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Farm shop opening times:
Mon & Tues - closed
Wed - Sat - 10am till 3pm
Sun - 10am till 11.30am
Pork butchery - 27th September
Pie making - 4th October
Sausage making - 25th October
Gammon curing - 22nd November
Pie making - 6th December
Three bird roast - 13th December
Busy lambing season!
April got off to a tough start as a few of our ewes began prolapsing and aborting their lambs prematurely. Prolapses can usually be treated with a device which holds everything in place until the lambs are ready to be born, sadly, this year, we did lose a couple of ewes through prolapses. As the flock neared their due date the number of prolapses decreased and the difficult births began. Our ewes are Lleyn sheep which are small and well suited to the hills. They have slim lambs and usually give birth relatively easily, with very little intervention from ourselves; this year lambs were stuck with heads and legs back or coming breach (backwards) and every ewe had to be watched. When lambs come back first or with head and legs back the ewe will not give birth to them on her own and would probably die in labour. We need to quickly move the lambs into the correct position, preferably nose and front feet first, to give the lambs and ewe the best chance of survival. Of the 180 pregnant ewes 163 have lambed to date. We have 287 lambs with their mothers and a further 40 bottle fed lambs. The bottle fed lambs are usually born as triplets. Ewes are ideally suited to rearing twins, if they have 3 lambs we will bottle feed one. This year we also had two sets of quadruplets. We’re putting the high number of lambs and difficult births down to the mild winter! The pregnant ewes were fat, they haven’t lost much condition over winter, and they were having big lambs. On top of assisting more births, bottle feeding 40 lambs every few hours is hard work and we were glad when the lambs were strong enough to feed themselves from our lamb feeder. Lamb feeders are buckets of formula milk with teats attached, the lambs help themselves to the milk and up to 6 can feed at anyone time. This said we had plenty of help over the Easter weekend when we opened our farm gates to the public. Over the weekend around 300 visitors fed lambs, collected eggs and enjoyed the glorious Spring sunshine! Holmfirth Scouts ran a pop up cafe raising funds for their trip to the Italy Dolomites later in the summer.
We head into May tired but glad our hard work has paid off. We were gutted to discover some of the dry stone walls had been pushed over and litter left strewn around. This mindless act has created more work - cleaning up and skilfully rebuilding the walls.
For May we shall finish lambing then turn our attention to the land. Fertiliser has been spread on our silage fields and our forage fields will be ploughed and sown with turnip seed ready for next winter. The barns are now empty ready to be cleaned out for the summer where we shall be hosting weddings and a band in the barn fundraiser for Holmfirth Scouts. If you are interested in joining us for the band in the barn on June 29th please contact Lisa Dalton on 07818078324 for details and tickets.