The Owl and The Pussy Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful 'red and white'(!) boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are!What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Edward Lear

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

More farm pictures

Life got in the way of me writing up days eight nine and ten!, but I did manage to take some pictures yesterday.
 Here's a little hay rack theme
This ones a freezer basket, and the pen partition it's nailed on to is an old door (cute lamb in the corner there too) These aren't great hay racks as the ewes often pull the hay out over the top, eat some and trample on the rest.
 This one is weldmesh and is in my favourite pens which are built of really chunky oak and rusty corrugated tin
 This is a proper 'brought from a shop' one, and so is the hurdle it's hanging on. I think there are about 6 of these racks on the farm (for 500 ewes!)
 .. and finally another piece of weldmesh nailed to another old door.
Actually these are very effective, quick and easy to fill and waste little if any hay. Oh yes, and of course the obligatory bits of baler string.
 This may look like a normal ewe (below) but, apart from the fact that one of the lambs is a bit small she won't let one of the lambs feed. This happens now and then, there are probably 4 or 5 on the the farm at the moment who are being difficult like this. In this case she has been left in the pen and someone has to hold her still while the lamb sucks. After a while she and the lamb get used to the routine and she will stand still while someone is nearby, hence I was able to back off and take this picture. After a few days, when the lamb is stronger and able to put up more of a fight and the ewe has got used to the idea of letting it suck she may accept it. If she's particularly difficult she will be put in the 'adaptor'. I'm not sure why it's called that, because really it's an 'adopter.
 here are two ewes in the adaptor. The one on the right has a harness on because she had a prolapse after her dead lamb was pulled out. she seems to be doing ok.
 and here's a close up. The main reason ewes are put in these is because they don't have a lamb for some reason and they are having lambs fostered onto them.

There is no way most ewes will allow a lamb that is not her own to suckle from her. The ewes are restrained and unable to move about or see the lambs. They have food and water and can lie down and stand up. Once the lambs have sucked for a few days they take on the smell of the ewe and she will accept it as hers. Amazingly this works in nearly all cases.

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