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Posted: Tuesday 5 August, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 9:11am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

I can't believe it's two weeks since my last diary entry - so much for daily diary!

So we're into August now; Dan went back to the office yesterday. With the Festival only seven weeks away and Christmas being his busy period in his own business, he's going to be pretty flat out between now and December.

We did manage to complete a good number of things on "the list" and at the end of last week, we sat down and reviewed it. We took some things off - like slabbing round the henhouses, which we decided to do two years ago, bought the slabs but now think it's probably not a great idea - and added a couple, like repairing fence at Astwod and pointing the wall in Sheepfold. We've now programmed the remaining projects into the monthly plans for the rest of 2014 and it doesn't look too deadly - but of course, it won't GO to plan :-)

Storm is happily settled with the cows. We've seen him spend time with all four that he's covering; I've seen him jumping them but not seen any stand. George and Charlie have settled fine at Astwood. The calves are growing and the cows are fat - hopefully not too fat to get in calf though.

The gimmers are at Braeside and the ewes and lambs at Barry Mill but we'll be moving them this week as the grass at both places is not great yet and I don't want the lambs to lose condition prior to weaning - which will be soon. At that point the ewes can go back to either grazing and they'll be fine until we get them ready for the tup. We're going to move the ewes nd lambs tonight. That'll be fun as we can't get them all on the trailer in one load now (and I'm not minded to buy a sheep deck for it) and Barry Mill isn't the most accessible place ever :-)

Killed the forst 2014 Hubbard today. THey're just on 12 weeks, and this one looked as though he was getting a bit awkward on his legs. We'll do all the cockerels at the weekend and the hens the follwoing weekend.

We've had another fox attack on the hens in the chookmobile - in daytime. Hoppy the cockerel and five hens this time. We've penned the survivors and we'll be looking at electric netting for the future. And a gun for now.

And finally, Hector the cockerel's replacement arrived yesterday, courtesy of Happyhippy. We've called him Harry (Houdini) as he managed to escape from the pen I put him in yesterday afternoon. Out through a wee hole - far too wee for a bird that size to get out. You know, I had one of those moments where I'm looking in the pen and thinking "where is he?" and considering his use of an invisibility cloak because I just couldn/t believe that he'd gt out this wee hole!!!! Anyway, he's there this morning, so he'll have a couple of days to settle before he goes in with the hens.

Oh, and we had a slight ground frost this morning - and the light's changed. Starting to feel slightly autumnal :-)

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