As much as I want to let the Ewe and…

As much as I want to let the Ewe and lambs out in the fields, I look at the lambs, they are so small I worry that they wont survive a prolonged wet spell. The weather forecasts are all over the place, I cant say that I trust them very much. Every time the Ewe hears or sees us she calls out letting us know she is there, it would help her if another Ewe had lambed and was in the stable with her. Well I didn’t count them until about today and one other Ewes was missing. It did not take long to find her, she was in the area I would have expected her to be, there she was with her new born healthy Ewe lamb. I will have to check them a bit more than once a day.

The way that the Dove is poking about in the nest, the eggs may well have hatched, they definitely are ugly ducklings until they are mature. We do get a lot of them on the farm. Nature does takes its course, by the Sparrow Hawk taking them. We often see him taking one, not a pleasant sight, but that’s nature.

A couple of years ago a pair Sparrow Hawks nested in the loft above the Holiday Cottages, it got in through a Barn Owl Hole entrance, that we left open for the Barn Owls, when we converted a barn. When the chicks started to leave the nest, they would move about, above the bedroom ceilings, I reckon it was one hell of a noise, all though every person who occupied the cottage found it fascinating and really enjoyed the experience. They only took up residence for one year.

For some reason we don’t get any Barn Owls on the Farm, They tend to like rough, pasture that the Voles like, there is then a plentiful larder for them. As you have seen on the Badger cams, we do have some rough land that we do not manage, so there are plenty of Voles. But the Barn Owls still don’t come. We do get other types of Owls including the Tawney.
You can help the Badgers from being shot


Tass is a different dog than she was before she…

Tass is a different dog than she was before she had the puppies. Having Ky with her has brought out her old self, playing and running around with Ky, as she did with her Mother Cass, before she died two year ago. Jade has never been very playful with Tass, I don’t think that she really likes her, they don’t argue but avoid each other, although when Tass first had the puppies she would go to see Jade, as if to tell her that she wanted her to look at her new arrivals, Jade just ignored her. Ky wont be ignored, she makes it a point to go to Jade and lets her know she ain’t gonna be ignored and is going to stay in her face, until Jade acknowledges her. Jade always does, but just to get rid of her, or maybe she pretends and likes the fuss.

As Tass was taught by her Mother Cass, Ky is doing the same with Tass, Tass is showing her what and what not to do. They are out and about with us when ever we are working around the farm, It seems whatever Tass does, Ky wants to do the same, and is starting to get it right, with Tass’s help. When we go up to the muck heap after cleaning the stables, Tass has been made to walk by the side of the Quad and Trailer, in case any vehicles come down our driveway and don’t see her, Ky started by walking at the side of Tass, within a couple of days she was doing the same, now she is the first one waiting. One part she hasn’t grasped, is that you don’t stand in front of a pitchfork load of dung ready to thrown on the muck heap, she seems to be in your face just as you are throwing it up and she gets smothered from head to toe. We have to push over large round bales of hay from a high pile. Tass knows when we are to do it, and makes sure that Ky leaves the barn with her, so that the bales do not fall on her.

After work its dog cleanup time. Dirty muddy dogs is an understatement, the mud hangs from their underside, every day after we finish work, maybe even twice a day, it is hose off time, cold days are not excluded, Cass, Tass and Jade have all, allways tried creeping away to avoid it, Ky hated it for the first week, now she just stands waiting and does not move until the hosing finishes.

Tass and Ky are very close, they sleep and eat with each other and just don’t stop playing. Tass can be a bit rough at times but Ky will normally start the rough play, by running full onto her. You may have seen them on the webcams down the valley. We bred Tass hoping to get a good friend for Tass knowing that Jade wont be here for too much longer. We got every thing we wanted.


The honking Geese leaving the lake woke us early this…

The honking Geese leaving the lake woke us early this morning, and what a morning they woke us too. The sun was shining and the birds singing, what a change from the past two days, the worst this year. The fields are sodden and the wind was so fierce last night, that the main badger camera post was swaying so bad I thought that it may have snapped, it is over thirty foot high and in an exposed position. When we took Tass And Ky for a walk up the valley I went to put the camera on, it would not work as the wind had broken the electric wire. It is a very long wire and It may take a couple of days to find the break, but we will be showing them as soon as soon as it is repaired.

The lambs look good this morning prancing around and enjoying themselves, if the weather looks like it is going to stay fine I will let them into the fields. I forgot that the horse camera would pan onto them. I have had them on camera this morning. I did not let them out as it became overcast and this evening we are having heavy showers.

Over the past weeks the Badgers have been getting too brave when I go to feed them, they are out when I go up to the sett and are getting to close to me. They must not get humanised and believe that they are safe with humans. Shooing them did make them go back to the sett, until I had put the food down, but not so much now. I will have to take some thing to rattle when I next go up.

Last year two females had cubs, normally only one in the sett gives birth, between them they had five cubs and I am sure that so many cubs have given them more confidence between themselves and don’t see me as a threat at all.


The Ewe and lambs are still doing well the lambs…

The Ewe and lambs are still doing well, the lambs are feeding and prancing about like spring lambs. Unfortunately the weather has been to bad to let them out into the fields, they are very small and would get very wet and cold and quickly die of hypothermia. We do keep little rain macks for lambs but they would smother these two.

About this time of year a pair of Canada Geese normally start to fly in for their nesting, they start flying onto the lake for hour or so, a few days a week, gradually increasing the amount of time and days. They must be making sure that it is safe, today they were here early and have stayed all day. You know when they are coming and going with their honking call. Normally another pair will try to take over their territory, as do a pair of Swans, they never succeed. Although it would be good to have the Swans nesting on the lake, they would probably be more successful than the Geese who have only managed to keep one gosling alive in the past five years. They always hatch their eggs but they don’t last very long. Although I have never seen the Goslings being taken, I should think the Carrion Crow and Fox must take them.

We have tried every thing we can to try to help them, we even put up electric fences around the lake so that the fox cant get to them, last year they had five Goslings and none of them lasted the day. There is a little island in the middle of the lake were they nest, it is overgrown and a safe refuge, but as soon as they hatch the eggs they take the gosling to the bank which is open and very easy for them to be picked off.


There have been a number of unexplained strange incidents and…

There have been a number of unexplained strange incidents and apparitions in the house, these are some involving children.

We moved into the house with our twin sons and although over the years the house had undergone many extension, alteration and additions , we felt renovation and some alterations were needed.

The work unearthed Victorian servant calling bell wires in two walls and signs of a servants staircase. The work that had been done over the years with these signs showed that the house had been owned by various influential people. We later found out that the house was the main house of a substantial estate.

One of the most significant alteration that we made was to change the position of the main staircase, it led from a passageway in the middle of the house, to a not very nice landing on the first floor, it did not look an original staircase. it was found out later that the staircase was newish, but in the original position. We could turn the staircase in its own space, the bottom of the staircase would then finish in a cupboard in the kitchen, making a very attractive cottage stairway leading from the kitchen. The landing of the original position could then incorporated into a bedroom making a very large bedroom and small toilet, with its countryside views it would make an ideal bedroom for the twins.

From the first day of the twins moving into the bedroom, they were 8 years old at the time, the younger boy became very unhappy. He would come into our bedroom two or three times a night telling us he could hear noises and was frightened, as the older twin was not complaining we thought that he was just making it up as he could not sleep and wanted attention. We were very busy in the house and probably have not given the twins the attention that they were use to.

Most nights for some weeks he was waking and coming to our room, he was getting more frightened and crying telling us that he could hear someone walking up the stairs. We moved the twins into another bedroom and the problem stopped. After a week or so the elder twin wanted to return to his bedroom, as the younger twin had not heard any noises he agreed to return with him. That night we were woken by the older twin shouting to us, we rushed to the room to find the younger twin sobbing and shaking uncontrollable, he told us that he had heard someone walking up the stairs as before, he told us that somehow although he did not want to look something made him to the direction of the toilet were he saw a man standing. Every parent know their children, we knew he was being truthful, the toilet was the top of the stairs before it was altered.

The next day I went with the twins to see the local priest, he listened to the story and agreed that he would come and bless the house, at the blessing he gave the twins a candle to light every night, telling them that It would stop him seeing the man. From then on the boy never had any more problems and went back to sleep in the room.

Six years later a friend became a regular visitor, she had at the time a four year old son, whilst we would be down stairs her son would go upstairs to the twins bedroom to play with their toys, on a number of occasions he could be heard talking, when questioned he told that he had been talking to a friend, we believed he meant a toy. On one occasion his mother went quietly upstairs to the room, she could hear her son talking, she looked around the door way without being seen by her son, she could see him in conversation looking towards the toilet door, she went in and asked who he was talking to, he pointed to the toilet entrance telling his mother, that man, what man she questioned, that man there, he came up the stairs. The toilet was the top of the stairs before the staircase was turned around, the same place that the younger twin had seen his man. The twins bedroom is on the other side of the blocked up doorway in the Victorian bathroom, where the apparition came from in the Victorian Bathroom.

Just a month ago a few friends came to dinner, one had a six month old baby who came with her mother.

One of our friends is a keen astronomer. The dinner conversation revolved around astronomy. As It was a clear night we decided after dinner we would go outside ad let our friend show us some interesting lunar sights.

As the baby was asleep and we were to stay very close to the house it was decided to leave the baby inside in the warmth, he was in a carry buggy asleep, although he had never accepted a dummy, one was always kept behind the the buggies padding, other than the Mother and Grandmother no one knew of the dummies place. We all left the house at the same time. about five minutes later the baby was heard to make a short cry, she went to enter the house but although she knew the door could be opened she felt a pressure on it, it released itself and when she attended the baby it had the dummy in its mouth sleeping peacefully. Neither his mother or grandmother had given the baby the dummy.


The Ewe and twin lambs have done really well overnight…

The Ewe and twin lambs have done really well overnight, the lambs have full bellies and are on their feet. One is a Boy (Ram Lamb) and the other a Girl (Ewe Lamb) We were unable to let them out as the weather has been horrible all day, torrential rain and gusting winds, probably the worst day this year. The horses have also had to stay in as it has been so bad.

The twin lambs are Portland, they are a Rare Breed, normally having only one lamb and can find it difficult to keep twins, but they are able to give birth twice a year, so twins were unexpected. Born a tan colour, that probably was the breeds colour many years back, although they will have a tan faces and legs when they get older , as do their parents. We have 9 Portland, 5 Texel the rest being an assortment of cross breeds. I reckon a good few will be in lamb, although we don’t know for sure when any are due, as we allow the Ram to run with the Ewes all year. We walked around all the sheep today to make sure that their were no other unexpected surprises, none of the Ewes udders were springing so we should be okay for a day or two, we will have to check them every day.

The Ewe and lambs are in a stable next to Woody the mare in foal, she is gobsmacked with the sight of the three, as is Branston one of our colts that is free to walk around the yard, he has had his head over the stable door since we put them in the there. I am sure it has helped Woody to perk up.

The Saint of Astronomers must have been looking down on them last night for the Lunar Eclipse, for no sooner than the Eclipse had finished it started to bucket it down and hasn’t stopped. All through the eclipse the sky was the clearest it has been for the past few months. After a lot of resetting we managed to get the telescope working in time to see the full Eclipse, although I had to track it quite a lot manually. I am sorry I did not post it on the notice board earlier, but It was not working until about I am sure all those who viewed it would agree, the picture was excellent.


We have 24 sheep on the farm we only keep…

We have 24 sheep on the farm, we only keep them to eat of the grass that the horses leave, and of course their droppings fertilise the fields and our holiday visitors and their children love to see them and their lambs.

They are free range, touch wood they don’t stray to far, although they do go missing a times, so you need to count them at least once a day, although you tend to do a count every time you see them. When they are all go missing you know that they are normally not in any trouble, When one disappears you have to start worrying, they may be caught up in the bramble, the sheep with horns(our ones with horns are Portlands) may even have their horns caught up in wire, being sheep anything that can go wrong, will.

Doing a count early this afternoon we were one ewe down to 23 sheep, they were in a field close to the Farmhouse. It was one of the Portlansds that was missing, anything that you are doing has to stop so that you can look for it. You start to look in the hedges and all around the fields.

I had been looking for a good hour and a half and was starting to think the worse, but decided to go up to the far end of the farm, a good way from where the other sheep were grazing, further than I really thought she would have been, but it was worth a chance, then I heard a faint bleat, so faint that it may have come from a field on another farm, that is on the other side of the wood. I went through a gap in the hedge that leads into the wood to look into the field, and then to make my way back home through the wood still searching, when I caught a glimpse of white, there she was. I made my way up the bank, she was laying down and would normally have run off when she saw me, on reaching her I realised why she had not, she was licking a new born lamb, behind her was a born lamb still in the birth sack looking very dead. After removing the sack it was still lifeless, but you should never give up with lambs, after clearing its mouth I shook it, swung it, and slapped it and after a few minutes it stirred, shook itself and open its eyes, I laid it in front of the ewe so that they could bond. That lamb was lucky, they cant get oxygen whilst in the sack and would have only a minute or so left before dying

On returning home we took the dogs for a walk, giving the ewe the time she needed with the lambs and returned later to take the ewe and lambs back home on the quad and trailer, you may have seen it on the webcams. They are in one of the stables now, if the weather is OK tomorrow they will be let into the fields with the other sheep. The ewe tends to hide them for a day or two. As soon as they are about, we will put them on the webcams.


Woody has been a lot better today eating all her…

Woody has been a lot better today, eating all her food for the first time in days. Hopefully she has got over the worst of the virus, although she did get a lot better a week or so back and then deteriated again. The first we knew she was unwell was when we found her laying flat out in one of the paddocks, the other three horses she was with were chomping away on the hay. For sure Woody was unwell for she is never last in the queue when it come to eating. I must admit she seemed so unwell we thought that she may not get better at all. With a lot of looking after and a bit of luck she is now over the worse.

Some of you may have seen the tractor on camera 2 hedge trimming. The trimming can be done in the autumn or late winter just before spring, we always try to do it this time of year. I reckon it paid off this year, the mild winter has caused the hedges to have a little none stop growth all through the winter. The main reason it is done this time is so as not to disturb the birds nesting. Don’t reckon they would be too impressed having the trimmer causing them have to make a new nest.


Welcome to our new diary As we have had numerous…

Welcome to our new diary.
As we have had numerous emails asking about life on the farm we have started the diary to keep you updated on events, happenings and life on the farm, with the animals, seasons and wildlife.
We will try to update it regularly, but because of our workload it may not be as often as we would like, so please be patient.

One of the horses in foal, Woody the grey mare has been unwell for the past couple of weeks, we had to call in the Veterinary who gave her antibiotics and took blood samples. The samples showed that she had a virus, she was put on a course of the antibiotics by injection. We have to do it ourselves, as all farmers do with their livestock. It only took a couple of days for her to realise when the injection is coming, even without seeing the syringe, she keeps turning away trying to avoid it, kicking her hind legs out to try to stop it, but it has got to be done to get her well.

Spring is well on the way, no sooner than the snowdrops disappeared last week the primroses appeared with the viola and daffodils, it all seems early this year, we are not complainig as it has been the wettest past three months for many years.

The sun has been out all day with clear skies. We went to turn the telescope on this evening as the sky was the clearest it has been this year, but we were unable to because of a problem with it`s computer, it may have to go back to the supplier to be repaired. We can see that a large number of people are trying to access the telescope. When it has been going it has been very good. It has not been easy getting it setup, we believe that we are first in the world live broadcast as we are. We hope to have it up and running very soon.