Diary

Lambing over / New hens / WC refurb / HarvestingRSS feed

Posted: Monday 30 April, 2018

by Rosemary at 9:32am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 23rd April

Sunny but really windy – out of the wind it’s really nice.

No2 lambed – a black tup and a white ewe. Did it all by herself; nice lambs, no entropion and all are well. Sadly, they’re going to be stuck inside until No14 lambs.

Popped up to Forfar for some feed. Took the opportunity to drop off my entry forms and “goods” for the forthcoming poultry sale and horse sale.

Met Ruth Watson, who started the fantastic “Keep Scotland the Brand” campaign. Very impressed.

Tuesday 24th April

Sunny and windy again. The fields next to us are being cultivated so there are small sandstorms blowing across the fields.

The fencing materials for the last push of fences were delivered, so that’s Dan’s weekend sorted, bless ‘im.

John made a start on the renovation of the outside WC.

WC renovationExternal WC, in need of refurb.

Robert, one of our vets, came out to take a blood sample from Bug to check his meds are working and to have a look at Annie, who’s lame again. Same foot – off hind. Hard to get a good look at what’s going on and loathe, with her less than three weeks from calving, to muck her about too much.

She’s got Metacam plus three days of antibiotic. I’m hoping to get them out next week – maybe the softer surface and losing weight when she calves will sort things out.

Wednesday 25th April

Still blawin’ a gale. Well, maybe no’ a gale. But windy, with some sudden heavy showers. We should have some great May flowers this year!

No14 still hanging on; night checks start again tonight.

Thursday 26th April

More sun, wind and heavy showers.

Dosed No2 and tailed the lambs.

Jagged Annie – that went well, so feeling less apprehensive about tomorrow, and dosed No3.

Picked up the last of the prunings from the orchard; J&M next door emptied all the muck out of our big trailer into their muck heap, so we’re ready for a run to the “big skip” in Arbroath either tomorrow or Saturday.

The pigs are getting tamer – much boot and hand sniffing today and the littlest one gave in and had a belly rub.

Taming pigsApple slices are perfect for taming pigs!

Friday 27th April

Nice morning; sunny and the wind has dropped at last.

No14 lambed a huge white ewe lamb just after breakfast, so that is our lambing over for this year.

In summary, we put fifteen ewes to the tup; one died at Christmas. We scanned fourteen – three empty (which was disappointing), seven twins and four singles.

We have now safely delivered eighteen live lambs from eleven ewes; eleven tups (seven white, four black) and seven ewes (five white, two black). I’ll take that, thank you.

A few limpy in the field; just mechanical, I think. They do play hard. I’ve put an additional trough out as the lambs like to come and nibble cake now and the ewes give no quarter.

Gave Annie her third dose of antibiotics. Hope to see an improvement soon. Picked up a bale of hay and straw.

Had a bit of a pottering day – tidying up the wood pile, turned out the linen cupboard to try and make space for Dan’s knitting stuff and my craft stuff – which is currently living in the dining room.

Trip to the skip with old fencing. Repaired the catches in the gates at the field shelter and a broken rail in the field.

Put away all the lambing box. Sometimes, just pottering is rather nice and very satisfying.

Dan picked a pile of rhubarb - we've got a bumper crop this year and eat it for breakfast most days.

Harvesting rhubarbPicking rhubarb.

The newest lamb has a turned eyelid; it’s going to be OK but I don’t want to put her out until it’s better. I’ll see what she’s like in the morning.

She’s tailed and her mammy dosed, so just a trim and they’re ready to go out. Looking forward to an unbroken night’s sleep.

Saturday 28th April

Cool and cloudy this morning, but dead still. The gate into Sheepfold was open so ponies in Sheepfold and sheep in Near Ditch. Easily sorted with feed buckets and Dan’s sorted the gate. Glad Bug was shut in his wee paddock – hours on green grass would do him no good at all. Although he would beg to differ.

Dan spent most of the day helping our next door neighbours put up a new fence but managed to take some time in the middle of the day, when it was warm, to check the bees.

We turned out No2 and No14 with their lambs but brought No14 and her’s back in at teatime. The lamb has entropion in one eye and I felt it needed more attention so I’m going to turn it every two hours through the night and see if I can sort it.

In between the out and in, I mucked out the pen in the barn, thinking I’d keep t as an emergency pen for ponies. Bug gave it the seal of approval by moving in right away.

Bug moving inBug checking out the emergency pen.

Bedded the green henhouse and filled the feeder, ready for new hens tomorrow. Pressed some flowers and did some weeding in the veg garden. Lambs out. Dan in the bees. Veg garden weeding.

Sunday 29th April

Feeling a bit tired this morning but the lamb’s eye is much improved. Not there yet, but hopefully get it right sorted today.

Lovely to see all of the ewes and lambs turned out and enjoying the sun, long may it continue.

Ewes and lambsEwes and lambs.

Picked up 35 new hens; 20 Rhode Rocks, 5 Copper Marans, 5 White Leghorns and 5 green egg layers. The White ones – Leghorns and green egg layers look a bit flighty. We’ve put Spike in with them. What a nice big bird he is.

Some of them didn't work out how to go to bed tonight though...

Rossting hensNew hens roosting.

One of the little pigs is proving to be a bit of an escape artist. Fortunately, neither of his brothers join him and he’s usually quite glad tore join them.

Pigs rooting under fencePigs digging under fencing.

Dan’s made adjustments to the fence – we’ve not had pigs this small for a while or ones that test the fences.

Still picking purple sprouting brocolli, it's always a long time coming but it's nice to have fresh veg in April.

Purple sproutingPurple sprouting going strong.

By bedtime, the lamb’s eye wasn’t right. Going to give it another overnight but it’ll be the vet in the morning.

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