Bottte Feeding Matilda the Lamb

Bottte Feeding Matilda the Lamb

Matilda’s mum only has half a working udder so we’re bottle feeding
Matilda twice a day at Watermill Cottages smallholding and teaching her to eat lamb food… She comes
running and bouncing when you call her name… why does bottle feeding a
lamb make everyone so happy!

Teaching Matilda to eat solids is not easy – she is easily distracted and likes to jump for joy… the Belted Galloways, last year’s calves, are not impressed…  Matilda was born in mid-February, she’s thriving we’re happy to report.  She’s in the sheep shed at the moment but shall soon be in the field next to the kitchen garden, behind Barleycorn Cottage, where there’s plenty of fresh grass for a growing lamb and her mum.

   

Hens on wheels …

Hens on wheels …

checking out the ‘Hentrance’

John’s mobile hen house …

 A New Year and a new move for the chickens at Watermill Cottages …  

John has spent a few winter weeks in his workshop happily building a new mobile home for the hens. 

Yesterday they took a first look round.

It’s compact, warm, easy to clean (detachable roof and rear nesting boxes with lid), has light-sensitive door closing, and best of all, it’s on wheels.

The plan is to involve the hens in weeding and prepping the kitchen garden.  

We’ll move them over the lane and use electric fencing to keep them safe from fabulous and very friendly Mr Fox as they weed, fertilise and dig over some of the ground.

Happy faces all round (except for Mr F) and scrummy eggs and veg too.

ten rescued  ducklings

ten rescued ducklings

‘There are ducklings all over the lawn, quick come and help’ so we ran to the rescue ith buckets, fishing nets, wellies and anything we could find…  

A mallard had nested in a clump of pampas grass by the bridge,and her ducklings were leggily darting down the bank into the stream and being washed away.  they pooled in the eddies by the lawn, ran to the grass then back into th stream as we approached them.

The flow under the bridge was too strong for them to swim back upstream to their mum who called them to join her and the few duckling who’d entered the river well above the bridge.
 
We collected ten of them and put them in an open-topped box where we hoped thier mum might join them and encourage them out.  She didn’t.  So John rigged up the poultry heat lamp in the chickenarium he built for hen chicks last year and we made a warm nesting box at one end with a dog-bowl pool and food at the other.  They were there for a week before the whole construction was sodden – 
mallards ducklings love to splash!

They’re now in the dog kennel with a heat lamp and a large baking tray pool in the sunshine – it doesn’t matter how wet everything there gets.  We crush corn and pellets for them, give them grass too.  They are thriving! And very fast.

A few more weeks of heat lamps and they can join the muscovies and ducklings.  So far so good….  

It’s spring at Watermill Cottages!

January = Brunch on the beach at Blackpool Sands!

January = Brunch on the beach at Blackpool Sands!

Every picture tells a story so I’ve kept the words to a minimum…

… a bright blue sky, sun dripping onto waves which were tipping onto beach…  kids, dogs (because it’s winter and you can…  from the end of March you can’t), smiles, walks…

 

… and a delicious bacon bap with local bacon and organic tea out of the breeze and in the sun at Venus Beach CafĂ©…

Venus Beach Cafe at Blackpool Sands

I felt like I’d been away on holiday – and I live here!