Gardens / Shearing / Blood testsRSS feed

Posted: Monday 31 May, 2021

by Rosemary at 10:38am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 24th May

We had more rain overnight and the day was cool, damp and drizzly. We ate the last of last year’s apples this morning – we cooked and froze tonnes (well, it felt like tonnes) in the autumn. I fear we may not have a good a crop this year. Some of the apple trees look rough and the poor weather will have affected the number of pollinators.

Wednesday 26th May

(No, I'm not sure what happened to Tuesday either)

Finally plucked up courage to plant up the tubs for the back door. And one hanging basket.

Thursday 27th May

Been a busy day. The shearer told us he was coming today. Then the cattle foot trimmer said he could come today, so with a bit of compromise, we had the shearing done at 1pm and the cattle’s feet done at 3pm. It all worked remarkably well.

cowsCattle waiting for their pedicures; you can see Blizzard is resting her off hind.

We did the BFL first then the Ryelands then the Shetlands; you don’t want to do the Ryelands last – so in this order, it was warm up, hard work and warm down. Nine fleeces and no idea what I’m going to do with them.

fleecesFleeces l to r Ryeland, BFL, Shetland.

We took advantage of the foot trimmer’s crate to have blood samples taken from the three cows, bull and the big heifer – the vet came along at the same time and took them. All easy apart from Ace, who was hanging on to his blood for all he was worth.  These will be tested for Johne’s Disease, IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis), Leptospirosis and Neospora (we already test for BVD under a national scheme and we’re exempt from bTB testing) and the results will inform our health plan and our future health accreditation.

aceYes, Ace has his eyes closed. He's such a cool dude.

Blizzard had a wee abscess on her off hind; sorted now, so hopefuly she'll be sound.

Friday 28th May

Took my daughter swimming; her next-door neighbour has fabulous hanging baskets every year.  I saw his and came home and put all the plants I had for the two remaining baskets in one. I need to put more in the one I planted up on Wednesday too.

It’s been a beautiful day. Most standing water has now gone, alhough it's still squelchy underfoot in some places.

It was lovely to see Blizzard fully sound and leading the herd up for some hay this morning.

Saturday 29th May

Met up with my chums, A & K, for lunch and a tour of gardens in Muckhart under he Scotland’s Gardens scheme. I’m now aiming to open ours in two years.

It was a lovely day but when I drove into Dundee, there was a thick haar – and Carnoustie was the same.

Dan was mega productive while I was out – he cut all the scrap wood in the barn, so it no longer resembles an obstacle course and then he strimmed. And strimmed.

As I was getting ready for bed, Dan popped out to shut the hens in and give the dogs their last run.  When my phone rang, well, you just know it’s not good news. Ace was on the wrong side of the electric fence. Dan could hear the bawling from the hen pens. Thankfully, he was quite obliging at coming back over it, once Dan got it down – and quite excited.

Sunday 30th May

Dan’s first job was to fight his way through the haar and move the electric fence in Laing’s Field, put new batteries on and strim under the wires.

I got into the garden, planting out some petunias and Cosmos in the front beds. Dan cut the grass and it’s looking rather pretty.

For the first time in an age, I rode Smokey; just in the field. I think I was keener than him, but we had an amble about and it was nice.

SmokeySmokey, aged 24 years and two weeks.



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