I'm desperate for spring to hurry up and get here, just so the soil will warm up and the grass will grow. The horses are grazing between the apple trees in a nearby orchard, because their paddock is exhausted-
I let them out late morning, and lure them back home with a bucket of feed in the afternoon, just before going home to make our dinner. I paid a local farmer to roll the paddock. It cost me the same as a fancy bottle of that hair goo that makes my frizz into curls, so I'll do without the goo and wear a hat. Good grass is everything.
My uncle Bernard stopped in this past weekend to visit, on his way to Germany. He brought me this hostess gift: a floating pheasant dummy from the Las Vegas SHOT show, modelled here by Quincy-
My family are great gift givers.
I returned the kindness by making him re-roof the horse shelter with me. If he'd stayed one more day, he would have been milking sheep, because I made a blunder: I weaned the lambs, but moved their mothers to rich grass instead of the lambs.
I knew it was wrong after I'd done it, and called my friends to double-check. Now I had ewes on good grass with no lambs to suckle the bounty of milk I'd just created. And, without the milk and only tired ley to feed them, the lambs would go backwards.
Stupid, stupid, stupid...
After berating myself for a bit, I chalked it up to inexperience and set about swapping mothers and babies. First I had to find the flock in this fog -
Then catch the flock, pen them and separate out the lambs. Again. -
I trailered the lambs to their new field on the estate. They are grazing a small enclosure in preparation for Mike's new rearing sheds to go up, so the lambs are fattening and earning their keep as picturesque lawnmowers. I sent L815 and Grumpy ewe along with the lambs as chaperones. Both - if pregnant - are due to give birth late April / early May, so need some good forage.
I had penned and trailered the lambs' mothers back to Milkweed the night before, and left them in the sheds. I milked the ewes before letting them out to prevent mastitis, and even saved the milk to make a cheese culture. It was a small recompense for my mistake.