Meet Paddy / Courses / New queen beeRSS feed

Posted: Wednesday 14 June, 2017

by Rosemary at 10:34am in Smallholding No comments Add your own


Monday 5th June

It’s been wet today. Did I really complain about the lack of rain last month?

Ace has been “babysitting” Panda.

Tuesday 6th June

Just more rain, and more rain. And wind.

I replaced Annie’s missing ear tag this morning – easy, as there was already a hole.

Wednesday 7th June

Looks like autumn here. So many leaves and branches blown off the trees. It’s still windy but the weather is improving. Not quite flaming June though.

Put in Panda’s ear tags. Much less traumatic for both of us that I anticipated.

One of the meat chickens had gone off its legs, so it was chicken casserole for dinner tonight and it was delicious.

Thursday 8th June

Blizzard was due to calve today. She was showing early signs but no calf.

The weather is still very changeable, so maybe she’s waiting for sun.

Friday 9th June

After a night of two hourly checks, Blizzard calved this afternoon – a black and white bull calf that we’re calling Paddy.

Blizzard and new-born PaddyBlizzard and new-born Paddy.

Like her calf last year, this wee fella has tight tendons in his front legs. He’s not as bad as Winnie was last year and by the end of the day, he was moving a bit better and feeding well.

Cow and calf are in a separate paddock away from Ace, who is haunting the fence line.

The new queen bee arrived today, by mail, in a small plastic box with 6 attendant bees. The box has one end packed with fondant and with a removal tab - the idea is it can be placed in the hive with the queen in it, and the bees already in the hive will get used to the queen's presence. After 24 hours or so the tab can be removed, and the bees will eat the fondant, eventually releasing the queen.

New queen beeThe new queen in her box - you can see the fondant on the left

Dan and Paul removed the attendants, checked the queen and placed her in the currently queen-less hive. Fingers crossed now that she's accepted by the hive and starts laying.

Saturday 10th June

We had an intro to smallholding course here today, so we didn’t milk. It was a really nice course today with a great bunch of people, although we've never really had anything else.

Blizz was hanging around the gate between her and the rest of the herd so I let her and the calf through but regretted it as Ace is a real pain. I guess Blizz is throwing off all sorts of hormones and pheromones, and he’s continually trying to jump her.

I’m not worried about her, but I am worried that the calf takes a serious knock especially since he’s not so nimble.

Moved Blizz and Paddy back into their own paddock. This is uncharted territory for me.

Sunday 11th June

Another course here today – sheep keeping this time.

Sheep keeping courseSheep keeping course in progress. Rosemary is holding a cat, not a lamb!

We brought Annie, Rosie and Ace in and milked Annie. She was remarkably good, considering Panda stayed out with Blizzard.

Ace jumped the fence in with Blizz and is still being a pain, so I’m monitoring it and went out this evening to make sure the calf got a good feed. His legs are much better and he was running and getting in a few skips. And he met Panda.

Paddy and PandaWhen Paddy met Panda.

Another meat chick off its legs, so culled and jointed.


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