Lambing starts / Fencing / Dishcloths and cardsRSS feed

Posted: Monday 2 April, 2018

by Rosemary at 9:57am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 26th March

Another lovely spring day, but it’s not forecast to last so housed the three ewes due 1st / 2nd April, and Winter, because she’s very calm and will settle the other three who are less well handled.

Popped to Forfar for more licks – bloody sheep are inhaling them – and some shopping for us.

Dan worked in the orchard for a wee while then helped me bath Annie with the pressure washer. She was absolutely fine and we got a lot of muck off her. We tried the washer on me first, to make sure it wouldn’t hurt her.

Tuesday 27th March

Wet and miserable, so glad we brought the sheep in yesterday.

Spent the day doing stuff for the Festival, then had a visit from Environmental Health. All well – the procedures I have in mind are OK for direct sale home baking.

Had a wee trip to Dunelm and Hobbycraft this evening for a bit of retail therapy.

Wednesday 28th March

Up at 5am; nice morning and stayed mainly dry with a few showers.

Made a Mocha Roulade for Linda’s birthday (only a day late). It was very good and goes on the “To make again” list.

Brushed Smokey and the cattle - the shedding has begun.

Smokey sheddingSmokey providing for the local bird population.

I think they should start a wee business called “Birdsnests-r-Us”.

Because the cattle are naturally shedding, the shedding comb is fairly taking off the muck. And they love it.

Checked the sheep’s’ udders tonight when I fed them. The twin bearers, apart from the tail ender, are definitely developing udders but No. 15, who’s due on a single on the 1st, is well bagged up.

Thursday 29th March

Beautiful frosty morning, then sunny. And we have our first lamb – from No. 15. A white tup.

First lamb of 2018First lamb of 2018!

He had just arrived when I went out to check at 5am. The gimmer is a first-timer but she’s a very good mum, with lots of milk, so after dipping the cord and putting them in a pen, I left them to get on with it.

Checked them about 9am; he’d had a sook but one of his eyelids is turned. Turned it out and it’s stayed out.

Dan cut some wood for the outdoor fire pit – which clears a space in the barn.

Cutting wood on the chop sawCutting wood on the chop saw.

After my trip to Hobbycraft on Tuesday, decided to try some card making.

My first cardMy first card!

Oh, the terror of being confronted by a blank card!

Friday 30th March

Horrible day! Cold, wet, sleety.

Skippy lamb though – caught him chewing some hay!

Picked up a bale of hay and a bale of straw, fed the steers at EP and took a load of stuff to the recycling centre.

Sorted out the fluke and wormer for the freshly lambed ewes – I find the syringe works fine when there’s only a few to do each day.

Fluke and wormer syringesWormer and fluke for the ewes. The wine's for me.

We’ve decided to stop using disposable cloths in the kitchen, so we’ve bought cotton and we’re going to knit some. J Cloths can probably delay issuing a profit warning meantime.

Knitting dishclothMaking a dishcloth - pattern is Chinese Waves.

I started with 45 stitches – in four rows, that had grown to 48, so I ripped it out and started again. Dan’s doing much better.

Saturday 31st March

Cold, wet and windy in the morning- but brightened up by lunchtime.

Dan built a fence round his willow nursery bed – the hens will be in that paddock in a few days and will peck the buds off if it's not protected.

Fenced willowFenced nursery willow bed.

Then he cleaned up the supers from the dead hives – looks like we might get some honey!

After lunch, he took down most of the fence round the veg garden. This fence has been rickety since the day we moved in 8 years ago, and we've finally got around to replacing it.

Old veg garden fenceThe old veg garden fence before it came down.

We thought we had a roll of stock netting, but we don’t (we used in round the apiary, turns out) – so it’ll be finished in the week.

After the routine chores, I cleaned out the green hen house – this was a “down on the knees with a paint scraper” clean, in preparation for the new hens coming in April. Pressure washed the perches ready for disinfectant tomorrow.

Pulled out most of what was left of the brassicas – sheep got some sprouts.

Tailed the lamb, wormed and fluked the ewe, did her feet (which looked really good) and trimmed up her eyes and bum (in that order). Now they’re ready to go out tomorrow.

The other two due this weekend have no bags, but they might surprise me.

Sunday 1st April

Beautiful day! No new lambs, but turned out No. 15 with her lamb, along with Urquhart, to keep her company.

Cleaned out the caravan and replaced the rollaway nest boxes with homemade cardboard nest boxes. Hens seem very excited.

Home made nest boxesHome-made, disposable, recyclable nest boxes!

Dan packed up half of the old wood from the veg garden fence into the trailer, and started clearing where the new fence is to go.

Dan’s been weighting apple tree branches to improve their shape – looks like weird Christmas trees.

Imprving the shaoe of apple treesTraining apple trees.

Decided to make an additional sheep pen in the barn; just wasn’t confident that the byre was big enough and the forecast is for pretty horrid weather for the next few days, so I’m planning to bring the rest of the ewes in tomorrow, apart from the two tail-end Charlies, who can stay out with Teddy and Urquhart.

So sorted through the pallets; stacked the good ones tidily and Dan cut up the others for firewood and kindling.

Triple whammy – nice pen, tidy pallets and a heap of firewood!

New sheep pen in barnNew sheep pen in barn, before and after.

Had Ryeland hogget for dinner. Beautiful. And baked cheesecake with our own raspberries from last summer. How can something that simple be so yummy?

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