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Monday 2 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 7:30pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

And 2016 lambing is over. It didn’t exactly finish on a high though. Pixie had her triplets this afternoon – two ewes and a tup, all pretty tiny – but one of the ewe lambs was dead when I went out to the field. I don’t know if she was born dead or suffocated, but the caul was over her face, poor wee thing. Anyway, might be for the best because Pixie has no milk in one quarter and a smidgen in the other L The lambs seem perky enough, so I’ve given them both some colostrum and we’ll see how we go. I’ll certainly leave the lambs with the ewe but I’m pretty certain we’ll be at least topping up. She’s been a good ewe but this will be her last year.

Nearly done

Monday 25 April, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 1:13pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

We've truly had four seasons in one day here - snow, hail and rain,wind interspersed with lovely warm sunshine. I guess that's Scotland in April :-)

Lambing is almost over now. Usha lambed on Friday – two nice ewe lambs, and she’s a very attentive mum. The first one needed a bit of a pull and isn’t quite so lovely as her sister, but she’s improving every day. So that just leaves poor Pixie, who is the size of a small white elephant. You can see the lambs roiling about inside her. We moved the empty Ulrika and Teddy the Wether up to Astwood, with the six ewe hoggs and brought the two oldies, Jinx and Juno, home to keep Pixie company. Pixie is Juno’s daughter from her third lambing in 2011 (her twin from that year, Poppy, also had triplets this year).

Still lambing

Monday 18 April, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 2:46pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

And it’s mostly about lambing this week. The gimmer due on the 1st (or so we thought) still hasn’t lambed so I think she’s slipped her lamb after scanning, which is a real shame as she’s a canny sheep.

We’re had three lamb this week. Lucy had a nice set of mixed twins – her sixth lambing. The tup was born first; the ewe lamb had a leg back but lambed herself anyway. On the 16th, Ursula, Smudge’s daughter, had a big single ewe lamb in the evening – this was surprise as I thought she was due on the 19th; and overnight into the 17th, Trixie had twin tups. Again, this was surprise as I thought she was due on the 19th as well. One of her lambs is a  bit bleaty but I think it’s just dim, rather than her not having enough milk. The other one is fine.

All about lambing

Tuesday 12 April, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 9:47pm in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

So it’s all about lambing this week. The gimmer due on the 1st (or so we thought) still hasn’t lambed so I’m guessing either she’s slipped her lamb after scanning or the tup caught her on the second cycle. I was a wee bit tardy changing the raddle so she might really be a green bum not a yellow one. I think she may be starting to show a bit of a belly, but it might be wishful thinking on my part. Anyway, we’ll find out in due course – if she did get caught second cycle, she’ll be due about the 18th.

Wool but no lambs

Monday 4 April, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 10:15am in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

As one might expect for the time of year, the weather has been a bit changeable but I’m hoping that April showers will bring May flowers. And lots of grass. We ate lunch outside on Saturday – Dan pressure washed the patio and put the table and chairs out, while I went for hay. It’s pretty much rained since them though – not heavy, just a constant mizzle.

We have no lambs yet. Our tup went out on 5th November and served one ewe on Day 1, so she’d be due 1st April. When I say “she”, it’s actually one of two white gimmers; both scanned with singles and one was served on the 5th and one a week later but I’m not sure which is which. Anyway, neither has lambed so far. One has a wee udder and both seem well, so nothing to do but wait and see.

First bee inspection

Wednesday 30 March, 2016

by Dan at 8:36am in Bees 1 comment Add your own

When we moved to Dalmore in 2010 the prospect of establishing an apiary was something that excited us all. We got our first bees in 2011, and since then my dad has been looking after them with very little help from the rest of us, other than to eat the honey.

Last year he decided he'd like a break from the responsibility, so over the winter I took a beginner's bee-keeping course at the East of Scotland Beekeepers' Association, and now have the terrifying prospect of taking charge of the apiary!

Corgi floof and nosebleeds

Tuesday 29 March, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 9:36am in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

Well, that’s the clock changed and we are officially into British Summer Time. It’s been a mixed bag of weather, but mainly dry with some nice sun too. Looks like the grass is starting to come away a bit but it’s still my “panic” time of the year.

Having ewes expecting singles, twins and triplets plus ewe hoggs means that I have had four groups of sheep – so four paddocks being used plus two groups of cattle and the ponies. This means that the grass coming in is being eaten – and it looks like it’s not growing. Not really sure how I can get round this though.

Officially Spring

Monday 21 March, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 9:43pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

So, weather-wise, it’s been a pretty good week. Yesterday (Sunday) was officially the first day of Spring or the Festival of Ostara or the vernal equinox – and that means the days are now longer than the nights.

I vaccinated the four cows with Bravoxin 10 last week and the two big cows, Blizz and Annie, went up to our rented grazing on Saturday, to run with the bull and steers until mid May, when we bring them home to calve in early June. Two of the steers are Blizzard’s sons – Hamish and Robbie. Robbie thought he might try a wee feed but Blizz wasn’t impressed. We moved them all to three fresh paddocks. There’s not much grass so they also have a bale of straw and their licky bucket.

Planting and planning

Tuesday 15 March, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 3:23pm in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

Well, it’s starting to feel like spring might be on the way. It’s been pretty dry and we’ve had a couple of really nice sunny days. However, we’ve also had a wee outbreak of Norovirus, so that interrupted things for a bit but we’re all fine now.

Bryn’s chum, Angus the Springer Spaniel, is with us for three weeks while his humans are on holiday. Poor Angus has been well tormented but is quite able to sort out Bryn when he oversteps the mark. Bentley, Bryn’s Labrador chum, get’s on fine with Angus, once he accepted that humping Angus was really not acceptable behavior. A friend of ours compared Bryn to the Duracell bunny – and I can see it. I honestly can. The batteries are currently flat though.

Longer days

Monday 7 March, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 8:34pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Pleased to say that our 13 fleeces are on their way to The Natural Fibre Company – in fact, I’d guess they are already there. I managed to squeeze seven into the first sack, so thought getting six in the second would be easy but the last fleece was Taylor’s and it was mahoosive. So it was another tight squeeze but with Dan’s superior weight, we managed it.

So that cleared a space in the workshop but there’s still quite a lot of “stuff”. The car boot sale will take care of quite a lot of it though. The joiner was here to measure up this week. We had proper drawings done years ago to convert it to a multi-use space, with a wet room and small kitchen area but we couldn’t afford it and applying for SRDP was just too daunting (plus we were told we wouldn’t get it anyway), so we’ve been getting bits and pieces done as we can afford it.

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