• What breathing space!!???

    So much for having a little breathing space once the girls returned to school - we're busier than ever and there just aren't enough hours in each day! I am sure once we have moved to the farm life will be a little calmer as the travelling time between home and Aston Abbotts takes up about 45 minutes a day. We also need to live on site for when our new mummies have their babies.

    On that note, we have another cria baby due any day so are making frequent visits to the farm and hope not to miss it in case we are needed. We also have two more confirmed pregnant for early summer next year. Had a bit of an "accident" a couple of weeks ago when I inadvertantly let the big boys (who are all entire) into the girls paddock! it was pandomonium as the boys were very determined and knew exactly what to do! Our pregnant females very wisely scarpered but the remaining girls were very accomodating and all sat nicely waiting for the males! My main concern was little Annie who was only 6 days old at the time. They would have had no regard for her age so I had to herd her away from mummy who was otherwise engaged into a pen. She wasn't very happy to go as she obviously wanted to be near her mum. Next job was to try and get the boys back in their paddock which wasn't an easy task!!! Fortunately a couple of our groundworkers were on site so after I got their attention they came over brandishing bits of drain pipe to herd the boys away - an ingenius idea! What mayhem and a situation I don't plan to repeat! I spoke with the vet who visited the farm the following day to scan the older girls and confirm their pregancies who advised i introduce one of our stud males 10 days after and see how the younger girls reacted. So this week, 10 days after the event, I did just that. I brought Hermes, our champion stud, up to the barn and had all four girls in a pen each, We introduced him to them one at a time and thankfully each of them sat, which indicates that they were willing to be mated, which they don't do if they are pregnant - they spit instead! (hence why it's called a spit off!). So, thankfully it appears we don't have any unplanned pregnancies and we can revert to our mating programme with our registered stud boys. Phew! Poor Hermes seemed most disgruntled to be taken away, his services not required! Suffice to say the vet is returning in october to relieve the pet boys of their breeding capabilities! A day I'm not much looking forward to!!!

    Work continues on the house and the beam and block floor has been laid this week. The groundwork is all finished, all the solar panels are installed on the barn and the fencing is being finished. The timber frame has been delayed by a few days but should still arrive before the end of September. In the meantime we have sold our house which is excellent news and takes the pressure off our finances a bit! We purchased a flail mover and James had great fun attaching it to his tractor and topping the paddocks to remove all the yarrow and clover. Unfortunately, on the third paddock, the job proved just too much and one of the belts broke on the flail mower! We've ordered some more but they aren't cheap! However, once weve got through the long weeds and grass we should be able to keep on top of it so we don't find ourselves overgrown again!

    The other big news is that our oldest daughter, Amy, has started university this week studying animal behaviour and welfare. She has quite a drive - the first day it took her and hour and 40 minutes to get there! Fortunately she only has to go in twice a week! Looking forward to her sharing what she has learnt with us.

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