PIP'S PAGE February 2008
What a fantastic week we have had. The sun has been shining and we have been working so hard getting things ready for spring. The incubators are switched on ready for some eggs from the ducks and hens.
The front field has been pasture topped, that means all the rushes have been cut so that when lapwings and other birds are looking for a nesting site they may consider our field. They don't like rushes all over the field as they can hide predators. They like to be able to see. Their eggs are really well camouflaged, usually 4 and each has its pointed end towards the centre.
The sheep are getting gently rounded now. The lambs are due to arrive from the 14th April. As they get larger we make sure that they have a quiet life. Joy makes me walk to heel and we walk ‘round' the sheep rather than through them. We need them to remain calm. If dogs ran and chased our sheep now it would probably cause them to lose their lambs and Joy would have no lamb crop. That would be a disaster.
The hens have been loving the sunshine they have been having dust baths right by my kennel and have been looking for tasty morsels on the muck heap. When it's really cold they scratch out a hollow in the manure pile and snuggle down in it as it is so warm. Mac and Joy are planning to restore the heat exchanger to working order. It will reduce their energy consumption by pre-heating the water for the central heating in the farm house.
Some of Joy's students from Alder Grange school have been making a solar panel for hot water in the meat processing room and toilets. They hope to have them ready for Science week at the end of March. The workmen have been finishing the new access gates for the ‘tramper' motorised wheelchairs. This had been a difficult task as the gates have to open effortlessly and always fall closed securely otherwise the sheep will get out.