Roll on summer!
I can’t believe we are at the end of May! Where has the time gone? I have had a lull of guests since the Easter break but as of this weekend we are full steam ahead! With the exception of a week in June and a week at the end of August we are fully booked – which is excellent for my first year! There are still a few things we would like to do to the barn, such as put a door out to the garden and get the windows re-done but these are expensive things to do so we need to generate a bit of cash first! The good news is that after waiting 3 months BT have finally installed the phone line and so now we have both a phone and wifi in the barn. Initially there were a few teething problems (we lost broadband in the cottage for a few days!) but it looks like its settled down now. Its not terribly fast broadband as we are so far away from the exchange but it does work so keeping in touch with the outside world is possible!
I’ve got 3 more chickens, so that brings the total to 10 plus the 4 chicks! One of our new chickens is a bit special! Her name is Doris and she is a bit deformed and lives in a little world of her own! She’s very cute though and follows me around, a little bit too closely at times and I need to watch where I put my feet as she has a knack of putting herself under them! The chicks are doing well and growing at an alarming rate! I still don’t know what sex they are but I suspect I only have one girl! We ended up getting another Omlet eglu for the chicks as they had outgrown their maternity wing!
I’ve installed a couple of water butts as the chickens and dogs go through so much water, however, since putting them in it has hardly rained, in fact its been boiling! Isn’t it always the way!
I went to see some alpacas a couple of weeks ago and as I was early I stopped off at St Michael’s Mount. I didn’t go onto the island but it is amazingly beautiful and I’m looking forward to exploring it sometime.
A couple of weeks ago I went to the Cornish Bird of Prey Centre just up the road. It was really interesting and I got to see an Owl display! On the way home I got stuck in a typical Cornish traffic jam!!!!
Last week I went over to my friend Jaqui’s small holding to help her worm and ear tag her lambs. She is on her own so doing things like ear tagging lambs required an extra pair of hands – or as it turns out, more than an extra pair of hands! Unfortunately we picked a very very hot day (my car said the outside temperature was 27 degrees!) our first job was to get all the ewes and their lambs into the pen – there are 12 ewes and 19 lambs and the ewes are used to coming in to the pen for food – so we thought it would be straight forward – how wrong we were! We got two thirds of them in the pen so Jaq went to go and get the stragglers and as we opened the gate to let those ones in half of the ones we had in the pen legged it! It is surprising how quickly sheep can move when they want to! So we shut the few remaining sheep in the pen and went off to round up the sheep who by now were scattered all over the field and they quite simply refused to be rounded up! We ended up opening up another gate and got a few of them out into a channel between two fields! So we had 7 sheep in the pen, 4 in the channel and the rest still in the field! We started with the ones in the channel and set about tagging them – poor things they had to have 3 tags, 2 in one ear and 1 in the other! Then we wormed them and finally sprayed them to show which ones we’d done! (it is a bit of a design flaw in sheep as they all look the same!) With this breed of sheep, Wiltshire horned, they loose their fleece themselves so they don’t have to be shawn but the downside to this is the marks you spray on their bodies to identify them, come off! Anyway, after about an hour and a half we had done about half of the sheep! We were so hot, as were the sheep! We managed to get a few more into the channel, one lamb made a bid for freedom and managed to jump in with the ram “Edward”, fortunately for the lamb was a boy much to Edwards disappointment! We managed to get him out before unmentionable activity took place and set about tagging and worming the others! After about 3 and a half hours we had most of the lambs and ewes tagged and wormed and we sat down for a well earned sandwich and drink. Just as we had finished our lunch we heard a racket down in the chicken pens and ran down to see what was up, it turns out that Mr Fox had popped in for take away and Mavis the chicken, who would not stay in any pen, paid the ultimate price. It made me really worry about my chickens! All in all we had a good day with lots of laughs, we got most of the sheep and lambs done and got a good start on the sun tan! Next year we are going to do the tagging when the lambs are smaller!
I have friends down this weekend along with guests arriving at the barn, so its going to be a busy one! I have some fun stuff planned with my friends, including a segway tour with Hendra Segways!
The Royal Cornwall Show is on next week too – so I am really looking forward to going there, fingers crossed for good weather!
Bye for now x