I thought I'd do a photo-census of the 'beasties' as we move from summer to autumn. The nights are noticeably drawing in now; it's not yet 9pm but I'd need a torch if I went out now.
So let me introduce you to the current inhabitants of the farm, starting with the bantams who have each hatched and raised a clutch of chicks. Sadly too keen on the grain to pose for the camera - they are Anne, Emma, Harriet and Medusa. Not forgetting Andrew the Pekin cockerel who fails dismally on the fertilising eggs bit. He just falls off on the few occasions when he tries. So sadly no bantam chicks this year.
Then we have Gertie and Gloria who are two year old geese. They just graze on the lawns and let us know when anyone comes to the house. Their enthusiasm for hissing is greater than their desire to get friendly with me, but they're pretty easy to be around as geese go. They did amuse us for a number of weeks with the 'incubating broken crockery' event, but that deserves a blog post of its own.
Next we have Albert and his harem of 7 ducks. They provide endless amusement and some rather good eggs. They even lay in a nest they make every night in the duck house rather than just dropping their eggs randomly on the ground.
The black chicks are from our group of Black Rock hens, and these young chicks were fathered by a new cockerel, Gandhi, who is a cross between a Black Orpington and Jersey Giant. He's also a lovely gentle cockerel, so hopefully that characteristic will be passed to his sons.
I also put some duck eggs under a broody and had 2 hatch - they are now living in the area where we try and grow edible stuff in the hope they will keep the slugs down. The Saxony, Cherry Valley cross has produced very attractive, large ducks. These are just 8 weeks old.
So what about the Boreray Boys? Well they now number 8, the original 5 having been joined last November by a ram lamb of a different blood line and two older wethers, William and Wesley. The ram was named by my 'darling' children.......... Bollocks. Well, it had to be a 'B' name since he was born in 2013.
Bollocks is on the left of the photo above - note his splayed horns which come from his English father. Rams from the Scottish bloodlines have tighter horns like Boris. William is the grey sheep just to the right of Bollocks.
All the Boys are looking very smart in their summer fleeces - I'll post more photos another time of their glorious winter fleeces, now all rooed or blade-sheared off.
shared her story here. Warning - you may need a tissue.
Here are the lambs with Zena shortly after their birth on 14 April.
Here they are today, 4 1/2 months old and around 2 feet high at the shoulder. Too heavy for me to pick up now. Affectionately known as the Heffalumps due to their size and large rear ends.........
So now we start getting ready for winter - lots of things to tidy up and tie down outside before the September gales start. The 'beasties' are all enjoying the glorious sunshine while we have it. For around 6 weeks in mid winter the sun won't make it high enough above this hill to the south of us to shine on the house or any of our fields.