Nearly the SolsticeRSS feed

Posted: Monday 14 December, 2015

by Rosemary Champion at 12:33pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Only ten days to the Winter Solstice, then the days will start to lengthen. I know not by much, but in the words of a well-known retailer, every little helps J. Our weather continues changeable – temperatures from -1C to +11C; still pretty windy some days and some heavy rain but I guess it’s December in Scotland.  Yesterday (Sunday) was the coldest day we’ve had this winter, with a heavy frost that didn’t lift all day, but the morning was sunny and with no wind, it was lovely to be working about outside.

We took Taylor, our tup, out yesterday and moved him to Astwood, along with Teddy.  Usually the two of them now form a group of two until the tup lambs are weaned but I’m considering putting them back in with some of the ewes once they’ve been scanned. After all, if they are in lamb, he can’t get them pregnant again J. He’s a happier boy if he’s with some ewes. We also brought the six ewe hoggs and the three retirees home yesterday. They were at our neighbours’, so we just walked them home, rather than bothering with the trailer. So they are out with the (hopefully) pregnant ewes. Wabbit, our “pet” lamb from last year is a big girl, but still sticks with her mammy. I’ve texted the scanner with the dates the tup ran with them and she’ll schedule us in for scanning at the right time.

Our four sheepskins-to-be have been safely delivered to Skyeskyns and we think we’ll get them back end of February time.

On Saturday, Dan and his dad put a new roof on the hen house that had the bulgy roof. We used Wickes equivalent of Onduline but added additional cross supports. Dan said there was some water ingress, so maybe that’s why that house is wetter than the other one. I was blaming the hens for being mucky J. Egg production is at its lowest – only two or three dozen a day, so about 50% productivity. Hopefully, it will start to rise after the New Year.

Andy was here yesterday so more work was done in the barn. We’re kicking around the idea for an extension to allow me to overwinter more cattle but haven’t really come to any firm conclusion yet.

Bryn’s booked in for his “little operation” on Thursday. He’s started cocking his leg, which is quite sweet, given his wee stumpies. Having the two bitches spayed never bothered me but I’m having some qualms about Bryn. I suppose with no risk of unwanted pups, it’s less of an issue and he will go to the vet on Thursday, but I do feel a bit bad about it.

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