LAYING HEDGES AND CRUTCHING EWES
Spring is in the air. We have had dry weather for several days, and some lovely sunshine.
Dan finally moved two beehives away from the barn where I lamb, halter train sheep, etc. Apparently it is okay to move bees 3 feet or 3 miles, but anything in between is trickier. He is moving the two hives down near the ponds, and hopefully the bees won’t be too upset. I am not allergic to anything..that is until his bees discovered me last summer. After several bee stings and a rather nasty reaction, (see earlier blogs), I have requested their removal from my work area! I do hope they survive and we get all that honey Dan has promised.
Dan and Richard have been very busy laying hedges. The hedgerows on our farm had been neglected for many years. Although badly overgrown, many can still be restored. It will take several years, and Dan is planting many new young plants to fill in gaps. All hedge laying must cease by the end of March so nesting, etc is undisturbed. The newly laid hedges look very beautiful and as they fill in over the years, these hedgerows provide a magical home for all sorts of insects, birds and little creatures like the dormouse and hedgehog.
Lambing will begin in only two weeks. I ‘crutch’ my ewes before they lamb, that is trim all the wool around their back sides and their tail. The new born lambs will have an easier time finding the teats and it makes the whole birthing process a bit cleaner and tidier. Archie and I have used hand held shearers in the past to trim all that wool. It is hard work and probably more stressful for the ewe than using a properly trained sheep shearer. So a fellow Portland owner came to my rescue and the job was done in no time.
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Jo Stover has daily adventures on her small farm, together with her Highland cattle and Portland sheep, bees, a few hens, dogs, and some two-legged family and friends.