Monday 6 February, 2017
Monday 30th January
Cold, cold this morning. Was up at four, wakened by the barking of foxes – and suddenly realized I hadn’t shut the pophole for the caravan hens. All well but there were three foxes – very noisy. Guess it must be the mating season.
Paperwork day today – got to use the new Scotmoves system for cattle.
“Moving” Winnie was easy, as she really had moved but I couldn’t find out how to “reallocate” the four steers from this holding to our rented holding.
When the system was set up on 1st January, all cattle were allocated to Dalmore. Anyway, a quick call to the help desk and it was sorted out.
Ordered a marker stone for Meg.
Tuesday 31st January
Miserable day – cold, wet and windy. And constantly grey. Thanks goodness tomorrow is the first day of Spring.
I ordered a 50ml pack of Bravoxin 10, which I’m going to use on the sheep next month, instead of Heptavac P Plus – this is so I can also give Ace his first initial dose. Bravoxin is handy because it can be used on sheep and cattle, even if the sheep are already on the Heptavac P programme. However, Bravoxin 10 only boosts the seven immunities already conferred by Heptavac, but the other three diseases are rare in sheep.
The dose for sheep is 1ml; for cattle, 2ml.
Ace will get his second dose when the cows get their annual booster about March time.
I also ordered layer pellets with Flubenvet; I’ll be worming the hens at the end of the month.
We’ve been looking into the placement of one of our boundaries; when we bought Dalmore, there was a second lot of an adjoining field, which we offered for but which was bought by a local housing developer. While our paddocks that march with that field are fenced, the vendor told me the property boundary was the hedge on the other side of our fence, not the paddock fence itself. It hasn’t been an issue until recently, but the developer now lets his field to someone with sheep and I’d rather have a biosecurity gap between his sheep and ours (or worse someone else’s cows and ours).
We’ve checked the deeds and we’re seeking legal confirmation of the hedge line as the boundary; thereafter, we’ll be putting up a good stock fence on the property boundary.
We then want to upgrade the hedge there to further improve the biosecurity, improve the windbreak and provide a habitat for wildlife.
I’m hoping to apply to the Small Farm Grant Scheme for assistance with the cost of the fence, but that may not be possible because of the ridiculous income bar that applies on the scheme.
Had Felix at the vet today as he’s terribly constipated. And that’s more than you really need to know.
Wednesday 1st February
So today is St Brigid’s Day or Imbolc or the first day of spring – and it’s grey and misty and raw, and not very springlike. But we do have our first snowdrop out. It did brighten up late afternoon and there was a glimpse of the sun.
I had a meeting with Martin about the Festival, which was useful.
Very frustrated with the Small Farm Grant Scheme so have decided to write to Fergus Ewing MSP, the CabSec for Rural Economy and Connectivity (who thought that one up?), under whose remit it falls.
Thursday 2nd February
Still grey but warmer.
I finished cleaning up Rosie’s outside pen and cleaned out the field shelter. Now that the ponies are back in Sheepfold, it’s not being used.
Sorted out the grazing license for Barry Mill, so Urquhart and Ted will be up there at the weekend.
Friday 3rd February
Lovely day today – sunny, blue sky, light breeze. Really felt like Spring.
After feeding the steers and Winnie, I popped up to Harbro in Forfar for a sheep lick and some bags of beet pulp pellets. While I was there, I treated myself (?) to a Hay Bell for the sheep. This will be kept as Astwood so that I can feed the sheep hay without having to go up every day or having to bother Alan to put hay out.
I let Ace out of his pen today. I had fed them and put hay out for the cows, before opening his pen gate. He came out slowly then pronged round the big pen. Annie and Blizz were singularly unimpressed; he decided to have a head to head with Annie, but I think that was a mistake because she pinned him to the wall. After ten minutes or so, he was eating hay quietly with the others.
He’s back in his pen tonight so everyone gets peace.
Saturday 4th February
Dan spent this morning clearing out the classroom, ready for work to start on the upgrade. Very exciting.
I potted up our new strawberries – “Just add cream”, they’re called. Truly naff name but I hope they’re tasty. I confess to being an ad man’s dream – especially in seed catalogues.
Have been asked to host a school visit next month, with RHET.
Our cat, Diesel, has developed a “thing” for some herbal teabags I bought Dan for Christmas; if he gets the chance he jumps up on the shelf in the pantry where they are kept, pulls them out of the box on to the tops if the mugs stored there, and lies on them.
He’s a rum ‘un, right enough.
Sunday 5th February
Ace twice found his way into the feed bar in the barn. Thankfully, he was happy enough to be haltered and encouraged back to where he should be.
He’s going to have to be kept in his pen while I’m away next week, which is a shame.
Moved Urquhart and Teddy to Barry Mill. We drew some odd looks from the walking group that was having lunch there, as we wandered down from the car park with two sheep on ropes – not even halters, just loops round their necks like dogs. Gotta love Ryelands, of any colour.
Put a new bale of straw out for the steers and Winnie. That should do them until next weekend, at least.