Diary

May 2011RSS feed

God bless Louise at Ketchum Eartags

Wednesday 4 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:30pm in Sheep Comments closed

As per previous post, ma heid is nippin'.

Ordering the eartags for this year's lambs was easy. Then I decided that I should at least HAVE tags for all the older sheep, even if they aren't in their ears. So began a long conversation with Louise at Ketchum Manufacturing, where we get our tags from. Finally, this morning, I was able to phone Louise back with the missing bits of information - the individual number for Lyra and the flock number for Juno, Jura and Jinx. She's now put together the order and we've checked it carefully (fingers crossed).

Temper, temper

Wednesday 4 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:40pm in Equines 3 comments Comments closed

I was picking out Smokey's feet last evening; he wasn't being very co-operative because he thought Sheba was eating all the hay and it was the end of a trying day. Tess, our collie, was sneaking in and out of the paddock and running around Smokey's legs, which wasn't helping.

I told her several times to "get out"; the hundredth time she sneaked back in, I threw the hoofpick at her. Dan told me off and said I could have caught her in the eye - which I suppose is possible but a) she was skedaddling and b) I have a rotten aim, especially when in a strop.

Fleece

Tuesday 10 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 9:01am in Sheep 2 comments Comments closed

The Ryeland breed is renowned for the quality of its fleece. I am no expert but I am hoping to increase my knowledge by attending a fleece workshop run by CSSA in June and by entering three fleeces in the appropriate classes at the Royal Highland Show. The latter will give me useful feedback on fleece quality. I am planning to enter Leo's fleece in the down sheep class and Nellie and Niamh's fleeces in the coloured class. Nellie and Niamh have quite different fleeces and it will be interesting to see how well they perform.

Felix is fine

Tuesday 10 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 9:11am in Cats 1 comment Comments closed

Just in case anyone is losing sleep worrying about our Felix - he's fine. Kidneys fine, thyroid fine, BP fine, urine fine. He's put on some weight and seems in the peak of health, tearing around outside in the sunny weather.

He's to go back to the vet in four weeks just to check his weight but he's eating well and pooing normally so I'm not worried anymore. For now :-)

Breadmaker

Tuesday 10 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 9:14am in Anything goes 2 comments Comments closed

We've bought a breadmaker. Now I know if we were proper smallholders we'd be up to our elbows in dough daily - and we do make bread by hand sometimes - but time is limited and breadmaking isn't always top of the priority list. Mostly it's not even on the list.

However, we were fed up with shop bought bread, so Dan bought a breadmaker. It's fab. It's got a timer so you can set it up at night and the bread is ready in the morning. Yesterday, we awoke to the most wonderful smell of new baked white bread - extra large. We ate it at lunchtime. Not good for the diet.

On a roll (pardon the pun)

Tuesday 10 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 2:42pm in Anything goes Comments closed

The breadmaker seems to have had an unexpected impact.

The yogurt maker has now been dug out from the back of the kitchen cupboard and put on and Dan's just taken delivery of two homebrew kits - Munton's Gold Imperial Stout and Woodforde's Norfolk Wherry Best Bitter.

Dan's now making a spiced fruit loaf in the breadmaker - it's bothering him that it's sitting idle for 19 hours a day :-)

Farm walk - everyone should host one

Tuesday 10 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 2:46pm in Anything goes 1 comment Comments closed

We're hosting a farm walk here on Saturday, for CSSA members. It is also our first anniversary here. I would recommend hosting a farm walk to all smallholders. Doesn't half make you attend to all those wee jobs you've been putting off for ages, because in the whole scheme of things, they aren't terribly important - the broken rail here, the pile of old bricks there.

It's not that we want it to look like Disneyworld (fat chance) but we do want folk to see it at its best. So it's tidy, tidy, tidy and if that doesn't work, close the door, and if that doesn't work, change the route :-)

Farm Walk - thank you!

Tuesday 17 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 9:44am in Anything goes Comments closed

Thank you to everyone who came on the CSSA Farm Walk on Saturday. I was able to make a donation of £60 to FarmAfrica thanks to your generosity.

I hope you all enjoyed it and maybe learned either how to do something or even how not to do it :-)

Maybe we'll repeat the exercise in a couple of years, and we'll see how the place has developed.

Mucking out the byre

Tuesday 24 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 3:16pm in Cattle 1 comment Comments closed

Last October, we bought our two Shetland heifers. So that we could get them used to us and to a halter, we kept them in the little byre. It's the old cow shed, with stalls and neck chains still in place.

We covered much of the floor with stable mats and it was my intention to muck them out daily, like horses. Didn't happen. Partly time, partly because cow poo isn't like horse poo - it tends to be much softer, at least our girls' was.

Anyway, since we turned them out in March, the byre has been left unmucked out. Even if we had a tractor, the door is too narrow, so it's a graip and wheelbarrow job. So today, I started it. I'm planning to do an hour a day until it's finished. Or I'm finished. At the end of today's hour, I felt I could do more but decided to stop and not sicken myself or do my back in. I reckon at this rate, it will take me a month.

RWAS Spring Festival

Tuesday 24 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 3:26pm in Smallholding 1 comment Comments closed

Or the Smallholder and Garden Festival as was.

Dan and I, with our friends, Andrew and Janis, headed to Wales last weekend to visit the Smallholder Show in Builth Wells. Dan, Andrew and I have been before, but it was Janis's first time. Unlike last time, we stayed in a B&B, rather than camping.

The weather was pretty good on the Saturday, and on Sunday, early rain gave way to lovely sunshine. Of course, with the prospect of a new national Smallholder Show for Scotland, we were looking at the Show a bit differently.

Hen weekend

Monday 30 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:20pm in Poultry 1 comment Comments closed

No, ah hivnae been up the toon singin,' "Hi ho kick the can". Strictly speaking, it was a poultry weekend but that didn't make such an interesting title :-)

We started on Saturday morning by killing the five 14 week old Hubbard cockerels. I don't enjoy this (if you do, I'm worried), but we do try to make it as stress free as possible for the birds. We give them a good life - twice as long as commercial broilers and they are kept outside, on grass- so we want the end to be as good as we can make it.

Mucking out the byre - finished!

Monday 30 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:38pm in Cattle 1 comment Comments closed

Well, the byre is now mucked out. It took me six hours, in total. It's still got some loose straw to come out to be burned and it has to be pressure washed but all the muck is out and the floor mats washed and ready for the shearing on Sunday. They will make a nice clean base for the shearer to work on.

I'll start feeding the heifers this evening, get them used to the halters, then start bringing them in to be fed in the byre. We'll need to rig up some handling facility for the coming AI - that will be in the byre - and, in due course, they will be milked in there, so might as well get them used to it.

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