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May 2017

Although we’ve finished lambing now, we have four orphan lambs to feed 3 times a day and having clipped a few sheep, spotted a gimmer with a bag (translation: young female sheep with an udder). No idea how that happened but by the look of her, she’ll lamb very soon.  Having been pretty much focused on ewes and lambs for the past two months, and working 16-18 hour days, it’s been quite a struggle to find the energy for all the other jobs that need attention… and then we get sidetracked anyway! Last week, Tony came round with some fertilised goose eggs, so we’ve got two incubators running and 19 eggs slowly rotating for 28 days. We will ‘candle’ them soon to see if they’re developing. I have to say that it’s just magical to shine a torch on an egg and see a life developing in there. Over the last week, we’ve been taking our cattle out. We have to keep most of them in over winter otherwise our fields would be mud baths with nothing green left for them to eat in Spring. When we do let them out, it’s wonderful to see mature animals prancing and klicking their heals together like Fred Astaire. For the calves, it’s a whole new world to discover. Not all our animals stay close to home – we do a lot of conservation grazing for various organisations. So, at the moment you can see some of our cattle at Hay Bridge Nature Reserve in Bouth and some on The Helm in Kendal which is owned by Friends of the Lake District. The pastures closer to home have to provide food for the coming winter; in the form of silage. It is time for the grass to grow thick, sweet and full of goodness.