Author Archives: Frances

Ragworting with Help

After checking all things small and hairy and Shetland pony, spreading Sudocream on the relevant noseys, I took my empty plastic sacks and started the arduous task of pulling up ragwort.

I thought I was all by myself, until I turned around. I had been secretly followed by a small hairy hippo.

Newt had left everyone else behind (you can see them on the right of this picture) to follow his Mum and “help”.

While I attacked the odious weed, Newt supervised.

There is a particular patch of ragowrt in their huge field that needs to be dealt with.

Horses and small ponies will only eat ragwort if there is nothing else in their field to eat but I don’t’ want to take any chances. It has to go.

Ragwort poisoning leads to irreversible liver damage (cirrhosis).  Cattle and sheep are also affected – they just get slaughtered before they have long enough to eat it enough to become affected.  Eating it does not destroy the toxic plant in any way.  A loathesome plant with no merits.  I have waged my war on ragwort for many years. 

Luckily, this field only has a small patch in one corner.  The girls and I are in the fields most days pulling it up.  OH takes our full sacks to the dump where it is burned, I hope.

Line Up Please

Here they are, all lined up ready for me and my camera.

Tall ones at the back please.

Dear old Haakon.  He always looks the same.  This is his “What have you brought me face?”

And ditto with Klængur who is still on sick-leave.

The old men are enjoying their baby-sitting duties, which are basically to eat and ignore everyone else.

Haakon’s speciality is keeping out of girl trouble.  He knows what to do.

Meanwhile, the mares gossip a lot.

They are such typical girls (full sisters).  Give them a handbag and they would probably dance around it, following each other to the loo together afterwards and swap lipsticks!

Sóley is growing up quickly.  She looks just like her Mum.

 

It is a set-up that seems to be working. The girls have their “stallion”, Klængur while the old men are good at the education and manners bit.  Sóley and Lilja have learned so much since their arrival and are good nice all-round horses.  Daisy works with them slowly too.  Lilja is happy to leave Sóley and to go into the school by herself while Sóley stays with the men.

It is all little steps. We don’t rush anything here.

Anyone know what these are called?  They’re very pretty and grow in large clumps.

Duckling Update

We still have 11 ducklings and Ducky-Mum still hates my guts!  She is fairly scary.

But as the ducklings are getting bigger, Mum is getting better about letting them out from under her wings. They also probably don’t fit very easily now either. They are getting much bigger.

The shed is proving a very good nursery and I may be wrong, but there might be more, as some of the female ducks have mysteriously disappeared.

So twice daily food, and clean water. Daisy said the ducklings were learning to paddle when she was on duck duty.  How divine and of course I missed it.

Meanwhile, in Monster’s world, he is very busy too.

In his own way.

He misses BeAnne desperately. I can see that. He even comes out to sit with the sheep with me.  I feel for him. I really do.

His life has little motivation (as does mine). ❤️

Poor Harrel

Yesterday, Maggie was sheared and we gave everyone the last of their Heptavac booster injection (active immunisation of sheep as an aid in the control of lamb dysentery, pulpy kidney, struck, tetanus, braxy, blackleg, black disease and clostridial metritis – Missy died of one of these ghastly diseases so I vowed to never lose a sheep to this.) It is expensive as you can only get the bottle for a minimum of 25 doses and have to use it within 10 hours of opening the bottle. I give the rest away.

Maggie was hand-sheared which was fascinating to watch. Our shearer is very experienced (and good) at this.

Afterwards, everyone went out into their field whereupon Harrel spent the next 24 hours shouting his head off to anyone who would listen that his Mother had “gone”.

He was totally unconsoleable and very loud.

Maggie looked wonderful.

She has put on weight. A perfect size.

But there was no telling Harrel.

He couldn’t  believe his Mum would just leave him like this.

What was she thinking?

Dear Maggie followed him around while Harrel had his histrionics.

She was only “quite” concerned.  Not very.

Harrel is a wee fatty and would be fine if he was weaned.

Poor Harrel – he felt utterly desolate.

All alone in the world.

And then there was this strange “velvet” covered sheep that kept following him around.

I mean what’s that all about?

Note – Harrel is a bit quieter today, so hopefully they have been reunited as Maggie has been there all the time.  He is also very tired.