Diary

July 2011RSS feed

All change

Saturday 2 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 5:25pm in Smallholding Comments closed

We've moved sheep, cattle and hens today - busy, busy!

The Black Rocks needed a bigger pen and we wanted them out of the Orchard, so thate we could get the sheep and cattle in there. Moving the henhouse and building the new pen was Dan's first job this morning.

Then we moved Leo, our tup, and Dickie, our wether, into the paddock at the railway. They were no bother at all - quick pedicure, a rattly bucket and we were done.

The heifers moved next - on halters and as good as gold. Very happy to be on fresh grass.

Tractor

Saturday 2 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 5:35pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Dan and I were having a chat today about sheep handling facilities - at the moment, we have hurdles to make temporary pens but no race, gates, weigh crate or turning crate. This means that both of us have to be there to do any sheep tasks.

This lead us on to a discussion about other equipment and we've decided to liquidate some of our savings and invest in a small tractor and some other bits and pieces, like a topper and some sheep handling equipment. Dan will be researching the tractor and related bits; I'll be looking at the sheep stuff. What fun!

Fleece at the RHS

Saturday 2 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 5:42pm in Sheep Comments closed

I entered three fleeces into the Royal Highland Show fleece classes - one white one and two coloured. We didn't win but we did get some useful comments and our marks weren't humiliating, although not close to the winners.

I'm planning to enter again next year and hopefully, we'll do better.

Meanwhile, the fleeces are all in the wool sheet ready to be delivered to Perth on Wednesday.

Bugsy's new wardrobe

Monday 4 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 10:50am in Equines 1 comment Comments closed

I've just ordered a new bitless bridle for Bugsy - he isn't comfortable with a bit, even a very gentle one, so I thought I'd try this Dr Cook's bitless bridle.

I've also ordered a klibber, from www.journeyman-leather.co.uk. If it all comes pdq, and tides willing, we'll be off to the sea on Thursday collecting seaweed.

Orchard planning 2: the expert

Tuesday 5 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 2:02pm in Orchard Comments closed

Dan and I met with local orchard expert, Andrew Lear, today www.appletreeman.co.uk to discuss our plans for an orchard. We've already done a fair bit of research and have drafted a business plan. What we needed from Andrew was confirmation than an orchard would grow here, and advice on practical issues like choice of varieties, planting plan and so on.

Andrew, thankfully, is confident that fruit trees will do well here, although we have to choose the correct varieties. The main orchard will be apple trees, but he did suggest that we put in some plum at the edge of the vegetable garden, under which the table chickens can roam. Andrew's eyes also lit up when he saw the back wall of the West range, red sandstone, sheltered, facing west - and he has suggested that we train pear trees on that wall. It was dead space anyway, so that seems a sound idea to us.

Worming hens

Friday 8 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 2:58pm in Poultry 1 comment Comments closed

I've been using Verm X for a while for the poultry but after a faecal sample showed a worm egg count of 350, I decided it was time to revert to Flubenvet. It's such a nuisance to feet though, so I've bought a couple of bags of Marriage's layer pellets with added Flubenvet.

I've put it in the feeders today and they'll have that for seven days. I'll worm test again and see if things are better. Naturally, I will keep you posted.

Rainwater collection on the henhouse

Friday 8 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 3:01pm in Poultry Comments closed

Up until yesterday, we carried water every day to the hens. We have two flocks and will have three next year, so that's a bit of fetching and carrying.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that we had a water butt that wasn't being used and wondered if we could collect rainwater off the henhouse roof and use it for the hens.

Well, it's now set up and is working fine. Not quite sure how the overflow will work and if water quallity will be OK, but we'll monitor and make adjustments. It seems good enough, though, to replicate on our second house.

TB testing

Monday 11 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 11:55am in Cattle Comments closed

We received our TB testing notification today. We'll be required to test every 4 years - this time, we've to do it between 1st September and 30th November. I hope our wee crush is adequate :-)

Worming hens 2

Wednesday 13 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:31pm in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

I've been using Marriage's layer pellets with added Flubenvet to worm our hens - first time I've used this product. One of the side benefits is that I now have a better idea of how many bags of pellets I'm using. Now, I know it wouldn't be hard to keep a note and check invoices, but I've just never got round to it.

I bought two bags of pellets with wormer. This morning, the feeders needed refilling and I had to open the second bag. I had a wee panic that I wouldn't have enough for the seven day required feeding period so was pleasantly surprised to find, on checking the planner, that this was day six, so a bag of pellets lasted five full days. The flock is about 30-32 birds. I'll just use up the pellets, which will give a 10 day worming period, then I'll worm test them. The pellets have quite a short shelf-life because of the added wormer.

Bees

Thursday 21 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 4:56pm in Bees 1 comment Comments closed

We're getting a hive of bees tomorrow night. I'm quite excited :-)

Pregnant or not?

Thursday 21 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 4:56pm in Cattle Comments closed

Looks like Breeze might be in calf and Blizzard's not.

We'll get the vet to PD Breeze in two weeks and have Blizzard AI'd again in three weeks. I think we'll use the same bull, to keep it simple.

Bit disappointed that Blizzard is back in season, but, hey ho, that's smallholding for you.

Horse Agility

Thursday 21 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 4:58pm in Equines Comments closed

Smokey and I are off to try horse agility on Saturday. We had a trial trailer load this afternoon and he was very good. I'll give him a haynet in the trailer later.

I'm really looking forward to Saturday - should be fun.

July bird ringing

Friday 29 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:22pm in Wildlife Comments closed

Peter was here last week trapping and ringing birds. He caught 51 new birds and 2 retrapped. The most interesting new bird was a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker. Other than that it was Blackbird (2), Blue Tit (1), Chaffinch (3), Dunnock (3), Stariling (1) and House Sparrow (40!!). The spuggies are either numerous or stupid.

The retrapped ones were a Blue Tit and, interestingly, a House Sparrow first caught in January 2004.

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