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Posted: Monday 24 July, 2017

by Rosemary at 5:31pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 10th July

Overcast but dry. The cows were exceedingly unco-operative today – Blizz just refused to come in – and I ran out of time and patience, so no milk today.

Bug had his feet trimmed – they grow at a huge rate.

Sent off the registrations to the Shetland Cattle Herd Book Society – Annie’s calf, Panda is registered as Rosedean Xena and Rosie’s as Rosedean Xanthe (she doesn’t have a pet name yet). Blizzard’s steer calf isn’t registered, of course.

Only having one steer calf gives us a bit of a dilemma – we like to have two each year – partly to provide sufficient beef fro our customers but also because we don’t like to send one to the abattoir on its own, so we’ll have to buy in a weaned steer calf later in the year. We also need to decide which females we’ll be selling and when.

Bryn hurt his leg playing with Bentley. He’s a bit limpy.

Tuesday 11th July

Dry and some sun, but still breezy. Did some housework.

We’ve moved the office into the new classroom, so we’re planning to reclaim the guest bedroom for guests and use the wee single bedroom for storage. Need to get a second single bed though.

Had the worst milking ever today. Blizz and even Annie were having strops and pooping all over the place.

Only Rosie behaved like a dream for her first milking this year.

Wednesday 12th July

Warm and sunny today. Gemma picked 17kg blackcurrants and we had a collective top, tail and freeze.

Much better milking today. Don’t know what was wrong yesterday (and Monday). I’ve kind of lost my routine, so maybe they have too.

I thinned gages and plums by about 1/3 – it’s the best fruit set we’ve ever had – then I cut grass in the vegetable garden.

Dan picked the last of the gooseberries and I topped and tailed them – mindless work. Gemma weeded brassicas, so they look much better.

I picked up pig feed – should be enough to do them until they go – and Dan kindly unloaded it for me.

Thursday 13th July

Lovely day again, but windy.

Gemma and her pal, Sunni, started to clear out the sunken garden. This has been on “the list” for seven years – there have been a couple of halfhearted attempts previously but Dan would like to build a bread oven in it, so we’re more determined to get the job finished.

I baked shortbread and cookies – the first was undercooked and the second slightly burnt. Not a triumph.

Our bread machine's broken so Dan's bought a new book - Flour Water Salt Yeast - and is starting to make bread from scratch again. He fermented dough overnight and baked bread this morning.

FWSY overnight breadOvernigh white bread from FWSY.

We had it for lunch with some of the Camembert, it was very good.

No milking today.

Went to the Fish and Chip Van for dinner. It was very good.

Took Bryn to the vet as he’s still limping – vet thinks he’s staved a toe on his front paw. Metacam and rest prescribed.

Friday 14th July

Bright and sunny, but breezy. Had a good milking session today. Rosie behaving beautifully and she’s boosted the cream level a treat. Bryn definitely a bit better this morning.

Saturday 15th July

Strange day – rain followed by sun – and still windy.

Delivered a short course at the Murray Royal Hospital in Perth today, so no milking.

Sheep at Murray Royal HospitalSheep at Murray Royal Hospital for the short course.

We took sheep along, and admired their lovel walled garden.

Murray Royal Hospital walled gardenMurray Royal Hospital walled garden.

MUST get a routine going this week.

It’s my birthday so had a special dinner of duck followed by profiteroles and raspberry gin.

Sunday 16th July

Still windy, which is detracting from the lovely sun. Dispatched half the meat birds today - eight cockerels – leaving nine hens for next weekend.

Decided to bring Ace home next weekend. A cow served on 22nd July should calve around the 1st May – which would be better than 1st June, which is where we are now. I did think about giving Winnie a month with the steers, but we’ve decided to just go for it. If she calves on 1st May she’ll be just over 22 months – but the bull’s not big and she’s well grown.

4pm phone call from the miller at Barry Mill to say a dog walker has told him our sheep are out. Off we go, post haste, finding the sheep in the garden next door to the Hall. Put them back in the field, with a bucket bribe but can’t see where they are getting out (there are a number of options). Decide it might be better to take them home until we can sort fencing. Go for trailer – 15 minutes – and arrive back to meet the sheep on the road.

We know where they are getting out now, but we’ve brought them home until we can do something more long-term with the fencing.

Cows came in nicely this afternoon; calves shut in pen and cows returned to the field. Less bawling than previously (the calves don’t call, just the cows). Tagged Rosie’s calf – she wasn’t very chuffed. Was planning to take the hair samples for the A2 test tonight but will leave it until tomorrow.



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