Calves / Potatoes / MilkRSS feed

Posted: Monday 11 May, 2020

by Rosemary at 8:38pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 4th May

So, the cattle are out and very happy they are too. Blizzard is lame again but I can't do anything about it now: once Rosie and Annie have calved, I'll get the trimmer along to do their feet and hopefully the vet to see Blizzard's at the same time.

Dan made up his comfrey orders - it's quite a considerable task every week, but we're not complaining. He's also been germinating peas on damp kitchen roll - definitley the way to do it. I sowed some in pots and had rubbish germination - this way, you know before you plant. He's going to do the runners the same way, for the same reason.

I sowed more flower seed at side of West Range. Cattle out so ponies in the barn.


Tuesday 5th May

Slight frost this morning then warm and sunny, but with a cool wind if you are out of the shelter of buildings. Baked a Dundee cake; it was a bit dry and slightly overcooked but it'll be fine with a cup of tea. Made a start on mucking out the barn.

barnBarn mucking out.

Did a load of weeding. The chap who was buying all the sheep isn't able to do so now, so they're back on the market, via social media. Quite a lot of interest, thankfully.

Dan started cutting the grass in the veg garden but the lawnmower broke.

A week early, Rosie calved at 9.30pm – red and white heifer. Ace is in bachelor quarters in the field shelter until after Annie calves. He was very obliging in going in - tempted by a bucket.

RosieRosie's calf.

Wednesday 6th May

Frosty then sunny. Rosie's calf is up and about; she'll be called Alba.

albieRosie's new calf.

And the sheep are sold - as a flock, which is nice - and for the asking price, which is nice also. Buyer wants the black tup lambs registered so will have to tag them tomorrow.

Walked the ponies out along the cycle track. So busy.

And not to be outdone by her daughter, Annie calved - another heifer, black and white this time. A week early, by her dates, but both well.

AnnieAnnie's calf

Thursday 7th May

OMG, it's hot. Annie’s calf is going to be called Afton.

aftonRosedean Afton.

Did some gardening and walked out the ponies. Tagged and registered the three black tups; the sheep are going on the 16th May, more than likley.

Started hardening off peas and courgettes.

Friday 8th May

Cooler and rain forecast but very hot again; we had one heavy shower.

Dan was in the bees; we have two colonies, one is very strong, the second has a weak queen, so she will need to be replaced. He's done a technique called demaree on the stong hive. He may take a frame of brood from there into the poor hive to requeen it. And he planted more potatoes.

Dan repaired the milking machine.

danRepairing the milking machine

The white Leghorn that lives in the green house is bloody; I think it was the cockerel, Duck. I've sprayed her with blue spray, so hopefully she'll be OK.

I'm way behind with sowing but did carrots and beetroot. And some flowers for cutting; didn't have any markers so sowed them in laphabetcal order; Calendula Indian Prince, Calendula Kinglet Mixed, Cornflower, Larkspur and Scabious.

Brought the cows in - well, Annie and Blizz. Rosie declined, even when offered a bucket.

Saturday 9th May

Very hot again. Rain forecast. The orchard is looking very bonny - especially the Sunset trees.

blossomOrchard - Sunset.

Walked out the ponies, cleaned out an empty freezer, wormed and fluked the three BFL gimmers and No2 and cleaned the milking machine.

The tap in Sheepfold runs a bit and I was going to ask Dan to sort it, but I was watching today and the little seepage is well used by brds and insects - inlcuding our honey bees, so maybe leave it for the summer at least.

troughSheepfold water trough.

Dan repaired a leaking gutter and repaired the bird table and finished plantng potatoes. We've a few seed potatoes left so I've advertised them FTGH on local Facebook pages.

Oops, Rosie's heifer is a bull. What a rookie mistake. I really wanted a heifer and I think I just saw what I wanted to see. Then today I saw him pee. Hey ho. He's called Albie. Milked for the first time and got 10l, mostly from Annie. Rosie wasn't very co-operative. Dan's got his cheese making equipment out!

milkFirst milk.


Sunday 10th May

Some rain over night but not much. Cold this morning with a bitter NE wind, but sunny. and warm if you can get out of the wind. I collected hay and popped down to East PItkerro to check the steers. They look fine, but Charlie's very small still.

Walked out the ponies and went over the golf course for a change. Much nicer - much less busy and the ponies seemed to like it. 

EuroEuro and Tara.

Dan went strimming, mainly to tidy up along the fence between the two Top paddocks. He found a nest of eggs. Naughty girls.

strimmingFenceline strimmed.

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