A smallholding in South West Wales


Glynelwyn News - 2023

 

2023

Another year has absolutely flown by but then again, we have certainly filled the year.

We decided we needed to start cutting down a bit on our workload as we're not getting any younger but there is still a lot of life in us 'old dogs' yet.

The wonderful views that we have enjoyed over the years still give us the same thrill every time.

Dragons Breath

Dragons Breath over the valley

Rainbow

Double Rainbow

Sunset

Sunset over the Preseli Hills

Full Moon

Winter Full Moon

Sunset

Sunset

More amazing sunsets

Over the previous Winter, we dug out the duck pond that had become overgrown with lilies. The ducks now have access to a lot more water to swim around in.

Ducks

SHEEP : So, as a result of cutting back on the workload, as the current flock of sheep are getting older, we do have a few casualties, generally over the winter months and we are no longer replacing them, especially having 'wound up' Faithmead Yarns, albeit it, still having a good customer base for the fleeces, once sheared around May time.

On that note, we lost a couple of our very special ones this past year. Little Fennel Pumpkin (Corriedale) who was Special Needs from 2 weeks old and the little Ryeland Thumbelina who was also a bottle fed lamb from birth.

Thumbelina

Neither appeared to suffer any trauma etc, and we think both just suffered heart failure and passed away peacefully. At the type of writing (30the December 2023) we currently have 'Wonderful Wanda The Wensleydale' and the ever so tiddly Sweetpea (Coloured Ryeland) both living in the goat paddock and both going into their individual pens at night. Both are minus a lot of teeth and therefore need some extra feed and tlc to keep them safe.

Wanda has survived 2 episodes of being found laying down in mud and too exhausted to be able to stand up. Amazingly she has pulled through both times.

Wanda

We do still rear a few molly lambs (orphan lambs) and thus still filling our freezer in early winter each year, along with the freezers of regular and loyal customers.

Molly lambs

Molly lamb

We also rear some of the boy goats for meat, which has a delicious flavour and Dereks Goat Goulash is just sublime. It means these boys get to live a very happy albeit rather short life, but they do have a purpose and we very much feel we are doing them justice.

On the sujbject of the goats, we are still have a registered herd of Pedigree Anglo Nubians although again, we lost 4 this year, which was very sad. Our best milker Lyra went down with ecoli-mastitis 2 day after kidding triplets and despite the vet and I giving our best for 5 days, we had to admit defeat in the end and let her go. We also said a VERY sad goodnight to our gorgeous Manuka who was only 9 but was beginning to suffer badly with her arthritis.

Manuka

Manuka was our bionic goat, whom many of you will remember, broke her leg at 2 weeks of age and ended up having the break plated. She always had a weak leg and it was shorter than the other, but she managed admirably and produced some fabulous kids, 2 of which are still with us. Another one we had to have PTS was Lindyhop who produced a couple of lovely kids in her short life, but her udder was damaged and although we had vet intervention to try and correct it, she persistently removed any remedial work that was done and in the spring this year, she too was on the verge of mastitis due to massive one sided udder. Lastly, dear old Jasmine who was also about 10 years old, started to suffer from a mystery illness and stopped eating back at the beginning of the winter. The vet was puzled too and we came to the conclusion there was likely something cancerous going on in her stomach, which was very sad.

However, we still have Tayberry (retired from breeding), Peony, Harriet and Harriet's daughter from this year - Hettie. Both Peony and Harriet are in kid to the awesome Feenix once again and so end of February and early March 2024, should see some new kids on the block.

Anglo Nubian Goat Kids

Anglo Nubian Goat Kids

Anglo Nubian Goat Kid

Anglo Nubian Goat Kids

PIGS:

Berkshire Pigs

At the end of the summer we saw our last Pedigree Berkshire Boar and Sow go off to a breeder down in Cornwall. We decided that the pigs, aside from being extremely expensive to feed post pandemic, are a lot of work especially in the winter and was the one thing we needed to be able to pick and choose when we reared them. So, having had the final 3 weaners reach a very decent weight in October, we had our last lot of home bred, home reared Berkshire Pork go in the freezer (and once again, to faithful followers of our meat). From now on we will continue with Berkshires, but will buy in 2 or 3 weaners around February time each year and finish them during the summer.

Another big change is certainly a money saving one and that is that due to the reduced number of sheep, we no longer needed to rent the additional grazing land from our friend 2 miles up the road. Every year for the past 11 years, weve taken a fab crop of haylage from one of those rented fields, which has fed all our animals throughout the winter, as is the case at present.

Grass cut and turned

Hayage baled and wrapped

With luck we'll have enough in our stack from this year to last next winter too and by then, we'll be able to manage by haylaging one of our own fields here at home.

Haylage Stacked

The weather was a mixture of a long, hot dry spell followed by a long wet spell, and now followed by the usual very bizarre weather we are all beginning to get used to. Endless storms, high winds, a LOT of rain and just a bit of MUD ! However, no where near as much mud now that the pigs have gone.

The Swallows came in April as they do every year, and we had numerous nests and fledglings throughout the season.

Swallows

 Until it was time for them to leave.

Swallows

We must not forget our wonderful, energetic, messy, always on the go collies, Pip, Tig and Dash!

Pip Tig and Dash

Tig and Dash

The honeysuckle always puts on a show

Coloiur on the outbuildings

Mandy is always baking!

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

So, having made a lot of adjustments, we managed to have a whole weeks holiday AWAY at the end of June in 2023 and did one of the things we'd longed to do; we hired a narrowboat on the Shropshire Union Canal.

Canal Boat

We took Tig and Dash the two girl dogs, whilst Pip stayed home and was looked after by our lovely friend Anna, who came for a 'holiday' here in Wales as well as looking after the house and Pip. Our great friend Cindy, who looks after all the animals morning and evening whilst we're away at Dog Agility weekends, took on the entire week of livestock keeping and so we were able to relax and thoroughly enjoy our well earned break, knowing everything back at the ranch was in very good hands.

Grazing has been good this year

Laddie Cello and Shanti

...  and it was not until the end of November that we brought in our first bale of haylage.

Haylage

With 2024 just a couple of days away, we are planning our calendars for the year and have already booked another Canal holiday, this time on the fabulous Llangollen Canal as well as lots of Agility competitions throughout the summer. Kidding will commence end of Feb and if all goes according to plan, some new Berkshire weaners will appear somewhere around Feb/March time too.

Also, the polytunnel still stands and we continue with the veg growing albeit not very well and so hopefully we might have a bit more time to do a better job of it in 2024.

For now that's about it. Happy New Year one and all and will endeavour to update a little more often from now on.

Happy New Year

 

Mandy

 

Back to top

Click on year to see News for that year


 Glynelwyn