I have been asked to write more about what happens here on my small farm in Ireland. So thought I would give it a go calling these post’s ‘Farm Diary Days’. They will cover one day or several days depending if events are of enough interest to write about and photograph in my working day.


As April 3rd was quite an eventful day I thought to start with that and see how we go.

A Cold April Dawn


The day started fine there was no cold North wind with snow sleet & hale as had been predicted. It was mild with clouds high and the sun even peering through. So off to do the feeding and inspections of the animals to make sure all had a good night and lambs were all accounted for. I usually start my mornings by going up to where the triplets are, as Aggee the Aga lamb lives with them so feel she needs her breakfast first thing in the morning.


1 Set of Triplets


2nd Set of Triplets with Aggee Racing at the Rear


Aggee comes racing over as soon as I call, head butting my legs demanding her bottle. Turning I walk towards the tree stump were I sit when feeding her.


Aggee Racing Towards Her Tree Stump


Aggee races ahead in anticipation of a warm milk breakfast bottle.


Aggee at Her Tree Stump


After feeding Aggee I go off to feed the ewe that had 4 lambs or as we call it ‘The Quad’. With her, for adult company, is a ewe called Sweety Pie who has no lambs having lost them to an abortion. On the way out to ‘The Quad’ I throw food to the chickens hoping they stay away long enough from the sheep food so the sheep will have a chance to eat it.


Feeding Chickens


This does not always work as the Seabright bantams always think someone else is getting better food so must inspect and steal what they can.


‘The Quad’ with their Ma & Sweety Pie on far right


Going back through the yard stopping to feed the doves who are always the last to get up. They are very lazy birds and often stay inside on their roost till mid morning.


Feeding the Doves


Then I head towards the main flock who are out in a much bigger field to feed count and make sure all is well.

Zwartbles Main Flock


After all this it is done it’s into my own breakfast and feed 3 dogs and 5 cats. Most of these are rescued from shelters like these two Siamese cats Casper & Tusker.


Casper & Tusker


This April morning happened to be catch up with Accounts if at all possible day. Which I did as I caught up to the beginning of March before lunch. So I must finish and catch up to the beginning of April. Hate paper work!!!! After lunch I was going to put up an electric fence so as to move horses into a new more sheltered field for the coming North winds.


But first some animal medical business to attend to.


Herding the Quad into a Pen


First up was getting the Quad and Sweety Pie into a pen. The Quad has a touch of Orf so to keep it from getting infected I spray their Orf nose blisters with this blue spray which dries out blisters helping prevent infection getting in and is less painful for the lambs.


Lambs Not Enjoying Medical Treatment

Blue Nosed Lambs


Next is Sweety Pie who had a very nasty abortion about a month ago, which was caused by something systemic in her system, we think due to a very damaged tail which had to be amputated recently.


Sweety Pie’s Amputated Tail


Because of her amputation she needs antibiotics daily and I need to spray her tail wound to keep infection at bay. More blue spray.

Sweety Pie Caught for Antibiotic Injection


When giving her an injection I part the wool so that I can see the skin, then pinch and pull a bit of skin up putting the needle in just below the pinched up bit. So I’m injecting the antibiotic just under her skin.


Parting the Wool so I Can See the Skin


This day Sweety Pie decided she didn’t like this and just at the wrong moment moved so I stabbed myself in the thumbnail going right through to my flesh with the needle. Choice language was used!!


Needle Stabbed Thumbnail


After all the medical treatments done its time to let them go with a lunch treat of corn maze.


Blue Nosed Quad Released

Sweety Pie Chases Bodashious


Then off to feed horses after which I would put up electric tape in new field for them.



Taking the quad bike loaded with stakes and electric fencing tape I head off into the field to start working away, when the first storm of hail and gusting wind hits, I sheltered under a big chestnut tree. While standing there I hear what I have not heard in years a cuckoo calling from a group of near by cherry trees all in full bloom. Now it is very early for Cuckoos as well as I have not heard them calling around here in years. The hail clears and the sun comes out so I continue putting up fencing.


A Sunny Moment


I’m at the top of the hill having just released the horses into their new grass when another swirling wind hits pelting down hail. The horses are galloping and bucking loving the new grass, I’m trying to get my iPhone out to take a photo. When I hear a splitting crackling pop this sends sheep in lower field and horses just below me racing about in terror. I look out across the field down the hill only to witness a tree falling across the road below me, a car stopping well in time before the crashing tree. I jump onto the quad bike, as fast as I safely can down around the fields to the road I go the hail still hissing and stinging my face as I race to the scene. The traffic is backed up so weaving in and out to get to the tree and see what I can do, praying all the way that no human was in the trees way as it fell. All is fine but for the tree and my neighbor’s hedge and a bit of his wall.


Tree Down


A helpful passer by in yellow vest kindly asks to help give a hand which I am only to willing to take and my neighbor looks around at the damage. I ask if they both might stay and direct traffic away so that I can go get my 4×4. I also call for helpful chainsaw welding neighbor. My chainsaw is dead so no good. (note to self: Must Get Chainsaw Fixed!!!!)


My Neighbor Looking Where it Came From


I hunted for my timber chain, you know the kind with a hook on each end, but no luck. So I grab a bit of  ‘the farmer’s friend’ baling twine and another chain tossing it into the bed of the 4×4 and back to the downed tree I go. I loop the chain around the heavy end of the trunk securing the ends with doubled up baler twine then wrap two loops of chain around my tow bar and slowly start to pull it, while in low 4 wheel drive. Away we go clearing the road so traffic can at least pass but slowly as branches are every where.


I LOVE my 4×4


While waiting for my Knight in Shining Armor (mounted in an Old Tractor) to arrive with chainsaw (his life saving sword), I cleared the road of small branches directed traffic fixed the bent over fence so sheep couldn’t escape. Wonderful people stopped and said they would get their chainsaws and come back to help as well.


Help of Tractor with Back Loader & Chainsaw


While clearing up the timbered mess the traffic kept coming so we kept having to move out of the way but many hands made light work and all was soon cleared.

We Slow Traffic & Traffic Slows Clearing


I’m wobbling on my pins by the end of all this hauling and heaving of timber into the trailer and pulling and tossing smaller branches into my near by paddock clearing the road as fast as possible. Its well after 6pm by the time this is all done, so much for my nice mug of  tea at 4 and finishing my accounts.


Back up to the yard I go to start on evening jobs, feedings closing hens in and Aggee’s last bottle for the night.


Aggee Gulping Down Her Supper


Aggee’s Happy Milky Smile of Satisfaction


Sun setting Over the Orchard


Cat’s know best what to do on cold wet windy days and coming in from this day I felt like pushing Oscar out of the way and doing the same.


Oscar Aga Hugging


I hope you enjoyed this post let me know via twitter @ZwartblesIE , on our Face Book page Zwartbles Ireland or leave a comment under this post. So positive feed back and I will do more ‘Farm Diary Days’.





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