26th September: amazingly, not only was there sufficient sunshine to enable us to cut, turn and bale the hay but it is a lovely green, fresh crop. The bringing in from the field was a combined effort with truck and sheep trailer over two evenings with a friend to help on the second, which of course necessitated a trip to the pub and a pizza! Here is the barn 130 bales later .... very pleasing!
Also this is the time for comings and goings. I have sold two wethers, a ram lamb, two ewes and two ewe lambs for a new Gotland flock to be created on the Isle of Wight, Jonathan (Gotland ram above) has gone for an early bout of procreation with some Dartmoor Gotland ewes and Apollo (Blue-faced Leicester ram lamb pictured above waiting to be loaded) has gone off to the Mendips to undertake an important colour contribution to cross-breeding with Shetlands. Meanwhile, sadly, Sixpence has weakened and died, probably of a tumour as everything else was OK.
The wet has led me to treat for the lovely liver fluke for the first time for a number of years and the flock is looking all the better for it.
So next it will be Sonney going off to see about some ewes near Bodmin and then I have to sort out my own plans, which also of course entail keeping the right groups together, so it's a bit like those puzzle games when you slide things around to move one thing from one end to the other of the frame! I am working on the breeding plan and also may be able to swap a ram to get more variety of bloodlines.
Meanwhile I still have a lovely black Blue-faced for sale and possibly one or two others, including a couple of wethers, ideal for people wanting just the wool. Some more will have to go as the land will not support all the remaining 31 through the winter, even with the hay to help. All offers considered!