Christmas preparationsRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 24 December, 2013

by Rosemary Champion at 12:33pm in Agriculture No comments Add your own

We've had some strong and gusty winds and some rain here, but thankfully, we've escaped the worst of the weather so far.

The cows and calves are now housed here at Dalmore and the bull and bullock are at Astwood in the wood and the paddock beside it. There's still a bit of grass but we'll start feeding them a  bit of hay after Christmas. They have a molassed lick too.

The cows are on a mix of hay and straw with a a molassed lick and have settled in fine. Blizzard (boss cow), her 2012 heifer, Annie, and her bullock from this year, Charlie, feed together - as do Breeze and Bonny. The straw is ad-lib, so they just pick away at it and I top it up with some hay twice a day. Blizzard and her two are first at the barrier and Breeze and Bonny aren't allowed in until they are finished, so I give Breeze and Bonny their own hay. Seems to work fine.

Today we did their fluke / worm / external parasite pour-on - bliss compared to drenching :-) This gave me a chance to try out the cattle weight tape I bought a month ago. We did Breeze, who was 540kg so we estimated Blizzard as 600kg; Annie was 408kg, so we'll estimate the bull and George to be 450kg; and Charlie was 276kg, so we estimated Bonny to be 250kg. Bonny was the only one who gave us the run-around - halter training will need to start after the holidays :-)

Dan and John did some emergency repairs to the field shelter roof this morning - looked a bit hazardous but it's done. Now that it's watertight, I've bedded it as the ewes have access to it. Jinx has been penned in there as she's lame but I let her out while work was going on as the noise was clearly upsetting her. A proper renovation of that roof plus the ones on the bike shed and the outside lavvy are now scheduled for spring.

The tup is running with the bull and bullock until the ewes are scanned, then he and any barren ewes will be away. The wether and ewe lambs are still at Astwood; we'll bring the lambs down between Christmas and New Year, I think, and leave the tup and wether up there.

I cleaned out one big hen house yesterday and I'm going to do the three wee ones after lunch; the other big one is fine until after Christmas. I'll make up some bread and cod liver oil for the chooks as a Christmas treat.

And finally, I'll get some bottles of stout out for the ponies' Christmas feeds - they do love their annual beery treat.

Happy Christmas, everyone!



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