Honey / Urquhart/ Pig fenceRSS feed

Posted: Wednesday 13 March, 2019

by Rosemary at 1:26pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 4th March

Heavy rain overnight but sun and wind today drying it up.

Got a reminder that Smokey’s vaccinations were due; checked Leo’s passport to see when his are due – and apparently, he’s never had any. According to his passport anyway. What a joke equine passports are – a useless piece of legislation that isn’t enforced and of which no-one takes any notice. Anyway, Smokey isn’t due a tetanus until next year, so I’ll get Leo done the next time the vet’s out for something else. With lambing coming up, it’s more than likely they’ll be here for something.

Met with the owner of the field next door and agreed a lease – reasonable rent and although it’s year by year, he says we’ll be able to have it for years. It’ll see us out anyway.

Tuesday 5th March

Sorted the electric fence in Sheepfold. I truly hate electric fencing. And it hates me too. However, Dan to the rescue and I’ll get the ponies on there tomorrow. They won’t be very happy leaving the wide open spaces of Laing’s Field for the track.

Went along to the Gala Committee’s Quiz Night with Andy and Sheena; we didn’t win but it was a good laugh.

Wednesday 6th March

Heavy rain last night and this morning. Popped down to East Pitkerro to put hay in for the steers. It should last ten or eleven days, at which time they’ll be turned out. We’ve used 13 bales of hay and 6 bales of straw, so £160 per steer; for two winters £320.Other costs are pretty minimal to get them to slaughter. I’ll do some sums over the next week or so – my gut feeling is that we make a small surplus, but not much.

Moved the ponies into Sheepfold. Ave first, then the two geldings – Leo and Smokey had a bit of a run around one paddock, so I just let them go and caught them up at the next gate. Leo is such a wee sweetheart – even when he’s really excited, he’s not barging or in your space.

Did a talk at Fowlis and Liff SWI tonight – beautiful hall and really nice folk. Enjoyed it very much.

Thursday 7th March

Bit of a day off for me, having lunch at Pillars of Hercules with Carol. Really good to have a catch up and a bit of a laugh. Dan started building the last muck bay.

Had a conference call this evening about the “Shetland Cattle at RHS 2020” project. All very positive.

Friday 8th March

Sunny and frosty first thing, changing to drizzle, grey and cold. Dan and Andy took the last stretch of old fencing in the pig pen down and started to put up a new one. It’s been a weak spot for years, so it will be good to get it replaced before the new pigs come mid April. They got the strainer in and the bottom wire on. Dan’s planning to do more tomorrow.

Went for hay. Dan and I had a chat about sheep – we were going to move Urquhart on but we’ve decided to keep him and sell his five daughters from last year. All our ewes are young – second lambing this year – apart from Niamh – and we’re not looking to grow the flock, so we’ll sell them as gimmers after shearing. I do want the four white fleeces. Urquhart is such a nice tup, both in looks and temperament. Needs his feet trimmed though.

Saturday 9th March

Nice day – dry, sunny and breezy. Bit more than breezy, but nice for working in. Dan got all the posts for the fence knocked in. He would have got the stock netting on too but one of the trees beside the fence had split, so he decided to take it down before it fell down – on the new fence.

I cleaned out the hens and finished moving woodchip into the apiary. The bees were flying but not in great numbers.

Sunday 10th March

Grey, rainy and cold – but no snow unlike other parts of Scotland. Windy and the sun got out this afternoon, but still cold. Dan went off to play football, so I cleaned the kitchen, did some baking and the paperwork I’d usually do on a Monday.

Before football, Dan started to tidy up the byre, which we’ll need for lambing. It may take a bit longer than I had envisaged. There’s a lot of bee stuff in there and much, much more. On his return from football, he was till in a tidying mood so set about the dozens of Lego sets that he’s bought. Found some he didn’t know he had, which is good.

After dinner, Dan jarred some honey but ran out of jars before he finished. It’s lovely stuff. Early night tonight – ready for the new week!



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