Happy New YearRSS feed

Posted: Sunday 3 January, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 5:35pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Hope you all had a good New Year! Still wet and windy but it’s getting lighter in the evenings. Don’t notice any difference in the mornings though.

We’ve finally managed to contain Rosie – after two further modifications. The new barrier had to be heightened at the bottom and that seems to have done the trick.

The vet has approved our new health and welfare plan for the cattle so we’ll be continuing to use Closamectin pour-on for the bull, steers and heifer calves and using Albex 10% oral drench at the higher fluke dose for the cows and in calf heifers. The choice of drugs licensed for milking cows is pretty limited. Closamectin isn’t licensed for cows producing milk for human consumption but Dan and I will live with that – just watch out for us starting to glow in the dark J

2016 hasn’t had the best start for us. I noticed that Penny, one of our white Ryeland ewes, was losing a bit of condition. If you were around in the spring, you will know that Penny had a bit of a traumatic lambing – scanned with triplets, had a vaginal prolapse, then a C Section. One lamb born alive, one born dead and one that the vet missed that “appeared” two days later (not the vet mentioned above). We managed to nurse her back to health and decided to keep her as a pet as she’s very canny (amazing given how much poking, prodding and needles she had in the Spring) and would train the ewe hogs to come to a bucket. Anyway, yesterday (2nd), I thought she looked uncomfortable – she was stretching her body and kicking at her belly. Brought her in, called the vet and he diagnosed adhesions resulting from the C-section. Because she was so ill at the time, she couldn’t stand for a week, so things had obviously got gummed up. There was no cure and the problem would have got worse so we reluctantly decided to have her put to sleep. I need to call the knackers in the morning to come and pick her up.

The day didn’t improve when Dan went to corn our cockerel Izzy and his eight hens, only to find the fence torn and all the birds missing presumed killed. The hens were on borrowed time and due to become dog food pretty soon, but we would have kept Izzy, as he was a nice bird. Dan found one carcass today but other than that, it’s just a few feathers. We’re pretty sure it was a fox or foxes. We’ll reinforce the fence before we use the pen again.

Today we’ve got a lame ewe – Smudge – so we’ve brought her in, soaked the sore foot in Milton and applied blue spray. I’ll see what she’s like tomorrow but if she’s improving, I’ll do the same again daily until she’s sound. Treacle looks a wee bit footy as well, but I’ll just keep an eye on her just now. Ryelands have good feet but it’s so wet, I’m only surprised I haven’t had more lame.

So “holidays” over tomorrow and work on the 2016 Scottish Smallholder Festival starts. The Smallholding Scotland Conference programme is almost complete; tickets are on sale on-line http://ssgf.uk/smallholding-scotland-2016-conference/


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