Monday, 21 November 2011

Can it REALLY be 6 months ........

....... since I wrote my last blog - where has that time gone to?  Well I can't possibly catch up with all that has happened - I would drive you to distraction - safe to say all is well on the holding and rest assured quiet does not mean inactive!

Our rams have now been with the girls and all being well, all are in lamb - the boys are now taking a well-earned rest - there was a bit of argy-bargying going on this morning but I am sure they will soon settle down - they have a long winter ahead of them now to recuperate - don't look bad though do they? Stanley certainly doesn't think so!

The girls are all sporting coloured bottoms - what is the in colour this year? The orange is rather fetching I think!

My first lambs went off to the abattoir on Friday - poor boys - but I have their skins back and they are now salted down on the garage floor, before being sent off to the lovely Nicki Port at Organic Sheepskins for her to do her stuff - they will come back as beautiful sheepskin rugs which will be on sale at Orford Country Market after Christmas now.  The meat also will be winging its way to friends and family.

I have also sold my unregistered ewe lambs to a lovely lady Rachel in Bressingham where I am sure they will be very happy - she has the most amazing place - trains horses for film sets and other mad activities, so check out her website!

There has been a new addition to the holding - I have inherited 8 guinea fowl! They are funny things and make a terrible noise if they are taken unawares but they seemed to have settled in ok and I am rather enjoying having them I must say!  Can anyone tell the difference between boys and girls?

This blog would not be complete without a mention of Beatrix our little orphan Golden Guernsey who is absolutely amazing - she is the dearest, sweetest thing - but unfortunately thinks she is a human rather than a goat and cannot quite understand why she now has to live outside!  After Saturday she is now sporting her new earrings - not very impressed I have to say but sorry Beatrix - it just has to be!

(Sorry about the picture - she would not stand still!)

Well, that is a quick round up - I am busy making all sorts of woolly items now - I will be at Orford Country Markets as always on Saturday mornings in the run up to Christmas along with a great Craft Fair at Orford Town Hall on Sunday 27th November and Wickham Street Market on Saturday 3rd December, so do try and catch up with me before Christmas!

All for now - will try and do better in future - an early New Year's resolution .............

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

3 cheers for Alicia!
Reserve Wensleydale Champ at Suffolk Show

Well so much has happened since I last blogged - sorry for the delay - not quite sure where all the time has gone!

We are just about to head off to the East of England Show on Thursday - all sheep washed, pampered and ready to go - tent is packed - bet it rains! Last year it was absolutely freezing there so extra blankets this year are definitely on the packing pile - along with fleecy pyjamas!

Since I last blogged we have been to the Suffolk Show where we had a great time and achieved some good results. We had our own Wensleydale class for the first time so the competition was steep. My lambs always seem to do well there and this year was no exception - a second placing for my ram lamb and a brilliant 1st place and Reserve Champion for the ewe lamb - really pleased!

The Wensleydale Ram line up

Jonah my ram lamb

We also entered some black Wensleydales in the Longwool classes and had a 2nd for my ram lamb along with a good third for my lovely shearling ram Lenny.

Davies the Ram Lamb!

Lenny the Shearling Ram

A good time was had by all - let's hope we do as well at Peterborough this weekend.

Work didn't stop there and the Saturday after getting back from the show is our traditional shearing day, so Ben duly turned up at 12 noon and in the heat of the afternoon we whipped off most of those lovely woolly coats to give the girls, and boys, a bit of a blow! Now starts the long job of sorting wool ready for my patient customers and the lovely Sheila for handspinning - exciting times!

Well wish me luck on Saturday and keep your fingers crossed it doesn't rain too hard!

T x

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Show Time!

Well, have been a bit behind on my blogging so thought I ought to do a quick catch up on all things Wensleydale and other.

We have now moved all ewes and lambs to better grazing although we are now desperate for rain - none for 10 weeks except for a token 0.3mm the other night! Have today put out a bale of haylage for rams and older girls to keep them going until the grass decides to show it's face.

We had our first show on Sunday at Ampton Point to Point Course near Bury St Edmunds. A lot of stiff competition but did get a 'highly commended' for Winston my ram - good day though and very hot - none of the promised rain either. We need to start gearing up now for the Suffolk Show at the beginning of June - hope to catch up with you all there.

Here are a couple of pictures from the South Suffolk Show:

Beatrix is doing really well and growing daily - she is quite a character and never stops larking about - totally out of control - but a happy thriving girl!

and finally, just had some great wool back from my friend Sheila who hand spins the most lovely Wensley yarns - just a sneak preview of some hand spun Grey Wensley with recycled sari silk - fantastic!

Bye for now!
T x

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Job Done!

Well, finished at last! The last couple lambed last week so we are now back to normal sleep patterns and all are doing well.

Jacine produced two lovely little girls on Sunday morning - they are very sweet and delicate - just what you would expect from Jacine!

Last but not least was little Eve who produced a tiny baby boy on Tuesday morning last - his name is Eric and he is as petulant as she is! Both are doing well and she absolutely adores him. I thought she was going to have a stonking great lamb as she was like a little barrel but thank goodness for her he was tiny as she is not very big herself - as round as she is tall in fact!

So the final count is 37 lambs all safe and sound and enjoying this beautiful sunny warm weather.

Just a quick update on Beatrix who is growing by the moment, is a little terror and thinks she is of course human - so nicknamed 'the guman'. Aunty Abbey has taken her under her wing and looks out for her but Tabitha and Betsy play madly with her so they do make one big happy family!

Friday, 25 March 2011

A Green Guide to Country Crafts.....

A Green Guide to Country Crafts

Have I told you about this fantastic new book? No? Well I really should then! You mean I haven't mentioned that my wool is featured in it? That is very remiss of me - had better put that right straight away!

We went to the launch party for the book last night at Alder Carr Farm Needham Market - we were invited by my very good friend and author of said book Nic Gouldsmith ( We had a fab evening and got to meet some lovely people, all of whom had a hand in the making of the book.

Here are the author's Nic Gouldmsith and Jacquie Mann

A basket made out of Wensley fleece on show

Other handmade goodies - all the instructions are in the book for all of these fab projects

The barn cafe at Alder Carr Farm

Joking aside, the book is full of fab projects from soap making, to dyeing, to candle making and rug making. All the projects are explained fully and the photography is just amazing. This is a book that you just can't do without! So, put it on your wish list now .......

T x

ps Thanks to Ali for holding the fort last night while we were out gallivanting! No new arrivals in my absence :(

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Time for an update?

Well, just stealing time for a quick update!

Firstly, Beatrix - she is a girl on the move now! We had a slight blip last week when she picked up an infection but seems to have got over that fully and is back out with the big girls again - still sleeping indoors at night as the weather is still a little on the cold side - but out on sunny days racing around.

We also have a few new arrivals.

Mara - daughter of Mable - produced 2 lovely ewe lambs - only one can be seen here feeding, but rest assured the other is latched onto the other side!

Izzy - wild and woolly - produced a pigeon pair - unfortunately we lost the little girl a day later so just has her little boy left now who she is totally devoted to - was a total nightmare last year and ended up killing her lamb - I think she may have turned over a new leaf!

The final two black girls have been busy - Ella - daughter of Tillie - producing twin girls on Sunday morning early

and Sable - daughter of Rosie (who is Tillie's sister - all white) doing the same - twin girls - on Monday morning at 2am! So had an early start!

Both are doing really well - I am so pleased as both lost their lambs last year and I wasn't quite sure how they would fair this year - but all seems well and they have both taken to motherhood like a dream!

Well, 23 down and just 2 to go now - both first timers and both due on the 25th March - so we wait with baited breath and the tantalizing thought of a whole night's sleep soon!

Will keep you posted
T x

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Beatrix it is!

We decided that after a week of uncertainty whether she would make it, it was probably time that our little girl had a name. So keeping to our true Potter theme her name is Beatrix - I think it suits her very well!

She is coming along leaps and bounds now and is spending the days outside in the goat house with the big girls, but still comes in overnight as it is pretty chilly out there. We are trying to work to her being outside with more company of her own sort 24/7 but it is slow progress. Still this morning we found an old coat belonging to our dear Bertie who we lost a couple of years ago - we haven't told her it is a dog coat - but she does look fairly smart in it and seems to enjoy the added warmth - there is room to grow into it though!

Watch this space for more lambs pics - 2 more sets of twins under our belt - only 4 ewes to go now - I am longing for sleep! T x

Friday, 11 March 2011

Picking up the Pieces

Just a quick update on events here.

We have sadly lost another of the triplet kids so just have one left with us now - a little girl. She is doing well though, drinking from a bottle, and I think has even grown a little. She is so sweet and we are desperately hoping that we can keep her alive - she is now all we have left from this terrible tragedy.

All hands are to the pump and even Mr R has been encouraged to do his bit!

No more lambs yet to report on but 4 due in the next couple of days so we hope for a busy weekend!

All for now
T x

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Cottontail RIP

Well, the very sad news is that Cottontail passed away last night. The pregnancy toxaemia proved to be too much for her body to take - she will be so sadly missed. T x

Monday, 7 March 2011

Cottontail has produced triplets!

Just a quick post to say that my lovely Golden Guernsey goat Cottontail has produced triplets over night - 2 girls and a boy - I think the names will be Flopsy, Mopsy and Bob! They had a bit of a rough start and spent 3 hours under hair dryers trying to get them back up to temperature because their cores had got so cold - but they made it through the night being fed by tube straight into their bellies and look fairly good today.

Cottontail however is not so good as we speak. She has pregnancy toxaemia and is very poorly. The vet has been, she has had 7 injections and an oral drench, with more to follow later, so now we just hope for the best. She has no milk to feed the kids, so there goes another extra 3 jobs to add to the day - heh ho - it's worth it they are fab!

Will keep you posted on progress and photos - but here is a quickie!

Oh, and Mable had twin boys on Sunday morning - no names or photos yet - watch this space!

T x

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Quiet doesn't necessarily mean not busy!

Thought I had better bring you up to date with the current situation! Since I spoke to you last we have had 3 sets of twins and another set of triplets! And at last our first set of black lambs - hurray!

Everyone is doing well despite the cold winds and the awful weather - I had just forgotten how cold it can be living here and especially at 4.15am on Tuesday morning delivering triplets - exhausting and that was just me!

Anyway here goes - be prepared for the 'cute' factor!

This is Ebony with her twin black boys! I think they are going to be named Sammie & Davis!

Next came Cadre with her 'twin' girls - she was scanned as triplets but there was definitely only two in there!

Then came Rosie, completely unaided at around 3am with her boy and girl!

Closely followed by Masquerade and her triplet girls

I thought you might also like a picture of the other set of triplets that were born a couple of weeks ago. All three are great and despite having spent the first day or so under a heat lamp, Midge is now thriving and loving being hand fed by a bottle - not quite sure where a tiny lamb puts 7oz of milk at a time but there we are - hollow legs I reckon!

Still we are cracking on now - only another 3 weeks to go and I can have a full night's sleep - bliss! Roll on!
T x

Friday, 25 February 2011

Malt's first lambs arrive!

Just had to do a quick blog to say that the first of Millhouse Maltster's lambs were born last night - but not to me! Do you remember the four Wensley girls that belong to my friend Kirsten?

They came a visiting in October in order to take advantage of Malt's services! Well, Elisha, who we thought had not been served as she had no raddle marks on her (a raddle is a harness that you put on the ram which holds a coloured crayon - this crayon marks the girls backs once he has served them) gave birth to triplets in the early hours of this morning. She did it all on her own, first time lamber, and had 3 beautiful girls! How amazing is that?

Mother & 3 girls doing well!

Meanwhile we still sit and wait for Rosie to have her lambs - she looks more like a walrus every day!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Triplets and More!

Thought I had just better update you on how we are doing on the lamb score! Life has been a little quiet on the homefront - everybody seems to be wanting to hang on for better weather. We did have a natural break at the beginning of Feb but seem to be all stations go again now!

So on Sunday morning, Serena gave birth to a lovely girl - big and bonny - her name is Bea.

And on Sunday evening we had our first set of triplets to another black girl called Mystique - the first one was breach and a little on the small side. He struggled to start with a bit so he had a night under the heat lamp and improved greatly. He is now back with his mum and doing ok - their names are Mary, Mungo and Midge!

All the lambs have been white unfortunately so will not be able to register them. We tried an experiment with our blacks this year putting them to a white ram that we knew threw black lambs last year. In theory we should have 50/50 white and black lambs but so far we are all white - so experiment doesn't seem to have worked this far - we still have some to go so we continue to hope!

This week should be busy with another 7 due to lamb - watch this space for hot off the press pics!

T x

Monday, 7 February 2011

And then there were 7!

Just thought I would send you a quick up date on progress .....

We now have 7 lovely lambs - all doing well and seem very contented to be in the world. Mums are doing an amazing job feeding as always.

Here is the role call ....

This is a grown up Josie and her mum Candy - she is huge now at just under 3 weeks!

This is Venus - eyes on stalks as usual - with her boy Mo

Next came Ginger - unaided at midnight - with her girl Nutmeg

On the same night but not with the same efficiency Jessie with her twins, Owen and Jessica

Then late one Saturday afternoon after waiting 7 hours for her lamb came Maizie with her boy Jude who was determined not to be rushed!

And last, but certainly not least at the moment, comes Truffles with her little girl (she always had girls!) whose name is Joanna

We are having a bit of a lull now but normal service should be resumed hopefully later this week!

Just thought I would also pop in a quick picture of Cottontail my lovely Golden Guernsey goat, who is expecting twins on 7th March - now she is enormous and still a month to go!