DiaryRSS feed

Big cow day

Wednesday 22 October, 2014

by Rosemary at 5:54pm in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

Phew, vet’s office called this morning to say he’d be here at 9.30am. I expected (hoped) we’d be the last call of the day.

The cattle came in fine; the four cows were haltered and tied up with some hay; the three calves were haltered and left to throw them selves around (well, Rosie was OK as she’s been haltered before) and Charlie was put out in the field with some hay as he was being a pain in the tonsils and trying to mount the others that were tied up. Always has an eye out for the main chance, does Charlie.

Big day tomorrow

Tuesday 21 October, 2014

by Rosemary at 5:20pm in Cattle 1 comment Add your own

Vet’s coming to scan the three cows and the heifer; castrate the bull calf; blood sample the calves for BVD testing and jag the heifer calves to ensure they aren’t in calf.

We’ve got new halters so there’s one for every animal, without having to use the ponies’ halters.

New cattle haltersShiny new cattle halters from ropeservices on eBay.

Tupping time

Monday 20 October, 2014

by Rosemary at 5:19pm in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

We normally follow the traditional dates for sheep, putting the tup in with the ewes on 5th November for a 1st April start to lambing.

This year, we’re on holiday from 4th to 11th; while the sheep will be checked every day, John doesn’t know them like I do and won’t be able to say which ewe has been tupped on which day.

So I’ve decided to put the tup in next Tuesday 28th October, making the start date for lambing of 24th March. I can then see that he’s working before I go.

All sheep home

Saturday 18 October, 2014

by Rosemary at 7:16pm in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

Today’s job (18th October) was to bring our female sheep home from our temporary grazing. Our fifteen breeding ewes and gimmers were at Barry Mill and our eight ewe lambs plus two “nurse” ewes (retired but two of our “originals” so here for life) were at a farm near Arbroath.

A combination of routine and the docile (and food motivated) nature of the Coloured Ryeland made this fairly easy. Since we’ve had the temporary grazing, getting on the trailer has become part of the normal routine and usually means “new grass”, so loading the two small flocks was pretty straightforward; when they see the open trailer, they’re on.

Feedback from the abattoir

Saturday 18 October, 2014

by Rosemary at 5:12pm in General livestock 0 comments Add your own

As regular readers will know, our abattoir arrangements changed this year. We used James Chapman at Shotts and a local haulier to transport all our fatstock in one trip. Although this wasn’t our original choice, it may have worked out for the best.

For two cattle, eight sheep and two pigs, the haulier charged £60. If we had taken the stock ourselves, it would have been four round trips of 180 miles. At 30p a mile, that’s £216, not accounting for our time.

The charges at Shotts are also lower than our nearest abattoir and we get money back on the skins, which we haven’t had before.

Fatstock away

Sunday 12 October, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 9:51am in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Autumn is my favourite time of year and if it didn't involve sending animals to the abattoir, it would be perfect. Still, it has to be done.

We used James Chapman's Shotts abattoir this year for the first time and, because we had a few animals ready to go and given the distance (90 miles), we used a haulier. Needless to say, I wasn't very comfortable with the changes, which were really forced on us by Dunblane abattoir's refusal to take our stock, following a complaint I made about the relief slaughterman's handling of our cull sheep back in the spring.

High Edge Taylor

Thursday 2 October, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 11:30am in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

With Nemo going for pies in March, we needed to buy a new tup this year. And we have! He's called High Edge Taylor and was bred by Debbie Bostock in Derbyshire. I picked him up in Carlisle on 20th September, so he's been in isolation since then, while he's been wormed and fluked.

Since he seems in rude good health, we let him out today, along with his companion, Little Ted. They are in the "garden" round the caravan - lots of grass for two batchelor boys!

Little Ted is one of this year's tup lambs; his services as a companion for the tup were required because of the untimely death of Dickie, the previous wether. Little Ted is way, way smaller than all the other tup lambs; he's also, coincidentally, out of the same ewe as Dickie.

Cuddling cows

Thursday 2 October, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 11:16am in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

We moved Storm, our bull, back to our rented grazing a couple of nights ago. He and our 2012 bullock are going for slaughter next week and we've arranged for the haulier to pick up there rather than here, as we're doing work on the barn and track next week.

He's quite canny and loaded a dream; but now he's away, I can get in and give the girls a good scratch and a cuddle :-) He was put in with the cows in August and has been running with them for nearly ten weeks. If last year's performance is anything to go by, all four should be in calf. If they are, it will be Breeze and Blizzard's fourth pregnacy, Annie's second and Bonnie's first.

Time flies when you're having fun

Thursday 2 October, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 11:02am in Sheep 0 comments Add your own

Help ma boab! Over six weeks since the last diary entry. But it's not because we've been slacking or on holiday. There was a wee business of an independence referendum going on here that proved a bit of a distraction. Now the result didn't go the way we wanted, but we'll just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start again. But politics is not for this forum, so tat's enough of that.

We've also had the Scottish Smallholder and Grower Festival last Saturday - that takes up most of September. So we're playing catch up a bit in all aspects of life :-)

2014 Hubbards Part 2

Sunday 17 August, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 2:22pm in Poultry 2 comments Add your own

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.

 

 

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2014. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS