Tuesday 2 December, 2014
When we took the tup and wether out on Sunday and up to Astwood, Tiny Ted was lame. I checked his foot and leg; I could see and feel nothing unusual so I was pretty sure it wasn't broken. I decided to give him 24 hours in case it was just a knock but yesterday He was still very lame and I caled the vet, who came out this morning.
Ted was actually a bit better today and the vet confirmed that it was probably a knock, and gave him some Metacam and a LA antobiotic.
We were having a look at the cattle when I noticed that Breeze was kicking at her udder and swishing her tail. Of course, I didn't have a halter but the vet managed to fashion one from a ope she had in her car. So we caught Breeze, tied her to the gate and had a look. She wasn't very happy; with our rudimentary cattle handling facilities - halter, gate and me - she was examined as best we could. She seemed to be tender round her off right quarter, although I couldn't feel any heat in it when I felt it. Anyway, she's had Metacam and an antibiotic, so I'll see what she's like later.
Wednesday 3 December, 2014
Pleased to report that Tedis much better this morning - not yet sound but much improved and Breeze seems to be fine too. She was happy for me to touch her udder this morning and the calf was suckling from the quarter that was sore and Breeze was fine with that. Time these calves were weaned though - they're wee chunks :-)
Wednesday 10 December, 2014
Finally, after a couple of false starts, we brought the female cattle home on Tuesday – Breeze, Blizzard, Annie, Bonnie, Sunny and Rosie. They’re now settled in the barn on a deep straw bed. The two bullocks are still at our grazing; I’ve put the wheeled hayrack out today, filled with straw, and a new molassed lick but I did feel a bit sorry for them. I guess Hamish is missing his mum L We’ll move them into a fresh paddock the weekend before Christmas – it has a wee wood attached, so has really good shelter for them.
Wednesday 10 December, 2014
When the vet was here last week, we were chatting about the cattle and I said tat I'd like to try multisuckling but it was hard to source calves locally, since Angus doesn't have many dairy farms. And of course, I'm very keen not to introduce any disease.
She was telling me that there's a new 600 cow dairy opening the other side of Dundee fairly soon and our vets will be their vets, so there may be the possibility of getting a calf or two from them. That would be good :-)
Thursday 18 December, 2014
There’s a saying “Where there’s muck, there’s money” – not so sure about that but muck management is certainly taking up a good bit of time at the moment.
Summer is relatively simple – we have about a wheelbarrow full of horse droppings every day; in winter this is supplemented by the daily mucking out from the bull and the weekly mucking out of the feeding area of the cows. Mid March will see the mucking out of the laying area for the cows then the stuff from the lambing shed in late April / early May.
Monday 22 December, 2014
Back in the summer of 2000, Dan and I had just moved to our brand new smallholding at Longcarse, in Alloa. In fact, it wasn’t really a smallholding; it was a newly renovated cottage with some grass inside the fence (which we laughingly called a garden) and some grass outside the fence. But we had plans.
My birthday is in July so when Dan asked what I wanted, I said “a puppy”. He agreed and we spent some time discussing the merits of several breeds – but when it came down to it, I really wanted a Border Collie. So Dan duly tracked down a litter of pups in Comrie, Perthshire and, on the 16th July (a day late, which may have set a trend for the future), Tess arrived home. Born on 21st May, she was the only bitch in a litter of five.