Diary

New field for cattle / Barn progress / Tup movedRSS feed

Posted: Monday 20 November, 2017

by Rosemary at 10:08am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 23rd October

Utterly miserable here today – as dreich as it gets, but at least not cold or windy.

Fed the steers in the catching pen, ready for Wednesday.

Blizzard is behaving like she’s in season – or at least, Ace is behaving like Blizzard is in season. Had an email exchange with the vet – and the manipulation of the uterus during the ultrasound could have caused a release of prostaglandin, which brings cows into season.

Apparently, palpation of the uterus is sometimes used on organic dairy farms to bring cows into season – but the palpation associated with an ultrasound would be much less than in those circumstances. Prostaglandin is also the hormone that’s used to stop unwanted pregnancies L

I couldn’t see any discharge and she wasn’t standing for him so fingers crossed that it’s just a wee blip.

Tuesday 24th October

Dreich morning but brightened up this afternoon. Popped up to Harbro to pick up a tonne of layer pellets.

Blizzard seems back to normal today.

Wednesday 25th October

Absolutely glorious day today.

The steers were so easy to pen, we had an hour to sit in the car waiting for the haulier. When he arrived, the entrance to Astwood was too narrow to get his enormous artic in. Thankfully, Dan had decided to take our livestock trailer up, so we loaded the two steers on to our trailer, drove to the end of the drive and loaded them trailer-to-trailer.

Went like a dream – steers were perfectly calm and wandered up the ramp like they’d done it a hundred times.

Sorry to see them go but looking forward to the beef.

Following Saturday’s events re the field next door, Dan and I put up some barb to stop the cattle getting near the road gate, put a warning sign on the gate and a note through all the doors of houses backing on to the field – and took the fence down between our field and the new one.

Very happy cattle. It’s pretty rough herbage, but there’s lots of it and Shetland’s don’t need the best grass to do well.

Cattle in DJ Laing's fieldCattle enjoying their new field.

They have a run back into our field to access water but we’ll run water into the new field sometime

Cleaned out the trailer then unloaded the layer pellets, while Dan had a bit of a tidy up round the barn.

Baked a flour free chocolate cake for Gemma’s birthday tomorrow.

Thursday 26th October

Another nice day – bit breezy but dry and sunny. Can’t complain about this at all.

Cattle are quite content in their new field – they seem to like lying up in the hedgerow.

Cattle in the hedgeExploring the hedge line.

Contacted Rural Payments, Animal Health and ScotMoves to notify them about the new grazing. Always makes me nervous but it’s all sorted now. I find the folk that work in these organisations very helpful. And patient :-)

The local quarry delivered cement, sharp sand and Type 1 for the barn.

Friday 27th October

First frost this morning – and a thin layer of ice on the hens’ water – but another lovely day.

John the Digger was here digging out the floor of the barn and knocking down the existing internal wall.

Barn wall downInternal barn wall down, John the Digger levelling the floor.

I had thought to leave it up to save work, but it will give far more flexible space with it down.  

Dan’s calculator was wonky and he didn’t order enough Type 1.

Bertie foremane"I knew you hadn't ordered enough type-1"

More coming on Monday. John’s left his wacker plate, which was good of him.

Saturday 28th October

Glorious day again. Spent most of it in the vegetable garden weeding and tidying down; I cut the grass and Dan strimmed the edges. It’s looking rather good.

We were at the RBST Caledonian Harvest Supper in the evening. It was good to catch up with folk, and it was great to see some reps from the North Scotland and the Borders groups there for the pre-meeting with the CEO of RBST, Tom Beeston and Hannah.

The committee made the food this year, as opposed to getting in a caterer, and it was delicious – Hebridean mutton, Highland beef, OSB sausages, Ryeland lamb – we were practicing what we preach. Some good ideas raised – more collaboration between the three Scottish region groups would be good.

Sunday 29th October

And yet more blue skies and sun.

Dan topped a neighbour’s grass paddocks for them. I was back in the veg. garden.

Moved the tup into a field adjacent to the ewes – he was much more excited than they were.

Tup in motionUrquhart in motion.

One more week and he’ll get in to do his stuff.

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