Diary

March 2015RSS feed

Busy busy

Saturday 14 March, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 8:07pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Been a busy day with more to come tomorrow. Dan finished the field shelter roof; Alan, our joiner, put the sheets on last week and today Dan and his dad put on the barge boards and tidied up. The ewes expecting triplets have access to it now but they'll be in sometime during next week and the ponies are going into that paddock. It's not been heavily bedded so won't be awful to muck out.

Dan moved the chookmobile to its new site. I'll get the oldest batch of hens moved into it this week, so I can give the brown house, their current residence, a good clean and replace the perches before our new POL pullets arrive early next month.

Mothers Day

Monday 16 March, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 5:30pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Well, Mothers' Day for us meant moving some mothers (to be). As planned, we took Breeze, Blizzard, Rosie and Sunny to Astwood. I vaccinated them with Bravoxin first - oh, that vaccinator is just magic - then took the cows individually and the two heifers together. We decided to keep Bonnie and the calf at home because I'm feeding her, so Annie has stayed for company. Vaccinating them was easy - getting Clyde's tag in wasn't and it broke, so he's got one tag in and a blue ear, which will get a tag in once it's healed. Note to self - tag all future calves at 24 hours old. He's not very big but he's stronger than he looks and very wriggly.

Tis the seaosn to be mucking out

Monday 16 March, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 5:50pm in General livestock 0 comments Add your own

At this time of year, I spend most of my time with a wheelbarrow and graip.

John, digger man, was here today and mucked out the barn where the cows have been. I'll finish it tomorrow with the wheelbarrow and pressure wash it; pens up on Wednesday and sheep in THursday. The weather forecast is good for Wednesday and Thursday, so they'll be nice and dry.

John's back tomorrow to scrape out the Triangle, where the twins' hay racks and feeders have been over winter. The sheep are pretty picky and a lot of "reject" hay drops into the trays under the feeder. As it accumulates, it spills out, gets trodden on and dunged on and becomes a damned mess. Dan told me to clear out the trays every day - the cows and the ponies eat it perfectly happily - but I didn't and it's a damned mess. So next year, I'll be clearing the trays daily. I hate it when he's right :-)

Lambing 2015 - week one

Tuesday 31 March, 2015

by Rosemary at 8:47am in Sheep 4 comments Add your own

We usually aim to start lambing on 1st April; this year, we’re a bit earlier because we were on holiday in November and wanted to put the tup in before we went to make sure he was working.

According to “The Chart” and raddle marks, our first ewe hit 147 days on Monday 23rd March.

Poppy

So the shed was prepared and the lambing box restocked in plenty of time and, wonder of wonders, Poppy delivered twins  (one tup, one ewe) as planned on Monday 23rd. This is her third lambing – she’s had twins and triplets previously – so it was really no surprise to find her with two lambs, up and fed, without any intervention from me.

Getting ready for new hens

Tuesday 31 March, 2015

by Rosemary at 8:53am in Poultry 0 comments Add your own

I have a batch of 40 pol hens ordered for collection next month. They are Rhode Rocks with a smattering of White Leghorns. They will be going in to the Brown House (as opposed to the Green House, where last year’s Rhode Rocks are).

In preparation, the hens that were in the Brown House last year have moved into the caravan, affectionately called Dignitas. These are a mixed bunch, the youngest being a disastrous batch of 40 that I bought in October 2013 (there are fewer than 20 of them left, but that’s another story). All 41 birds have gone through at least one moult and egg production has fallen off so they will have a glorious summer free-ranging in the pig pen and adjacent field, but they won’t go through another winter.

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