The Coombe Mill Feed Run
The highlight of the day at Coombe Mill has to be the Feed Run. I mean, why else would you stay at a farm if it weren’t to get out and help feed the animals. When we stayed at Christmas, we did the Feed Run every day. Mostly it was wet and muddy (but always good fun!). This time round the weather was much better. Dry every morning, and mostly sunny. Pretty much perfect for walking around the farm and visiting the animals.
Despite the girls having done this several times previously, they were nervous the first morning. They got into the trailer with the other children, but stayed close to each other. Everything was very familiar. Farmer Nick had plenty of volunteers to drive the tractor around the farm, and we visited each of the animals. We were lucky enough to have a new born lamb on our first Feed Run too! Of course, there were a few changes. For example, Rudolph the stag had gone through a Dr. Who-like regeneration and become a younger, darker deer. The girls seemed totally unfazed by this, but I felt a little sad that the Rudolph that we had fed with “special reindeer food” on Christmas Eve had now “gone on holiday”.
The feed runs during the rest of the week saw the girls increase in confidence. They both had a go at driving the tractor with Farmer Amber, who they absolutely adore. Emily was quite nervous about feeding the animals, but was happy to do it whilst Rich held her. She braved going into the chickens to look for eggs and carefully carried her egg back to the lodge to have for breakfast the next morning. I was braver and got to cuddle a chicken. Freyja was happy to feed some of the animals by hand. Her favourites were the donkeys, and she insisted we took carrots with us every morning to give them.
By the end of the week the girls had even started to start calling the alpacas by their proper names rather than “chewbaccas” (Freyja) or “macca paccas” (Emily). Rich was still calling them llamas.
I honestly thought that we would see one lamb if we were lucky this week. We were so surprised to find out that another lamb had been born on the second morning. However, on our final Feed Run of the week two sets of lambs had been born. Sadly, one wasn’t looking like he would make it. Emily asked if it was going to die, and I had tell her that it probably would. We had a lovely surprise at the end of the day to find out that having been bottle fed, he was now doing really well and was the star of Activity Hour.