A smallholding in South West Wales


Glynelwyn News - 2022

 

January to June

I don't even know where the last couple of years have gone and I think its best to probably just forget them and move on, don't you?

So, we're still here and all the animals are still here other than a few which will have passed on, one way or another.

Shearing happened early this year as I was slightly panicky with the sudden hot spell in the Spring, that the fly strike would hit early and worse still, if it hit whilst we were away on one of our Agility weekends (which are now happily back in full swing).

Sheep Shearing

Anyway, the weather decided that being hot in the Spring meant it could about turn and come back pretty chilly for the early part of the summer. Heyho, all the sheep had enough growth back and so were absolutely fine.

We only had 3 goat kids this year. With a new young buck in, who came to us at the end of last summer as a kid, he covered the 4 Does that I gave him and 3 of them produced singles. 2 girls and 1 boy.

Anglo Nubian goat kid

Both girls have gone to breeding/showing homes and the boy went as a pet to a nearby farming friend who has a collection of pet livestock animals, which not only she enjoys, but her grandchildren do too.

The sheep wool/yarn side has been rather quiet, but we trundle along and each time an order comes in, it feels like winning the lottery, just knowing people are still looking and wanting to buy 'Wool with Provenance'. We haven't been to any Agricultural Shows with fleeces for the past 2 years, but am hoping the local Pembrokeshire County Show will be holding a British Wool Fleece competition again this year, fingers crossed.

As well as human lockdown, the poor poultry have been on lock down too due to another outbreak of Bird flu. They are now free again, but there are still cases popping up from time to time.

Chickens

We currently have a litter of 7 Berkshire piglets born early May and this is the first litter since December 2019. Both of the Sows from then on failed to either take or hold a pregnancy and so our Berkshire meat porkers have been coming from another breeder in order to keep us and our customers going with lush free range, outdoor reared Rare breed pork. We also had the very sad loss of our wonderful Berkshire Boar Oliver, who suddenly lost the use of his back legs last October and had to be PTS here on the farm. Just before this happened, we'd managed to acquire another very rare blood line from a breeder in Yorkshire and Clarissa joined us back in the Autumn. Not knowing whether Oliver had managed to cover her or not before we lost him, we had to sit back and wait to see if she was in-pig. After a couple of months it looked like she was still empty and so we borrowed 'Monty' from the same Berkshire breeder friend and they seemed to rather like each other with the result of a successful litter in May.

Berkshire sow and piglets

When these are weaned, we'll put Clarissa back to another borrowed boar and I'm really hoping we'll be able to use one of our late 'Oliver's' sons and then carry on 2 very rare blood lines for future breeding herds.

We currently have 3 Border Collies with Pip still as bonkers as ever, Tig well into her Agility training and competing now and a new 'pup' who joined us last November, called Dash.

Dash

She is half Sister to Tig but are as different as chalk from cheese. They are an absolute delight and my doggy world is now complete.

Derek took over the polytunnel last year and we had lots of vegetables and salad from the tunnel both last year and this year's crop is looking pretty good too, although we still have more salad plants to add.

Strawberries

The Hideaway holiday annexe was full to bursting last year when rules allowed, although this year its a little on the quiet side. It would appear a lot of people feel the call of abroad, although with he airlines struggling to re-staff, I'm not sure it was a wise decision. However, we still have plenty of weeks available this summer, if you need a break www.thehideawayholiday.co.uk

That's about it for now and I'll try not to leave it as long for the next update, but rest assured, the Glynelwyn Smallholding is still very much alive and kicking. Facebook is generally the place I put most of the day to day updates, so do follow up on there as well.

Catch up with you all again soon.

 

July - December 2022

Hello one and all. Hope you enjoyed that brilliant summer we had (if you can recall it, whilst all this incessant rain is hitting us!!). We had a great summer here and were lucky enough to have just the right amount of light showers to keep the grass coming. Everything here was very green and the sheep and horses did very well all through the summer, Autumn and through into the first half of winter. Even now (typing this in January 2023), there is still enough grass up for the tack sheep just up the road and so only having to provide haylage for those here at Glynelwyn.

The goats all had a great summer too and were able to spend a lot of time outside trimming all the hedges for us.

Anglo Nubian goats

Feenix the Buck is coming up for adulthood and in the Autumn (Sept/October time) he successfully covered the 4 Does that I put to him. Kidding is due to start early February with Manuka. This will be her last kidding as her one good leg is beginning to show sign of arthritis due to taking all her front weight. Her other shorter leg which has the metal plate in it (from 6 months of age) is really only a prop when she needs it. She's doing very well in herself though and will almost certainly be very miffed in the Autumn of 2023 when she doesn't get to have a meet up with Feenix. She will retire and join Jasmine and Tayberry as hedge trimmers and laze around. I feel they've all earned their retirements though.

Oscar and Clarissa (the Berkshire Pig husband and wife team) having been busy once again over the Autumn and in mid December, Clarissa produced another litter of piglets. For her age (and I think she's about 9 now) she had a good sized litter of 12.

Berkshire sow and piglets

 However, it was the coldest night of the year and she was in the barn with a heat lamp on ready. I'd had to put down extra straw to help keep her warm and very sadly she managed to squash 7 of the new born piglets during the night of farrowing. I normally only put down shavings and a small amount of straw so that the piglets don't get lost in the straw, but had to take the risk because of the temperature. Regretably the risk didn't pay off. Having said that, she does have the 5 and they are all doing very well and she is a good Mum albeit rather clumsy at farrowing time. Heyho, that's livestock.

Berskshire piglet

Two of the piglets are destined for a home with a great family only a few miles away. The other 3 will remain here and unless there is one that is 'perfect' in terms of Breed Standard, will all be reared through the summer for meat.

On the subject of meat, we send off 2 or 3 Meat boxes twice a year - either pork or lamb. Irritatingly, due to the CWU dispute with Royal Mail, ALL courier services were affected and come the end of November when Lamb boxes were due to go out, we couldn't risk them not being delivered within 24 hours and so had to postpone the customer orders. At this moment in time disputes are still going on and likely to for the whole of January, so things are still very much in the balance as far as future meat boxes are concerned.

The other 'nasty' we had to contend with again during 2022 (and into 2023) is Avian Flu and the need once again for 'Flock Down'. The poor hens are confined to barracks, which they don't understand at all, as they are so used to being able to free range and pick up worms, scratch around and generally act like they hens should. They do have a large pen but with the constant rain, it becomes very muddy quickly so I put down an armful of straw every couple of days which gives them something to scratch at and pick at the corn they find amongst it.

Chickens

Its been a tragic year as far as a lot of the wild birds are concerned. The islands around the West Coast of Wales here have noted a decline in all the species, even my favourite - the Gannets - which is devastating.

However, we now look ahead to 2023 and hope to have another fabulous summer weatherwise and to hope that things will improve and life gets back to a more stable baseline. Fingers crossed.

Mandy

 

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