samedi 16 mai 2020

Sheep, chickens and bread

Yesterday was sheep shearing day and for the second year running it was preceded by a week of wet and cold weather. We confined the sheep to the bergerie (which they dislike) the day before to try and dry them out and crammed them together for 8 hours before the shearer arrived to get them to sweat, which makes shearing much more pleasant for both shearer and sheep. The new bergerie made everything much easier to do. We started with the largest sheep and worked down in size. At first things went well even the fleeces were still a bit damp, but after sheep number 9 (just shy of halfway through) it became clear that the smaller sheep just hadn't got warm enough in the cold weather and on so on the shearer's advice we halted proceedings....he'll come back in mid June to complete on a hotter day. As the main reason for our sheep is wool, it's best to get the best possible fleece removed.

Apache before...

and after.

Crow, looking dapper

"Who the hell are you?"...."Who the hell are YOU?"

For the last couple of weeks Susie has been turning her hand to making sourdough bread, and after a few attempts she's really cracked it - such delicious bread. No more shop bought bread for us, which is fantastic news as bread here is expensive and not particularly to my taste.

After the death of Mr Quince, our cockerel, we decided to get some more hens and a another cock. They arrived a couple of weeks ago. The new cockerel is white and like Quincy will be a huge bird once fully grown. We've named him "Clint" (aka Blondie). The hens are freckle, Bianca and Tiff. 

Unfortunately we think one of the hens had a respiratory illness (only spotted later) which she gave to Shelly who was soon very ill. We took her to the vet and then put her in confinement in the hatching/chick pen whilst we treated her with daily anti-viral injections. After 5 days she was much better and able to rejoin the others but meantime Honey was starting to wheeze, so they they changed places in the hatching/chick pen and she too was treated. Thankfully everyone is well again. There is still a bit of hen pecking go on between the established hens and the new arrivals, but finally they seem able to all put themselves to bed without too much aggro.


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