Saturday, November 24, 2007

Santa Clause is coming to .. the farm

Right, I officially know its nearly Christmas now because Santa is at the farm! XD
I got there at 8.40 - I was late because the lane has been shut because of road works so I had to walk down, I told Greg and he went and put up diversion signs for customers.
We cleaned out the pigs and gave them all their food and water really quickly then rushed to do the goats waters. I did the first sit-ons and not many people came so I had to go looking for them - I think Santa is more exciting than Me + Diamond :( and Dolly wasn't even there because she's starring in the Nativity!
The goat kids, Jacob sheep + Dolly have all been moved down to be in the Nativity scene where the children act it all out then sing to wake up Santa. I remember doing it when I was little, used to be so much fun!!
I cleaned out the duck pond with my Santa hat on and had a little audience aswell!
We had quite a big clean up of all the goats, sheep, chickens and quail and swept the whole farm for all the Christmassy visitors we're expecting. I fed and watered all the chickens which was good.
Durng the sit-ons after lunch there were children all gathered around Rudolph + Prancer the Reindeers' paddock singing to them and rattling their jingle bells - then we had a massive swarm of people come over to us.
We did some lamb walking and the lambs are getting really strong - a bit too strong so we had 2 children on each lead, and as we started to walk back from the play area to the sheep building Lavender and Boy George went crazy and started running, the children couldn't keep up so we told them to let go and the lambs ran straight back into their pens :)
More sit ons, I took Lady Sarah down to the field, cleaned out her stable and left at 4.15.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Empty ...

I've just done 8.30-4 at Ash End and the whole atmosphere at the farm has changed.
Loads of the animals have gone - apparently the lorry came in the week to take them off to 'market'.
In the goat building Mary, Anastasia Angora and 2 goat kids (they have gone to market) have gone, apparently Mary has ringworm and a cyst on her face - shes the one I'm most gutted about from all of the animals on the farm, she was the first goat I ever milked and I 'broke' her when she got mastitis, she really had a personality and I think she recognised us.

In the sheep only Beatrix Beltex has gone because she's old, she used to sit in the corner and couldn't move very well. Some of the mixed breed chickens and cockerels have gone because there were too many for the farm, and the ill Guinea Fowl from Board-a-Bunny has been taken aswell. The chest freezers full of chickens, rabbits, goat kids, piglets and who knows what else have all been emptied aswell - sent off to be incinerated.
Rodney the 'pigeon guinea pig' died of natural causes aswell last night. Joan and Bob are away on holiday.
We just had to get on with jobs as usual with a few empty pens around the place. I went and cleaned out the pigs with Greg first, gave them all water, and then gave the goats water while Sammy did their hays and straw, then we did the same with the sheep. We sorted a few of the goat pens out and let the others have the space from Anastasia, the kids and Mary's pens.
We did the first sit-ons and then took some lambs for a walk which was fun. I picked Paddy + Claudius' feet, and Sam had to help hold up Claudius, then we hibi scrubbed Paddy + Sarah's legs.
The goats milk from last year was all bottled up and put in chest freezers for this years use - they had 3 power cuts so the milk has all gone off and Greg asked me + Sam to empty it. It was full of maggots and rotten milk which we had to scoop out into the bins and get as clean as we could!
At the end of the day me + Sam shut down the farm, we took Peony out from being with Gorse (the male goat) and put Blackberry in with him - hopefully some more goat kids will be on the way in a couple of months. I took Samson out to the field and cleaned out his + Sarahs stables.
Not the best day, but it all had to be done and I can understand why but they didn't mention it last week.

The health inspector is coming on Monday -coincidence?