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Tough decisions

Monday 23 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 9:41am in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

The weather this week has been pretty good. We’ve had some rain, which has been welcome, but the ground is dry and it disappears almost immediately. Dan’s topped the rushes in all the paddocks bar one – after that, the harrow will go back on. I need to source some grass seed to oversow the remaining bare patches.

The fruit trees are in magnificent full bloom – they are just beautiful. And the veg garden is starting to look better as the peas and brassicas are planted and the sown crops, like beetroot, start to sprout. Felling the big cedar last week has let an amazing amount of sunlight into both the veg garden, in the morning, and the back lawn, in the afternoon.

Holiday time and beavers

Monday 16 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 1:54pm in Smallholding 3 comments Add your own

We've had two visits this week from our local Beaver group - one on Monday and one on Friday. The boys seemed to enjoy feeding the hens and picking up eggs, seeing the cattle (especially the pooping) and bottlefeeding the lambs.

Beaver feeding lambA beaver feeding a lamb.

We've got a school visit on Friday and I think we might have the Scouts visiting soon. We enjoy these visits but  we should get earplugs. Bryn was made a honorory Beaver - we have a photo of him in woggle and cap :-)

Rosedean Ryeland Yarn

Monday 9 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 5:34pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Well, Pixie’s teenies are doing fine. They’re quite happy having a bottle and sleeping with their mum. We had a wee scare on the Tuesday or Wednesday after they were born – when we went out to do the 10pm feed, the ewe lambs was bleeding from her back end. Phoned the vet and he said it was probably a wee membrane that had ripped as she passed faeces. She has a Hibiscrub bath and was fine by the 2am feed. They’re in at night and out during the day – the weather has been pretty good; dry, sunny but windy. Good lamb growing weather J


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.

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