Firstly an update on the latest addition, the little Groove boy Reggie. He is in top form and seems to be thriving. His mum still looks a little shell shocked but we think she'll be fine.
Here he is with some of his new friends.
As I mentioned in the last blog we had the big boys here for a couple of days and they were kept busy. However, there is only so much they can do in a day and as a result we have some females that are still empty.
Sue and I discussed at length what the plan would be. Do we carry on mating into October and have births in September next year? Do we skip any more matings and wait until spring?
We have decided on the latter. Anyone not pregnant now will be kept empty until the spring. That could be as many as 6 of our girls but it is time to reset the mating clock.
I think we started to fall behind as a result of the foot and mouth outbreaks which meant we couldn't get access to males when we needed them. As a result everything was behind schedule and this year we had some late births. We have also had a higher percentage than usual of females not falling pregnant, I don't know why, just bad luck probably.
We are going to be mating Patou Poppy, Lola, Fifi and Lily in the spring. Bobby, the spittiest female we have is due to give birth in April so she will also fall in with the others.
I had to laugh when I was doing the spit offs with Jack.
Most girls performed as you would expect, a few seconds with Jack sniffing around orgling and they either sat or were saying 'Out, let me out!'
Bobby and her mother Priscilla were so different to the rest. I think I heard Bobby spit before he had even got out of the van.
I didn't put them in with Jack, I just ran them past him. I tell you, if looks could kill!
Both of them stared at him spitting as they walked slowly past. Jack, being a sensible fellow stayed at the back of the mating pen. He's not daft, he doesn't want to be covered in spit.
It was nice to see two of our girls so brilliantly pregnant.