Sunday, 17 April 2011

Emily Ist Vet student has finished

Emily the first vet student finished her 3 weeks yesterday, she spent much of her time at Princetown and seemed to love it there, she was a very capable girl and adapted well into the 'Cole Ciaos'
Emily and Ida have some time out on the ponies

Friday, 15 April 2011

Cattle away to grass

With the grass growing fast and spring really in the air cattle are getting restless in their winter quarters, any chance to escape is tried when a yard gate is opened.  Over the last 10 days younger cattle have been transported to various fields, being careful not to place to many together in case it should come wintery again and the grass stops growing, to many feet can make an awful mess in a field should it come wet again.
I wish that farmer would go away and leave us in peace
With young cattle gone the cows have more space for calving, as soon as a calf is born and suckled from mum, the pair are taken out of the shed and put into a field with good grass to encourage her to milk well.

Cleaning time again

Lucy, Janet and Harry (here for a week) clean out the pens yet again, there has been some rain therefore the pens get messy much quicker, wet and warm means fast breeding ground for disease.
New mums and babies watch as humans clean up
Hopefully this could be the last time for a thorough clean and disinfect as there are less than 40 sheep in the lambing shed left to lamb tonight 3 Whiteface Dartmoors and the rest Scotties. The Scottish Blackface ewes that live on the commons most of the year are lambing a pace in Chubb Tor fields, Mat and Janet go twice a day to check them (they do not like human interferance). Any problem mums are brought back to the lambing shed for assistance or forstering should they have had a stillborn lamb. This is the last bunch of ewes to lamb, the end is in sight  ''thank goodness'' we all echo. Everyone is very tired and tempers are short.

Another week and a bit flies by

Where to start, prehaps from the car fiascos or continuation of it, would you believe a forth car went into our hedge on the very same night and it was left beside the road for a few days. Look at it below windows smashed and back seat pinched, it was finally moved on Wednesday 13th , all the smashed glass was left on the moor for cattle, sheep and ponies to eat ''thank you thoughtful people''
This car won't go anywhere again I think

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Nearly a week and a lot has happened

The third car, as predicted, has this evening (9 pm ish) gone around the right hand bend or rather not gone around and looks rather crumpled beside our gateway, anyway hopefully thats the end of the incidents with vehicles for a while.
It has been really wet here today with thick Dartmoor mist, impossible to see the ewes and lambs in the fields until nearly driving over them on the quad bike. One or two lambs have met their maker because of the wet and cold, the little ones that were not so strong or lacked milk from mum. Foxy is still taking his share of lambs to, at both Greenwell and the Prison Farm, this is really frustrating, after we work hard to get them born and into the fields, also each one is a financial loss, next autumns income. The positive out of all the rain is the fields are really greening and trees are bursting into leaf.

Neil's wife Anna has had to have the vet today for a young horse that they think has got Colic, hopefully it will  be ok, Emily is to stay at Princetown tonight just in case they need help, leaving new arrival Janet, a vet student from Hong Kong to hold the fort here.
Janet letting a lamb feed from a un co-operative mum
I have been  to the Exeter Rural Payments Agency (RPA ) office this afternoon to try to sort out the last of our field maps with errors on before the latest 2011 Single Payments Scheme(SPS) forms can be completed. You never know we might even get paid for last years as well !  its only 4 months overdue. Wonderful efficiency in government departments these days, how much does it all cost? I wonder. As a Commoners Association  we have been trying to get Meavy commons registered and  mapped to allow entry into an environmental management scheme, this has been going on for at least 18 months if not more, one does tend to lose the plot !! Anyway I'd better stop there and just say the gentleman who I met with today was very helpful, lets hope the systems he has to work within will deliver.

Finally, just to say that the first calves were born on Sunday night 3 here and 3 at the Prison Farm, that bull must have been working overtime when he first met the cows and one of those wonderfully friendly heifers in the sheep shed calved on Monday night and is very proud of her new baby.