WEEKLY ROUNDUP 24 JANUARY 2021
Slightly delayed today due to snow making it so much more fun to be outside, but now I'm here I want to start this week's update by saying a huge well done to Chris, Helie, Caroline and Claire. The hard work and dedication they put into the project week after week is amazing and this week has been no exception. In fact it's been one of the most challenging weeks, but still they've met every day with a smile and never failed to be there for our animals.
Even though our farm is a little different and our animals stay with us or go to other projects, we still face the same challenges as any other farm. There are inevitably difficult decisions to be made, especially when it comes to the care of our animals, and busy periods when there is little time to rest and that's certainly the case for our second week of lambing.
We might only have an extra three lambs from this week (as I write this), but it has been really busy and mostly about our sheep Dotty, the original CCC orphan lamb. Though she started our flock perfectly, she's always needed some extra support to lamb, so she's been in the barn for Chris to monitor her. She showed initial signs of lambing on Tuesday so, Chris was up in the night every couple of hours to check on her. Despite all the extra care Dotty didn't go into lamb until Wednesday evening with Chris, Caroline and Helie at her side. It was a difficult birth and there were a lot of very tense moments, though thanks to the team and Chris' quick decision making both Dotty and baby boy Storm pulled through.
Despite good news for Dotty, when it comes to lambing there can unfortunately be sad news as well. Everything happens too quick for vet support and animals are particularly good at covering up illnesses. It still doesn't make it any easier though, and we were especially sad to lose little Gru's mum this week.
Gru was born out in the field on Monday and despite bringing him and mum into the warm and giving them some extra care, Gru's mum suddenly passed away on Thursday. Unfortunately this time there was nothing more we could do, but thankfully Gru still got his essential first milk from mum and was having top up bottle feeds before she passed away so he's adapted to life with Clayton the orphan lamb amazingly. It does mean we'll be needing to get a bit more lamblac in than we expected, but it's great to see the boys getting along well and Chris mastering his one handed bottle technique.
As if the week wasn't busy enough, we also welcomed the cutest little baby lamb called Anita on Wednesday morning out in the windy field. Thank you Claire for battling the elements to bring mum and baby inside for some shelter away from the stormy English weather. They've settled in well with the rest of the sheep maternity unit. Plus we've welcomed the first baby chick of the year. Very strangely there was just one chick, but it's with mum and doing well.
With so many new arrivals there will of course be new names and we receive so many name suggestions from you all. As it's not possible to meet all of your requests we aren't currently taking any more name requests in for now, though don't panic. We'll be naming our new arrivals as a team to honour our volunteers, supporters and of course asking our valued Patreons for ideas until we can ask for suggestions again, so there's still ways for you to get involved.
It's not just about new arrivals though as we still have the rest of your farm favourites to look after. Daisy is settling into life with the rest of our cows now she's bigger, though still not fully grown. Oreo the dog continues to impress us every day with his progress and is having more time around the farm as well as field walks. Coco and Eli are enjoying their crunch times and seem to love to warm the barn too much to run outside in the frost, I can't say I blame them. While Giggle is waiting to see who Mr Honk gives some Valentine's lettuce to.
Don't forget there is still time for us to help you send a special message on Valentines Day too, just head over to our form and select the 'Valentine's' option in the drop down list. It's not only a great way to share some love, but you get to support the farm at the same time by sending a donation in return. Plus, if you want a bit extra from the farm, check out our Friday night live feeds with a review of the week and some extra footage. Chris will also be live on the radio tomorrow morning with BBC Radio Wiltshire at 7am so keep a listen out for that too.
Hopefully that's everything this week, so I'll finish with saying a really big thank you to Wynnstay who have been really kind in supporting the farm. They've not only sent hats to keep the team warm, but brought in some lamb feed for when our little ones get a bit bigger. We really appreciate all of their support and feed deliveries with a smile.
Until next time keep safe.
Kara, Casey and Teddy