Sunday 30 December 2018

Heidi and Hetty - a perfect Christmas Present

Say hello to Heidi and Hetty; two Herdwick ewes that Chris surprised me with on Christmas morning.

In the middle of Christmas Day lunch preparations .... aarrhh.... Chris tricked me into going out on to the yard to (supposedly) give him a hand to turn some tups.  'Just go in the building and send them out', he said.

And there they were, festooned with silver tinsel, my very own Herdwick ewes.  And in lamb too!

I was speechless.  I love them to bits.

So what to call them?  I had loads of suggestions from lots of my Facebook friends and finally decided on Heidi and Hetty.
They stayed indoors for a couple more days and now they are running with some of our Pry House sheep in the pasture opposite the house where I can see them from our upstairs windows.

This morning I went with Chris to fodder the sheep.  
They love sugar beet cubes and a bit of good hay and join our Swaledale sheep to get their share.

Spot the odd ones out! 
They are very different to our Swaledales.  Bigger with heavy boned, short legs, large feet and deep, dense fleece.  They are grand sheep.  No horns, of course, which means I'll NEVER be able to catch them.  Hard enough to catch with horns so I don't stand a chance!

I am quite infatuated by them.  Watch this space for progress reports of how they are settling in, scanning results and lambing etc.

P.s.  Happy New Year!

Sunday 23 December 2018

Happy Christmas from Swaledale

Its almost Christmas! 
The preparations are in full swing at Pry House Farm for a family Christmas whilst at 
Hillcrest Cottage our guests make themselves at home in readiness for Christmas in the dales.

Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, Muker Silver Band will come to Pry House and play Christmas carols at our door before winding their way down to Muker to play outside the Farmer's Arms.

I may have been busy for weeks but this truely is the start of Christmas for me.

Chris and I wish all our guests and blog followers a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful 2019.  Till next year ..... cheers!

Friday 14 December 2018

Preparing for Winter

When you live on a hill farm, high up in the Yorkshire Dales, when its been frosty all day and the forecast is for a very wintry couple of days to come its reassuring to know the dairy is well stocked (even if some of it is for Christmas!), the freezer is full and the log store is plentiful.

And the same preparations are made for the sheep and cattle but much, much sooner.  During the summer  the hay and silage that was made on those hot July days is stored it away safely to feed our stock during the long winter months ahead.  

Tuesday 4 December 2018

What happens in Autumn at Pry House Farm?

Autumn is an important time on the farm.  It is when all the stock sales take place. 
It is an anxious time - we want our sheep to do well, we work hard all year round for our place in the market but there are many factors that affect prices; shortage of fodder due to the dry summer, the 'B' word (Brexit!), supply and demand.  Happily our ewes sold well and our tups did okay.  The lamb sales come next and as I write, Chris has just set off with the first lambs for Kirkby Stephen mart.

 Our sheep are not merely gathered in, loaded into a trailer and sent to auction.  On the contrary, they are meticulously tidied up for the sales and presented looking their best.

Autumn is also tupping time when we put the tups (rams) to the female sheep.

Tupping generally takes place out in the fields but sometimes the ewes are brought to him.  Here he is scenting out which ewes are in season and in a jiffy the job will be done.  Our tups have worked well and I have been forewarned by Chris to expect to be very busy during lambing time next year!

 In the meantime we hope for a kind winter.  However, whatever comes our way, the daily round of jobs continue. Its 24/7 as they say!