Onto the worming on Friday after the Fecal Egg Count test results. Another test on the 21 ewes and shearling ewes indicated a low count, so treatment not necessary for them. It is poor procedure now to routinely drench your sheep, as worms are building up resistance.
We gathered them in, Dan held while I inserted the drenching tool into the back of their mouths and released the medicine. Of course the drenching tool I used didn’t quite fit this bottle so it also slowly dripped out on me. Dan them checked their feet and did a bit of routine trimming.
Shooting season has started and Saturday was the first day of our local village shoot. It was stir-up day and we did stir them up! 60 birds shot, our best day ever. Our little shoot has been going for 3 years now. It is not a typical shoot, rather a bit of a rag-tag affair. Although our gamekeeper, Gordon, is serious and dedicated, and the shoot is improving hugely. I beat with Hector my cocker spaniel. He is amazing, a wonder dog. But I am a poor master, and he doesn’t give a toss what I say. Other dogs are much better behaved, but Hector is well liked so I am forgiven for my poor dog control. After the shoot we had a lovely lunch in the pub, but for the rest of the season, the guns’ spouses, who all beat, too, take turns cooking lunch for everyone after the shoot. These lunches often last for hours!
The rest of the weekend I dedicated myself to apple juice making. We have a small crusher and press. All hand done, not electric! It takes quite a bit of time, from collecting apples (down through the week and stored in the cold room), to wiping them, cutting in half (throwing out rotten bits), crushing the apples, then pressing them down, with juice poring put into a bit bucket. I have very sore arms and shoulder muscles from the work. It is most helpful to grab a passing man who can twist down and get more juice extracted. I am pretty tough but a muscly man can do more, and I am glad for the help. 51 bottles so far. After filling bottles, they are pasteurised in my small bit of equipment bought for that purpose. The bottles are heated to 70 degrees, for 20 minutes. If bottles are not pasteurised the juice will ferment in the bottles and explode. Today I began collection again of apples and hope to make another 30 bottles.
Discovered a calf with the eye infection. We are moving them back up Crabbe Hill on Thursday so vet coming tomorrow to inject the eye. Matt will help, and hopefully the calf will be easier to restrain.
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.