Another Threesome

I told you about our three new goats and three new turkeys in my last blog post. There’s now a third new threesome at Les Fragnes – this time lambs.

On Friday 13th March, Mrs Suffolk (our Suffolk ewe) presented us with a little female, Friday, and six days later, Mrs Eyebrows (our Charollais) delivered twin males, whom we’ve called Fabian and Florian. Ruadhri’s German exchange student, Fabian, arrived that night to stay for six days with us, and a few years ago Benj’s exchange student was Florian. So those seemed like two good names to use.

A very new Friday

A very new Friday

When we found Friday, she was snuggling up with Mrs Eyebrows. Like last year, her strong maternal instincts were getting in the way. Mrs S isn’t the most devoted of mothers and seemed quite happy – again – to hand over her baby to another ewe. Last year we lost one of her twins because of this. We didn’t realise in time that Mrs E wasn’t the mother of the little female that she was nurturing. But I’d learned my lesson the hard way so I put Mrs S and her baby into the stable on their own to bond for a while. Eyebrows was upset for an hour or so but calmed down and gradually Mrs Suffolk and Friday bonded.

Very new twins!

Very new twins!

 

It was a relief that Mrs Eyebrows was next to give birth since we don’t have to worry now about her disrupting proceedings when Spot and Cowslip have their lambs, which will be any day now.

The twins and Friday are thriving now and full of mischief. They gambol around after the hens and turkeys, and spend a lot of time playing in their shelter.

lambs stable

Mrs Suffolk stuck close to her baby for a few days but is now quite happy to wander far away. Friday isn’t so impressed and bellows for mum to return!

girl friday slab

 

I’ll be back with news of the next arrivals.

Good Things Come In Threes

They say that all good things come in threes and they certainly do here. Not only do we have the three Dagg progeny, but we’ve had two sets of new arrivals in the form of threesomes, with the third threesome arriving later this month – but you’ll have to wait to find out who they are.

The first trio to arrive were my dindes rouges des Ardennes (Red Ardennes turkeys). I’ve wanted some of these turkeys for quite a while as they’re such a beautiful red-brown colour. Chris found some on the good old bon coin website and so on a misty day in the school holidays he and I set off to collect them, leaving the boys holding the fort. It was a goodish drive but we hadn’t had an outing in a while and cabin fever was starting to set in. So we were ready to go exploring.

Good old Betty, our bossy satnav, delivered us safely to a large village in Haute Vienne, very like those round here in north-east Creuse. Except there most definitely isn’t a farm in Creuse quite like the one we visited. We were impressed enough when we saw there were llamas, even more impressed when we saw some rheas, but our jaws hit the floor when the farmer showed us into a stable. Inside there were … two HUGE camels! They were amazing. The farmer explained that these had come from Poland and were from eating stock. The fact they’d been bred for meat showed in their size – they were much bigger than any I’ve ever seen in zoos. Luckily these two girls had been spared the pot and were now living happily in this wonderful animal-friendly place.

sand llama 1

On our way out of the farm we saw some deer with fantastic long, curly horns. Our trip to pick up turkeys proved to be better than an outing to a safari park.

The new turkeys – Ralph, Rebecca and Rachel – were well behaved on the journey home, shell-shocked for the next few days, but have now settled in to life here. They’re still in quarantine but I’ll let them join the main flock in the next week or so.

And here they are.

ardennes cageRalph is now displaying to impress his lady friends and he gobbles every time he hears our black turkey doing the same.

ralph semidisplaying The second threesome consists of Huey, Dewey and Louie, three mini-goats. They were looking for new owners and we were looking for goats, so that worked out well for all parties concerned! They were only a short drive away and we picked them up a few days ago.

hdl car

Here they are in the car. They were as good as gold on the journey and have been very well behaved ever since. However, they’re goats, so there will be plenty of mischief to come, I’m sure.

goat walk3

 

We’re taking them for walks until we have a field ready for them.

goat walk2

The black and white goat, Louie, is the bravest and friendliest, and quickly made himself at home. Huey and Dewey spent the first day trembling in the corner of the stable but now associate us with food, so we’re rapidly becoming firm friends. They’ll soon be put to work eating brambles and keeping the grass short on areas of sloping land that we can’t use the lawnmower on. I think they’ll enjoy their employment.