Our upland farm has an abundance of wildlife from adders to buzzards. We have some SSSI land and work hard to maintain the habitat for many wading bird species who come here for their breeding season. We have a variety of plants in our meadows including Vetches and Orchids and various bog plants including Bog Aspodel and Spagnum Moss which are protected on the farm. This blog is here to give an insight into life on a hill farm throughout the farming year caring for our cattle, sheep, ponies and wildlife.
So I have finally managed to empty the shed of lambs and get our 2023 foals in for weaning. Their dam’s have done a good job but at nine months old and with the weather being nothing but wet I thought it time to give the mares a much needed rest and the nearly yearlings a chance to stand on their own four hooves. Two of them had already started distancing themselves from their offspring so the process was half way complete anyway. The third mare is too soft and still gives into her daughter’s pestering making her rather spoilt as a result. (The farrier doesn’t call her the blonde bombshell for nothing, she has plenty of sass for her size!!) With next to no shouting apart from little madam who completed several laps of the shed, squealing before settling down, they are now happy to be in and tucking into hay. We give our other mares (except mums) a chance of a warm dry bed in exchange for baby sitting duties so the little ones always have an adult in with them for company.
Another wintry spell has hit briefly. It’s cold, very slippery but a nice change from the rain we keep getting. Ponies seem to hunker down and get on with it and are in good spirits either digging for grass or tucking into their hay. Their coats are well insulated, providing plenty of warmth and keeping them extremely dry.
Who could resist kisses from a snowy velvet muzzle?
The start of 2024 is fast approaching!! I never make definite plans or New Year resolutions and don’t like to dwell on what has been or might be but I do wish everyone good health and happiness over the coming year.
We will be busy with calving, lambing and foaling in the first half of the year and will post updates as they happen.