Well the snow has been and gone and the Easterlies have arrived… why do we worry about our wee sheep who are more than capable of braving the elements?! All we feel like doing is bringing them in to snuggle down!
After much discussion, watching and waiting, both gimmers are now in lamb. The proof will be in the pudding, as they say, next Spring!
It’s proving tough to keep the Ryelands wool free from foliage and tangles so we just mainly concentrate on making sure that they can see properly! We have had to trim back some wool from their eyes, especially Windblown’s, which he has dealt with pretty well really!
When the snow came, Windblown helped Aidan sledging by gently headbutting him down the wee run! No pictures of that unfortunately!
Well a Merry Christmas and Happy Hogmanay to all from our fluffy friends and we’ll be in touch with more updates in the New Year!
Windblown, Velvet and Valentina have settled in well and we are enjoying them very much! Velvet and Valentina now readily come to the trough when we bring the bucket down. We have been keeping the other side of the fence so V+V feel safe and have stroked them through the fence, they seem to be liking their strokes and scratches now! We take them down tree fodder – cut branches of willow, lime and ash which they gobble up. I’ve read that Ash to sheep is like chocolate cake to humans!
Tree fodder & Windblown cuddles
Under advise from Adam (our commercial flock shepherd), we separated Windblown for the night then took him back today into Velvet and Valentinas’ field to observe him ‘working’ (aka mating!). He did a lot of sniffing but nothing more, it can take up to 17 days for the sheep to come into season. perhaps ours are late starters!
Leading Windblown back in
Fraser led Windblown back into the field, another padlock drama as Fraser had padlocked the gate and the keys were back at home so I huffed and puffed, stuck some placcy bags on my feet (too much of a faff taking waterproofs, welly boots off etc you can imagine!) and retrieved the keys from my bedroom.
More cuddles & observation!
We set up camp in the other field from the Ryelands. The boys had picked elderberries when we were in bed (they got up at 5.45am, eek!), and I’d got some more with the ladder this morning, so we set to work picking them all off their stems whilst watching Windblowns antics!
Fraser building gates
Fraser set to work in the afternoon building gates for his sheep pens. He made 3 wonderful gates in total!
Will Windblown perform?! Watch this space…..
Skippety and Ruff + Tumble
Our Ryelands story really begins with the boys raising two lambs this Spring, Skippety and Ruff + Tumble (Texel cross) under the watchful eye of Adam our shepherd.
We went along to the Royal Highland Show in the summer and spent an immense amount of time in the sheep marquee, discovering all the amazing array of different breeds of sheep there. Fraser loved the Ryelands there, with their docile nature and sweet woolly faces there was no going back for him! So getting Ryelands seemed like a natural progression of course after Skippety and Ruff + Tumble!!
We asked around locally, but being the end of year in terms of getting gimmers in for tupping (mating) we could only source tups! Luckily for us the Carlisle Show was coming up so it was a good opportunity to take a visit and see what we could get!
With much appreciated help from Susan from the Scottish Ryeland Group, we nervously bid on two Ryelands shearlings (gimmers in Scotland!) and won the bid! It was a nerve-racking and exciting experience! Certainly the biggest sheep sale we’ve ever been to!
Ashgrove Farm Ryelands
Our two lovely Ryeland gimmers (meaning last years lambs that have been sheared once) arrived from the Carlisle Show on 17th September. They had a journey up from Ashgrove Farm in Herefordshire so we gave them a few days to settle in. Local breeders the McEwen-Kings kindly transported them home to us.
Rare breeds have different alphabetical name beginnings, last years was V so we had to choose some unusual names, Velvet (Fraser’s) and Valentina (Aidan’s)!
Fraser at the Carlisle show
They have settled in well and Aidan and I fixed up an old trough for them to use. We are training them to come to a bucket and it is a slow but rewarding process!
Watch this space for more photos of Velvet and Valentina and the story of Windblowns arrival! …….
Self-catering cottages still available for October and November. Come and enjoy the countryside and the stunning autumn colours. Take a brisk walk round the estate or climb Tinto Hill for stunning views. Visitors to our garden this week:- hares, pheasants, a robin, rabbits, roe deer, blackbirds, wrens, tits, chaffinches and squirrels. 3 night break in lovely secluded Pond Cottage, sleeps 2, £237, (4 nights £276). 3 nights in Laundry Cottage, sleeps 4, £332, Eagle Lodge £246. Inclusive of linen, towels, electricity, logs and coal.
Well it has been a busy busy time here at Carmichael with 100% occupancy across the self catering cottages, some great customers in the farm shop and tearoom and a special Commonwealth themed Glasgow Partick Farmers’ Market on Saturday 26th July.
What a great sporting event Glasgow 2014 was! We are really glad that our guests managed to benefit from being ‘close enough to the action but not too close’.
We’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone who came to Carmichael over the last few weeks and haste ye back!
We are pleased to announce that our tearoom at the Carmichael Visitor Centre & Farm Shop will be open 7 days a week from Saturday 5th July.
We have an extensive menu of delicious hot and cold meals and snacks using our own meats and other local produce. The Tearoom is open from 10am to 5pm daily.
Specialties include our own venison, beef and lamb burgers as well as daily specials.
The tearoom also has free wifi internet, toilet facilities and a comfortable sitting area in the foyer.
This year the Carmichael Estate once again hosted one of the countries largest gatherings of Hungarian Vizsla Dogs. The owners who came to Scotland Mega Whizz 2014 stayed in the self catering holiday cottages in tranquil surroundings of the Carmichael Estate and enjoyed a weekend of doggie catch ups, pub meals, quizzes and of course a long communal walk through the Estate before devouring a delicious Carmichael Meats BBQ.
This years event boasted 140 dogs on the walk and we served a BBQ to 205 people on Sunday afternoon which included lamb, beef and venison from the farm shop.
Next years Vizz Whizz is already booked in and we are looking forward to it already.
If you are thinking of organizing a large event and need a venue with on site catering, accommodation in a relaxed rural environment please get in touch.