Diary

Barn floor laid / Cattle winter quarters / Tup outRSS feed

Posted: Wednesday 22 November, 2017

by Rosemary at 1:41pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 30th October

Ooh, big frost this morning, freezing the water to the fields but it clouded over by lunchtime. Still nice and dry though.

Dan shoveled even more Type 1 into the barn floor.

Bug was a bit lame this morning.

Much sheep flirting going on at Astwood, which is good.

Teasing the tupTup teasing.

Tuesday 31st October

We’ve had some rain overnight; cloudy and damp today.

Moved the hens to fresh grass today because the feeders were empty so easier to move.

Dan and Paul put the kerbs in at the barn then headed off for some timber retail therapy – this is the timber for the last wee extension to the barn.

Barn curbs going inBarn kerbs in.

I made ginger nuts and cheese biscuits – both delicious.

Got the weights back from the abattoir for the steers – Fraser was 354.5kg and Robbie 383kg. Robbie’s the biggest beast we’ve had away, bigger than the two bulls.

Looked out the planting plan for this year and started updating it for next year; sorted out the remaining seeds from this year. The seed catalogues will be arriving soon to seduce me but I will be strong.

A hen got trapped in the fence – had to use wire cutters to get her out. Not sure how long she’d been there. She’s eating and drinking so we’ll see what she’s like in the morning.

Wednesday 1st November

Lovely day – dry and sunny. Cleaned out three hen houses, the field shelter and two wheeled hayracks. Very satisfying.

Dan did a bit more in the barn, haunching the kerbs, so we’re pretty much ready for the concrete on Friday.

Tup lame this morning.

Got our BVD tests back – all three calves are negative. This is what we expected but it’s always a bit nerve wracking.

Thursday 2nd November

Another nice day. Tara came up to Astwood to help me trim the tup’s feet. He looked sound this morning but we trimmed him anyway – and he needed it. Wormed the ponies.

Went to Harbro to pick up four gates – one for here and three for East Pitkerro.

Friday 3rd November

Grey and chilly today but shoveling and barrowing concrete is a pretty good way to keep warm. Laird’s delivered the concrete for the extension of the barn - that was some job!

Concrete first pad downFirst concrete area finished.

The driver from Laird’s was great – really good bloke.

Concrete crew at workConcrete crew in action (Dan 'supervising').

And a brilliant team effort from Paul and Gemma along with Dan and I to get that floor down.

Also had enough concrete to fill in the troughs in the byre.

Wonder if any cats will walk through the wet concrete before it sets.

Saturday 4th November

Dry, sunny and chilly. No cats have interfered with the concrete and the floor is looking pretty good. A few wee bits to tidy up next week.

Spent the morning at East Pitkerro, which belongs to friends of ours and where our four steers will overwinter. The shed we’re using hasn’t been mucked out for many years – it was like that when Dee and Arnot bought the property.

Martin and Jackie brought their Avant (fantastic machine) to help us muck out the shed but as usual things didn’t go quite to plan.

Avant at workMen and Avant at work.

We mucked out one third then discovered that the floor of the remaining two thirds was two feet lower than the one we’d cleared.

So we decided to just muck out the one third and use that for feeding, bed over the other two thirds and keep our fingers crossed that any previous cattle were healthy.

East Pitkerro shedShed ready for the steers.

Had an impromptu lunch – very grateful for the good friends we have.

Lots of fireworks in the town tonight – thankfully none of our animals seem bothered by them. One of the advantages of living beside an army range, I guess.

Sunday 5th November

Frosty this morning and another lovely day. It does make the winter seem shorter.

First job was to raddle the tup and get him in with the ewes. He marked two right away – he didn’t actually serve them, just caught them unawares.

Popped down to East Pitkerro to finish mucking out, sorting the gates and dropping off some straw.

Andy was here cutting wood when we got back so we had a few hours cutting and stacking wood and having a bit of a tidy up round the barn. Very satisfying.

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