It's springtime at New Close Farm!
Hello and welcome to our seasonal page for everything going on at New Close Farm.
Its all go in the Spring!
Its all very well saying "we're busy" but what exactly is going on in April and May? The thing you may notice first of all is all the new lambs! We've nearly 50 ewes which isn't many by some standards, but more than enough for us I think. We've three rams (boy sheep) called Travis, Boris and Fingal (for the lateral thinkers amongst you, he is a Hebridean!) and we use these rams with the different ewes depending on what we want to breed from them. This gives us a mixture of the different characteristics from each breed, hopefully a combination of size, shape and hardiness.
The girls have spent most of the winter outside where we supplement their diet with hay and our feed blend; most sheep are more than happy outside and are always warm (have you ever been cold in a wool jumper?). When we think that they are nearly 'due', we bring them into one of the sheds to lamb and, once they have lambed, they spend a few days in the shed while their lambs build up strength. We turn them out again after that with the rest of the new mothers so the ewes can enjoy the spring grass and their babies get on with the serious business of charging around!
In case you're wondering, when we talk about our lamb being available in the Farm Shop, this isn't this year's very young lambs, but more accurately 'hogget' which are from last spring. By now they've grown big, strong and tasty and we think that they've had a good life too.
As well as the sheep, some of our egg-laying hens are going broody and have started hatching their young; these tend to pop up in the most unusual and unexpected of places, and catching them so we can move them to a safer home can sometimes be a dangerous experience - an angry mother hen is not for the faint hearted! The migratory birds are slowly returning too - we're looking out for the swallows any day now; they provide a fantastic display of agility as they hunt insects on the wing. They also tend to give the cats a hard time when they're have their young!
Thanks for reading!