Ditch / Mastitis / SheepRSS feed

Posted: Sunday 6 January, 2019

by Rosemary at 2:48pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 31st December

Hogmanay – and it’s dry, sunny and windy. Not complaining though! Picked up a bale of hay and a bale of straw for the steers at East Pitkerro – they were very happy indeed. The last bale lasted ten days.

The last beef box was picked up today. Still got hundreds of £££ of beef and lamb to sell over the year.

Spent an hour or so in the office – I like to start the New Year with an empty filing tray. And I have. The filing is now lying on my desk. Completed my 2018 Flock Registers and started my 2019 one; I intended to update my flock records in the Ryeland Flock Book but it was just too hard. Updated the pig health and welfare plan; will do the rest this week.

Tuesday 1st January

Happy New Year! Glorious day – cooler than yesterday but bright and sunny. Had Shetland beef rib roast for dinner followed by homemade mocha roulade. Yum!

I’m a wee bit worried about Blizzard; I milked today and there were some clots in the milk. There’s no heat or swelling and she’s not in any discomfort though. Will milk again tomorrow and call the vet if need be.

clotClots from mastitis

Dan started mucking out the cattle’s bedding; the mats haven’t quite worked as planned. Because they’re wasting so much hay, I’ve been bedding them with it plus I had half a bale of straw to use up. I’m also a bit concerned about disposing of shavings and chopped straw is expensive. Some of the mats have moved so for next year, we need to put a good edge round the area. You live and learn.

Dan put a fake electric fence round the sheep’s haybell to keep the ponies off. Greedy boys are supposed to be eating the rubbish grass in the field.

haybellFake fence.

Tidied the pantry – I didn’t know we had so many Kilner jars – and made a shopping list. Economy, economy! And started my Brexit store.

Started going through the seed box – not sure why I bought some of them. I want to get some varieties that we can pick for kids on farm tours to eat – ball carrots, early peas, radishes and spring onions, as well as herbs.

Wednesday 2nd January

Minus 4C this morning and not above 1C all day – lovely and sunny though, and the water defrosted by lunchtime. I put a second trough in for the ewes and ponies – and located it in the sun.

Milked Blizz; more clots but not as bad as yesterday, so spoke to the vet who suggested that I milk her out every day and see if it clears itself, since she’s not in any discomfort. I’d prefer not to use antibiotics, if possible, so was glad the vet felt the same. She’s coming out next week to sedate Smokey to get his sheath cleaned and to check Leo’s teeth. Joy!

Dan did a bit more mucking out – it will be the best manure. He’s making a pile for use in the orchard later in the year.

Woke early – 2am – worrying about Blizzard, so started looking for muffin recipes for farm tour teas. Going to start trying them this week. What diet, I say!

Thursday 3rd January

Cold, cloudy and dark this morning and barely lifted all day. Blizzard seems fine and there were fewer clots this morning. Revised the cattle health and welfare plan and finally sorted the sheep flock book records. I can’t do the sheep plan until scanning is done.

Did some Smallholding Scotland stuff and had a quick look for funding sources for Shetland Cattle at RHS 2020. Paid the butcher’s bill and almost finished the veg garden planting plan.

Friday 4th January

Lovely day – cold but sunny. Put hay in for the cows, but took two rubble bags from the bale to see if it reduces wastage. Dan finished mucking out the cow shed. It looks weird with no straw bed but the cows seem happy enough.

Cleaned to the hens then met with Laura and Sandra to hand over the rural skills section of the Festival.

Saturday 5th January

Cold and raw. Picked up two bales of hay; dropped on in the barn and took the other out to the sheep. They had some left, which we brought back in rubble bags – the ponies will eat it.

oldOld hay.

They were very happy with the new bale, which will hopefully last longer now the ponies can’t get at it.

newNew bale in place.

Dan did a bit more dredging in the ditch – as a result, the water level dropped 18”. Just a wee bit more to do to finish.

Blizzards’ milk was free of clots this morning – took 61/2 minutes to milk her out, so I’ll reduce down from that when I dry her off.

It’s noticeably longer clear at night – but tonight Dan had a big bonfire to burn some brash and waste wood. It was lovely.

Sunday 6th January

Milder today but cloudy and damp. Blizzard is fine so I’ve kept today’s milk. Once the ponies went out, I cleaned up their howff. Leo will have to get his hay in a net as he’s awfully untidy.

Ordered oystershell for the hens and some seed from the Organic Catalogue. That’s it. No more. Weeded for a while in the veg garden. One bed to do – maybe tomorrow (it’s forecast to be 10C).

Dan burned a pile of wood he missed last night and chopped a big pile of kindling from old pallets.

Fire lit in the office so I’m getting tomorrow’s paperwork done today, so that I can get out tomorrow. I have various bits and pieces that I want to sell, so need to get on with that, too.

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