Busy, busy, busy.
Firstly the pheasant eggs hatched and off went mum with her chicks (Sorry no pics)
Then the blue tit eggs hatched.
Not the best of pictures but this is when the eggs started to hatch, in the end six of the seven eggs hatched and both parents are looking after them well.
Unlike our next birth,
This is our first cria of 2011 - a very, healthy and strong male from Toad Hall Ice Gem.
Gem had looked uncomfortable for days and when checking at 5am on Friday morning it was obvious she was in labour but having problems. The weather was atrocious but there was no choice but to intervene.
With much assistance from Sid she gave birth to this lovely, very big cria. He weighed in at 10.4kg. Luckily he was fit and healthy and Gem soon seemed to recover from her ordeal and before too long he was able to have that first vital feed of colostrum.
However, that is where Gem's participation ended. She has totally rejected him. We have put them in a small pen of their own by the other animals in the hope that she would accept him. Unfortunately every time he goes for a feed she goes down. We have tried encouraging her, lifting her (which is exhuasting) but there is no way she will let him at the valuable milk supply. Luckily he is a superb bottle feeder, so Sid and I are bleary eyed as we take it in turns to feed him round the clock.
So much for day time births in fine weather - it seems many breeders have had early and late births this year, just goes to show there is no text book birth!!!