Sunday, 31 January 2010

New homes

It has been a very busy day today as the main herd and the boys have moved onto fresh pasture. First job of the morning, well after the usual feeding routine was to cut the boys toe nails.

Legend's nails seem to grow at an astonishing rate a bit like his fleece. His nails were only cut two months ago and were still ready for a good cut. He was very well behaved too, he doesn't like having his nails cut!

Whilst we had all the boys together and shut in a confined space we did a bit of rummaging. Gianmarco's Masterpiece fleece looks absolutely fabulous. His stats have always been very impressive (3rd fleece 17.9 micron with only 0.5% over 30) but we were still jolly excited with what we saw. His first cria is due early May, although with the recent weather no doubt Alice will hang on a while.

The boys are now in one of the fields behind the house, Golden Guinea soon remembered that this is where the girls usually are and where matings take place and got very excited, he had a real bounce in his step.

The girls moved onto fresh grass too, typically Ursula was first through the gate but for once Willow was not last, it was Veruschka. The quality is not good but I managed to catch it on video, here it is.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Not more

Yes, snow! We woke to a sprinkling again this morning. Thankfully not much but it was absolutely freezing and everything was frozen. No chance of cleaning fields today not only were things covered in snow once you uncovered them they were frozen solid to the ground!

Despite the freezing temperatures it has been lovely and sunny. So out came the camera for some shots of the new knitwear. I hate our husband our wife photo shoots, Paul is always complaining about the faces I pull, the direction I'm looking or that I have my eyes close - well he always insists I look at the sun what do you expect.

Anyway here is one of the better ones which will be in the shop as soon as he gets round to doing whatever he does to the pictures to make them the right size. As you can see by this time the snow had just about gone but the ground was still frozen.
This afternoon we have begun halter training with the weanlings. It is something I'd been wanting to get on with for a while but with all the snow and ice it was far too dangerous and slippy.

First it was just putting on the head collars and everyone was remarkably calm about this, usually one tries to rub it push it off. Next came attaching the lead rope, this is when the fun started.

Most were ok once they got used to it, however, Midnight Star went absolutely berserk. I expected her to be difficult (her mum is Kate our grey girl who has a very large chip on her shoulder), but this was way worse than we imagined. She was so stressed when we finally managed to hold her still we had to let her off the rope to calm down.

Tenzing and Sandstorm were very impressive and as you can see Heidi just took it in her stride. I had a second attempt with the lead rope and Star which was slightly better, until that was Paul walked near her; she obviously didn't like him, it was Paul who tried with her the first time. I will persevere with her on my own initially I think.

I have mentioned on the blog before about Dukes obsession with Star, quite what he is going to do when the boys and girls are separated I don't know. Whilst I was working with Palm-Olive on the halter Paul managed to catch a bit of footage of Duke and Star, check it out on our movie page. Just for the record I didn't know he was filming.

Friday, 29 January 2010

That's what friends are for

Can you believe it, we had more snow this morning. I was busy filling the hay nets and mangers and it started and absolutely threw it down. By the time I had finished the fields were white again. Needless to say Kealani's coat has stayed on today.

Thankfully the sun came out later and most of it had now gone; thank goodness for that. We've already had more than our fair share of snow for one winter!

I called in to see friends Carol and Dave this morning. They are regular manure collectors and Carol knits for me (very quickly!). We had a lovely chat and I collected Carols latest creations, 2 ladies hats, a baby hat, two pairs of fingerless mittens and 2 scarves.

Whilst chatting I mentioned that I was hoping to get a new spinning wheel and planned to spin some more fleece myself. Carol kindly volunteered Dave to do some carding for me (once I had explained the process), so I had more time for spinnig. Poor Dave, I'm not sure he will be thanking her for that one.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Felting and field cleaning

I have had a productive day today, after the usual morning jobs I sat down with a cup of tea (yes I still have tea-bags) and made some felted buttons to put onto some booties I finished knitting last night. I got a bit carried away and felted a few balls as I have another idea for them, more on that another time.

This afternoon I have been out in the fields cleaning again. It amazing how much poop 5 boys can create overnight! They have, rather had a nice clean field again then I set off into the girls field.

I knew this was going to be a long job and I ran out of daylight hours. I did find myself watching everyone on more than one occasion rather than sucking; you just can't help it.

Willow and Veruschka were following me round rolling round me feet. I think this must have been some sort of show of appreciation.

Kealani has almost grown out of her coat now, I'm sure she doesn't really need it now but as we have snow forecast again I have put it back on for a few more nights.

I have actually sent my mum off with a shopping list to get me some more waterproof material so I can make some more cria coats ready for birthing season. One lot of material should be very posh - watch this space.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

That must have hurt

It has been another dry day today so Kealani has been coatless again. It has been very windy too so thankfully things are drying out including the alpacas!

Kealani obviously decided that it was a bit cold this afternoon because when she saw me approaching with her coat she came running and stood still whilst I put it on; yesterday it was a bit of a fight to get it back on.

I have been out cleaning the fields again today, I do like it when they are all nice and clean. I am hoping to be able to get in the girls field again tomorrow with the muck truck to tackle their deposits. It had been too wet to get in there with the quad and muck truck without doing far too much damage to the ground so I had to revert to the good old rake and shovel.

Finally I just thought I would share this with you:-

My hens usually lay large eggs but this was a record breaker. It was 130gms when I weighed it and turned out to be a double yoker, which incidentally I poached and had for my tea. I am pretty sure it came from the new grey girl.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

No coat today please

It has been a much better day weather wise, no sun but at least it was dry. So much so Kealani actually went coat free for the first time in ages. Especially for you Jayne here is the proof. Can you guess where the coat fits?!
She is this colour because along with her mum they like to find the dirtiest part of the field....
Whilst the cleaner girls prefer to stay on the better grass.

I also managed to catch a shot of the weanlings coming to meet me, with the exception of Star who was far too busy eating to even look in my general direction.

I was hoping to get some more paddock cleaning done today but I have had to wait in for the plumber. We had a wet patch appear on the study ceiling, typically our en-suite is fully tiled so there was no way to get in from above so I now have a hole in the study ceiling but hopefully no water leak!

Monday, 25 January 2010

He's a big boy now

Sandstorm came running to greet me this morning, he was my best friend. He is obviously missing his mum slightly because after we exchanged kisses; yes I know this isn't the done thing to do for a macho boy, he checked me all over for milk supplies!!

He tucked straight into his breakfast though, and once they had all polished that off he wondered off with his old friend Heidi. We have sold Heidi (along will Aria and Milly) so she will be off to her new home shortly so he best make the most of her company now.

Little Miss Irraquoy doesn't seem to be missing her son at all. It amazes me how resilient they can be at times.

It had been another damp dank day so not much drying out has occurred, I want my fluffy alpacas back!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

A big day for Sandstorm

It has been a big day for little Sandstorm today, he has been weaned from his mum Little Miss Irraquoy.

I was expecting it to be a very messy affair as LMI is very protective and when pregnant she can be very spitty as Les and Rob from Wellground can vouch (we bought her from them).

How wrong can you be, she never so much as threatened to spit or complain. Although I very tactfully waited until she was tucking into her fresh hay before I removed him. He was a very good boy and after one little hum he happily introduced himself to old friends.

The weanlings got to go on fresh pasture too, we had been purposely waiting until we weaned Sandstorm so they all got to enjoy the new grass. It certainly went down well and they have had heads down munching all day. Sandstorm was enjoying it so much he didn't seem to miss mum either. At tea time he had a little hum, as he usually washes his tea down with some milk, however he was soon back to the grass with the others.

With the weanlings moving from one field to another we had to clean their old one and harrow it ready for the spring when it will hopefully flourish. Whilst Paul had the harrow out he did the girls previous field, it was far too wet to do when we moved them off over a month ago then it snowed - need I say more!

Whilst Paul was driving round on the quad I was on manual labour duties as usual; the jobs always seem to be allocated that was at our house. The boys field was tended to as was the girls shelter and I managed to move the dropped hay that had built up during the bad weather. I now need a nice soak in the bath.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Feeling lucky

We had a busy morning this morning getting all the jobs done so we could head off down to Wetherby for the BAS TB Roadshow. As usual I had the knitting needles out whilst Paul was driving!

It was a very good meeting, which was very well attended. It was extremely informative and I would urge everyone to attend one of the future events if you haven't already done so.

We feel very lucky not to be in a hot spot area, this disease has had some very severe and upsetting effects on a number of people and herds down south.

Paul & I had been waiting until we had seen the presentation before we decided on our stud service offerings for the year and if indeed we will do any outside matings. We will ponder for a little while weigh up all the facts and decide what to do; I am sure I know what the boys will want.

Changing the subject, the fields had dried out a little this morning which was nice to see. Hopefully if we get a couple of dry days we will be able to move one of our mobile field shelters with the help of Alan (farmer friend) and Ju (his son); tractor required as the car can't move it!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Mud, mud and more mud

We had torrential rain all night again, so this on top of the snow melt has left the fields in a muddy mess. The girls field in particular is very muddy, they all hang round in the same places so all those feet .... yuk!

I was hoping that the field behind the house would have been snow free so I could move the boys up and then the girls could move to a drier field, but the snow is still covering about 70% of the boys new field so that will have to wait a little longer.

For my sins I am organising this years BAS Border Union Show, well the alpaca section! So I have been sorting out the judge today. With all that is going on with TB I don't know what will happen with the show, but at this moment in time I am assuming that all will go ahead as normal - time will tell.

Paul has just returned from the Rugby and is banging about so I'd better go and make sure the kitchen is still in one piece.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Not one, not two, but 6..............

And no I'm not talking about tea bags! I'm out of them until I go shopping tomorrow, it's a good job I like hot water.

Whilst I was filling the hay supplies this morning Oonagh, her daughter Kealani and Angelus (one of the girls we have for sale), had their eye on something in the woods behind their field. I stood for ages trying to see what they were watching, then I saw a tell tale white bum, it was a deer. Alpacas never miss a thing.

In fact there were two of them, when the smaller of the two came along the fence line Oonagh let out the alarm call and everyone (except Willow, read about her usual actions in these situations on her herd profile) shot up and went over to form a united front. The high pitch screech from Oonagh was enough to send both deer running.

When I had finished my morning routine I was about to leave the fields and I saw the boys watching something. It was only another four deer on the other side of the river. I'm not sure if it was the same group or not. I think the river is too high and following too fast for them to have crossed so quick but you never know.

As it brightened up this afternoon I decided that I would take the opportunity to way some of the youngsters. It has been a while since I'd been able to do it because of the weather so I was keen to get on with it whilst I could.

The four that I managed to pick up had put on 2kg since they were last weighed which was great news. With such bad weather you never quite know. I wasn't able to weigh Duke, he wouldn't stay still for me and after ripping my overalls I decided to leave him for Paul. Thankfully I was wearing mums overalls as mine were in the wash!!!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

What no tea bags

If you don't hear from me tomorrow you know I have suffered some sort of breakdown. I only have two teabags left in the house! Anyone that knows me will know how much I like/need a cup of tea. Having been marooned because of the snow I have been unable to do a proper shop and Paul and supermarkets don't seem to mix well.

There is nothing much to report on the alpaca front, other than they have finished off their super large bale of hay that Alan delivered last Sunday.

Kealani is certainly making the most of the bits of green field she can see. This evening whilst everyone else was enjoying their tea she was charging round and pronking looking very elegant. She kept coming clucking to me, I think she was wanting to make sure I was watching.

Up until the last couple of days it has been far to slippy for such activities but now the snow is making way for the grass.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Frost and freezing fog

After yesterdays positively glorious day today has been very miserable. We woke to a very keen frost with lots of the alpacas having turned white! Whilst I was replenishing all the hay supplies freezing fog rolled in and that is where it stayed until just before dusk.

Sorry Jayne the photos of Kealani and Sandstorm will have to wait until I can see past the end of the camera lens.

The hens egg production has increased further, I got two eggs. This is a sure sign that the daylight hours are increasing. It was after 5pm again this evening before it was dark. I love it when Paul can come home in daylight hours and see the herd, it is a great stress buster for him.

Despite BT saying that my telephone would be fixed by then end of the day today it is still out of order. I feel so cut off without it, mobile signal is so poor here you can't have a conversation on your mobile without getting cut off on several occasions.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Sunbathing in January

It has been a lovely day today, the flood waters have dried slightly and the snow continues to melt. They boys and weanlings fields are almost snow free, sadly the girls and the sheep will have a little longer to wait but at least they have some grass.

I was finally able to get the muck truck out and do some proper cleaning. The fields always feel and look so much cleaner when they have been sucked clean rather than raked clean.

They boys field is now as clean as their shelter was yesterday - it wasn't as clean this morning, they are naughty boys!

Whilst I was cleaning I took the opportunity to take a couple of pictures, here we have our Supreme Champion stud, Legend of Spartacus, sunning him whilst keeping a watchful eye on the girls who are a couple of fields away. Gianmarco's Masterpiece is to his right with Loki in the back ground.

As you can see the weanlings were tucking into their lunch in the sunshine too. Tenzing is having his usual roll on the trough with Palm-Olive behind him and Star behind her. Duke and Heidi are sharing the second tough and not coming up for air until they have licked it clean!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

How bizarre

I will keep this very brief tonight for fear of the machine crashing. I have no phone, there is a fault on the line so I wasn't expecting the internet to work. Not wanting to disappoint my loyal readers I thought I would just check, and it worked!

It has been a lovely day today, the snow has continued to melt, so much so the boys got to go out into their big field today which is the first time in over four weeks.

We have also been able to do some clearing up. I had been having to pile up soiled bedding etc as the weather had been far to bad for me to get it to the muck heap. This straw was not only dirty it was now soaking wet and was like moving concrete. It has taken all day but at least the place is looking better.

I am intending to get the muck truck out tomorrow and do some poo picking now sufficient snow has cleared so I can a, see it and b, open the gates wide enough to get the quad in. Hopefully this will be complete before the snow arrives next week:-(

As I said it has been a nice day today, I think the alpacas were thinking Spring was in the air as they'd become so used to freezing temperatures. The girls were grazing and looking much happier with life. The weanlings were running round jumping on each other and Hughie and Guinea were having a bit of a scrap too.

I checked Hughie the other day for fighting teeth, he is two and a half now and I don't want any issues as he likes to have a rough and tumble with the others.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Pronking Scotch Eggs

Torrential rain kept me awake half the night so I knew the fields would be a mess this morning; melting snow and heavy rain was never going to be pretty was it.

I was surprised to see how much snow was still left, but oh boy was there some water. The weanlings had a torrent of water running through the middle of their field, it looked like a new branch of the river Wansbeck. It was actually crossing the rigs and furrows in the field so running that fast it was going up hill in places.

The boys field is about 90% snow free whereas the girls still has about 75% snow coverage. Mary was getting very excited by the grass that she could see though and was cramming as much in as fast as she could in case it vanished again. Well it is four weeks since they have seen it.

By this evening the water had dried up some and hopefully if the weathermen are correct it will do so even more tomorrow.

Kealani was quite clearly excited by the grass and has been charging round this evening pronking with the big girls, Sienna, Mallika and Auntie Lualani. She was getting a bit carried away with Sienna and they were neck wrestling pushing each other which Oonagh clearly thought was far to rough as she spat a warning at Sienna to leave Kealani alone.

I wouldn't mind but it was Kealani causing the trouble. After she had got Sienna into trouble she moved on the jumping on Mallika.

To celebrate the recommencement of egg laying by our chickens I made some home made Scotch eggs for tea, very nice they were too, even if I do say so myself.

Finally the lottery ticket idea didn't work, I only got one number.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Dream on

Nothing much to report today. It has been very damp, this morning we had sleet and rain which has helped with the thaw. We now have tyre tracks down our lane and there are very small patches of green appearing in the boys field.

The weanlings and the girls are having to wait a little longer for proper signs of green although Oonagh managed to find a few blades poking through under the fence.

We have a whopping 8 degrees forecast for Sunday, it will feel like summer after the minus 15 we had last week!

Just one last thing to mention, I've found a farm I would love - need to buy a lottery ticket tomorrow as it is out of my price range but I know the animals would love it.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

A bit premature

I think yesterdays thoughts of moving the herd once the snow has gone was slightly premature. We woke to more snow this morning, thankfully not too much but it has been trying to snow on and off all day so no thawing today.

I had a visit from the plumber this morning and our heating is finally fixed, hooray. No more guttering and buckets to catch the leaking water and hopefully a bit less oil consumption.

This visit meant that the girls had to have their hay replenished in two shifts this morning. The plumber was coming at nine so I had to be back in the house having feed everyone, sheep and birds included.

I gave everyone their hay but instead of the usual two 10 foot mangers and three hay nets the girls had to manage with one manger until the plumber had been. The look on their faces when they saw me walking off having only done half a job was so funny. You could tell they were thinking 'where's she going she's not finished yet!'.

I did go back and fill everything as soon as the plumber had gone for which they were all very grateful.

Oonagh has decided today that she likes carrot, only if it is diced up nicely into little cubes though. Up until today she had always turned her nose up at it. As she still has her cria at foot, Kealani, who is only 4 months old everything she eats helps to keep her condition.

In a bizarre coincidence Loki also decided he liked carrot today to. Usually Guinea is the only boy interested in orange things!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Planning ahead

With sleet and snow on and off all day I am please to report that my civil engineering project from yesterday is still serving its purpose, and Imala has gotten used to stepping over it!

As soon as the snow has gone it will be all change. The girls will be moving into their big winter field. They were supposed to be moving in there a few weeks ago now but it would be a waste to put them in it when it is buried in a foot of snow.

Moving the girls will mean that the boys will have to move, or they will be in neighbouring fields and as we have a few girls which are open this is not a good idea.

I will also be weaning Sandstorm. As the weather is so poor and Irraquoy is coping with her cria I have left him. I body scored Irraquoy today, which she was not impressed with and gave me one of her warning stares 'do that again and you'll get a face full of what I'm chewing'. She loves me really!

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Civil Engineering

Only a short blog tonight as I have a stinking headache and am off to bed early.

Our thaw is thankfully continuing albeit slowly. There is still no sign of grass in the girls paddock but there was a rather large puddle right next to one side of the girls shelter.

Not wanting the water to end up in the field shelter I carried out a spot of civil engineering to move the water on. I dug a channel through the ice and snow so that the water would drain off into an area I have fenced off.

The girls were initially very intrigued with what I was up to and I had about 20 pairs of eyes glued to me for a while. Imala was not very happy about stepping over the very small stream and hummed to her friends in the shelter for reassurance before building up the courage to step over.

The wind has really picked up so hopefully that will help blow more water away.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Positively tropical

This morning was positively tropical here, for the first time in well over a month I didn't have to break ice on a single water trough!!

I even had to remove my hat whilst carrying fresh supplies of hay to the girls; it's still not possible to push the wheelbarrow through the snow. There have definitely been signs of improvement though, the thaw is continuing.

In fact where the snow has melted off the fence posts in the boys field and run down there are a number of posts with an inch of grass starting to poke though. Hughie was first to notice and took full advantage. It was bound to be Hughie, he doesn't miss a thing, especially if it is edible!

The new super large hay bale passed the quality control test of the girls this morning. They were tucking in to as fast as I could fill up the mangers this morning. I can see this bale isn't going to last long either.

With the weather for us finally forecast to be able freezing for the next few days hopefully our snow is now on it's way out. It sounds like it may be the turn of down south for a few days.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

The big thaw

Maybe I am being a bit too positive with the title, but after all yesterdays comments (thank you, it's nice to know there are people out there reading!)about my moaning I thought I should be more positive today.

With good reason though, there has definitely been some thawing going on today which is great news for everyone. Even the girls water trough had thawed out so that was one less that needed to be filled manually.

Alan, our farming friend, popped round for a coffee this morning and delivered the biggest bale I have ever seen. It is a very large rectangular one this time as he is still unable to get to his next supply of round ones because of the snow and his sheep are eating them as fast as he drops them off the forks.

We have given the youngsters their AD&E vitamin past today, thankfully they are all quite keen on it so it isn't a difficult job. I was met at the fence line by Loki as soon as he saw it so he got a little bonus taste, he loves the stuff!

I am quite lucky as a few of the herd really like the sweet taste and will take it voluntarily from the tube, it makes life so much easier when you don't have to wrestle and fight to get the tube in their mouths.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

I don't believe it

I couldn't believe it when we woke to another 3 or so inches of snow this morning. This is no laughing matter anymore, supplies are getting low, everything is suffering from the weight of the snow let alone the icicles and I am worn out from hauling water whilst being full of cold!

Yesterday morning even the tap inside the garage was frozen. Our garage is insulated to the standard of a modern house as it was only built three years ago and has living accommodation above. The cavity wall insulation and the heating couldn't even save the pipes.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day despite hitting minus 15 so I headed out with the camera. It hasn't been fit today as we've had snow on and off all day.

Here we have Princess Mallika with Willow behind her just making sure nothing else was going to appear in their trough.

Check this out, one of our bird tables, and this was taken before last nights snow. Don't worry all the other feeding stations are being filled and I'm giving our feathered visitors water too.

This morning we had a helping hand from some neighbours Chris and Denise. Hughie loves Chris so he was very excited; Hughie that is not Chris! Thanks guys if you are reading this, and sorry for Hughie's appalling behaviour Denise.

After feeding everyone we headed off with Chris and Denise whose car is going nowhere in this weather to pick up vital supplies. Oil for them and animal feed for us. We are getting through sugar beet at a rapid rate!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

A first for the week

Despite waking to even more snow this morning and having to dig my way in to all the field gates things have at least not deteriorated during daylight hours. We have had no more snow since dawn which is a start.

The huge amounts of snow on the field shelter roofs was beginning to worry me. The weight was causing some sagging so it was out with the ladders and a brush, the weanlings found this most entertaining.

I am sure this cold weather has a lot of our Barnacre Knitwear customers glad of there woollies. I had a phone call from a customer today who was so pleased with the hats she received for herself and her children for Christmas, that she has ordered some ridge boots.

I have just finished a hat this evening, a new line for 2010, so you will have to wait a few days until I can get a nice picture of it. So now I can make a start on the boots. The weather is not set to improve so it is a good excuse to sit in front of the fire with the knitting needles!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Not one, but two....

I can't believe we woke to even more snow this morning, it has seriously gone beyond a joke now, I am sick to the back teeth of it.

It was so bad today Paul finally admitted defeat and had to work from home. Sadly this didn't mean that I got any assistance with the morning feed routine, he had conference calls to attend to!

Two and a half hours later everyone had been fed, had fresh hay and all the water troughs had been filled by hand. I was absolutely exhausted and it was almost time for the lunchtime feed!

Here are the girls waiting for their water top up. As you can see I had walked myself a little trench by this point which makes life slightly easier. Sadly this is a daily occurrence at the minute.

It has been snowing on and off all day and as I type it is absolutely throwing it down with more of the white stuff.

I had a lovely chat with Jayne at Zanzibah this evening, we were comparing snow stories.

On a positive note I had two eggs today from the chickens!!! Can you believe it, I've not had an egg for months and this morning I herd one of them singing that 'I've just laid an egg' song. I had to dig my way in and there were two, in fact there were three but one was broken.

Sadly two of the hens have frozen to death in this cold snap so this was a great sign. They had been give extra insulation and more straw and so far it seems to have done the trick.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

That's my boy

It has been another day of shifting hay and water through far too much snow, and just to make things even more trying I am now full of cold! Great; it's very rare I get a cold so it is even more annoying that I feel lousy when I need to spend so long out in the fields.

Never mind the animals need me so I will just get on with it.

I am pleased to confirm that our brown stud, Golden Guinea now has his first progeny registered with the BAS, a solid mid fawn male. Those long standing followers will recall that because of the Blue Tongue movement restrictions we were unable to bring Mr Guinea up to Northumberand for some time, so David Barnett of Purston used him to covered one of his girls.

We have got to wait until the spring to see his progeny from our own herd. In fact it will be a client who will have the first Golden Guinea cria up here.

Monday, 4 January 2010

A cold start

It was a really cold start this morning. It was -9 at 8am and all the water troughs were well and truly frozen. Thankfully the alpacas don't mind the cold crisp weather so there were no shivers or complaints this morning.

My parents had decided that they were going to try and get home today, as we are forecast more snow tomorrow. They have been here a couple of weeks now which was longer than they planned but as the weather was so bad there was no way mums car was going to go anywhere.

After the feed run and the hay filling duties mum loaded her car. She had to go a different way home to avoid the longer drive on our tiny country lanes but once she made it to Morpeth she was fine.

Oonagh is definitely missing mum as she had been getting special one on one service. Regular reader will recall that Oonagh doesn't eat from the troughs and will only eat from your hand providing no-one else is pushing her.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Broken record

This is beginning to sound like a broken record but yet again this morning we woke to more snow. Only another inch so not too bad but bad enough when we have so much already.

I am sure the poor animals are as sick of it as I am. It is over two weeks since they had grass to eat.

Alan stopped by this morning to wish us a Happy New Year and make sure everyone was ok. He too was complaining at the amount of time everything takes to do in the snow and the amount of hay his sheep are getting through at the minute.

At this rate there will be no hay left for the annual Hay Show in February. We always go to the hay show and top up on supplies!!

Kealani has finally begun to eat hard feed, well sugar beet; but at least it's a start. Her mum Oonagh was also very slow at eating hard feed when she was born, in fact Oonagh didn't eat hard feed until well after she was weaned.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Roll on spring

We have had more snow on and off all day today, it must be starting to thaw slightly though as there have been a number of avalanches from our roof!

Following on from yesterday's blog, thanks for all your comments. How on earth you manage with -30 is beyond me Rolf.

We are getting through hay like there is no tomorrow but we can't let the herd go hungry so I'm filling up hay mangers and nets as quick as they empty them. Thankfully my farmer friend Alan delivered another big round bale today, I am getting through the small ones so fast this was a very welcome arrival.

Paul has been in at work today and managed to get there which was good or bad depending on how you look at it. Without the 4x4 it wouldn't have been possible though.

Whilst he was at work I was out with the camera. Here is Loki enjoying a little treat from my mum, who hasn't managed to get home yet because of the weather.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Snow, snow and more snow

This morning we woke to the heaviest snow fall I think I have ever seen. It looks like it will be ages before the poor animals see grass again.
This photo doesn't show the full extent of the snowfall, we have over a foot and it has been falling on and off all day. Our camera isn't the best but I thought I'd share a few photos never the less.