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Cattle / Festival follow up / Holiday prepRSS feed

Posted: Monday 5 November, 2018

by Rosemary at 12:01pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 29 October

Took our last three tups to the abattoir this morning; they’re a bit small, but I don’t have the grass to keep them longer.

Spent the rest of the morning tidying the house, which always suffers in the run up to the Festival, and catching up with washing, then the rest of the day sorting through the boxes that came back from the Festival – by the end, we’re all exhausted and stuff gets boxed any old how, so it all has to be emptied out, cleaned and repacked.

Our cream separator arrived; works well but the cream is so thick, it solidifies in the fridge. Made butter but not sure it was washed enough.

Tried our own home cured bacon this evening – delicious and not too salty.

Lit the fire tonight - had corgi and cat "blankets"

dogsCorgis and cats.

Tuesday 30 October

All boxes now sorted through and tidied up. Just the paperwork to do, bills to pay and feedback to seek and process.

Bringing the cattle in tomorrow – not quite in time to stop Ace eating a pile of garden plants in a garden adjacent to our rented field. Still, if you cut the fence to half height, what can you expect?

Picked up the new tombstone ring feeder for East PItkerro – why does the satnav send me down single track roads with passing places, towing the trailer – when the depot was on the A94? Coming home was easier and less stressful than going. Target for 2019 is to learn to reverse the trailer.

Sorted out the abattoir, haulier and butcher for the two steers. Started advertising beef boxes. And I might have found a friend for Smokey, poor boy.

Had the ultimate bacon sandwich at lunchtime – homemade bread and butter and home-cured bacon form our own pigs. Brilliant feeling.

Wednesday 31 October

Cold and frosty this morning – taps in the fields frozen and the milking machine wouldn’t work until it had 15 minutes in the office to warm up.

Dan finished fitting the Mayo Mats in the cow shed. They look pretty good – no doubt modifications will be required over the winter but it’s all a learning process.

Brought the cattle in; really they just wandered in by themselves, Ace first of course. Followed by his wives and kids.

cattleCattle in.

Decided to put Urquhart in with the ewes too – happy boy. A few days will make no difference come spring.

Got the weights back for the tups – small as expected – 19kg, 17kg and 16.5kg. One had signs of having had pneumonia (the biggest one, which we knew about) and one of the others had signs of fluke and lungworm. If there was a lungworm issue, that might have contributed to the pneumonia. I’ll need to look at my worming programme – the tups were wormed twice, once with Animec and once with Zolvix - because some had dirty bums, but the ewe lambs were all ok. May have to worm them when we get back from holidays.

Thursday 1 November

Heavy rain overnight but sunny later. Four yellow bums this morning – Winter, 6,10 and 14. No doubt some of them will come back in 16 days or so.

Vet Lucy here this morning to take blood samples from our two calves for BVD testing. It went fine – they were a wee bit pissed off but we managed to get two samples. Might use tags next year.

Smokey and Ace said "Hi".

aceSmokey and Ace.

Tara came and milked tonight in practice for our holiday next week. She’s a veteran now and all went as planned.

Friday 2 November

Cold and frosty this morning – just as well I put the milking machine in the feed store last night. It’s a bit weird having the cattle in – changes the routine significantly. We put the Burco in the feed store, so there’s plenty hot water there for cleaning the milking machine. Much better system; just needs tweaking now.

Found a way to reduce bird food usage; clean the old feeders, watch them disintegrate and buy new ones that the birds don’t recognize.

Saturday 3 November

Prepared the shed at East Pitkerro and brought the four steers in. They were really good and shouted lots of encouragement as we tussled with the new ring feeder. We managed to get 19 out of 20 bolts in, eventually. The steers were dead easy to get in – opened the field gate and they pretty much wandered in.

Sunday 4 November

Full on holiday prep today – including housework (for me) and cleaning gutters (Dan). Packing takes about 15 minutes.

Three more yellow bums today – Niamh, 8 and 15. If he keeps this up, we’ll be done in a week but I seem to recall writing the same thing last year and it didn’t quite work out that way.

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