Well, it seems that February is the time of year that all of our adorable animals are giving birth – rather than springtime. Come and stay with us at our animal friendly accommodation Cradle Mountain and you will be sure to find a favourite newborn to pet and take memorable photos with as you relax here in summer. We have something for everybody!
I was calling our drake ‘Dud Darryl,’ as he has not fathered any ducklings for the past year and a half; none of the eggs have hatched. When I first got him, he was called Darlene because the lady who had him thought he was a girl. I renamed him Darryl but he really didn’t know what to do with the girls. He is a nice, friendly boy…and you can pat him – but he wasn’t being the man of the duck house. Anyway, we now have two new ducklings that Darryl is very proud of.
We have so many chooks, that I always give them away. I really didn’t want any more chicks this year. All the girls went broody; I kept shooing them off the nests and telling Redman the rooster to stop being so handsome and distracting all the girls. Two hens, however, hid in the yard and hatched their eggs. They are now wandering round the garden with eight chicks between them. I have a suspicion that there is another hen hiding somewhere, sitting on yet more eggs. She will appear soon with chicks, I feel sure.
We also have Highland Cattle at our country guesthouse near Sheffield and Cradle Mountain. Hilda – the cow – has given birth to her calf; a little bull. He is so cute and fluffy – and looks just like a teddy bear! He is running and jumping around the paddock, then has to put up with being licked clean by mum. When you see him afterwards you know where the term ‘cowlick’ comes from, as his hair is flattened over at all angles. Porter, the dairy cross calf, is growing fast, but still moos for his bottle of milk. The calves play together and are really funny to watch. Our bull, McTavish, is in with Charlotte and Chloe, so expect two more calves at the end of the year.
The girls have given birth. Josephine had twins – a boy and girl. She gave birth in the recent thunderstorm while it was pouring rain and freezing cold. She is an experienced mum and her kids are doing really well. Myrtle also had twins, both girls. Myrtle is a first-time mum and is doing well, but I do see her escaping up the other end of the paddock to get away from them for a while (we know how that feels). Give it a week and they will be chasing after her. Tilly had a single girl. Although Tilly is also an experienced mum, I had to assist her to give birth, as her kid was very big. At birth, her kid was bigger than the others when they were four days old. The kids are starting to play together and bounce around, which is lovely to watch. We are going to build some ramps in the yard so they will have something to climb and play on.
We have 11 lambs that are now six months old. They are now starting to be less dependent on their mothers and tend to play in a group by themselves. When the food bucket comes out, they are always the first ones to arrive for the stock nuts. I even have to keep some back so the ewes get some food.
So, why not make a booking today and stay at our animal friendly accommodation Cradle Mountain – the gateway to the historic town of Sheffield and the beautiful Cradle Valley (the wider area around Cradle Mountain).