Sunday 19 January, 2014
I've always intended that the smallholding be at least self-financing in revenue terms. We've been happy to invest in capital items such as fencing and equipment durng the establishment of the smallholding but we're now hoping that it can support itself and even return a small profit.
Although I keep records of income and expenditure for the business overall, I've never looked at each enterprise to see how it performs. But 2014 is going to be the year of the "improved management information". I've ordered a proper calculator - not on my phone or computer, but a "proper" desk one - and I've got all the invoices out for 2012/13 and since it's a miserable day, I'me going to spend the afternoon working through them.
Friday 24 January, 2014
Gillian, our sheep scanner, has been today. She's scanned our sheep every year bar one since 2009 - and she actually remembers things about individuals! She must see thousands of sheep each year - what a woman :-)
I didn't have a good feeling about this - I usually feed some hard feed in the run up to, and during, tupping but I didn't this year. They had a molassed mineral lick from two weeks before Nemo went in.
We had thirteen to the tup. Nellie (aka Big Fat Nellie) is barren; no surprise there, she had twins first year then was barren last year but I decided to give her another try. But of course not raising lambs this year meant she was bigger and fatter - so Nellie will be joining Nemo on the mutton trail :-(
Saturday 25 January, 2014
Looked out the 2013 diary this morning, noted down the dates each ewe was marked at tupping time and put the expected dates in the diary. I know they don't always go by the chart but I've found Ryelands pretty close to 147days with singles and 149days with twins. Triplets are a whole new ball game :-)
We're due to start 30th March and finish 17th April, which isn't too bad. Of course, the ewe expecting triplets is due a full week before the first ewe expecting a single - which is Niamh, as I hoped. Hopefully, this will mean that the triplet will be able to compete with its foster sibling when we twin it on. I suppose the challenge will be convincing Niamh that a week old lamb is newborn.