Cluckdown / Appleblossom / MowingRSS feed

Posted: Monday 5 April, 2021

by Rosemary at 9:04am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 29th March

Today was a day of going for hay, doing paperwork, addressing envelopes and shopping but for various reason everything got a bit muddled and the envelopes didn’t get done. Early start tomorrow.

Dan thinks all the bee colonies have died. Alistair, a beekeeping friend, has offered us a nuc, since we gave him one when he was starting.

Tuesday 30th March

Set my alarm for 6am to make a start on the envelopes; stopped at 7am to do the morning round – hens out, sheep fed, ponies in for their breakfast, hay out for sheep and cattle and cattle out, then my breakfast. Then off to the post office for stamps, finished the envelopes and mucked out the cattle. Very productive morning.

Got a bit of a revised cattle plan developing, around keeping a couple of heifers, halter training them, taking a first calf and training them to milk and selling them on. And repeat. No steers, no beef. Just a hobby. It’s a plan in development.

It’s almost apple blossom time. And we had bees flying from one hive this morning. But not many.

blossomApple blossom.

Wednesday 31st March

Oh, the excitement! The poultry lockdown ends at midnight so today has been spent preparing the green henhouse for the return of the flock currently in the polytunnel and the brown henhouse for the POL I’m collecting on Friday, along with the meat chicks. I had a quick run to Forfar for chicks crumbs (I’d kind of forgotten about the chicks in all the hen excitement) and bits for my lambing box. It was great having the sink with hot water for washing up the feeders and drinkers.

We should have fresh rhubarb this week.

rhubarbMmm,fresh rhubarb.

Got the crates out before dinner, ready to go and as soon as it was half dark, we crated the hens up and took them back to their proper house.

cratesGetting ready to end Cluckdown.

Thursday 1st April

Lovely morning and the hens are out! Finished preparing the brown henhouse for the new arrivals tomorrow and started to prep the cheep box. The lights are both working and the feeders and drinkers washed – just need Dan to help me with the box and get some newspapers – Linda will have plenty.

I think the hens have become institutionalised!

hensThere is nothing stoppingthem going out!

Replacement strawberries arrived – very good service from James McIntyre.

Friday 2nd April

Another lovely day. Lunchtime, off to Perth to collect hens and cheeps. Six eggs in the crates when I got home. Dan gave me a hand to set up the cheep box – bloody lights wouldn’t work. Loose connection in one and bulb blown in the other. How did that happen while they were sat on a bench overnight? Anyway, sorted now. Hens happy to be out; cheeps look a bit shell shocked but some quiet time should see them OK. But my poor polytunnel.

polytunnelMy poor polytunnel.

Planted out the new strawberries.

strawberriesNew strawberries - variety Hapil.

Saturday 3rd April

Lovely spring day – warm, still, sunny.  First job was to muck out the field shelter. I’ll be using it for lambing. Dan took the tractor round so I could muck out straight into the bucket – took two loads but so much easier than using a wheelbarrow. Then we took down the gazebo at the caravan and cleared up the old muckheap beside it and the base of hay / poop under the gazebo. It would have made great compost if we’d had somewhere to put it. Again the tractor bucket was a huge help with the clearing up.

gazeboGazebo coming down.

caravanAll tidied up.


Dan did some wee bits of repairs – a tap and a rail that had come loose, then repaired some holes in the deer netting where hens were getting through. We think it’s rabbits making the holes, so he’s put rabbit netting on some of the perimeter stretches. And he put the towel hook and toilet roll holder up in the WC. Man and screwdriver in perfect harmony x

The cattle enjoy the sunshine.

cattleAce having a good scratch.

Dan gave Ace a bit of a brush becasue he's losing his coat and is itchy.

aceAce enjoying his brush.

Sunday 4th April

Not so nice this morning – very windy and cold. Finally got round to vaccinating the three cows with Bravoxin and (whispers) tagging Rora. I’ll have a few bruises in the morning.

Did some random tidying up – washing the poultry crates from Friday and putting them away, and adding the stones and wood that were securing the gazebo netting in their proper place.

Dan planted the early potatoes – Red Duke of York. TBH, the Rooster could go in now too.  And then he gave the veg garden grass its first cut.

mowingFirst cut of the year.

I visited our daughter – even got dressed up to go. Really looking forward to lockdown ending. I’ve bought the “Gardens Open” book from Scotland’s Garden Scheme in the hope that we’ll be able to visit some lovely gardens and get some inspiration this summer.


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