A wedding / Record-keeping / Cattle / Bread and cheeseRSS feed

Posted: Thursday 27 July, 2017

by Rosemary at 2:20pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 17th July

While doing the routine weekly paperwork, I’ve been pulling out the costs for this year’s pigs and meat birds. Because they are short-term discrete enterprises, it’s pretty simple.

Today we cleaned the eight birds we killed yesterday – they weighed 2.3kg to 3.4kg, totaled 22.3kg, average 2.79kg. I’ll do the same when we do the nine hens next week and see how much they cost us to produce.

As things stand with the pigs, if they have an average deadweight of 60kg, they’ll have cost us £3.73/kg to get them to the butcher.

I’m going to do the laying hens in the next week or so – again it’s pretty easy as the inputs and outputs are clearly attributable.

I find the sheep and cattle are much harder as things like hay and straw are used for both and “meat sales” can be beef or lamb / mutton.

I know with better record keeping that we could improve our management information, but we just don’t get around to it.

Tuesday 18th July

Finally got costs sorted out for fertilizer application here – 3ha, spread with 1.2 tonne of 0:24:24 is £480. It needs doing so I’ve ordered it.

We need to spread 5 tonne of calcium lime too (£300) but that can wait until spring. Better start saving :-)

Ordered Bravoxin 10 for the three calves, which I’ll pick up on Thursday,

Wednesday 19th July

The directors of Smallholding Events (Scotland) Ltd i.e. Dan, Martin and I, had a meeting today to discuss the future of the Scottish Smallholder Festival.

Plucked hair from the tails of Blizz, Annie, Rosie and Winnie and sent them off for A1/A2 genetic testing. They were much less bothered about it than I was. I’ll get a sample from Ace when he comes home.

Thursday 20th July

The weather is so changeable – rain, sun, wind. It was 6C this morning.

Took Bryn back to the vet today but his paw is much better, so he’s signed off.

The first Cheddar Dan bandaged a few weeks back is starting to grow mould - this is expected, but some of the colours seem to be a possible cause for concern so he's seeking advice online.

Mouldy bandaged CheddarMouldy bandaged Cheddar.

Bread-making continues, since Dan's making 1kg batches of dough, and only half that for loaves, we get to try difference things with the rest.

FocacciaFocaccia, yum.

Today we had focaccia - it was very good.

Friday 21st July

Noticed some blood on Rosie’s tail and around her vulva this morning. Checked with the vet and he confirmed that this would be her first season after calving – Missie is two weeks old today – and that this would be a “silent” season, with no other signs of bulling, and was generally a cleaning out of gunk from the uterus. Unless it was smelly and/or had pus in it (it wasn’t and didn’t), then not to worry.

We’re planning to bring Ace home in the next week, so it’s good that she’s cycling (hopefully the other three are too) and he can get on with the job.

Other than routine stuff, we spent most of the day on preparation for Paul and Tara’s wedding here tomorrow.

Wedding preparationsOptimistic wedding preparations.

Fingers crossed for good weather – dry will do.

Saturday 22nd July

We obviously didn’t cross our fingers hard enough as the weather was pretty appalling here today.

The plan was for an outdoor ceremony at 4pm but at 3.30pm, we gave in and moved the hay bales that were providing the seating indoors.

Dan strung some fairy lights and I filled jam jars, jugs and old ceramic jars with flowers from the garden – roses, catmint, yarrow, astrantia, alliums – whatever was blooming, really to decorate the room.

Emergency wedding flowersEmergency wedding flowers!

More wedding flowersMore wedding flowers.

And it looked pretty good.

However, the wedding went off fine – the bride was stunning, the groom suitably nervous and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Tara and Paul's weddingThe happy couple.

The piper piped; the registrar was lovely; the vows were beautiful.

Equine bridesmaidLucy the equine bridesmaid.

For fun, the gazebo above the bar repeatedly filled with rainwater then, lifted by the breeze, sloshed it out over the unsuspecting.

Sunday 23rd July

OMG. We’re too old for late nights and dancing!

I didn’t milk today – brought the calves if for the routine, but we’ve plenty milk and Dan’s not going to have time to make cheese over the next couple of days, so the cows got a day off.

Spent the morning tidying up from yesterday and I’m trying to do my Monday paperwork a day ahead to get off to a good start for the week but it’s all a bit half hearted and a nap may be in order.

We’ve actually seen a bit of sun today but it’s been mainly overcast with a bit of a breeze.

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