Monday 21 May 2018

Plant Of The Month For May

I bought my May plant at our local village plant fair 
 Abutilon Megapotamicum
 Bit of a mouthful, common name is Trailing Abutilon
I love the flowers on it  they remind me of chinese lanterns,
More details of the plant can be found here 
With all this gorgeous weather we are being spoilt with I am up to date on outside jobs
 giving me plenty of time to work on the pretty garden, creeping buttercup and hairy bittercress are the worse invasive weeds here 
 I am making headway through the borders clearing out as much as possible to try and prevent them for seeding and spreading even more, as sections of borders are cleared I am topping them off with a thick mulch of Alapca poo, I did lose a few plants over that cold winter we had but on the whole most have survived and pests so far are minimal.

Wednesday 16 May 2018

Just Kidding Around

Kidding is now finished for this year
5 Does 3 Billys.
For Helen it will be her last kidding
 Things were not going well when she started to kid on Thursday and I had to call the vet out, she was bleeding a lot and kids were not coming.
It was a horrific delivery her kids had badly presented and the blood was coming from a tear in her uterus, she was going down hill quickly and once the kids were out the vet told me she wasn't going to make it and it would be better to put her to sleep, I wasn't ready to give up and asked them to do a hysterectomy, to be told they don't do them on goats but I pushed for it, Sam the vet phoned ahead to the vet centre and they got theatre ready for her, Helen and kids were bundled into the back of my car and they were waiting at the door for her when we arrived, Colostrum had already been milked off and the nurse took the kids for a feed, Helen was taken straight into theatre. I got a call a few hours later she had come through the operation and come round from the anaesthetic, she had a 10 inch tear in her uterus and lost a lot of blood, they kept the little family in overnight and I collected them in the morning,
 Kids in a crate with Helen in the back of the car.
 Once home they were settled into there own little stall away from interference from any curious kids.
Helen was on a lot of pain relief she had a very big incision, top up feeds had to be given to the kids so they didn't become too hungry and start butting her for feeds.
 Enid and the other kids were very curious what was happening in the stall, but they were sent away and would just have to wait to meet the new arrivals.
 1 doe 1 billy who took to there new bed under a heat lamp so mum could rest up and recover.
 Sunday evening saw the arrival at last for Connies triplets all a good size 2 billys and 1 doe no complications.
 Monday we got all the pens cleaned out the new mums were bedded down on lots of clean straw with there kids
 and Helen got moved into a new pen in the main part of the goat house so everyone could meet her kids.
and Tuesday Helen got to go outside first time post op and her kids got to enjoy the sunshine for the first time, Friday we will take her to get her stitches out. She is managing very well with the kids and is being a good mum.

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Eggs Eggs and Hatching

We have had a few daytime attacks on the chickens by a fox, one attack the fox tore open the netting on the run and had three of the chooks, this has depleted the numbers of our egg layers to 4.
 I purchased a large incubator, this one holds 96 eggs, my other one only holds 9, this one also is on two layers with two separate heating fans, automatic egg turners that can be controlled independantly, humidity control and alarm, heat control and alarm and it counts down the days, to top it all it cost £51 with free delivery were my smaller one cost me £60 a couple of years ago
 If I am going to hatch eggs I need to do them in greater numbers, if I set 9 I might get 6-7 hatch out of that two thirds would be cockerels leaving me with just a couple of hens. 
I have 18 of our eggs in the incubator and 16 ducks eggs of various breeds I am aiming to get all the hatching over with in one go.

 Yesterday I was candling the eggs to check for viability, this is one of the duck eggs and so far everything seems fine with embryo's developing, I will do another check next week and eliminate any that dont look right.
 I have had a load of pallet collars arrive some of which will be used to make brooders while they are under heat.
 I am also going to be trying out nipple drinkers with the chicks.
 I am also going to try a heating plate in one brooder and the heat lamp in the other. 
next thing to do is to get some more Ross Cobb meat chicks and raise those at the same time getting all the hatching and raising over with in one go. 
We have had one hatching 
 The doves who are still living in the safety of the fruit cage started to nest again
 Here is another ugly dodo chick a week old I do think doves produce ugly chicks and have awful messy nests. 
We do have plans afoot to move the Doves will tell you about it as it happens.

Monday 7 May 2018

Carry On Goating

We have had some right goat shenanigans going on
 Connie who is as wide as she is long was due to kid last Friday,

 still no kids
 Her udder is fit to burst and is now touching the ground
 Helen is due to kid end of this week, she is big and cumbersome and spends her time grumbling how uncomfortable she is.
 The expectant mammas are really feeling it in this heat, to help them out I fixed up the solar powered fan in the goat house.

 Thelma's triplets are thriving and coming on great, full of energy and mischief
nap time is spent curled up together inside the old tree stump

Enid is still playing at aunty and doing a brilliant job so much so 
 she is now producing milk and supplementary feeds the kids
 Of course mum Thelma is still feeding them as well.
With two mums to feed them they cant do anything but thrive.
 Thelma doesn't seem to mind the arrangement and Enid is in her element with the kids.
The old tree stump which in fact is still a living tree is home to another family of triplets further up the tree these babies are also full of mischief.