18th March: This weekend saw the completion of our electrical installation work - I now have lights in all areas of my barn thanks to Douglas.
Anonymous twins and Topsy with triplets
When not lambing this was less important and I could manage with the lamps that still worked. But now we have replaced broken fittings and switches and bulbs and it's great. I use low voltage lamps and a 12-volt battery, which is pretty effective.
Also I moved the remaining hay to make room for setting up the lambing pens - swept and disinfected the floor, set up the pens yesterday and left the floor to dry. Unfortunately I did not latch one door properly so of course the ladies went in to inspect their new facilities.
However, they could not get into the pens thank goodness so I only had to clear up some re-arranged straw bales in the rest of the barn, before completing the pens with a layer of woodchip and then clean straw. The re-arranged straw went into the main barn as an extra layer on the deep litter which becomes the muck heap twice a year.
Last week was the start of the electrical work, with Douglas trying to do a professional job in agricultural circumstances. Bodges do last quite a long time sometimes! However, he persevered and began to win through. This took time so the yard was completely spring cleaned and I now have a nice pile of scrap metal, a nice pile of scrap timber and a much neater timber store. The store is for fence posts, fencing materials, gates, etc. and I probably don't need it all ... but you never know!
I have all the rest of the lambing kit, except need another box of gloves. If we end up with an abandoned lamb I shall need Milton solution and milk powder, but I have bottles and teats ... so now all the ladies need to do is deliver their lambs!
We also trimmed around the tails on three girls and dosed two for worms. The boys are OK though 2 have sore feet which they do not want me to look at. The girls are fine and well, but the one who had a horrible abscess on her leg is clearly no longer in lamb and I am slightly worried about one who is limping and thinner than she should be, but she is eating well, so will have to see how it goes. The old, non lambing, ten-minutes-a-day regime of yesteryear is now replaced by two visits a day, twice as much feed and plenty of close observation as we are now only a couple of weeks away from the due dates!