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Posted: Monday 17 February, 2020

by Rosemary at 5:29pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 10th February

Jings, it might be past the first day of spring but we’ve had four seasons in one day, today. Wind, rain, frost and sunshine – never a dull one. Picked up two loads of hay this morning then into Dundee to pick up the newly serviced lawnmower and hedge trimmer. The lawnmower might be better with flotation tyres. On my key project, I popped into the Mitsubishi dealer – the remote locking on one of the two keys wasn’t working – and the nice man put a new battery in each key and didn’t charge me anything. Good service from Richard Lawson Mitsubishi! And the new tractor key arrived in the post today, so once all the labelling was done, I consider Project Key to be complete.

Tuesday 11th February

Rain and wind overnight, but dry and sunny today (but still windy).  Wee Niamh looks like she’s got a bellyful of lambs – I could see them roiling about when I fed her this afternoon. I’m anxious about her – at 10, she’s an old girl – and I hope she gets through this last lambing OK.

Checked the diary – it's over three weeks since we saw Blizzard bulling, and there’s no sign of any activity, so hopefully she’s in calf.

Shetland Cattle @RHS2020 conference call this evening.

Wednesday 12th February

Cleaned out the hens and launched a crowd funder to raise the money to make a promotional film about Shetland cattle.

Dogs helped withthe mucking out.

dogsDon't let our dogs lick your face!

Smallholding Scotland Board conference call this evening.

Thursday 13th February

I’ve asked the folk who are buying Zenith if they want to buy Blizzard too. Eventually, I will have to sell the cows and Blizzard’s ten in April. She’s still a good cow, she’s been milked for five or six years and is a real pet. Good mum, too. But she’s not going to be more saleable in two or three years. It would be nice for the two of them to go together, mum and daughter, and the folk that are buying want to milk, so they’d be able to start this year. They seem like nice folk too, and Blizz is such a pet. Couldnae stop greetin’ when I thought about her going. Anyway, they might not want her.

Dan found some of our plums he’d bottled back in 2018 – we’re having them for breakfast and they’re delicious. We also have bottled cherries, so we’ll eat them next.

Friday 14th February

Getting windy as Storm Desmond cranks it up. Had to get the vet out to Blizz and Annie; both lame. Annie not so bad, but Blizz hasn’t cleared the lameness that started a few weeks ago. This time we made a gate crush and lifted the foot so the vet could examine them. Annie got an antibiotic and is to get Metacam in a couple of days; Blizz got the strong “kills everything including vets” antibiotic again, plus Metacam and is to have five days of Pen & Strep. How she’s going to love me.

Saturday 15th February

Ewe No8 is lame, so we gave her a pedicure and blue spray. Dan, Linda and I had a wee chat about the fencing round by the barn; Linda’s is sorted. Ours, not so much.

Despite the wind, Rebecca and I went for a hack – the rain just started as we got back.

BexRebecca, Ave and Euro.

I untacked Smokey, gave him a treat, changed my boots and headed off to the RBST Caledonian AGM. I missed the butchery demonstration but arrived in time for lunch and the AGM. Roads were wet going and horrible coming back. Good meeting though – and I only volunteered for manning the stand at Scotsheep in June.

Meanwhile, Dan had ticked a load of things off his list – sorting the tyres on the flat trailer and the box trailer, chopping firewood, cleared the ditch. And he laid a solid path at one of the gates in the poultry pens – that wasn’t on the list but much appreciated by me, especially when I have to get a wheelbarrow through it. It's the grids we used for our car parking area - some spares, and we kept them. Glad we did.

stepBraw hard standing.


Sunday 16th February

Some rain overnight and pretty windy overnight and today, but it’s been dry and the ditch is now flowing beautifully.

Dan’s been at his list again, after he helped me administer the various injections to Blizz and Annie. Bird boxes are now emptied, cleaned out and dusted with Diatom; the wee hole in the septic tank is repaired; the brash by the septic tank is cut, the burnable bits removed and the real rubbish put side for a bonfire; more kindling chopped and then up to the orchard with the chainsaw and trimmed some overgrown shrubs and trees where they were fouling the fence.

Dan also took the flat trailer with the dung round to our neighbours for their muck heap. Our sandy soil will take any amount of manure.

I cleaned out the field shelter, after Ace’s brief stay there last month. It’s now ready for lambing. Then it was into the polytunnel (bliss) to do some weeding. It’ really bad with couch grass and all I can do is keep weeding and pulling out as much root as I can. It comes in from outside, so not much we can do without spraying, which we’re loathe to do.

Looks like we’re in for another blowy night.



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