Thursday 2 October, 2014
We moved Storm, our bull, back to our rented grazing a couple of nights ago. He and our 2012 bullock are going for slaughter next week and we've arranged for the haulier to pick up there rather than here, as we're doing work on the barn and track next week.
He's quite canny and loaded a dream; but now he's away, I can get in and give the girls a good scratch and a cuddle :-) He was put in with the cows in August and has been running with them for nearly ten weeks. If last year's performance is anything to go by, all four should be in calf. If they are, it will be Breeze and Blizzard's fourth pregnacy, Annie's second and Bonnie's first.
Monday 11 August, 2014
We brought Storm home on 22nd July to run with the four cows. There was much "actvity" when he went out and he seemed to spend a couple of days with each of the cows pretty much in turn, starting with Breeze. I never saw him serve any of them - I saw him try to mount Breeze but she wouldn't stand for him. I'm not worried about not seeing him work as we didn't see him last year either, and he clearly did :-)
You'll recall that the three cows calved on consecutive days in May this year - our vet said that in small herds, oestrus was sometimes synchronised naturally.
Tuesday 22 July, 2014
Our bull, Storm, had a run in with some wire a few weeks ago. All was well - healing cleanly and he wasn't lame but the scab's come off and the flies were on it so we took the trailer up today to contain him so we could get some antibiotic spray on it.
I planned to put him out with the cows 12th August, aiming for the same calving dates as this year (23-25th May) but I decided if we were getting him in the trailer anyway, we'd bring him home a bit earlier.
The calves are just over eight weeks old and, if he serves all four cows today, our calving will be 1st May, which is fine.It means Bonnie's a wee bit younger than I would have liked but she's quite well grown.
Monday 21 July, 2014
Well, Saturday turned out to be a wee bit damp for the show, but at least there was no danger of the livestock overheating :-)
We packed the car with most stuff the night before and we were up early but somehow, we were still rushing to get away at just before 8am. How does that happen?
Thankfully, Annie and Rosie loaded like a dream - even though Rosie hadn't been on the trailer before.
The "Other Native Breed" section had a small entry - actually, just us. It's a real shame. The organisers work so hard - since we started the Festival, I have so much sympathy for, and empathy with, them.
Wednesday 11 June, 2014
Just had the crew from BBC Landward here filming our Shetland heifer, Bonnie (and the others) , for their Royal Highland Show programme going out 20th June. Bonnie will be on the RBST stand at the HIghland so they'll catch up with her there too.
Hope she behaves better than she did today though :-)
Great publicity for our wee, rare Scottish breed - and fully deserved. 'cos they are a great breed.
Sunday 8 June, 2014
Our bull (Storm, 2012), and two bullocks (George, 2012 and Charlie, 2013) are at our temporary grazing. Our plan is to put all bullocks up there at weaning and they'll stay there until they go to slaughter at 24-28 months. They winter out in a paddock with a small wood attached, so they have plenty shelter.
I kind of think of the three of them as "The Inbetweeners" ;-) George and Storm are pains in the neck; Charlie's pretty canny.The two big 'uns are always pushing each other around, while Charlie eats.
Sunday 8 June, 2014
Tuesday 6 May, 2014
We brought the cows home on Sunday. All seven - magnificent - have been at our temporary grazing since the four cows were turned out mid-March. But Breeze, Blizzard and Annie are due to calve at the end of the month and it was time that Bonnie wasn't running with a bull, so we brought them home. One at a time - Breeze first (we'd have brought Bonnie too but couldn't catch her :-)), Blizzard (who fills the trailer on her own), Annie then, last but not least, the bold Bonnie.
George and Storm weren't at all helpful in the loading process and Charlie loaded himself at one point - but after a few sweary words (me) and words of calm (Dan), we got them home. Astwood is now a batchelor club. Our plan is to use Astwood for the bullocks and the bull, when he's not working - bullocks will go up there at weaning and stay there until they go to slaughter. Cows and heifers will be mainly at Dalmore.
Wednesday 12 March, 2014
The two cows, heifer and heifer calf were housed on 20th December. It was the first time in the new barn extension and, with usage, there are a couple of modifications to be made before next winter - and I won't be bedding the feed area, as it proved impossible to keep it adequately clean. So next year, I'll just clean it every day and deep bed the lying area.
We applied pour-on a couple of weeks ago with the intention of turning them out this weekend coming but Dan was at home yesterday, it was a lovely day and a good forecast for the next five days, so we decided to put them out in the afternoon.
Monday 4 November, 2013
Our freezer is now stocked up with our first Shetland beef.