Sunday, March 23, 2008

To the question, “Do you like children?”
W.C. Fields responds, “I do if they're properly cooked",
which I thought particularly apposite, as we’re knee deep in edible (eventually, rather that immediately, that is) children.

March it may be but I’m not so sure it’s Spring, unless Spring is noted for howling winds, sheets of rain, flurries of snow and temperatures low enough to separate a brass monkey from his testicles and a mountaineer from his fingertips. However unsavoury the weather is, and unsuitable to delicate new-born creatures you’d think, some sort of biological clock has indicated it’s Spring for our various mums about the place. We have thirteen chicks from three different hens, born over the last two weeks and this morning, when I did the rounds, I discovered (please roll round the fingers of one hand, raise it to your pursed lips and do a little trumpet fanfare for me …) our first ever lamb, born overnight, without apparent complications and wobbling around the field next to its very attentive mother. I managed to grab it on the third attempt—just hours old, its already impressively mobile—and check the undercarriage to see that he’s a little ram and the umbilical cord looks impressively clean and dry.

We put them on two-hourly watch but have now seen him sleep, suckle and follow his mum around the field, so we think we’ll just leave them to it now, she’s done alright so far on her own. I started to bang in a few more fence posts for the pig enclosure—I’m on the home straight—but had to give in to the inclement weather and decided on a much nicer task of typing a blog accompanied by a mug of hot tea and some toast, thickly spread with butter, raspberry jam and chunks of cheddar cheese, thanks Gabrielle!