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Monday 5 June, 2017

by Rosemary at 5:16pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 22nd May

Been a bit showery today, which is good.

Had a spectacular fall today while moving the cheeps – the rope broke just as I heaved on it. I must have gone down like I’d been poleaxed. Bit of a sore shoulder but mainly humiliation.

Firmed up for shearing on Thursday. It’s a good forecast for the rest of the week, so the fleeces should be good and dry.

Ordered a third wool bag and sealing tags. And Clik. Then “found” a full bottle of Crovect in the cupboard.

Tuesday 23rd May

Gemma finished mucking out Rosie’s pen, bless her.

Following yesterday’s rain, I got out with some grass seed and overseeded the bare bits in the paddocks. Just Sheepfold to do now.

Our next-door neighbors called to say there was a swarm of bees settling in one of their redundant chimneys.

It wasn’t from our hives but Dan and Paul went off to investigate and have rigged up a “fake” hive on the roof in the hope of getting them to settle there rather than in the chimney.

Chimney swarm attempted recoveryAttempting the capture of a chimney swarm.

Robbie, of our 2015 steers has noticeable ticks, so all the steers and Winnie have been done with Spot-on. It’s not licensed for ticks in cattle (but it is licensed for ticks in sheep and lice in cattle) so after a quick chat with the vet, it was applied.

We’ll do it every month in tick season now. Health plan duly updated.

Wednesday 24th May

The bees are playing hard to get.

The sheep at Ravensby had gone a-wandering this morning – not off the property, but through to the old millpond. I’ve done a bodge job on the fence but it’s it pretty poor nick.

Dan was out strimming in the orchard and round about the holding and we unloaded the muck from Rosie’s pen into a new pile in the orchard, for future use.

Thursday 25th May

Lovely warm sunny day – prefect for dry fleeces for shearing.

Sheep pre-shearingSheep coming in for shearing.

Brought the sheep down from Ravensby and Alistair arrived about 3pm to get set up.

Alistair shearing 2017Alistair in full swing.

It’s always funny to see these wee sheep appearing from under massive fleeces.

Sheep after shearing 2017All done!

We had one with a tick – never had that before – and two with fly eggs, so shearing was very timely.

Treated all the sheep with Crovect and took them up to Astwood.

Friday 26th May

Lovely sunny day again. Sheep look well and Robbie’s ticks seem to have gone.

Didn’t bring the cows in today, as they were asleep – sunbathing – every time I went out.

Cleaned out three henhouses.

John’s home from holiday so he was out doing a bit of harrowing. After this round, we’ll need to get the topper on.

Gemma’s been busy in the veg garden. Some of the seeds I sowed last month haven’t germinated, so she’s resown some stuff.

The bees are still not cooperating.

Paul got the stove in the classroom installed and working. It was very hot. :-0

Saturday 27th May

Sunny again but strong winds / tides have brought up a lot of debris on the shore, so Dan and Paul’s planned fishing tip with Frank is postponed.

The cows and Ace had a total mad turn coming in today. He winds the girls up. Poor calves must wonder what’s happening as they get shoogled around.

Thunderstorm this afternoon and evening – heavy rain but very warm.

Finished emptying the byre, so will bring the cows in there tomorrow in preparation fro starting milking next week.

Annie’s due to calve next Saturday but she’s got a terrific udder on her already.

Annie's bulging udderAnnie's bulging udder.

We’re having our first attempt at making “blue barrel silage”.

Blue barrel silageFirst attempt at blue barrel silage.

This barrel is almost full of grass cuttings. Dan will fill it tomorrow and close it up airight using a lid and shrink wrap.

Dan and Paul inspected the bees.

bee inspectionBee inspection.

The hive where there's supposed to be a new queen hatched had two empty queen cells, so it looks like two hatched - hopefully one survived and will be out on a mating flight either before now or very soon.

Got the fleeces all bagged up and ready to go, hopefully on Monday.

Sunday 28th May

Today was “big muck out day”. We were delighted to welcome a dozen volunteers from our local community garden at Panda Lane, who worked so hard to muck out the cowshed.

Panda Lane muck shovellersThese folk did a pile of work - we're so grateful!

In return, they got four trailer loads of manure, BBQ sausages and homebrew. Monster veggies for the local Food is free project next year!

As planned, I brought the cows and Ace into the byre this morning – they were good as gold.

Then Annie surprised us all by calving this afternoon – a heifer calf, who’s been called Rosedean Panda, in honour of the Panda Lane volunteers.

Annie starting to calveType your caption here.

Annie immediately after calvingAnnie calved.

Cow and calf both well.

Annie and PandaAnnie and Panda.

Ace fascinated but not allowed into the same paddock as the newborn just yet.

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