Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Bywyd a marwolaeth

Three little lambs went to slaughter this morning, and now I am salting the skins in preparation for tanning which we are going to try to do ourselves this time instead of sending them off as we've done in the past... If anybody has had any experience with tanning skins themselves before, please let me know as I think we may need lots of help and advice!

Ac un arall!

Born about an hour ago!

Thankfully just the one this time... :)

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Newyddion am yr efeilliaid

By Thursday morning, it had become pretty clear that the ewe without a lamb had stolen one of the twins -- which was a big problem because despite the lamb was trying to suck from her -- and she had no milk!

Greg was away, so I got our neighbour from next door to come with his dog and help me catch the four of them. We took the bad ewe away but then the mother didn't want the other lamb any more and kept headbutting him and kicking him when he tried to suck, so in the end we brought the three of them down into the barn where the ewe is now restrained in Bridget's adopter so the little ones can suck to their heart's content. Hopefully, after a few more days, she will come to accept them both again and then we will be able to let them back out in the field.

Also, Bridget came and castrated the two little lambs -- they are both boys, and neither of them is registrable, so that's that...

Wednesday, 19 March 2008


So we have been watching this ewe (the one in the foreground of the photo above) since I spotted her udder on Friday. Last night, when I checked the sheep at about 6:30 pm, she was making herself a little nest and wouldn't move from that spot even when the other ewes ran away from me, so I figured she would lamb this morning.

I went up this morning -- and, as you can see, there are two lambs! Now the other ewe in the photo is one of the original lambs that came from Lyn who accidentally had a lamb of her own last year. There is absolutely no way that she was anywhere near a ram this year, so is it possible that she is just helping out the other ewe with her twins??? I am so confused!

Monday, 17 March 2008

Wŷ Hwyad

Does dim oen eto, ond mae Del wedi dodwy ŵy cyntaf o'r tymor bore ma.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Dwr dwr ymhobman...

It started out as a fairly innocuous leaking cold water pipe... We got the plumber out, he replaced the relevant section of pipe, we tested it, everything seemed fine, he put the floorboards back down, and he left.

About 20 minutes later, the central heating comes on, and all of a sudden, there's water everywhere! It turned out that prior to putting the floor boards back, the plumber pulled out a nail that was sticking out in the way (I would have done the same thing.) Well, this nail ran though one of the pipes to the radiators -- so incredibly for at least the last three years (since we have been here, and possibly longer) the central heating has been running with a nail stuck through a pipe and no leaks!!! Yikes...

In other news, I did finally get my camera back yesterday, but I'm not sure how many pictures I'll take today as the weather is still pretty miserable...

Thursday, 6 March 2008


Eight eggs today -- so just one more and then I will know that all the hens are laying.

No lambs yet -- where are they???

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Pam dyn ni'n cadw Balwen...

Got to bottle feed this lovely little lamb yesterday at Bridget's. Her name is Neela and she is a triplet. As much as I love feeding other people's lambs, I don't want to have to get up in the middle of the night to feed my own, and this is why we keep Balwen! No lambs here yet...

My camera is still in the shop so I am unable to take a photo of the frozen hail all over the side of the mountain which looks like snow but isn't...

Bridget was asking me some questions about waterglass yesterday, and I know I've written about waterglass many times here, but I thought I'd post a quick primer for those of you who have never done it before. Waterglass is the common name for sodium silicate, a compound of sodium carbonate and silicon dioxide. Its function in egg preservation is to stop air passing through the shell (egg shells are porous, this is why eggs will eventually go bad) and thus extend their shelf life. If you are planning on preserving any of your eggs this way, I would do it NOW as this seems to be the time of year when eggs are most in abundance.

1. Find a container to store your eggs in. Ours is a large earthenware crock that Angela found for me in the antiques store in Llandeilo, but I imagine that an empty lick bucket would probably work just as well. You need a lid to keep dust and such out, but it doesn't need to be airtight.

2. You will want to fill your container about half full with waterglass solution (9 parts water, 1 part waterglass). Boil your water and then let it cool completely to room temperature before mixing with waterglass. Put it in your container and voila. You will want to site your container somewhere cool -- ie NOT in your centrally heated house. You don't want the eggs to freeze, but a barn is a good place.

3. Only put clean eggs with no cracks or chips and strong shells into the waterglass. As you get near the top, make sure that the top layer of eggs is always completely covered with at least 1 inch of waterglass.

4. When you want to use the eggs in November or something, just reach in, take out the ones you want, rinse off the waterglass under the tap, and use as normal. The consistency of the egg will be different to a fresh egg -- they are more watery -- so you won't be able to separate the white and the yolk, and I don't think you could make a very successful fried egg either, but I use them for scrambled eggs and in baking and I can't tell the difference.

Any questions?