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Monday 7 December, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 11:35am in Smallholding Comments closed

The weather and Storm Desmond have dominated the last week. To be honest, we’ve missed the worst of it here – yes, it’s been wet and windy but nothing compared to Cumbria and other areas of Scotland.  There’s quite a lot is standing water in the fields and there’s an ominous bulge in the roof of one of the henhouses – and the roof of the outside WC is leaking – but by and large, it’s not been too bad.

After picking up Fraser, our new steer, last Saturday, I had to do the movement on to our holding. I find CTS On-line pretty easy to use so long as you do the movements within the three day time limit. If you do it later, you get a telling off from the system. Maybe you get a black mark on your records as well L

That was the week that was

Sunday 22 November, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 9:30pm in Smallholding Comments closed

It’s been a mixed week weather-wise here. Last Sunday, it was dry enough for Dan to hitch up the harrow and give Sheepfold a going over. The ponies have been out there over summer – in the limited turnout they have, being fat, hairy natives – and I haven’t picked poo, so the harrow’s broken it all up nicely and the frost should do the rest.

Since then, it’s been mixed – some heavy rain but no snow and a few dry, windy days that have dried things up a bit. It’s pretty soggy underfoot though.

Mothers Day

Monday 16 March, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 5:30pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Well, Mothers' Day for us meant moving some mothers (to be). As planned, we took Breeze, Blizzard, Rosie and Sunny to Astwood. I vaccinated them with Bravoxin first - oh, that vaccinator is just magic - then took the cows individually and the two heifers together. We decided to keep Bonnie and the calf at home because I'm feeding her, so Annie has stayed for company. Vaccinating them was easy - getting Clyde's tag in wasn't and it broke, so he's got one tag in and a blue ear, which will get a tag in once it's healed. Note to self - tag all future calves at 24 hours old. He's not very big but he's stronger than he looks and very wriggly.

Busy busy

Saturday 14 March, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 8:07pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Been a busy day with more to come tomorrow. Dan finished the field shelter roof; Alan, our joiner, put the sheets on last week and today Dan and his dad put on the barge boards and tidied up. The ewes expecting triplets have access to it now but they'll be in sometime during next week and the ponies are going into that paddock. It's not been heavily bedded so won't be awful to muck out.

Dan moved the chookmobile to its new site. I'll get the oldest batch of hens moved into it this week, so I can give the brown house, their current residence, a good clean and replace the perches before our new POL pullets arrive early next month.

The paperwork got worse

Friday 9 January, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 12:44pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Aaaarrgh! In the previous post, I recounted finding some paperwork that required my attention, during a festive clear out / tidy up. I thought it would be simple. Ha.

We have some rented seasonal grazing about 4 miles away; in terms of animal movements, if certain conditions are met, you can get a concession to link these seasonal grazings to your own main holding and you don't have to then notify the authorities every time you move stock between them. I did this in February 2013. What I didn't notice was that, for cattle, you have to renew the linking very year - the link lasts for 364 days.


Monday 5 January, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 3:31pm in Smallholding 1 comment Comments closed

Although I was a professional papershuffler until five years ago, I get terribly anxious about the smallholding paperwork. As is my habit, I like to spend a day over the festive period clearing out files, getting filing up to date and having a general tidy-up of my desk and surrounding area.

This year, I found an unpaid bill from July - feck, I am mortified. Still, the firm hadn't chased it up and it's paid now.

Also found a letter from the British Cattle Movement Service, one from Animal Health and one from SGRPID that needed urgent attention so I've been sending a few emails today, mainly for clarification. I don't think there's anything that's going to result in me being in the pokey but with the new CAP, we'll be applying for the new Basic Payment Scheme so it seemed a good idea to get all in order.

Fatstock away

Sunday 12 October, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 9:51am in Smallholding Comments closed

Autumn is my favourite time of year and if it didn't involve sending animals to the abattoir, it would be perfect. Still, it has to be done.

We used James Chapman's Shotts abattoir this year for the first time and, because we had a few animals ready to go and given the distance (90 miles), we used a haulier. Needless to say, I wasn't very comfortable with the changes, which were really forced on us by Dunblane abattoir's refusal to take our stock, following a complaint I made about the relief slaughterman's handling of our cull sheep back in the spring.

Back to work

Tuesday 5 August, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 9:11am in Smallholding Comments closed

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 :-)

Getting ready for Kirrie Show

Friday 18 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 12:59pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Tomorrow is Kirriemuir Show, which is our local agricultural show. At the moment, the weather forecast isn't too promising but hopefully it will improve in the next 24 hours :-) The show was cancelled three years ago and it cost them a huge amount of money - hard to recover from that but they have.

We're taking Annie and Rosie; they're entered in the "Other Native Breed" section of the cattle show. Last year, the "Other Native Breeds" were combined with the Aberdeen Angus, which didn't go down very well but to be fair to the organisers, the previous year, there was only us.

How did it get from Friday to Wednesday?

Wednesday 16 July, 2014

by Rosemary Champion at 10:54am in Smallholding 2 comments Comments closed

Well, the daily posts have certainly fallen by the wayside and I have no idea what's happened to the weekend, Monday and Tuesday.

Well, actually, yesterday was easy. It was my birthday, so we had the day off and went for lunch at Pig Halle in Perth. If you get a chance to go, do. The food is very good - but best to book to avoid disappointment. I had lambs kidneys in a mustard sauce to start, followed by braised pork belly, pakchoi and rice, then a blueberry, vanilla and raspberry mousse affair. Dan had pig's trotter in filo pastry with hazlenuts, followed by the chef's wee selection of desserts and coffee. Then we popped round to the attached deli for some walnut bread and some macaroons. Yum.

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