Wednesday 29 April 2015

Why Are We Waiting?

The bad weather has prevented us from getting some of the sheep and their lambs out of the building and into the fields.  While they wait .....
Some take the laid back approach.

Some look for a safe haven.

Others are more boisterous!!


Lambing Hard & Working Hard

More snow fell overnight and not just on the high tops.  This morning all our lambing fields were covered in snow, not a good night to come into the world but five pairs of twins and one single did just that.  They all needed bringing indoors.  Although the snow disappeared quite quickly its been a cold day with frequent wintery showers so we have been unable get any sheep & lambs out into the fields. 
The lambing sheds are full to bursting ....
All beds in the hospital wing are taken .....
and three pet lambs in the nursery!
(One of these is the tiny triplet born six days ago.  More about him later).

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Pry House Farm - Bird Watching Paradise

The fields, pastures, riversides and skies are a constant source of bird activity. 
Foddering, flying, nest building, swooping and calling there's so much to observe on the farm at this time of year. 

What is not so easy to see is the fabulously well camouflaged nests
made by the many ground nesting birds we have on the farm.


The woodcock's plumage is beautiful and blends perfectly with the dried grasses and reeds making it almost impossible to spot. 

This nest belongs to a lapwing and is cleverly woven and hidden in a clump of short reeds.   

What a difference a week makes!

Last week the sheep were basking in beautiful sunshine, day after day ...
This week they huddle close to the walls to shelter from the snow, wind & sleet.

This double walled 'race' at the side of home field affords excellent shelter
for the sheep and their lambs.

Settling down for the night the ewe ensures her lamb is safely tucked in between her and the wall.

There's Snow In Them There Hills!

This is not what we wish for when in the thick of lambing.
The tops have whitened up, we are having constant snow showers and its bitterly cold.
 Cumbrian hill farmers .......

... and those in Upper Teesdale

are faring no better.

Monday 27 April 2015

One man & his dog, one man & his quad moving sheep with twin lambs.

Table Manners!

"Just who does she think she is standing in the feeder like that?"

"Take no notice of her, dear.  She has no table manners at all!"

Saturday 25 April 2015

Meet Titch!

Tiny Titch (standing in the foreground) is a very tiny lamb indeed.  Unlike our first set of triplets who were very evenly sized this ewe had a big one, a medium one and a very tiny one. 
Titch is just a little scrap in comparison to his big brother!

He sleeps a lot and is being bottle fed but his mother is still protective of him.

Regardless of his size his mother can only rear two lambs.  Hopefully, one day soon, he will be strong enough to be 'mothered on' to a ewe who needs a lamb.

Three, Two, One ....

Our most recent triplets are 2 days old.

This pair of twins, born this afternoon, are on their feet and suckling at less than an hour old! 

A brand new single getting lots of attention from its mother. 
The ewe has been licking her lamb furiously since the moment it was born. 
Licking has several benefits.
1.  It helps in the bonding process.
2. The fleece dries quickly so the lamb doesn't get cold.
3. It promotes circulation enabling the lamb to get to its feet very quickly to suckle.
All vitally important factors particularly for lambs born outside in all weathers. 

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Good Things Come in Threes!

Its just turned eleven o'clock and on Chris' final check round of the night he found one of the shearings (first time mum) giving birth to triplets.
There's a big one, a medium sized one and a very small one.

The ewe is very motherly and bonding with all three but the tiny one is very tiny ...
 Its fingers crossed time...

Saturday 18 April 2015

A very busy lambing day

Chris has had a record number of lambs born today.  54 and 30 of them before breakfast!
Early this morning he spotted a ewe with three lambs.  She had been scanned for twins so this
 was quite a surprise. 
Three very new lambs.


Dry, well fed and snuggling up for the night.

Saturday 11 April 2015

Its beginning to look a lot like lambing time!

24 hours to go!
This is the hospital wing - beds are made, bottles ready, buckets full.
Bring it on!
Jan is a lovely dog. 
She loves being around the stock and is better suited to being a yard dog than a moor dog.
A dog who can patiently stare out a ewe is an invaluable asset particularly when 'mothering on' an orphan lamb.  The ewe is so distracted by the dog that she pays no attention to the 'cuckoo in the nest' and by the time she does she thinks its her own lamb and accepts it.  Just exactly what we want to happen!

Ladies in waiting - all waiting to have twins!

Tuesday 7 April 2015

Take a Peep into Pry House Farm B&B

Here are a few of my favourite things...
The stone shelves we discovered when we renovated the house in 2005

I love warm colours like orange, yellow and tan...

 ... and collecting vintage plates and pottery that reflect the fields & meadows surrounding Pry House

I love the unusual presents my sister gives me (all farming related!) ...

..... and our beautiful pitch pine doors and making pretty 'proddy' items out of scraps of material.

But most of all I love my vintage dolls house.  It was bought before the war for two lucky little girls (my mum and her sister) from Hamleys of London and transported by rail to Darlington Station.  In turn my sister and I played with it but now it lives in the master ensuite bedroom and ....

I'm perfectly happy for guests to take a peek inside, play, rearrange the furniture and enjoy it. 
It may be over 70 years old but it was bought as a toy and its meant to be played with.  Have fun!

Sunday 5 April 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For!

Yesterday as I drove up the dale there seemed to be lambs everywhere.  Twitter is full of nothing but lambing and we are still a week off starting till today that is .....
This pair of twins were born this morning.  They are 2 weeks early and their mother has not been in good shape for several days.  Chris thought they would be born dead but they are very much alive.
The ewe should start to improve now that she has got her lambs out but in the meantime the lambs are under the heat lamp and being tube fed every couple of hours.
The tup lamb is bigger and stronger and already bleating and trying to get on his feet.  I will bottle feed him next time as he has a good sucking instinct.  The little gimmer may take a bit longer.
Thanks Amanda Owen (Yorkshire Shepherdess) for some 'first milk' to get them going.