That's my excuse for going more than two weeks without getting on line. Blame nature.
We're also impeded by minor ailments. Mike has an infected hand, and I have tendonitis. I'm supposed to wear a splint and rest it for the next 4-6 weeks but there's no chance of that. Resting does not fall in the priority pile and will have to wait until winter.
The animals are getting their fair share of ailments and meds too. Alan's lame with nothing more serious than sore hind leg, we hope. £100 worth of horse aspirin has made him comfortable and me a lot poorer. He's off work until next week at least, which rests both our injuries. I made him a pair of long reins for driving out of old horse blanket straps and some rope, and we had one trial run before injury set in. On the up side, Alan responded well to long lines and didn't mind them tangled around his feet or slapping him on his sides. I think he got the hang of it quicker than I did.
So a quick update then. As promised, a picture of the last surprise lamb delivered last night -
He's a good size, and strong. We had a 200% birth rate which is great not only because we get double the product (more lambs) but it also means I was getting the nutrition right. A ewe with reserves can bring off twins. I'm flying by the seat of my pants with the whole lambing routine, learning as I go with ample opportunity for mistakes. I have a good mentor - Dickie - who talks me down when I start to panic and has checked over my lambs and pronounced them excellent.
The moms have done the hard work, but there are still nursemaid jobs for me to do such as iodining the navel to prevent infection -
I knew there was a view out there somewhere
And the rest of the time I've been working on the shoot. Or cleaning up after shoot days. The dogs catch up any wounded game, like this partridge which only had a few pellets in the leg. I plucked it and added it to a curry - my contribution at our harvest supper. The wings I've used on one of Spud's training dummies.