Wednesday 7 August, 2013
We’re not big exhibitors of livestock – in fact, we only competitively show our Shetland cattle at our local show in Kirriemuir. But we have loaned Annie, Breeze and Bonny this year to our local RBST support group (Caledonian) for stands at the Royal Highland Show (Annie) and Perth (Breeze and Bonny).
The Royal Highland is a huge show, held over fours days in June at the Royal Highland Showground, Ingliston, Edinburgh. This year, RBST had a great stand located in the Countryside area, next to the Poultry tent. Part funded by the British Pig Association and organised by RBST Caledonian, it was pretty much a triumph with record amounts of merchandise sold, memberships taken up and interest shown in the breeds and in the organisation.
Thursday 8 August, 2013
Last weekend, we killed and cleaned this year’s batch of meat poultry. We bought 20 Ross Cobbs as day olds, raised them under a heat lamp for about four / five weeks then kept them on pasture until slaughter.
We fed Marriages chick crumbs then grower pellets, with some mixed corn. At nine weeks old, they were an average of 3kg in weight dressed, ranging from 2.5kg to 4kg.
Monday 26 August, 2013
Back in June, when we gave the lambs their second Heptavac injection (A sheepy week), we did a faecal worm egg count, which indicated that there was a potential Nematodirus issue. We treated with Panacur and a subsequent f.e.c. 14 days later (15th July) showed no Nematodirus and a low level of round worm and tapeworm.
We’re preparing to wean the lambs and will give them a fluke drench then, but decided to f.e.c. before deciding whether or not to worm.
Tuesday 27 August, 2013
One of my jobs for September is to review the health and welfare plan for our poultry. That, and an article in this month’s “Smallholder” magazine about selecting hens for culling before winter, has lead to a wider discussion about our poultry enterprises.
To recap, the plan is to run two flocks of forty layers under the orchard. Each house has three paddocks, each roughly 400 square metres, and the hens rotate round these on a monthly basis.