year looks as though her udders may be swelling up. If so, we will have a very late lamb.We'll see what happens.

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Going For A Song

Tuesday 15th May 2018
Going For A Song
Last night I WhatsApp'ed my birding mates... Test week. I am ****ed if something turns up this week.

To translate for those that don't know me outside of smallholding, I am a part-time primary school teacher. Part of my job is to prepare and support Year 6 children for their tests, for the poor things have a series of impossible hoops to jump through. It is a result of endless educational 'improvements' so that successive governments can either lambast teachers for not doing their jobs properly or boast about how good they are since they have successfully taken the child out of Britain's children.

The second part of my message refers to my habit of dropping absolutely everything to head off to far-flung parts of Britain to see rare birds, especially ones I've not seen before in this country. This happens more and more infrequently as the list of birds 'needed' goes down.

And so to Tuesday morning. I was not required at school today, but Wednesday and Thursday would be 100% obligatory attendance. It was a slow start to the day. Even the incessant hungry bleating of the two bottle-fed lambs failed to stir me from my slumber and it was only just before 9 that I finally woke up. This, I hasten to add, is not usual.
I checked my phone to see what the day had already brought and there it was.


I need that.
In case you don't know, Fair Isle is essentially a huge inhabited rock which juts up above the sea in between the Orkney Isles and the Shetland Isles. There are ways on and off. A boat three times a week and a daily flight. These go from Shetland Mainland. To get to Shetland Mainland requires a 15 hour boat journey from Aberdeen or a scheduled plane flight from said same city or further south at a cost.
There is one other way. To fly up there from further south in a small plane. In fact, that is pretty much the only way to reach Fair Isle in a hurry. But my extended sleep this morning surely meant that all such options would have been already bagged by others who share my impulsive and compulsive hobby.
With the next two days tied up, I resigned myself to moping around in the garden all day. I would start to make plans for Friday, but not right  now.

I attended to all the animals and it was while I was feeding the turkeys that my phone rang. Did I want to fly to Fair Isle today? You bet!
The precise details of our flight, including the pilot, the plane and the departure airfield, were still not clear, but I needed to start driving North towards the various options. If I left it until the plane was sorted, I wouldn't be able to get to the airfield soon enough.
So I headed cross country to the A1. This road is infuriating when you are in a hurry, as you basically travel at the speed of the slowest lorry or motorhome. There were even two tractors today.
As I approached the first airfield option, I received a phone call that we were flying from further North, up in Yorkshire. The pilot was driving down from Newcastle and should be with the plane by about 1.30pm. There was time for me to jump cars in with my other two birding friends and our arrival time at the airfield should be about the same.
With a flight time of about two and a half hours we should be landing on Fair Isle before 5pm, which would give us a couple of hours to see the bird before we would need to head off again. The last option to top up with fuel was 8pm at Sumburgh on Shetland Mainland. It is not possible to land and take off from Fair Isle landing strip with a full tank, so a refuel on the way home is necessary.

The plan was falling into place, except that the bird, released in to the bird observatory garden at 8.30am, had only shown once briefly at 11am. After plane preparations and putting fuel in, we eventually took off at 2.15pm with no further news of the bird. The weather was glorious so there were no hold ups. We could identify every feature of the landscape as we headed up the East coast and out across the sea towards the islands. I even had enough phone reception to ascertain that the bird had shown again briefly at about 2.30pm.
So that was two sightings in six hours. We would have two hours on the island! Goodbye finger nails.

I have only been to Fair Isle a few times, each time on a small plane, and I am averaging just over one new bird for each trip.
Savannah Sparrow and Siberian Rubythroat 2003. Chestnut-eared Bunting 2004. Swinhoe's Petrel 2013.
As we approached the island I hoped I could make it five lifers in four trips (or more!)

Fair Isle on a clear day

The view down over the island. We did a pass over the bird observatory before dropping down to land on the air strip.
We were concerned that nobody seemed to be looking into the observatory garden as we flew over.
Did this mean the bird had flown?
We had received news of the Song Sparrow's continued presence just before landing. This could be good news, but could also mean that it would not show again for a while.
The lovely thing about landing on small Scottish Islands is that there is always a welcoming committee and they always know about the bird. We were very pleased to hear that the bird was now appearing underneath a feeder with some regularity. We were also very grateful to be able to jump in the back of a car - on the floor, no seats! - and get a lift to the observatory.
Viewing of the bird was from the lounge. How very civilised!

One plane load of birders from Essex had got there before us and there were a few over from Shetland Mainland. There were also those who were up on holiday staying in the bird observatory.
We ran through into the lounge to the news that the bird was showing right now!
I always seem to miss being photographed at twitches, 
but I am actually in this photo. 
I raised my binoculars to peer over those kneeling on the floor in front of me and it only took a few seconds to pick up a movement on the ground deep in the vegetation. A couple of seconds later I had views of a stripy brown back and then the bird turned so that all I could see through the tiny gap was its head in full view. The other two hadn't seen it yet, but it wouldn't be long before it hopped to the outside of the garden into full view. I won't describe it. Pictures do the job better.

This bird had come all the way from North America. It was only the eighth Song Sparrow ever to grace our shores (but the fourth for Fair Isle following birds in 1959, 1969 and 1989.) Most long-time birders saw one in 1994 near Seaforth Docks which had undoubtedly hopped off a ship but is still deemed an acceptable tick. That was the last one.
It was one of those birds which, quite possibly, I would never get the chance to see in this country... until today!
We watched the Song Sparrow for a while, enjoying excellent views as it hopped around in the vegetation under the feeder, occasionally coming forwards through the fence and into the open. It was only about 15 feet away from us. We had not expected views to be anything like this.

Pictures courtesy of @FI_Obs twitter feed

The island also had another special visitor. For just over the hill, zooming around over a rocky beach, was a Crag Martin, a bird which I had only ever seen once in this country. It would be rude to ignore it while we were here. It was only a five minute jaunt over the hill, though you had to stand quite near the edge of the cliff for views down onto the beach. It took a while to pick the bird up, but it was obvious when it showed and easy to pick up from the swallows and house martins which were also catching insects. A gloriously sunny day, sitting on the cliff looking down on the beach and watching puffins looping round over the sea, a Crag Martin below us and a Song Sparrow just over the hill. Fair Isle at its very best.

My travel companions tracking the Crag Martin's every move.
We would have stayed longer but wanted to get back to the Song Sparrow, which continued to afford fantastic views over the next hour. We planned to stay till 7.15, but at 6.30pm we received an urgent message from the airfield that the weather was closing in and the wind was switching.
We bundled into the back of a car, sped to the airfield and jumped in the plane.
The weather can turn fast up here and we didn't even have time to bid farewell to other birders.

The pilot taxied down the airfield, swung it round and headed hell for leather into the wind. We took off into low cloud and were buffeted around a fair bit. The pilot had a heading which would clear us of the rocky crags, but it was still a bit hairy as we bumped around in thick cloud.
It was a relief to come out of the gloom and look back on the island which was shrouded in thick cloud.

After a quick fuel stop at Wick, we settled down for the journey home.
It had been quite a surreal day, not quite what I was expecting when I belatedly woke up this morning. Once again Fair Isle had delivered. What a magical place. Maybe one day I will return and stay for longer than a few hours.

Views from the plane were spectacular as the sun went down somewhere round about Teesside.
Our landing was smooth as could be and we bade farewell to the pilot before heading back down south.
I rolled back onto the farm at just past one in the morning.
It had been quite an eventful last sixteen hours.

Tomorrow, SATs tests. Poor kids.

Monday 21 May 2018

Hotting Up In The Polytunnel

Early carrots
Sunday 13th May 2018
The Jungle is growing
A bit of sunshine at this time of year and temperatures rapidly soar to over 100 in the polytunnel. Growth is fast.
Crops occupying the beds at the moment are the sneaky ones which will be harvested and gone before the main crops go in.
Mangetout is cropping now

Once all these are gone, their place will be taken with peppers, chillis, tomatoes, basil, sweetcorn, butternut squash, melons and cucumber. These are all grown from seed, sown a while back and patiently waiting for their place in the beds. Once they get their roots down they will grow like billy-o.
They are vulnerable while they are still in modules or small pots, for the soil can dry out within a day and it is easy to lose a whole tray of seedlings. But it's easy to go the other way and drown them too.
With the warmer weather, many seedlings can go outside in the cold frame, where they will not dry out so quickly. But here they become a tempting morsel for the odd slug which finds its way in and spends the days squidged safely in the crevices underneath the modules.

This is why patience is key when sowing and growing. There is no point going too early, for a queue of young plants waiting for their place in the soil makes them vulnerable.

The first coriander of the year and lettuces

Turnips and beetroots coming along nicely

A queue of plants waiting for polytunnel space

Turkey chicks go exploring
Meanwhile outside mama turkey took her chicks for walkabouts today. There are ten of them in all. I was hoping for more like fifteen. They all look strong and healthy though and with the weather set warm and dry I will leave them outside for as long as possible.

Dykes and Drains
With the weather so fine, we took the dogs for a long walk along one of the drains this afternoon. Drains and dykes are such ugly words, but this particular drain is most pleasant at this time of year. The pair of swans have abandoned their nest where the dyke at the bottom of our land flows into this drain, but now we know why, for they have moved further along.
It is good to see that plenty of hares have survived the winter hare coursers this year, though they lead Arthur and Boris a merry dance. Arthur is under the illusion that his stumpy little legs are capable of helping him catch up with a hare half way across a field. To be fair, he has a good go!

Sunday 20 May 2018

Turkeys In A Twizzle

Saturday 12th May 2018
The Turkeys Hatch

A few weeks back our hen turkey started sitting on her eggs. So it was no surprise when she started to hiss and be much more protective when I ventured into the turkey enclosure yesterday. And it was no surprise when I saw discarded egg shells and three little heads poking out this morning.
The surprise will be how many there are and what colour. The male is mostly Lavender and the females are mostly Bronze, but since they are being bred for meat and not show we are not purists when it comes to fancy feathers. The important thing is that they are not double-breasted monsters and that they will be slow grown, as nature intended.
For now I shall leave well alone. They probably won't venture off the nest till tomorrow and there may well be more eggs hatching under the hen.
The Silver Stag behaved himself too. He gets close enough to feel a little threatening but trusts me enough to just stand close guard.

Earthing Up The Spuds
I left the turkeys alone and turned my attention to the potatoes. They are all starting to poke their leaves through the surface, so there is the small matter of earthing up to be attended to. I have learned a few short cuts when planting my spuds. No longer do I dig back-breaking trenches for them, but instead I just plant each tuber as deep as I can with a trowel. For the past few years I have then pulled the earth up over them with a draw hoe to create ridges. This is important to protect the leaves from late frosts and to prevent the new tubers from turning green through exposure to light. They often grow surprisingly near the surface.
This earthing up process often requires repeating as the potatoes grow more, or as the chickens do their best to make the earth flat again. They are banished from the veg garden for a few months now, but several of them still venture over gates and fences for a bit of a scratch around. They will learn the summer rules once they have been chased out a few times.
This year I am trying a different process, only earthing up as the new leaves appear. On the new potatoes I am using compost and old bedding straw to earth up, hoping that this will slowly release its goodness into the soil below. The chickens are finding this even more delightful to scratch around in, but it is lighter material and easy to pull back into position. Once it settles down they will leave alone.

Friday 18 May 2018

The queen is dead

Sunday 6th May 2018
The queen is dead
Lovely Weather!
But I couldn't spend too long outside today as Sue was planning on killing one of her queen bees. I know this sounds a bit drastic, but queens don't keep laying well for ever - a bit like chickens really.
Like many others this extended winter, Sue's bees are struggling a bit. The smallest colony is barely hanging on and the queen in the largest colony has started laying drone brood - that's male bees. In the world of smallholding, males are pretty useless. One of each species is generally enough.

Today I needed to keep my distance from the bees would likely not be happy, though using lavender cuttings in the smoker seems to be having a calming effect on them.

So I decided to erect my bean poles. I use old willow for this which the sheep enjoy debarking for me - this stops the poles taking root.
I dig these in about a foot and stamp the soil back down around them to secure. They are sturdier than bamboo canes and carry a lot less 'food' miles. They are better looking too and give some real height and structure to the vegetable garden.

For the first time in ever I have actually got the bean poles erected in advance of the beans being ready to be planted out. In fact I have not even sown them yet.
I prefer to sow them in paper modules indoors rather than direct. I can get  slightly earlier start but more importantly they are protected from birds and voles. Further, germination can be a bit patchy if the soil is not warm enough, so if I grow them in modules I can make sure that every pole has a bean.

The bottle fed lambs, Flash and Rambutan, are getting big now. They have become good friends and nothing pleases them more than a little run around with the dogs. Rambutan is Boris size and Flash is Arthur size.

Monday 7th May 2018
Getting Crabby

I've just got to show you this crab apple. Look how much blossom! I am anticipating a good year for all our fruit trees this year. Even if I say so myself, I have done a good job of pruning them. We had a decent spell of cold weather in the winter to kill off some of the nasties and we seem to escaped any heavy frosts, high winds or hail storms at the wrong time of year.

Tuesday 8th May 2018
Been bean sowing

A day of seed sowing and potting up. timing the sowing of the beans is a fine art. For they grow quickly but can't go outside until we are frost free. Most of them are for drying so I need as long a season as possible. For these I prefer to grow climbing varieties as they are up in the air and more exposed. It is hard to dry the beans on dwarf varieties which are low to the ground and shaded by their own leaves.

For seeds and seedlings sown earlier in the year I use plastic trays and modules, but for those sown late which go in the ground quickly I make paper pots, wither round ones using a special wooden shaper or cube ones using origami.
I like the fact that they are reusing old paper and that they can be planted straight in the ground with no further rot disturbance.

Monday 14 May 2018

If Only All Rainy Days Were Like this

Tuesday 1st May
The Worst Weather Forecast Ever
I was super surprised to be able to mow the lawns yesterday. For the forecast was for heavy rain and strong winds all day. We must have been right on the edge of it, for we had a dry day with not a spot of rain. There was a gusty breeze in the morning, but even that had calmed to a steady blow by early afternoon.
Having missed out on the opportunity during the recent warm weather, I grabbed the chance to start up the lawn mower for the year.

I went over the lawns again today, collecting the clippings and using them to mulch the blackcurrant bushes and raspberries. Then my attention shifted to the other lawnmowers, the sheep.
The three rams needed to move back up into the main sheep paddocks and I hoped they would settle in quickly without hassling the ewes or their lambs too much.
As it was, the operation went very smoothly and the flock is reunited successfully.

Looking Back - Featured post


Ten years and a thousand blog posts! Enjoy. Pictures in no particular order.  

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