Mama hates me today. I have begun the process of weaning her lambs from her. She is getting worn down, her udder is looking banged up with dry patches and these lambs at almost three months old are big and pushy. Watching those two fly at her at full gallop, charging straight at her udder is too much now. They almost knock her over. They are too big and she is just too old. Her udder too fragile. One side is already shrinking.
They say that it is harder for the lambs but Mama takes this stage badly. For a week now she has been in a harder field with no clover. Yesterday I brought her into the barn where she cannot see them and it is cool. Her diet will be further restricted for three days, so that she does not produce so much milk during the drying up period. Minty has managed to talk herself in with her so she is not alone. I am Minty’s milk bar so she will be OK in there. Nowhere on the property is out of earshot though. Mama cried at intervals all night and the lambs cried right back.
Meadow, The Murphy and Aunty Mia are left in the Rat House Paddock.
So the farmy was at odds yesterday and all last night and will be for a few days yet. Even Kupa could not quiet them last night. All the bleating and carrying on is so sad. I had to sit on my hands to resist letting her back with them. But it is time. Mama has had enough. But she has a big gravelly old sheep’s voice and hearing her cry is heartbreaking.
When she has dried up and has put on some weight, I will put them all back together but realistically that will not be for a few weeks. Over the next few days I have to watch her carefully for signs of mastitis. But she has never had trouble with that before so we should be OK.
Look at those smiles.
Chooks drink milk too. Raw milk is good for their tummies.
Good morning. Yesterday many of you asked for the Pickled Onion recipe. I shall tell you what I did. Remember these are fridge pickles – designed to be eaten straight away.
Fresh Pickled Onions
Heat one cup of cider vinegar and four scant tablespoons sugar. Add a teaspoon each of peppercorns and coriander seeds. (or whatever spices you fancy). To the jar add a clove of garlic.
Slice two white onions and one red onion thinly. Slice one fennel bulb thinly. Sterilize a jar.
When the vinegar has come to a boil add the onions and fennel. Let them blanch in there for 30 seconds. Then pack the onions into the jar and pour the hot vinegar in on top. Tap the jar to get out the bubbles and seal. Refrigerate when cool.
I love the pink hue that the red onions bring.
You all have a lovely day. As I have been writing Mama has been quiet. Weaning is my least favourite time.