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Posted: Monday 16 January, 2023

by Rosemary at 7:07am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 9th January

Bit dreich this morning.  I was away first thing for hay – one bales is doing the cows about eight or nine days. Not sure how long a pony / bull bale is doing but I’ve marked the opening date on the board in the feed store.

MondayDreich Monday.

Duncan was here doing the hedges. Nice tidy job –five men, so it didn’t take long. He’s going to come back in February to take down about twenty trees that are surplus. Andy and Dan will process them for firewood. We’re going to fill the gaps in the orchard with smallish, nature friendly trees rather than more apples.

hedgesTidy hedges.

Rather than routinely treat the cattle for parasites, I decided to worm / fluke test. We have used a pour-on in the past – it’s convenient but treats for things we don’t have, like external parasites and we don’t know what our status is with worms and fluke, although we know from the sheep that we have fluke on our land. So my instructions were to take an individual sample from each and let the lab pool it – then we treat the whole herd if required.

So all cows tied up; Grey’s was easy to do, being single accommodation. And we wait. And wait. The three heifers oblige but not Blizzard. So I put four samples to the side and untie them. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Tuesday 10th January

Cows tied up. Bronte and Baby untied – they won’t take advantage of Rora and Blizzard. And we wait. I’m going into Dundee at 1.30pm - so that’s the deadline, otherwise we have to start again. I go out at 1.15pm. Nothing. Blizz is lying down cudding. So I untie her, she gets up and POOPS. Yay! Sample collected and dropped at the vet. Results next week.

The new pipes for the milking machine arrived. Excellent service again from Tim Gibson.

pipesShiny new milking machine pipes.

Wednesday 11th January

The local quarry dropped of a tonne of small river stones – apparently these are far higher quality (and much more expensive) than the gravel I should have ordered. Hey ho. I’ll use some to tidy up the edges of the polytunnel and the rest will go on the fruit garden path.

stonesTiny river stones.

Thursday 12th January

Our seed potatoes arrived – Caledonian Rose, They were excellent last year and have stored very, very well. Our new favourite.

potatoesSeed tatties Caledonian Rose.

Friday 13th January

Dan took the dogs for a long walk. Bryn is plainly tired, since Bertie has been able to bunk up with him.

BrynandBertieBryn and Bertie.

Saturday 14th January

It was forecast to rain today but it didn’t so I made a start on the outside of the polytunnel. Took Smokey for a walk!!

Sunday 15th January

Another lovely day so into the vegetable garden. I finished the polytunnel outside – now I can see the bits I missed inside, but it’s not too bad. Well, it’s good enough. Then I started digging out the soil and weeds between the bed edge and the plastic and filling it with the small river stones. Found lots of sleepy worms, which I reburied. I finished one side, so I’m aiming to get the other side done this week then we can get the staging up.

polytunnelImproving the polytunnel.

Dan dismantled the leaf mould bays. They were there when we came and they’ve never been right – but never up the agenda either.

leafmouldLeaf mould bays down.

But they need to be relocated so that the new hen pen can go in. Not quite decided where they will be relocated TOO. Then he had a tidy up and a wee fire. And knocked in the first post for the hen run.

postFirst post of the new hen run.

It’s a good forecast for the week, so hoping to get on outside.

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