Bugsy / New Tup / Tractor In / Bull prepRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 6 December, 2016

by Rosemary at 11:38am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 28th  November

Bit milder today but damp and grey.

Went to let the hens out this morning and found the ponies in the poultry. Thankfully, they hadn’t damaged any trees but both Smokey and Bug had eaten a bellyful of poultry pellets. I guessed what was coming so turned the field shelter into a sick bay and stuck Bug in it with water and a bit of hay.

Bugsy's sick bayBugsy's sick bay.

Bingo, by teatime, he had sore feet. I got some bute from the vet tonight, so hopefully he’ll be more comfortable by morning.

Poor wee man – he’s not awfully fat and he’s been doing so well. :-(

I had sorted out his harness yesterday but he’ll not be in that for a bit.

Ordered four cattle hurdles and a gate to make a pen for the new bull calf, Ace, who we’re picking up on the 11th. We had to borrow some to load Mak and Hamish so having a few of our own will be better.

Got an email from the bull’s breeder to say he was negative for both IBR and Lepto; I expected that he would be, but still, it’s good to have it confirmed.

Our new tup, Cockairney Urquhart, will be arriving on Sunday.

I’ve made seven mini Christmas cakes tonight – and have enough mix for probably another three, so I’ll bake them in the morning.

Tuesday 29th November

Bug seems a bit happier today. The weather has changed for frosty to very mild – it was 8°C today.

Winnie and Blizzard will be going out daily until the weekend, when we bring Annie and Rosie home. I feed Blizzard in the barn in the morning but Winnie comes out into the yard for hers – then she has a wee explore while I do the hens and the ponies. Today her explorations took in Bryn, a cat and a very excited bounce across the wood chips.

Winnie and BrynWinnie and Bryn bonding.

Managed to get another four mini cakes out of the mix. Two lessons learned – firstly, the rim on the inside of the bean tin is very, very sharp and secondly, you need to line the tin with enough greaseproof paper to be able to ease the cake out of the tin. Otherwise you have to eat the cake out of the tin with a spoon. :-)

Wednesday 30th November

Took Meg to the vet this morning. We thought she might be getting a wee bit incontinent – either through age or because of a urinary infection. Vet thinks it’s a vaginitis – which would explain the licking – so she’s got a week’s antibiotics. Vet also wanted a urine sample, so I collected one this afternoon and Dan took it into the vet.

Vet rang with good news – no blood, glucose or protein in the urine and it was suitably concentrated, indicating that Meg’s kidneys are working normally. So we’ll try the ABs. If she’s still wet, she’ll probably get Incurin.

Meg sleepingMeg sleeping in the office.

She’s amazing for 16 – still goes out with me for an hour night and morning to feed the animals.

Thursday 1st December

Another mild day. Bug still sore. I think I’ll get the vet out tomorrow.

Moved the two main flocks of hens into fresh paddocks this morning. Each flock has three paddocks, which they rotate round on a monthly basis.

Hens December 2016Poultry pen looking good for December.

The January paddocks still look good – if it stays dry, they’ll be fine.

Popped up to Harbro in Forfar for some calf crunch, beet pulp pellets and a couple of bags of chaff for the ponies then went round to pick up the cattle hurdles.

Ritchie of ForfarRitchie's aladdin's cave in Forfar.

I could fill my birthday and Christmas lists for the next ten years at Ritchie! :-)

Completed my Sheep and Goat Census.

Friday 2nd December

Lucy the vet came out to see Bug today; she’s not too worried about him and prescribed more bute and a mils sedative, which helps to reduce the blood flow to the hooves. He’s definitely more comfortable.

Finally got back to weeding in the vegetable garden. We have six beds, including a perennial bed. I’d done the perennial bed and a third of a second one maybe two weeks ago; almost finished a third one today. It was quite nice – our soil is easy weeded, being so light. Can’t believe how dry it is, but I’m not complaining.

Found these kneeler pads that I bought for John years ago – they are fab.

Knee pads for weedingKnee pads - ideal for weeding!

No more frozen knees!

About 4pm, the haar started to roll in – I could see it moving up the fields and could feel the temperature plummet. It had been 10°C on the car earlier but it was a good deal colder by bedtime.

Saturday 3rd December

Cool and grey this morning with a wee film of ice on the water in the fields, but it got a good bit milder as the day went on.

Dan brought the tractor in, took off the harrow and put the tractor to bed for the winter. It will get some routine maintenance and repairs over-winter.

Tractor in for winterTractor in for winter.

He then helped me build the pen for Ace; it’s now bedded and has a hayrack and water bucket.

Pen for Stackyards Ace of SpadesPen for our new bull - Stackyard Ace of Spades.

I tidied up the rest of the barn and bedded the pen for the cows. I hope they have enough room.

Dan cut wood this afternoon then came and helped me weed for a wee while. I finished the bed from yesterday then started on the fourth bed; I should get that finished tomorrow morning then I’ll work on the one that’s part done. I’m saving the worst one for last – it’s got quite a lot of nettles in it. :-(

Heeled in the new raspberries and took some blackcurrant cuttings.

New raspberries, blackcurrant cuttingsNew raspberries, blackcurrant cuttings.

Sunday 4th December

Bit murky this morning but the sun came out at lunchtime for a wee while.

Brought Teddy home from Astwood this morning – before the cows, as they make such a mess of the trailer. He was such a good boy.

Brought Rosie then Annie home next, sluicing out the trailer I between. Don’t know how much the calves are bawling but their mammies are making some racket. They only shut up for five minutes to eat their sugar beet; they can bawl with hay in their mouths.

Fiona and Archie kindly delivered our new tup this afternoon. He’s called Cockairney Urquhart, born 2014. He’s worked this year and last, but only had four ewes, so next year our fifteen will be a treat for him. He’s white, so we’ll get white lambs the next two years then when we go back to a coloured tup in 2019, we’ll start to get a mix of coloured and white lambs, which gives us options in yarn production.

He and Teddy seem to have settled down fine in the isolation pen. He’ll be isolated for three weeks, fluked and wormed.

Sadly didn’t get back to the weeding today – but planning to get on with it tomorrow. It’s forecast to be mild all week, so this is a window of opportunity to get it done.


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