Welcome to GLYNELWYN - a smallholding in South West Wales

Glynelwyn - News

2015

October to December

Following a lovely September for weather, October followed suit and we again basked in warm weather and T-shirts. However, like a lot of the UK, November brought about the start of the 'rainy season' and rain it did and continued in the same vain until the end of 2015.

The fields have become so waterlogged from constant rain that our main problem is not being able to get the tractor into the home field to pick up the big bales of haylage needed to feed everything. To date we still haven't been able to access the field with the tractor and therefore our outlay for winter feed has increased considerably as we've had to buy in a lot of small baled hay in order to feed the livestock. However, we have not suffered the dreadful floods that Cumbria, Yorkshire, Lancashire and now Scotand have faced. It truly is an astonishing and rather weird time for weather.

With regards to other things aside from the weather, Percy the teaser ram went in with the breeding ewes in mid September and then the individual Tups were put in with their respective flocked in early Octcober. We are now looking forward to the next crop of lambs in the Spring.

The goats continue to thrive although have been confined to barracks due to the dreadful weather. In November our lovely Koral who came down to us from Peterhead in Scotland earlier in the year, kidded two beautiful kids, a female and a male and is proving to be an excellent Mum. Belair is due next but not until February.

Our dear old sow 'Belle' has been running with Oliver and should be due farrow around end of January. Heather then moved in with Oliver in early December when Belle moved out. With luck Heather will have her litter around end of March, early April. That's the plan, anyway.

The Turkeys finished beautifully as always and were once again a huge success for Christmas dinners. The rest of the poultry has gone on strike big time with regards to egg laying and who can blame them. Even the ducks have given up laying for the moment.

A sad day on 14th December brought about the demise of our dear old Welsh pony mare, Candy who at the grand age of 29 passed away. Fortunately as she is considered a pet, she is now buried on the farm which means a lot to us. The 3 boys continue to plod and splash about in the mud but look forward to coming into their nice warm cosy stables at night.

At Christmas time we love to decorate the house with as many lights and trees as we can get away with. The place becomes a grotto which is quite magical. We had a lovely couple of days where, although all the normal 'rounds' had to be done, we did actually manage to have few hours of rest and relaxation which was wonderful.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our readers and see you again in 2016

 

July to September

The summer has definitely been a bit odd with regards to weather. We've had some glorious summer days but only for about 4 or 5 days in a row and never long enough to cut and bale hay. By the end of August we decided to abandon the idea of actually making any hay this year and as we have lots of big baled haylage stored we felt we could let the horses into the hay fields to graze them. This has in fact proved to be a success as the horses have had plenty to eat and even the old lady (Candy) at 29 years old is looking plump and in good shape. It also means that they can stay over that side of the farm until at least the beginning of November and maybe even the beginning of December. Time will tell.

We did indeed take some sheep to Cardigan Show at the end of July and this year we took not only 4 Greyface Dartmoor but also Aeronwy the Dorset Down ewe lamb and Wanda the Wensleydale ewe so that we could show off another couple of rare breeds to the general public. The weather was good and the attendance was good too both spectators and competitors. There was a really strong entry in all the Rare Breed classes but we did manage a 3rd in the Ram class with our home bred (2nd generation home bred) Faithmead Dylan.

We then took the same gang to Pembrokeshire County Show and were absolutely delighted that Dylan once again seemed popular with the judge and in a very strong class of 12, he was pulled in first. My jaw fell open and emotion took over. We were so proud of our boy. We got a 4th in the group of 3 too but the icing on the cake was being presented with Reserve Champion at the end of the judging. Fantastic result. We also did well with our 6 fleeces that we took along and all 6 were placed with Wanda the Wensledale's fleece winning a 1st in the Longwool section. It was a good day.

Aside from the showing, the sheep have all kept well this year and have now been joined by yet another rare breed in two Devon and Cornwall Longwool ewe lambs named Morwenna and Hedra. At the time of writing (early October) the tups are all in with their respective flocks although actual tupping seems to be a bit slow so far.

Piglets were born to 'Fern' at the end of August and she had a fantastic litter of 12 all of which survived and have now just been weaned. They will be going off to their respective new homes over the next couple of weeks.

The Bronze Turkeys are looking rather magnificent and thoroughly enjoy being outside all day, unless the weather is wet which they don't like at all and much prefer to stay indoors.

Fruit and veg have all done reasonably well and at the moment we are picking and freezing mountains of blackberries as there seems to be a real glut this year.

All the goats are doing well and even little Manuka, following her operation to have a plate fitted to her broken leg, is happy and contented albeit she has damaged ligaments to her pastern which means that area is very weak and so she can't walk corrently on her hoof. However, we have devised a special little splint which she wears when outside and she seems to manage to zoom around without too much trouble. The Does are beginning to come into season now and so Bacchus and Hermes are earning their keep and being very ready, willing and able.....and incredibly smelly with it.

Autumn is upon us now but the weather in September was fantastic and even now its still very mild. Still lots of jobs to be done which includes a huge amount of muck spreading.

The clocks will alter in a couple of weeks and that's when we'll start preparing for the long winter evenings and the short days, but for the moment, long may this glorious weather continue.

 

May to Early July

That thing known as 'time' definitely speeds up during the summer.

During May (my favourite month) everything started to come into bud and bloom in the garden and the surrounding countryside. The wild flowers along our lane are just amazing at this time of year with not only lots of colour but such interesting shapes too, especially as the bracken starts to open up. The weather was rather glorious too and the goats were able to spend a lot of time outdoors and hedge trimming around the fields. They would come 'home' in the late afternoon ready for their feed, milking and then a snooze. They were also joined by a bunch of Berkshire piglets who love investigating the 'outside' which we allow them to do and they cause great interest and excitement for our holiday visitors especially when they come right up to the gate and then turn tail and gallop off 'barking' as they go.

During May and June the lambs really started to put on weight and grow on quickly. The weather has been so good the grass has raced away early which is a huge benefit to us all. We've shut off 2 fields to make small bale hay this year as we still have enough big baled haylage left over from last year to see us through another winter...bonus. Manuka the goat kid who broke her leg continued to be bandaged and splinted but it was eventually decided that xrays were needed. These showed that the break was still about a centimetre apart and the Periostium (the membrane that covers the bones) had continued to grow but had covered both broken ends too. We were then left with a difficult decision - to operate and insert a plate or to have her put to sleep. We decided to go for it and hang the expense !!! She went in on the last Friday of May, had a two and a half hour operation (an operation the vets had never done on a goat before) and she came out the other side as happy as ever. That goat has SUCH a big heart and determination.

Here we are in July with all the usual going on. Sasso meat chicks growing in the stable at the moment and due to go outside in another couple of weeks. More Berkshire Pigs ready to go in and be turned into the best pork ever. Sheep and lambs going off to new homes. Goat kids going off to new homes too. Manuka continuing to be splinted and bandaged whilst giving those plated bones plenty of time to heal. Turkey poults on order etc.

The Swallows returned too, in abundance and we have fledgling sparrows and attentive parents dashing and darting around all over the place.

The goat herd has also expanded and a new goatling arrived early June all the way from north east Scotland as well as a milker, although currently not in milk, from our friends at "Chuckling Goat", who is the daughter of a goat I bred back in 2009.

All the sheep had been sheared by early June which is a record and done in 3 smallish batches which made the whole process a lot easier for us to handle.

We are now looking forward to the handful of shows that we attend this summer, which kick off with Cardigan show on 29th July where we will take our usual band of Rare Breed Sheep. We're also entered for Pembrokeshire County Show on 20th August again too. So, if you're in the area and planning on coming along to either of these shows, do come and find us.

 

March/April

SPRING. The complete opposite to my last update as we have had the most amazing weather. Glorious blue skies, wall to wall sunshine and for the most part, very warm too although the last few days the wind has changed and it's been pretty nippy outside.

Lambing all done and dusted as is Kidding and also Belle the Berkshire farrowed her annual litter of 9 glorious little piglets.

Spring is a wonderful but very busy time for anyone involved in farming/livestock-keeping, with new life coming onto the farm. However, it's not always as we'd hope and by the law of averages, there have to be losses too and sometimes it is very heartbreaking when that special new animal suddenly is unwell and doesn't survive. Its nature at one of its cruellest times when we put so much effort, energy and love into watching and helping these animals come into the world only to have them snatched away and sometimes we have no idea why. What we have to do is remember that there are a lot of healthy, happy bouncing lambs and kids out there who are growing like weeds and having a fab life. There are always one or two that remain in our minds and our hearts though.

Spring is also a time for the garden to burst into life and not only the cultivated flowers, plants and shrubs etc start to wake up but the wonderful wild flowers do too with an abundance of glorious daffodils and snowdrops carpeting the place. And not forgetting the activity of all the various species of birds checking out nesting places and future partners alike!

 

January/February

Here we are mid February and the weather is currently hail storming as I type. Big, heavy and painful stones too!! Still it IS February and to my mind the worst month of the year BUT also the doorway into a glimmering of Spring with the Daffodils and Snowdrops poking through and beginning to bring a bit of colour to the garden. Fortunately for us we didn't experience too much snow and earlier in the year there was a smattering which lasted a couple of days. Ice was more of a problem for us!

All the in-lamb ewes are currently tucked up in the big shed ready for lambing to commence at the end of the month. This year for the first time, we actually got around to having them scanned, so we know exactly who is having what which is a huge help when it comes to dishing up the grub. All the singles are in one half of the shed and the 'multiples' are in the other.

The flock has very recently been expanded to include 2 delightful Wensleydale shearling ewes, neither in lamb which is a shame but certainly not a problem as have enough to be going on with this year.

Kidding started at the beginning of February with the arrival to 'Jeni' of a set of twins (one of each) and a set of tripleis to 'Gilda'. Mums and kids all doing extremely well and growing fast. Out of the 5 kids, 3 of them are males and 2 of these males are rather smart and so am hoping to sell these on as breeding bucks. The two females are black with snowstorm ears and a few white spots. Both are delightful (naturally) and will be sold to a new homes in due course. We just have one more Doe to kid and that is Galaxy who is due in April.

I've managed to get on with a little bit of 'Fibre' stuff just recently and went to a fab Wet Felting Workshop in January and made some "Boopers" - well that's my name for them anyway, as they are a cross between Boots and Slippers .... I haven't decided how to 'finish' them yet, but I am in the process ..... keep watching the photos page. I've also FINALLY finished a little Needlefelted Greyface Dartmoor Sheep which I started about a year ago, and have only just finished. See photos