Diary

End of 2017 / Dead ewe / Tom settling-inRSS feed

Monday 1 January, 2018

by Rosemary at 12:18pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 25th December

Sadly the ewe died overnight. Phoned the knacker re collection – really just looking for a message about opening hours, but spoke to the man (apologised for disturbing him on Christmas Day, but he said I wasn’t the first) and arranged collection of the carcass on Wednesday. Hope it stays cold.

Tom has left the house but not the smallholding. We put food outside and Dan saw him eating, so he’s around.

Then the most remarkable thing happened. Dan noticed Diesel sitting on the kitchen windowsill, meowing. This is unusual. Pen sits at the window and meows to get in but D just lets himself in through the cat flap. So Dan went to open the boot room door, and there was D. With Tom just behind him. Honestly, it was like D was bringing Tom home.

Tom didn’t actually come in but tonight, he did come in through the front door cat flap, went upstairs, had a feed and went to sleep on his rug.

When he asked to go out about 3am, I let him. He knows the way home now.

Tuesday 26th December

Relaxing day today. Walked the dogs. Ate too much.

Tom came in in the evening, for food and sleep.

Wednesday 27th December

Tom seems to be getting into a routine, coming in about 7pm, having a huge feed, a cuddle and play and a sleep then going out early in the morning. We don’t see him all day, unlike the other three, who lurk around the garden.

Knackers came to pick up the dead sheep.

Put out a new bale of hay for the steers - they're looking well.

Steers feedingFresh hay for the 4 steers.

Thursday 28th December

Lit the stove in the office today, to catch up on some paperwork.

Finished the planting plan for the veg garden and ordered seeds, seed potatoes, garlic and shallot sets.

Friday 29th December

Put a new bale of hay in for the cows. They’re going through a bale every four days. That should drop a wee bit once the two heifer calves go away in February.

Assuming they go out 1st May, I’ll need another 30 bales.

The steers are eating a bale a week, but they might get out a bit earlier, so maybe 15 more bales.

The sheep aren’t looking at theirs yet and the ponies still have lots of forage in Laing’s field.

Gave the cows a fresh bed – Panda gets very excited by this.

Dan made black pepper rye bread, interesting because most of the liquid used is cold coffee.

Black pepper rye breadBlack pepper rye bread.

It was delicious, even with chia seed substituted for poppy seed, but next time we agree the caraway seed will be dropped.

Tom was also in playful mood – he loves his “moosie”.

Saturday 30th December

Cold and raw today, but no snow thankfully and not cold enough to freeze the outside water.

Picked up four bales of hay for home, so that should do us for two weeks.

Took delivery of 4 cubic metres of firewood. We're usually self-sufficient, but this year with Paul and Gemma heating and cooking with wood this year we needed a top-up.

WoodBryn 'helping' put the wood away.

The new wood store should hold 3 years' worth for future needs.

More progress with Tom - he ventured into the lounge today and found a spot on the sofa.

Tom on sofaOne-eyed Tom settling in.

Sunday 31st December

And so the last day of 2017.

We said goodbye to Meg and Felix but welcomed Gwenna and Tom to fill the vacancies in the pack.

Losing a young ewe on Christmas Day was a blow but hopefully we have 14 in lamb.

We had three good calves and three cows confirmed in calf for next year.

We lost one parcel of grazing but acquired another.

Bug’s feet have been an ongoing trial and Smokey’s COPD is concerning but so far livable with.

The weather here has been kinder than it was to many, so no complaints there.

One of the highlights is the conversion of part of our outbuilding into a classroom / office. Still don’t have a good name for it. And the work to extend the barn is proving well worth it.

Dan’s got right into bread making and we made our first cider. The vegetable garden has some room for improvement. The fruit garden is manageable under the weed fabric – oh, joy!

All in all, it’s been a pretty good year.

Thanks to everyone who reads our diary and for the kind comments over the year. May 2018 be peaceful, filled with good health and contentment.

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