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Shetlands on BBC Landward 20th June

Wednesday 11 June, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 11:50am in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

Just had the crew from BBC Landward here filming our Shetland heifer, Bonnie (and the others) , for their Royal Highland Show programme going out 20th June. Bonnie will be on the RBST stand at the HIghland so they'll catch up with her there too.

Hope she behaves better than she did today though :-)

Great publicity for our wee, rare Scottish breed - and fully deserved. 'cos they are a great breed.

The Inbetweeners

Sunday 8 June, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 11:15am in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

Our bull (Storm, 2012), and two bullocks (George, 2012 and Charlie, 2013) are at our temporary grazing. Our plan is to put all bullocks up there at weaning and they'll stay there until they go to slaughter at 24-28 months. They winter out in a paddock with a small wood attached, so they have plenty shelter.

I kind of think of the three of them as "The Inbetweeners" ;-) George and Storm are pains in the neck; Charlie's pretty canny.The two big 'uns are always pushing each other around, while Charlie eats.

Our 2014 calving

Sunday 8 June, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 10:10am in Cattle 3 comments Add your own


The cows are home

Tuesday 6 May, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 8:24pm in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

We brought the cows home on Sunday. All seven - magnificent - have been at our temporary grazing since the four cows were turned out mid-March. But Breeze, Blizzard and Annie are due to calve at the end of the month and it was time that Bonnie wasn't running with a bull, so we brought them home. One at a time - Breeze first (we'd have brought Bonnie too but couldn't catch her :-)), Blizzard (who fills the trailer on her own), Annie then, last but not least, the bold Bonnie.

George and Storm weren't at all helpful in the loading process and Charlie loaded himself at one point - but after a few sweary words (me) and words of calm (Dan), we got them home. Astwood is now a batchelor club. Our plan is to use Astwood for the bullocks and the bull, when he's not working - bullocks will go up there at weaning and stay there until they go to slaughter. Cows and heifers will be mainly at Dalmore.

Turnout time

Wednesday 12 March, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 4:43pm in Cattle 1 comment Add your own

The two cows, heifer and heifer calf were housed on 20th December. It was the first time in the new barn extension and, with usage, there are a couple of modifications to be made before next winter - and I won't be bedding the feed area, as it proved impossible to keep it adequately clean. So next year, I'll just clean it every day and deep bed the lying area.

We applied pour-on a couple of weeks ago with the intention of turning them out this weekend coming but Dan was at home yesterday, it was a lovely day and a good forecast for the next five days, so we decided to put them out in the afternoon.

Our first Shetland beef

Monday 4 November, 2013

by Rosemary at 9:08am in Cattle 3 comments Add your own

Our freezer is now stocked up with our first Shetland beef.

But is he REALLY big enough?

Thursday 5 September, 2013

by Rosemary at 12:10pm in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

Storm, I mean.  :-)  We brought our bull down from our rented grazing on the 10th of August, just over 56 days after the cows calved. The two cows and the heifer had Kamars on, so that we could see if he served them. At least that was the idea.

By Sunday 11th, there had been much activity and Annie’s Kamar was definitely broken; I thought Blizzard’s was but Dan said that was just wishful thinking. On Monday 12th, Breeze’s was definitely broken.

Calving report 2013

Friday 19 July, 2013

by Rosemary at 3:16pm in Cattle 2 comments Add your own

Some of you may have been following Charlie’s progress via the forum and Facebook, but I thought it might be good to give a bit of an update on our 2013 calving in its entirety.

Both cows, Breeze and Blizzard, were calving for the second time. Last year, Breeze had a bull calf, called George (now a bullock and running with Henry, our 2011 bought-in bullock and Storm, our young bull); Blizzard had a heifer, Rosedean Santa Ana (Annie), who we have kept. Watching the relationship between the three females – two’s company, three’s a crowd – I was really hoping that Breeze would have a heifer calf “to keep”.

Hand milking

Wednesday 3 July, 2013

by Rosemary at 8:23pm in Cattle 3 comments Add your own

Last year, when our two cows calved for the first time, I didn’t get round to trying to hand milk either of them. This year, I was determined to do better. Well, I have, but only a very little.

I thought I would try to milk both, but suspected that Breeze would be much more amenable than Blizzard. I was quite wrong; I can’t get a drop of milk out of Breeze, while Blizzard at least lets me have a wee bit.

I’m not doing well getting a system or routine together. I should be milking in the byre but I haven’t got it mucked out yet. We won’t be using it for wintering livestock again, so once it’s done, it’s done – but it’s not done. :-(

RPA Cattle Inspection

Monday 25 March, 2013

by Rosemary at 9:34pm in Cattle 0 comments Add your own

Our smallholding here at Dalmore is not registered for Single Farm Payment and until this year, we’ve never applied for any subsidies. But with the cattle coming along, we found that we were eligible to apply to the Scottish Beef Scheme 2012 (which, confusingly, replaced the Scottish Beef Calf Scheme).

The application form was fairly simple. The Scheme operates on an annual basis and has a fixed pot of money; a claim is made for calves born in the calendar year and once applications close at the end of December, the pot is divvied up on a per head basis, but with a higher headage payment for the first 10 calves in each business. Payments are due to be made between April and June. Yippee!

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