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Crofting

Eggs in Incubator

Set 22 eggs in the incubator. Mix of Cuckoo Marans and Copper Blue Marans and Copper Black Marans all from our own flock!

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Crofting

Lambs

This year’s lambs are coming on well, all growing nicely with no health problems

 

All the ewes come to the bucket but Freya will feed from the hand, she’s not been bottle fed but has always been sociable and unafraid of people,

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Crofting

Garden Flowers

The garden is now in bloom – the evening light makes for a good photo opportunity

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Crofting

and another one

Another lamb to the flock this evening, Bambi has lambed – healthy looking and black.

Nora is now in the byre with her 2 ewe lambs as they are looking fairly spindly and weak. Geese and goslings also closed up in the salmon bin

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Crofting

of lambs and goslings

 

 

 

Nora gave birth to twin lambs this morning both very small, we’ll have to get them in the byre overnight as it is still very cold and showery. Geraldine’s lamb, born 3 days ago, is looking very healthy, which is remarkable given the conditions.

Down to 4 goslings now – another one has succumbed to the cold and wet overnight. Will try to corral them into the salmon bin overnight to ensure that they stay safe and dry.

 

This is the worst weather for May that we have experienced since coming to Shetland 8 years ago, the animals are really suffering for it and the grass has stopped growing. Just hope is starts improving soon.

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Crofting

Bad weather

Day of horrendous weather – gale force winds and driving rain. Lost one gosling overnight and another later. Moved the geese from North Park to the salmon bin shelter on the rigs as they tried to cross the burn in flood and the goslings got swept down, which is what caused the second fatality. Subsequently lost a third gosling to a Raven – came out to see it flying off with gosling in it’s beak.

Had to move one ewe and lamb to the byre as it wasn’t doing very well outside in the wind and rain.

Also had to move another ewe as she was about to lamb in an inappropriate place, on the bank of the burn in flood between to ditches full of running water. With water logged ground behind her she was effectively on a island, one false stagger from the lamb and it would be swept away! She ,Geraldine, eventually lambed late in the evening when mercifully the worst of the weather had passed and we now have our 4th lamb of the season.

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Crofting

Tatties/Broad Beans Planted

Finally got the tatties in the ground today, ground still to wet to work extensively but dry enough to get the tatties in. They will still need to be mulched but that can be done over the next couple of weeks.  List of varieties listed below:-

    • Lady Christl
    • Anya
    • Casablanca
    • Romano
    • Cara
    • Rooster

Broad beans also planted out – they were sown in modules in the polytunnel in March and were desperate to get out.

Carrot bed also forked over, will need raking before planting but looking good.

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Crofting

2012 goslings

 

      

Our Faorese geese have hatched out 8 goslings who are now happily wandering around the park. Hopefully they’ll fare better than last year when they also hatched out 8 but only 3 made it to maturity the rest were lost to predators, most likely blackbacks or bonxies. It’s also fair to say that of the 3 that made it to adulthood only one survived past christmas (and very tasty they were too!). The survivor has joined the flock so there ae now 3 geese protecting the young which should enhance their chances of survival

               

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Crofting

New Lambs

Lambing is going reasonably well from our modest flock of Shetland sheep, we currently have 3 lambs from 3 ewes. Still have 5 more to lamb but as they were on the hill over winter not expecting them to lamb for another week or so, which is probably just as well given the atrocious weather we have had so far this spring!

                      

Unfortunately we did lose our oldest ewe during lambing, she was OK last thing at night but dead in the park in the morning – RIP Tornyear

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Crofting

The new year

Sunday 8th Jan seemed to be the first dry, still day we’ve had for weeks and we managed to get out and take some photos and do some work

The lambs are doing well and looking healthy, although they do seem to be permanently hungry.

The 4 ewes we have left in-bye have been tupped and I assume the 5 left to their own devices on the hill are fine. As soon as it’s a nice day I’ll take a walk to see if I can find them just to make sure.

 

Have you seen my ball?Waiting patientlyTaking a break

 

Dogs are enjoying a nice day (relatively) for a change, even Josh is growling less at the pups.

 

 

The colours of winterin need of a tidyReady to be cleared for new year

 

Nearly time to start work on the garden and polytunnel. We leave the old dead foliage and stems on for as long as possible in the garden to provide shelter and food for the birds. Started clearing the polytunnel beds ready for planting – early tatties will be planted at the end of the month.