Hay / Rain / PigsRSS feed

Posted: Monday 5 October, 2020

by Rosemary at 11:56am in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

Monday 28th September

Cloudy and cool but not frosty. Up at 5am. Wide awake; made scones. Dougie the Plasterer is here to do the byre – should be done tomorrow, then three days to dry before paint.

Bertie helped me in the office.

BertieBertie, helping.

Tuesday 29th September

Lovely day – better enjoy it because it’s to break later in the week.

Shannon the Vet came to see Smokey; we’re both a bit disappointed in the impact the inhaler has had. We’re going to try a short course of oral steroids and a drug to open up his airways (this might be long term) but we’re also going to start soaking hay. So first I need some idea of how much – it’s pretty adlib at the moment – then work out a system for soaking that doesn’t involve turning the yard into a mud bath. he's put weight on and all three could do with dropping a bit of weight.

Dougie the Plasterer finished today.

Wednesday 30th September

Heavy rain today. To be fair, we did need it, but I hope there’s not too much at this time of year. Glad to see Annie’s back is fully healed. Blizzard is getting her winter coat in, bless her. A month until she’s due to calve. I’ve cleaned out the field shelter and jiggled the sand and mats about to remove the trip hazards, so if we need it for her and the calf or for Ace, it’s ready. The floor has stood up remarkably well – it’s on Type 1, then sand then mats (which weigh a tonne) – considering it was laid eight years ago and has had a fair bit of wear.

BlizzBlizzard in waiting.

East Pitkerro to have a look at the steers – Charlie now loves the bucket and has realised that if he gallops up the field, he can have one bucket eaten before the other three wend their way up. Loads of grass in the field, so hoping I can keep them out until midwinter.

Thursday 1st October

Rain overnight; dreich this morning. Not cold though and brightened up later. Graham the Joiner and Dave the Electrician here today. The end is in sight. Feeling excited.

Since it’s the first of October, I feel I can start planning our Winterfest, so scrubbed all the stamps for card and paper decoration and tried a bit of my festive cotton on a jar of mincemeat that destined as a gift. Every year I say I won’t get excited. Every year, I lie.

jarFestive mincemeat.

stampsScrubbed stamps.

Dan took an hour away from his desk to move the bags of Remin that were stacked against the West Range wall – and found and killed a big rat. Robbie shot three on Sunday night and there’s definitely much less activity. Fingers crossed for no resurgence as the autumn draws on.

The haulier called me to ask if he could take the cattle to the abattoir tomorrow at 7.45am. Caught me on the hop and I had to say no. Will have to be ready every Thursday from now on. Now worried that we won’t get them away before 8th November.

Friday 2nd October

Oh, lovely morning! The calm before the forecast storm. Dan was up and making soup first thing – winter is coming! Tuscan Bean and my favourite, Lentil and Bacon. Yum. Kept some lentil for lunch and Tuscan Bean for dinner, but most is in the freezer. I love soup.

Cleaned out the hens – they really needed it, so it was very satisfying. I reminded Dan to shut the vents tonight – if it’s going to be stormy, I don’t want the houses getting wet.

Graham the Joiner wasn’t here today – he’s only got a few wee bits to do, like the window and the door furniture, so we’re hoping to get some paint on the walls this weekend. I gave the door frame a couple of coats of Sadolin. I don’t think Dan will let me emulsion.

Took Smokey for a walk in his tackety boots. He was in good form, even though he was wheezy. I need to get some more hay nets so that soaking hay can commence. I looked on line but I’ll just pop along to the tack shop along the road.

Early night; busy weekend ahead.

Saturday 3rd October

It’s raining and it’s been raining all day. After the morning round, it was off to a friend’s at Blairgowrie to pick up some hay that he doesn’t need. Into B&Q for paint for the byre, then for diesel then home for lunch.

Dan went off to clean the byre floor and start painting; I unloaded the hay.

hayWee bales.

Sunday 4th October

Jings, what a change from yesterday – overcast when we left with the pigs this morning but blue skies and sunshine when we got back.

homeHome paddock's a bit wet.

The pigs were more awkward to unload at the other end than to load here, but we left them with fresh water, some feed and a bucket of apples. When we got back, I cleaned out the trailer, then the pig ark – it’s going to need some renovation before the next batch – wound up the water hose and cleaned out the troughs. Job done.

arkPig ark, in need of renovation.

penOur mini Somme.

My day got off to a poor start; fed the ponies and started to brush up the barn – and the b*gg@rs had knocked out the half wall. Thankfully, the Yorkshire boarding above it is undamaged. I have cattle in there all winter with no problems - horses with itchy bums, and the place is devastated. So, we’re going to take it down and replace it with heavy timber instead. It was never a good wall.

wallOh dear - my very words this morning.

Dan carried on with painting – he’s almost finished the first thin coat. Really pleased with it.

Busy week next week. For a change.



Wednesday 7 October, 2020 at 10:09am

I was reading your post about soaking hay. People used to think that it needed overnight but it only needs to be wet through. Hay net into a dustbin and five minutes. Anything over an hour seriously depletes the feeding value. Hope soaking helps the wee man. Assume he lives out. Less time in the better.

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