September 2009RSS feed

New job

Thursday 17 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 8:39pm in Anything goes Comments closed

When I left the Council in July, it was my intention to have a gap year. My good friend, Carol, said I would be back at work within six months. Well, she was right and I've got another job.

I am delighted to be the Project Co-ordinator for Forth Valley, for the Royal Highland Education Trust www.rhet.org.uk. The tagline for RHET is "taking the classroom into the countryside" and its aim is to reconnect children with food, farming and the countryside by organising school visits to farms and farmer visits to schools, along with specific projects like "Count and Grow" with the Clydesdale Bank and Farmhouse Breakfast Week with Tesco and the Home Grown Cereals Authority.

Kittens 2

Friday 18 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:32am in Cats 2 comments Comments closed

Harry and Bertie are growing apace, or so everyone tells us, as we don't really see the difference. Although they look VERY similar, they have quite distinct personalities.

Bertie, or Bertie Bashit, acts first and thinks later. We think he may have ADHD. Last week, he fell in the pond. He fell in the pond again today. His eyes are either saucers or closed. He's very talkative, has a huge purr with a squeak at the end of each prrrrr.

Harry, on the other hand, is much more laid back. He has a great capacity for relaxing and sleeps very extravagently; stretched full length. We think he is the "older brother", and he pins Bertie down to wash his ears. Sometimes, he looks very thoughtful and seems to frown in concentration.

Sheep wormer

Friday 18 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 8:48pm in Sheep Comments closed

Until now, I've used a herbal wormer for the sheep. However, since a couple have dirty bums and I want to dose them for liver fluke anyway, I've decided to use a combination wormer and flukicide. But which to use? So many decisions!

After reading the data sheets on NOAH, I decided to run it past our vet, who has been really helpful with advice. In the end, I've decided to use Fasimec Duo S, which seems to kill all known germs dead.

I want to make sure that the ewes are in tip top condition for tupping this year, so I want to get a bit of weight of them (particularly Juno; actually, only Juno) and then flush them.

Contemplating pigs

Saturday 19 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 8:57pm in Pigs 9 comments Comments closed

We had a visit the other evening from a friend of Dan's, along with two of his neighbours. They live in a small village and are hoping to rent some land and fatten some pigs.

To convince them that it was a good idea, Dan roasted some pork and served warm pork rolls with apple sauce. From the "mmm"s of satisfaction, I guess the project is a goer. Actually, the pork was particularly tasty, I thought, but that was maybe because I'd been working outside and was pretty hungry.

They had lots of questions, but I think we covered everything they need to know, so they are going off to work out their final plan, for implementation next spring. If our experience is anything to go by, they won't regret it.

Sheep wormer 2

Monday 21 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 10:27am in Sheep Comments closed

Well, as planned (unusually), we sorted out the sheep at the weekend. Wormed, fluked, dagged and feet trimmed. Unfortunately, Lucy had a wee bit of fly strike - fortunately, we caught it really early and gave her a spray of Crovect. It's just like Chanel No5 but blue! Dan checked her last night and she's clean, so we'll keep an eye on her. It didn't affect her appetite at all - she is VERY like her auntie Juno, in that respect.

Dickie was completely relaxed about the dosing and the dagging - since he was castrated, his attitude seems to be "bring it on, I'll cope"! He's such a wee sweetie.

White when washed

Friday 25 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 10:33am in Equines 2 comments Comments closed

This is how my chum Claire describes my horse, Smokey.

Given that the weather is on the turn, I decided to give him a bath while the sun was out. He suffers from sweet itch so tends to roll a lot and get very muddy, if he doesn't have his rug on.

He doesn't mind being bathed although I'm usually as wet as he is. I decided to take before and after photos, this time. Despite giving him a real good scrub, I couldn't get all the black off his hindquarters - I think it's ingrained. His winter coat is coming in - he'll be like a teddy in no time and hopefully the dirty bits will grow out.

Red Kites at Argaty

Friday 25 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 8:07pm in Wildlife Comments closed

I was doing a previsit for a forthcoming farm visit at a farm near Doune. The owners do an awful lot of conservation work and their site at Argaty is home to dozens of Red Kite.

These birds were exterminated in Scotland at the end of the 19th cenury but were re-introduced in 1996. The birds are fed at 3pm and there were around 25 of them today - there has been up to 51 birds at one time. With a five foot wingspan, one is impressive - 25 are breathtaking.

If you get a chance to visit, please do.


Saturday 26 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 6:12am in Sheep Comments closed

I'm pleased to report that Lucy has recovered from fly strike. She's now clean, dry and maggot free.

Broody or not?

Monday 28 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 12:58pm in Poultry Comments closed

I spent Saturday morning (and a bit of the afternoon) at Caledonian Mart in Stirling, at the sale of rare and traditional breeds and poultry. The mart has a regular poultry sale and has just started selling rare and traditional breeds. It's certainly closest to us, with Lanark being next, then Inverurie or Carlisle.

The largest livestock entry was of Hebridean sheep, because the breed society was having a show and sale. There were a few ther sheep breeds - Ryeland, Soay, Shetland, North Ronaldsay - but in small numbers. In addition, there were a few cattle and goats, and a Shetland pony. I only went into the sale ring for a few minutes to watch my chum, Andrew, nab a bargain Shetland tup.

Veggie kittens

Monday 28 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 6:47pm in Cats 1 comment Comments closed

Cats are obligate carnivores - they MUST eat meat as their bodies cannot build all the essential proteins for life. Cassius had pretty catholic tastes in food - curry, chili, chips, crisps but vegetables? I don't think so.

I was somewhat surprised to see Harry (I think) tucking into some runner beans that were leftover from dinner. Please understand that our cats are not normally allowed on the table but I was so gobsmacked that I sat and watched him for five minutes as he gobbled up the beans. He had a wee taste of peas and carrots too but beans seemed to be the favourite.

Pickling shallots

Monday 28 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 8:10pm in Recipes 3 comments Comments closed

Dan spent hours last night peeling shallots for pickling. They are now in brine for 48 hours, before dousing in a mix of white wine and sherry vinegar. Even after two showers, he could still smell shallots on his hands.

I'm going to start the beetroot tomorrow. We've done some, but I'd like to get nore done before the weather changes. So my hands will be red tomorrow!

Ruby stows away

Tuesday 29 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:02am in Poultry Comments closed

I don't normally name hens but we have a particularly tame Warren, that I have named Ruby. Our hens usually aren't tame but Ruby will be stroked while eating out of my hand. She also makes regular forays into the kitchen.

This morning the taxi that takes our daughter to school arrived. While waiting for Lorna to get her coat on, the taxi driver was polishing the car. With the boot open. And in jumps the bold Ruby, intent on stowing away. The driver shooed her out - although when he suggested she might make a good dinner, I explained that she'd only manage stock.

Broody update

Tuesday 29 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 9:10am in Poultry Comments closed

The broody is sitting tight but has ejected six eggs. I don't know if they are the six I put in later - if so, how did she know? Maybe I just put too many in but the eggs were definitely ejected from the nest box. D-Day is 18th October.

First kill

Wednesday 30 September, 2009

by Rosemary at 10:13am in Cats Comments closed

One of the kittens (don't know which one) has made its first kill.

OK, it was only an earthworm and Dan stood on it with bare feet this morning, but it's a start.

I'm just so glad the kitten dropped it before he got it to our bedroom.

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