Last Tuesday Ember (the last of the sheep to lamb) pushed out her three! They were all girls and DD was keen to hand raise one (supposedly for pet day in a few months). We left all three on the mother for a few days, after making sure that she could count to three. However, DW noticed that the first girl out was not growing as fast as the other two – probably because she was forgetting to go and feed before the other two drank mum dry. So it evenutated that DD (and DW) is now hand raising Hanna (yep, no second ‘h’, as was her choice).
Hanna lives on the South deck where the dogs are tied up at night – she is shut in an area which we have arranged for the birds (in a cage) and the cat food (so the dogs can’t get at it). The dogs are used to the lamb now, so all is working well. Lyric, our grey cat, spends most of her time in the orchard with the chooks and (occasionally) sheep. When it comes time to eat, she has no problem going in with the lamb and jumping up on the table to get at her food. Midnight (Lyric’s sister), on the other hand, spends most of her time indoors and only really goes out to eat and toilet. Even when I carry midnight out to the food and put her on the table (with the lamb on the ground ignoring her) she panics and runs away. I figure that she’ll eventually get hungry enough that she will put up with Hanna.
On Friday this week we had the opportunity to get three Murray Grey calves (all boys) from a nearby farm. We are currently working on getting one of them to latch on to Daisy (to go with Hobble, also a Murray Grey) so that DW doesn’t have to go out and traipse through the mud each morning to ensure that Daisy is emptied out (Hobble was only drinking off one or two teats at this stage).
The other two, temporarily (but probably permanently) named Bill and Ben are being hand raised nearer to the house. They appear to have taken to this well and are enjoying their new found paddock in the sun.
Saturday was a trip into the local timber mill to get wood chips (for Bill and Ben to sleep on, out of the mud) and I also got some fence posts while there. I figured that this year I should really make a start on putting some proper fences in the back section of the property – that will make it easier to bring the cows in when they really don’t want to (as we found just a few short months ago).
So now we have DD doing four-hourly feeds with Hanna (6am through to 10pm), with the 2am feed being done by DD on the weekend and DW on school nights. DD is already feeling the effects of broken sleep.
In addition to that, every morning and afternoon DW is bringing Daisy in, to make sure that (no name) is getting a feed (with Hobble), and then goes off to feed Bill and Ben before heading back to Daisy to let her out of the milking bay. Today, after the morning feed in the milking bay, Hobble and partner are in the paddocks with Daisy, so if she lets (no name) feed with Hobble out in the open, then that will be one thing that DW won’t have to do. Hopefully this stage won’t take too long.