Thursday, 30 June 2016

Meet Tino

Another winter baby ! Having good shelter makes year round lambing safer, though lambs born in warm weather probably find the outside world less of a shock...

Shaila is quite a small sheep, Tino would be lucky to weigh a kilo. The upside of a tiny lamb is an easy birth for a first time mum. She is attentive and stands well for him, inheriting her mothering temperament from Molly. The little guy is a livewire, bouncing around on his new legs and exploring everything he can reach. He and his mum will get a couple of days on their own so that he is strong on his feet before getting among the hippos at feeding time. She will also get supplementary feeding to kickstart her milk production in the cold weather.

A few photos from the last week

Drying the washing up under a sunny window creates some temptation for Hoot ...

Big Moo is now less than a fortnight from calving. This is the side she was operated on, as you can see she healed beautifully.

A photobomb from Scully, she's a curious and smart one year old now and it might be time to teach her some tricks.

An afternoon shot from the driveway, over the cattle yards and down the valley revealed by the logging of the plantation. You can click on the photo to see a bigger version.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Big Machines

These are the machines that worked on the logging. The yellow ones build roads and stacking areas.

This one takes down the trees. It has a bit on the arm that clamps around the tree and then the whole operation from sawing through the tree, taking the branches and bark off and then stacking the log is done with the one machine by that head.

This is the head, the tree fits right in between the two wheels.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Baby of the Rains

In the middle of the recent flooding in Tassie a new lamb was born to our flock. The sheep were tucked deep in the hayshed, warm and dry, and she was a complete surprise.

Daughter of Nefertiti (and granddaughter of Cleo), Jemima picked up her grandma's caramel colouring and her Dad's  (Shiney) spotted pattern.

This is a family shot, Mum Nef at the back, big brother Tut in the middle and Jemima at front.

Copying Aunty Snip. One advantage of a family flock with all ages together is that lambs are quite quickly confident hanging out with sheep other than mum. This is at three days old, and she's out grazing with the teenagers.

Some more of the kids waiting for supper, left to right : Tut, Sunny, Shaila and Morgan. Not a great composition, but I liked the light.

Remember George ? His mum only had one teat so he was hand raised by a friend. Here he is on the day he was born.

And here he is at his new home where he will be a flock ram, with his new friend Gordon the Goat.

The most recent lamb born here was Callie, shown here with her mum Bella.

And now, with Bella on the left.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Great Weather for Ducks

Or duck-ish things ...

Last month we took delivery of a trio of geese. With any luck we have two females and a male. I probably won't know until someone starts sitting.

Back in Dubbo we had a pair of geese that couldn't find their feet if you painted them pink. They didn't even know there was a second dam for two weeks until the day they followed some ducks over the whole five metres separating the two dams. They were named Burke and Wills, as they were terrible explorers.

These guys are much more efficient and have checked their area out thoroughly. They therefore get to be named after much more successful explorers. Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth are credited with finding a path over the Blue Mountains west of Sydney to the inland plains.

Left to right : Lawson, Blaxland & Wentworth

There's been widespread flooding up and down the east coast of Australia, including Tasmania. There are blocked roads, washed out bridges and evacuations. With a 100m drop between the houses and the nearest river (the Brid River on the bottom boundary of the ex-plantation) we are unlikely to flood.

Easterly winds blow the rain straight into all the sheds and shelters, as they are designed to provide shelter from the prevailing westerlies. This means that alot more is wet and soggy than in normal rain events, but thankfully the animals have all come through ok. We even had a little ewe lamb born in the middle of it.

Trina took some photos from her back porch of the river.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

From Forest to Pasture

When we purchased this farm 78 acres of the 100 acres total was under bluegum plantation. The lease had another five years to run, so we didn't make too many plans for that area. In a suprise move the plantation owners had to wind up the company and part of that process was to harvest all the trees.

So, in February this year the harvest started and we are now in the process of turning the land back to pasture. It will take a few posts to show what is going on, today is the "before" pictures.

This is the extent of the land we're dealing with. The plantation area is edged in green, and for comparison the area we have to use at the moment is edged in blue. The red arrow points to my house, for a sense of perspective. If you click on the image you can make it bigger.

A couple of google "street view" shots from down the Sledge Track, the middle one shows some of our current pasture on the left. We have a new boundary fence since then ...

These two shots show the plantation from our main gate right before the harvest started. You can see how dry it was this summer.