Here are some photos taken this evening, as I was doing my penultimate round of the day.
Saturday was one of these insanely busy days that seem to be cropping up too often these days!
The day started with lamb number 2 awaiting me on my first round of the day.
As usual, I had to collect the eggs. I got a new hen house on Friday and the big cat just had to have a look around it.
The sheep have all been moved into the lambing fields and I had to move the big bale down with them too – no point wasting it.
We moved it with the tractor transport box, quite easy really!
My afternoon was broken up by football. I play in goal for Ness and we had a pre-season friendly against a local Welfare team. We won 9-1, so it was quite straightforward. It wasn’t the busiest afternoon I’ve had between the sticks…
My brother, Murdo, is home for a week too. I think he’s agreed to give me a hand one day doing some bits and bobs. He hates having his photo taken but I did snap him driving the tractor last night!
So that was Saturday. I had a wee night out in the Social Club and won £100 – great coming home with a profit – checked the sheep at 1am and was back in bright and early after 6.
Now to rest and get ready to do it all again tomorrow!
Here’s your answer:
Madainn Mhath! Lamb No. 2 has arrived on this fine, crisp morning. Nice male lamb. This signifies the start of lambing for real, after the surprise arrival on Wednesday.
Been a very busy day here. I forget that I’m on holiday and I have to pace myself. Every year, I end up working my backside off in the first day or two and burning myself out. Well, today I forgot.
Cleaned out the barn with my father before 10am (and before breakfast), now I have to get a lambing pen or two set up there, along with the one (2 at a squeeze) in my own shed.
I bought a new hen house today and got cracking with painting it.
Pretty good job, I reckon. Looks good and there are now a few hens inside for the night.
I moved the sheep into the lambing fields, ready for the off in the next day or two, and sorted out all the hoses and sinks, to make sure the sheep have enough water. It’s been bone dry here for the last 10 days and we’re apparently not due any rain until the 10th of April. Unheard of!! I hope the grass will start growing then!
Now that the initial excitement of the first lamb has died down, I’ve suddenly realised that there is a problem!! The lamb’s dad isn’t who it’s supposed to be!!
Here is a picture of my three rams. The lamb’s mother is a Blackface was sent to the Cheviot (the big one with the white face), but the lamb doesn’t show ANY characteristics of a Cheviot/Blackface cross, instead the lamb looks pure Blackface. You will notice that there is a Blackface ram amongst the 3 too…..
I remember now what happened. This Blackface Ram is a bit…..keen. He got in with some ewes 2 days before I let the rams out properly. He obviously had his wicked way with this one before I caught him and put him back in his place
I am down in Uist as part of the day-job just now, so I took the opportunity to visit my former BBC colleague, Iain Stephen Morrison, this evening. He has some pedigree Zwartbles, which are some of the cutest lambs I’ve ever seen, along with a cracking commercial flock too. Very impressed with the whole setup. You can see plenty pictures of his Zwartbles on his Uist Zwartbles Facebook page
Here is a picture I have ‘borrowed’ from his facebook page, of himself and one of last year’s Zwartble lambs.
It never really hit home how different crofting is in Lewis and Harris, compared to Uist. Our two main crofts in Ness are nearly 20 acres in total, whereas I heard a 40 acre croft in Uist classed as “small” today. Eye-opening stuff, a world apart from what we do.
It gave me some food for thought, though, as to my own breeding plans. I might think outside the box this year, especially after how disastrous the last 6 months have been. Loads of ideas now, just need to think things through!
Well, that’s the end of a crap day. Just home from burying the Gimmer at 9.30pm. I had noticed a chicken earlier that was coughing, spluttering and rasping, so I moved her into the shed. She was still there around 9.10 when my dad and I went to bury the Gimmer. We buried her and I was going to send the chicken out with him to put in the barn overnight, but she’d dropped dead on me too! Not a good day and hopefully no other hens will be suffering.