Sunday 17 August, 2014
We killed the eleven hens yesterday and cleaned them today. The total cleaned weight was 36.6kg. average 3.33kg with a range of 2.9kg to 3.9kg.
They were quite fat and two were on the point of laying. In comparison, the cocks had almost no fat.
Sometime this week, I'll look back the invoices and see how much feed we used but I wanted to get this written down before the grubby bit of paper was lost or thrown out.
Monday 11 August, 2014
We killed the nine Hubbard cockerels this weekend - combined freezer ready weigh of 40.4kg, or an average of 4.67kg per bird; smallest birds (2) at 4kg. We've got eleven hens to do next weekend. They're much smaller. Full results posted next weekend.
Monday 11 August, 2014
All our sheep are now at Astwood - twelve ewes, seven gimmers and twenty one lambs - ready for weaning. We're planning to do this next weekend. The ewes and gimmers will run together; tup lambs will go in with the bullocks and the ewe lambs are coming home to Dalmore.
We have fourteen ewe lambs thsi year, so I've sold six and am keeping eight, so I want to have a good look at them before I decide which to keep and which to sell.
I'm culling two ewes and retiring two this year, so I'll have fifteen going to the tup in November. We're collecting our new tup, High Edge Taylor, in September.
Monday 11 August, 2014
We brought Storm home on 22nd July to run with the four cows. There was much "actvity" when he went out and he seemed to spend a couple of days with each of the cows pretty much in turn, starting with Breeze. I never saw him serve any of them - I saw him try to mount Breeze but she wouldn't stand for him. I'm not worried about not seeing him work as we didn't see him last year either, and he clearly did :-)
You'll recall that the three cows calved on consecutive days in May this year - our vet said that in small herds, oestrus was sometimes synchronised naturally.
Tuesday 5 August, 2014
I can't believe it's two weeks since my last diary entry - so much for daily diary!
So we're into August now; Dan went back to the office yesterday. With the Festival only seven weeks away and Christmas being his busy period in his own business, he's going to be pretty flat out between now and December.
We did manage to complete a good number of things on "the list" and at the end of last week, we sat down and reviewed it. We took some things off - like slabbing round the henhouses, which we decided to do two years ago, bought the slabs but now think it's probably not a great idea - and added a couple, like repairing fence at Astwod and pointing the wall in Sheepfold. We've now programmed the remaining projects into the monthly plans for the rest of 2014 and it doesn't look too deadly - but of course, it won't GO to plan :-)
Tuesday 22 July, 2014
Our bull, Storm, had a run in with some wire a few weeks ago. All was well - healing cleanly and he wasn't lame but the scab's come off and the flies were on it so we took the trailer up today to contain him so we could get some antibiotic spray on it.
I planned to put him out with the cows 12th August, aiming for the same calving dates as this year (23-25th May) but I decided if we were getting him in the trailer anyway, we'd bring him home a bit earlier.
The calves are just over eight weeks old and, if he serves all four cows today, our calving will be 1st May, which is fine.It means Bonnie's a wee bit younger than I would have liked but she's quite well grown.
Monday 21 July, 2014
Well, Saturday turned out to be a wee bit damp for the show, but at least there was no danger of the livestock overheating :-)
We packed the car with most stuff the night before and we were up early but somehow, we were still rushing to get away at just before 8am. How does that happen?
Thankfully, Annie and Rosie loaded like a dream - even though Rosie hadn't been on the trailer before.
The "Other Native Breed" section had a small entry - actually, just us. It's a real shame. The organisers work so hard - since we started the Festival, I have so much sympathy for, and empathy with, them.
Friday 18 July, 2014
Tomorrow is Kirriemuir Show, which is our local agricultural show. At the moment, the weather forecast isn't too promising but hopefully it will improve in the next 24 hours :-) The show was cancelled three years ago and it cost them a huge amount of money - hard to recover from that but they have.
We're taking Annie and Rosie; they're entered in the "Other Native Breed" section of the cattle show. Last year, the "Other Native Breeds" were combined with the Aberdeen Angus, which didn't go down very well but to be fair to the organisers, the previous year, there was only us.
Wednesday 16 July, 2014
Well, the daily posts have certainly fallen by the wayside and I have no idea what's happened to the weekend, Monday and Tuesday.
Well, actually, yesterday was easy. It was my birthday, so we had the day off and went for lunch at Pig Halle in Perth. If you get a chance to go, do. The food is very good - but best to book to avoid disappointment. I had lambs kidneys in a mustard sauce to start, followed by braised pork belly, pakchoi and rice, then a blueberry, vanilla and raspberry mousse affair. Dan had pig's trotter in filo pastry with hazlenuts, followed by the chef's wee selection of desserts and coffee. Then we popped round to the attached deli for some walnut bread and some macaroons. Yum.
Friday 11 July, 2014
OK, I've now lost track of the days :-)
Wednesday, we split off the seven gimmers, Crovected them and took them up to the bloke we buy our hay and straw from. He's fenced off a nice wee paddock for them and his youngest laddie's going to keep an eye on them for us. It's a bit long, so he's going to top it as well. It's a good sheltered paddock so I might winter some sheep up there too.
No idea what we did the rest of the day, but we were busy. I milked Annie; she's very good but I could get zilch yesterday. She was much better today and I'm going to try making some soft cheese tomorrow.