December 2010RSS feed


Wednesday 1 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 3:31pm in Sheep Comments closed

Hmm, just when I thought all the ewes were tupped, Jura seemed to have a greener bum. That will be her third service. If she isn't in lamb now, then she's down the road. Although she's quite a good looking ewe, she's had two single lambs, each time way after the other two ewes lambed and she's a bit bonkers.

Vet's going to scan them on the 20th, but if she was succesfully mated on the 25th November, it will be too early for him to tell if she's in lamb. What a pest she is.

A freezer full of lamb

Wednesday 1 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 3:34pm in Sheep Comments closed

We got our two tup lambs back from the butcher last Friday. The butcher was extremely encouraging and helpful. He said that their conformation was very good but that they were a bit fat over the shoulder and the loin. I was feeding them a bit of cake, which I won't do next year, and they were just over seven months old, when I intended to have them away at six months.

Still, it's a learning process and hopefully we'll do better next year. Looking forward to our first roast lamb - maybe for Christmas!


Tuesday 7 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 12:05pm in Poultry Comments closed

We killed and cleaned our first five Hubbards on Sunday. I'm pretty sure all five were cockerels and their dressed weights were 2.62kg, 2.74kg, 2.88kg, 2.92kg and 3.14kg. They were 11 weeks old. Needless to say the remaining six have far more room now.

The six that are left are one cockerel and five hens, I think. The hens are quite a lot smaller, so we'll give them another couple of weeks.

We did pretty good job of it, I think. Dan had a plan and I just did as I was told - works fine for us. I can't say I enjoy it - I did shed a few tears - but once we get going, I'm fine and I know they've been well looked after and had a quick, relatively stress free end.

Tiresome snow

Tuesday 7 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 12:29pm in Anything goes Comments closed

I'm soooo fed up with snow and ice and cold and winter in general. I spend so much time carting water, filling haynets, worrying about whether we've got enough hay - the days are just packed. John spends the morning defrosting taps and pipes.

Yesterday, I didn't put the water containers in the pump room - I was tired - this morning, they're solid. I'm cross with myself 'cos it's my own fault.

Still, sun's out, the sky's blue and the joiners are putting in the kitchen so it's not all bad. Hey ho, off to fill haynets now!

The joiners are finished!

Sunday 12 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 6:03pm in Renovation 1 comment Comments closed

Well, apart from any snagging, the joiners are now finished. The kitchen is in but not quite finished, because the tiler has still to do the splashback, the painter still has the pantry to paint out and the granite worktop will be here next week (hopefully).

The floors in the dining room and living room are in, as is the fire surround, although it's still to be stained. We've actually got the furniture in the two rooms now and we're moving by stealth into the kitchen. The electrician should be here tomorrow to finish his bits; the plumber is finished. The tiles for the hall are being delivered on Friday morning and the tiler will be here next weekend; painter here this week. So, all things being equal and weather permitting, we should be pretty much finished this time next week.


Sunday 12 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 6:17pm in Anything goes Comments closed

We're getting a bit of a thaw now, which is great, and I'm loath to complain. But it's been freezing overnight and where the snow is hardpacked and icy, it's absolutely treacherous underfoot in the morning. We started to break some of it up today, to help it thaw faster. I'm going to try and get some sand and salt this week, just in case it freezes again. I can't see us getting to Spring without another freeze somehow.

The ponies are boycotting the track because it's so slippy, so I think I mght let them into the five acre field. I just need to find a way of keeping them away from the sheep's hay rack.

Happy solstice!

Tuesday 21 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 7:15pm in Anything goes 2 comments Comments closed

Happy solstice to you all! We've decided it's of more relevance to us than Christmas. For a few weeks, I've been looking forward to the shortest day and the turn of the year - now we're going forward to spring.

2010 has been a remarkable and brilliant year. We've moved to Dalmore, renovating the house (which is nearly finished), bought our first cattle, expanded the sheep flock and have loads of plans for 2011 and beyond (way beyond :-)).

It has been the most glorious day here - cold (-7) but with clear blue skies and bright, surprisingly warm, sunshine. It's amazing how a couple of hours of sunshine can make you feel so good, even if you are slithering about in the snow.

Horse dentist

Tuesday 21 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 7:21pm in Equines Comments closed

Smokey, Bugsy and Sheba had their annual dental checkup today. Horses teeth grow throughout their lives and often develop uneven wear and rough edges that can cause pain and abcesses. I've always had Smokey's done annually, so Sheba and Bugsy joined him today.

They were all very good, even Bugsy, who's not that keen on his mouth being handled. He bounced up on his hind legs a few times, but a bit of belly scratching and soothing words helped him cope. The dentist is going to come back in six months, just for Bugsy, so that he has more chance to get used to it and to understand that he's not being done in.

Thawing again

Monday 27 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:34pm in Anything goes Comments closed

We're thawing again - hopefully for a bit longer this time. We woke this morning to the sound of snow rushing of the roof. When the dogs rushed out the back door, as they do, they slithered and slipped - even 4-paw drive couldn't stop them. The feed store floor was a bit wet and a couple of gutters are leaking, but not badly.

On the plus side, none of the water buckets was frozen - I suspect the tap in the ponies' field will have thawed out too. We were also able to poo-pick a bit of the field now that the poo doesn't freeze solid - but that means no more "ice lollies" for the dogs.

Planning the vegetable garden

Monday 27 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 8:56pm in Growing Comments closed

I've spent the last couple of evenings working on the planting plan for the vegetable garden. Well, actually, the planning started a few weeks ago when I did the basic bed plan, decided what vegetables were going where and then chose the varieties we're using this year. After that, I placed the order for our seeds, seed potatoes, onion and shallot sets and garlic. I've done this for a couple of years now, but it's the first time at Dalmore, where we have more and bigger beds and, obviously, different growing conditions.

Cattle keeper

Thursday 30 December, 2010

by Rosemary at 5:21pm in Cattle Comments closed

We must be proper cattle keepers now - we have the Cattle Keeper's Handbook from the British Cattle Movement Service. We've also got out Herd Register and medicine book AND an account with Genus who will do the AI for us in the summer.

We're going to buy semen from the RBST - they have five Shetland bulls so we have to pick one. They are all black and white. I've had a look at their pedigrees on line and I don't think any of them have Templeson Boris or Collafirth Rasmie genes in them. Some of them are pre-Boris / Rasmie and some contemporary. I will take advice but it's quite interesting looking at all the pedigrees. Each beast has an Inbred % but I don't know what that means. Templeson Boris was 25% inbred; the sire and dams of our two heifers are about 5.6% inbred. I'm now off to ask the question...

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